Political money fatigue
There's something distasteful and just plain wrong about the news these days frequently being dominated by people running for president 18 months before the election. It's a solid indicator as to how far out of whack our national political process has become. I'm much like a Danish guy or a Belgian. I need maybe a month, at the most, to digest the candidate's stances on the issues. This ain't rocket surgery, people. We've got plenty of time to figure it out. We certainly don't need a year and a freakin' half.
My current attitude is if a news show leads with campaign jive, then it's a genuine Slow News Day, and that's just fine. As they used to say, way back when, No News is Good News. And a slow news day leads to, among other things, instant guilt-free switchovers to NBA playoffs (Go Dubs!).
Speaking of our now absurd presidential campaigns, which are horrific excesses in both time and money, I want to send a shout out to a man who has become a new American folk hero, and with good reason. I'm talking about Doug Hughes, the 61 year-old Florida mail carrier who flew his gyrocopter on to the lawn of Capitol Hill on April 15 (note the date). When the news of Hughes' stunt first came down, I figured it was some kind of geek prank, maybe a guy who's worried about net neutrality, or some pro-life zealot, or just a kook with some goofy message from Kook City. It turned out that Hughes flew his Kookopter into D.C. to literally do his job—deliver 535 letters, one for each representative and senator, letters that spoke of the urgent need for immediate campaign finance reform. Damn, that's my kinda kook!
It would be tough to find a more righteous issue in this pre-election year, as candidates fan across the country, attending the latest billionaire barbecue/hand kissings in hopes of finding that one crucial sugar daddy who can overwhelm and neutralize all the 100-dollar donations from schmoes like you and I as we cling to some image of American politics that's straight out of Norman Fucking Rockwell. We can't remind ourselves too often that our political system has been distorted, corrupted and perverted by the money demon Moloch and his first lieutenant Kaish to such a degree that it's now difficult to imagine anyone ever getting the gumption, support or votes, to do anything corrective.
It's the kind of hideous entangled, entrenched mess that gets a guy to strap into his gyrocopter. And kudos to Hughes; he pulled it off flawlessly. As he said in a recent column explaining his actions, “No one was hurt, no property was damaged, and the message was delivered.” That message is simply—campaign finance reform. Now. Take that goddamned Citizens United decision and use it to start the coals at Bernie Sanders' next big vegan weenie roast fund-raiser. Give 'em hell, Bernie!