Americans love sports. These following nine months leading up to the presidential election appear sadly almost exclusively to be a sport for most Americans, a mesmerizing reality show competition between contestants promoted and funded by various conglomerates for our entertainment and our votes.
Which candidate will be the most popular, the most family-identified (yes, bring those smiling kiddies up on the stage). Who will be the meanest, the most funded, ubiquitous presence in the media, appearing on all sorts of television, invading to the point of becoming our regular programming? Who will have access to talk show titans, à la Obama on Jay Leno last week, or sit repeatedly with the entertaining women on The View, who I enjoy but do not pretend to possess heavy political acumen about the state of our country.
The presidential race is a sport, no doubt about it. Are we Americans conditioned to understand or even have the bandwidth to listen to complicated national urgencies that the newly elected president will preside over? The answer is "no."
The political strategy of candidate personality vs. the abilities of candidates to take the reins and work things out with opposition in government is a done deal.
Personality rules. And like any adolescent high school society, Americans are glued to the daily nasty name-calling fights between everyone in the political arenas.
This is what we have in front of us for the next nine months.
The political talk show hosts don't even bother to pretend that it's not a sport.
Numbers, polls, opinions on horses leading the group on any given day are discussed with rotating sports opinionators.
Chris Mathews emphatically uses "horse race" as shorthand for "political campaign."
Rachel Maddow expresses open glee for the game of it all, as evidenced in her commentary pre and post the numerous Republican debates.
Don't get me wrong. I like Rachel and her high intelligence.
I only wonder if she is being directed to approach this campaign as a giddy game for ratings, or whether she is independently drinking pitchers of company Kool-Aid.
And then there are the inevitable distractions. Which group today hates the gay community more than anyone else? The current winner seems to be a group that is a division of the American Family Association, called OneMillionMoms.com, raging against Ellen DeGeneres for being a gay person hired as a JC Penney spokesperson.
Donald Trump is always a great distraction, no matter what he says or who he now endorses (Romney), as is Scott Brown, who is endorsing Obama.
There is importance and reality in questioning Mitt Romney's authentic global, national, and social positions, as well as questioning Obama's authentic positions. Both remain mysterious.
So many pundits with theories; so little solid information.
So much attention to candidates as horses, and horses as winners or losers.
The public has been conditioned to use no "intelligence muscles" to question and approach the election or to have true knowledge of anything else occurring behind the political gold curtain having import to the country, and thus, to their lives.
The economy is naturally very familiar and essential as the key issue to the public's interest.
Is any candidate supplying real plans or brainstorming for solutions?
While the daily flood of media distractions appears on the bottom television scroll, and the loud mouth opinions blast forth on talk television, does it matter that Obama may be planning a war with Iran? Yes, it does.
But what a superb time instead to theorize about which personality is presidential and who today is up a few points in the so-called polls.
In spite of the roar of the horse race blasting away our thoughts and voices, I will yell out on behalf of us all: If there is anyone out there fit to lead this country, announce yourself. Please.