We the People are Nauseated

By on May 31, 2012

Newark mayor Cory Booker caught flack from the Obama people for saying he found the Obama campaign’s “assault on the free enterprise system” nauseating ten days ago.  I am not sure I think the mayor has exactly put his finger on the nausea stimulus, but I certainly recognize the feeling.

The prospect of six more months of character assassination, half-truths, outright twaddle, hokum and huffiness makes everyone with half a brain nauseated. The posturing and ‘bloviating’ on both sides of the re-stimulated ‘birther’ controversy should be an insult to anyone beyond the second grade. But what’s a political party or a well-heeled PAC going to do to fill the approximately 175 days between now and the election. Baby and bottom kissing wears out awfully fast. There’s nothing like good old-fashioned mud-slinging to satisfy the party faithful.

So we’ll have non-stop swift-boating and dirty-tricks and smears and whispering campaigns all designed to push a button in the mind of some uncommitted voter. How many can there be at this point? We understand that the election will probably be decided by the state of the economy this September and October. So why do we have to wait until then? The nauseating TV spots are on us already. Why should innocent voters have to get beaten about the ear by wealthy lobbying groups for half a year just because the Constitution says it’s election time. Uncle, uncle, uncle!

I propose that, when the next commander-in-chief is selected, he call a politically balanced group of distinguished Americans together for the purpose of proposing changes to our Constitution. It’s a great documents by great minds, but no genius in 1787 could have foreseen the Internet, the Citizens United decision, health care costs and mass sports addiction as factors in everyday life. Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Jay were not thinking of face-offs, Facebook, in-your-face candidates like Donald Trump and face transplants when they put together the Bill of Rights. We need to update this document to face the realities of the time in which we live. Election reform and constraints must head the list.

Given how contentious things are, I know it may be very difficult to get anything enacted even after the election, but if we cannot get our representatives to work together again without all the glorified hog-calling, posturing and pandering that passes for governing, we are in deep, deep trouble as a people. And I’m talking about more than just the waves of nausea that come over us when the current crop of politicians and their backers vie for office.  I’m talking about ability to solve problems as a nation and focus on the things that really have consequence in our lives. Health care cost is one. Tax reform is another. Concentrated, well-focused, affordable, voter-friendly elections would be a third.      Tom Godfrey

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