CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 13, 2015 – Too soon, the political silly season is now officially upon us. But that means it’s time for us to take a year-long sabbatical.
Unless you are a political junkie committed to extreme measures, you are doomed for the next 12 months to endure a myriad of meaningless polls, an endless parade of Republican candidates, terminal media analysis of Hillary Clinton’s qualifications (pro and con), a never-ending series of TV debates and a drooling media that will pounce on any gaff, perceived or otherwise.
Take a break. None of it has much meaning until a year from now, or even later, when the Republican field begins to narrow and the self-created, heavily promoted and phony Democratic “War on Women” hits its stride.
If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate for president, as anticipated, the racial wars we have endured for the past eight years under Barack Obama will rapidly shift toward a new tidal wave of gender inequality complaints. It is only a matter of time before this will become the dominating theme of the next presidential race.
Like any good soap opera, you can miss a year’s worth of episodes in this long-running show and easily pick up the plot when you return without missing a beat.
One report has estimated that Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency may cost as much as $2 billion. Not bad for someone who claimed to be virtually bankrupt when her husband left the White House.
As might be expected, Hillary is already being credited with creating thousand of new jobs with the multi-billion dollar budget for her campaign. Some members of the media have been so giddy about her prospects that it might not be bad economic policy to support permanent presidential campaigns just to reduce unemployment and get America back to work.
Mainstream journalists have already jumped on Republican candidate Rand Paul for his personal “War on Women.” This raises the question as to how quickly and definitively the media can determine gender inequality among presidential candidates in less than a week, when they cannot use the word “Islamist” to represent mass murders in the Middle East that have been going for decades.
While Hillary delivers her soliloquies, defends her non-accomplishments as secretary of state and tries to ferret out something that resembles a believable personality, Republicans will send out a cast of thousands of candidates that will rival those of a Cecil B. DeMille epic.
Meanwhile, like college basketball fans filling out their NCAA brackets, the press will analyze ad nauseam just who they think can best defeat Mrs. Clinton. And, of course, there will be polls galore, sometimes two or three a day, with talking heads coming out of the woodwork doing their best to think of something new to say.
Once the full slate of candidates is announced, the best thing to do is record the first program that introduces them all and then play it back at your convenience. You will get the same answers and analysis every time, just as you would if you chose to watch the news in real time. In this case, however, you can do it on your own schedule and never miss a thing.
The media has been breathlessly waiting for this presidential election since the votes were last counted in November 2012. A word of warning: regardless of who is elected in 2016, there will be speculation the following day about who will be running in 2020.
Keeping up with current events should be a regular ritual if for no other reason than to know what is happening in the world. When the political silly season rolls around however, the abundance of non-story stories lights up the airwaves like Chevy Chase’s decorations in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
In the meantime, there will be hundreds of promises from people who make their living telling lies ranging from the little white variety to out and out whoppers. Lying in Washington, like stability in the Middle East, is only a matter of degree.
Pundits will comment tirelessly and endlessly about who’s left and who’s right until eventually there will be two people left and the American people will decide which one is right.
But all that can wait. We still have a year or more before anything of consequence happens, after Barack Obama still has a hundred of so remaining rounds of golf left to play and one more “bracketology” session before he leaves Pennsylvania Avenue.
It’s time for a break. The media will be busy keeping us informed, but you can bet there will be nothing worth thinking about for at least 12 more months.
Today’s latest poll will be only as newsworthy as yesterday’s paper. Political silly season is like watching the current story line on WWE, where anticipation is the name of the game and nothing is ever resolved.
Spend some time at the beach. You won’t see as many flip-flops there as there will be in Washington. But now is the time to catch up on all those things you have been putting off while the pols spend billions of dollars skewering each other.
* Cartoon by Branco. Reprinted by permission under arrangement with Legal insurrection.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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