What did we learn from this election?
We learned that counter-punching grows more rapid with every campaign. When Bill Clinton ran we were surprised by his team’s ready response. When his opponents attacked him in the morning his team had him respond on TV by the afternoon. In this campaign the response came within the hour – from both sides. And within two hours the campaigns created new TV commercials on the issue. They ran them on their campaign sites on the net.
We learned that anything candidates have ever said in public – and half what they said in private – has been captured on video or in a recording by somebody. And if networks won’t run the remarks, the blogs will.
We learned that the amount of money a campaign will spend is apparently limitless. Next presidential campaign will likely have one or both candidates spend a billion dollars.
We learned that ACORN is another word for voter fraud. Not to mention partisanship. And it collects millions from the federal government to finance its activities.
We learned that radio shows like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and others are under a threat. Congressional leaders vow to re-impose the so-called Fairness Doctrine. The presidential candidates said they were opposed to this. But the Democrats may have enough votes in Congress to have their way. If the new Fairness Doctrine is anything like the old one, stations would likely have to drop such shows.
We learned that some things don’t change. Polls tell us most voters could not tell us what their favorite candidates’ proposals were. They could only tell us how they “felt” about their candidates. And how they “felt” about the other guys. In other words, it was their feelings that determined how they voted. Nothing new here. It is the very reason why Bill Clinton was determined to say “I feel your pain.” when he campaigned.
We learned that women rule. There are more female than male voters. And an ever higher percentage of them, versus men, vote. You can determine how our elections are going to go by figuring out how most women will vote.
We learned that promises don’t mean much. That surely is an ancient lesson. So I guess what we learned is that you can play the same tricks on old dogs. For instance, the numbers on both candidates’ promises make no sense. But who cares? Our attention span is sooo short we will forget all the promises within a month. And the new President can simply tell us that when he got to the White House he discovered things were worse than he thought. And we will buy that.
We learned a presidential campaign can go on for two years. What lies in our future? Will someone go for three years? Do I hear four? “Following the inauguration ceremony in Washington today, Senator Blog launched his campaign for the White House with a flurry of commercials…”
We learned that our mainstream media no longer lean toward the Democrat candidates. They have become part of the campaign. Survey after survey tell us this is so. And we would have to live in caves not to notice. In fact, big majorities of Americans tell pollsters they feel the bias is obvious.
We have entered an era in which what used to be “news media” to us are now “left-wing” or “right-wing” news media. Many of the people in TV news sabotage candidates they dislike. They ignore unseemly news about candidates they favor.
If you don’t believe me in this, Google the subject of bias in the media. I am not referring to columnists and political commentators in the media. They are paid to present their opinions. You know where they are coming from. I refer to the so-called news people. We used to expect them to present the news. They clearly feel they should present – instead – their opinions. Often they camouflage them as news.
Tom Brokaw’s closing line tells us what a lot of news people have in mind. “We make a difference.” News people are not supposed to make a difference. They are supposed to present us with the news in an unbiased fashion.
Lastly, we learned these big political machines will roll over people who get in the way. Joe the Plumber was an innocent bystander who asked Obama an embarrassing question. Immediately, Ohio government officials dug into his private records and fed the information to media.
I suppose there is a message there for all of us. A cautionary one.
From Tom … as in Morgan.
For more columns and for Tom’s radio shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.