In our last post, we grouched that far too many political candidates are just well-trained poodles fabricated in marketing labs on Madison Avenue, and that there's no real accountability for the countless li ... er, "untruths" ... told on the campaign trail. The result, of course, is that the hapless voting public has a devil of a time figuring out which jackal might deserve a meaningless fling in the ballot booth.
We don't recommend it — there are far better things to do with one's time like raising your kids or tweezering your nose hairs — but if you really want to learn something useful about an office seeker, tune out the constant stream of manic, media-manipulated distractions and do a little independent research.
For starters, if your poodle was a legislator at some point, look into his voting record. As they say, talk is cheap. When he (or she) was in a position to actually do something other than pander and puff, did his actions match his rhetoric?
Several Web sites, such as OnTheIssues.org and VoteSmart.org, provide this information, and if you're a real glutton for punishment, you can even read the actual, inscrutable text of each bill — something your guy likely didn't do. At that point, congratulations! You may now be the most qualified person for the job.
Once you've got a handle on your poodle's checkered track record, wander on over to OpenSecrets.org to learn who's funding his campaign. As their Web site states:
"OpenSecrets.org has become a clearinghouse for data and analysis on multiple aspects of money in politics - including the independent interest groups, such as super PACs and political nonprofits, flooding politics with outside spending, federal lobbying, Washington's 'revolving door' and the personal finances of members of Congress, the president and other officials."
In other words, who owns your candidate?
Friends, we'll leave you with this disquieting puzzle. If the purpose of the media during election season were really to inform the electorate about the candidates, wouldn't the bulk of the coverage focus on their voting records and funding sources? Why, then, does it seem to us that most supporters of these candidates know so very little about these topics? And why does the media treat the worthless utterings of known bullshit artists with such seriousness, while directing our attention to such trivial questions as who said what about whom, and the unbearably sycophantic, "Who looks the most presidential?"
Think about it.
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