INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Post-Mortems and Withdrawal

I had been hoping that my negative assessment of the electorate would be proven wrong. In case you’re familiar with the Enneagram, you know that, as a Type Six, worst-case thinking is my natural addiction. It was my fervent wish that my typology, and not reality, would be the responsible agent for my dire assessment of the political dynamic.

Alas, my logical faculties were the operative ones. But I’m not going to blame a “stupid electorate.” Instead, I have two other villains: the Democrats, and the TV industry. Given the cowardly and pathetic unwillingness of the Dems to attack the President, and their lack of any unified theme for the future, they thoroughly deserved to lose.

As for the TV industry, they brazenly refuse to give adequate coverage to political campaigns. It’s a wickedly clever strategy because it forces candidates to buy ad time in order to be heard. The TV moguls rake in the dough. The politicians are forced to spend the majority of their time and energy on fund-raising so they can buy the media time and pay the smarmy consultants on whom they must rely for the management of their media efforts.

Unless and until our society musters the collective political will to require the TV industry to provide significant chunks of free time to political campaigns (and not just those pathetic one-hour joint press conferences laughingly referred to as “debates”), we are condemned to an ongoing downward spiral of our political process and product. It’s an old saw that the people get what they deserve. Looking at the failure of the public to put any pressure on the media, I’d have to say that it’s true.

Having said that, I am now announcing my withdrawal from any further attention to politics until 2004. I may not be able to control the quality of the political process, but there is one area where I do have such control: the content of my consciousness. My well-being is more important than my thoughts or pronouncements on matters political.

Given the new political landscape, any consciousness that I point in its direction is only going to result in extreme anger, sadness, and despair. I don’t want to live there. It’s terrible for my blood pressure. At my age, blood pressure is a serious issue. I’m going to be spending my online time from now on in blogs or blog-portions that are non-political, entertaining, and generally upbeat I’ll try to do my own blogging in the same vein. If you catch me ranting or raving after this, please call me on it.


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