Voter Empathy

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

The 2016 presidential elections in the USA are in full swing.  It is a long process that takes more than a year (every four years) to pick the candidates representing the two major parties and then finally a general election to pick the next president.  The beneficiaries of the protracted and prolonged election process are not the politicians who are aspiring to become the president nor the public who are subjected to the election process who really get carpet bombed 24/7 by the wannabe presidential candidates, but the media outlets, advertising agencies, staffers and memorabilia makers.  The candidates spend hundreds of millions bashing each other (everything but fist fights) and spending money that is unimaginable in promoting what great low life everyone who is competing against them.  Hundreds of millions go into the election simply to tell people that everyone competing is such a worthless and indecent human being who is not capable of a normal life let alone governing the USA.

No matter what is said and done, the long election season only two candidates gets picked by their parties with the right to compete with each other and spend millions more in the general elections and only one will eventually get to be the president for the next 4 years.  The record of late demonstrates that the incumbent president gets reelected for the second term, but the election process is still equally expensive and protracted.  Even the sitting president is not spared in the election sloganeering on competence and character.

If one has to wonder if the expensive and energetic political process can be diverted to public works or other process that can benefit the public at large. If a billion or two is spent on each presidential cycle by the candidates, that amount of money can do a lot of good for the public good in any year.  Although it is wonderful to think of money going to good causes rather than personal bashing, it is not going to happen in the near future.  Neither the candidates nor the donors are that much interested in resolving real people issues.

Imagine that a presidential candidate can raise a billion dollars to campaign and run for the presidential office.  What If that money is spent on improvements in public works in the city/town of domicile?  100% of the money goes into doing good works for the benefit of the people.   The media will cover such good deeds as they do other nastiness anywhere in the world.  Yes, no spending money on anything but public works and projects of public interest, and simply use the media to project the plans and activities if elected president.  At least one candidate should try this, and even if not elected as president the work will remain forever with people, and perhaps will even fuel future elections to do the same.  It would be wonderful to see money spent on people issues.

The president’s job is only available every four years, and definitely the most powerful job that pays a salary and comes with unimaginable perks.  So, anyone who is qualified and aspires to become the president, and have the ability to compete for it will certainly invest the time and money (other people’s money) and most certainly will make every effort to win the job.  The method to presidency is no longer written or even in any mode of comprehension; just do whatever it takes.

When the president was asked last week about the current election cycle, his response was classic.  He said that the American people were smart enough to elect their leader who will best represent their interests.

People are aligned with the politics of their representative parties, be it democratic or republican, each party with its own set of issues, solutions, policies and above all beliefs.  When in power they push their party’s agenda and certainly feel they are in the right, and the opposing party is wrong.  The president while in office drives the political agenda that brings the presidency.  Each president certainly drives the party’s manifesto and election promises that align with the political preferences.  When the president and the congress belong to the same party it makes it easier to drive the initiatives, and if the president and the congress belong to different parties the administration gets paralyzed, as none of the parties yield to other’s initiatives.  The only thing that people are being left with is ever widening budget deficits and crumbling infrastructure.

Why can’t the wealthiest nation on earth and most innovative people on earth solve the budget deficit once for all and resolve the political bickering into public benefit.  If the issues that confront the nation and its people become the agenda of politicians then congress and the president can definitely work on issues that are important can be dealt with.  Here is where the public’s empathy comes in place.  The day to day issues are much more close to the people than the elected politicians.  The citizens understand the issues and also how to deal with them.  People certainly try to push for a balanced power in politics.  People look forward to vote for progress and every four years and exercise their right to forecast and look forward to a better future.  They always do.

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