Super Tuesday – Media and Politics

super tuesday republican

The Republican Primary is in full swing and November is just around the corner. I can’t help but comment on the media itself. There are plenty of people criticizing the media, so I felt the need to join on board. And it’s pretty obvious the Republican candidates are on board too, look at everything Gingrich has to say, for example. It’s an important piece of any campaign. That’s no new news.

But let’s analyze this for a second. How often do you actually hear each of the issues that are important to you and where each candidate stands on that issue? How often do you hear “noise?” How often do you hear someone maneuvering his way to gain a few more points in the polls? Do you hear more about where the polls moved or what the candidate has said about his or her agenda? The media covers the race as if it were a contest, not which candidate stands where on each issue. Sure, you hear what some people’s ideas are and what they stand for. But how much “content” do you actually get out of it all?

And why wouldn’t it get promoted like a race? What’s more compelling: (A) a fight to the finish in a race against two rivals or (B) a list of ideas? Example: Rep. Cantor endorses Romney. The next question shouldn’t be, “What will that do for Romney’s campaign? And what will Obama do about it? How much of a jump in the polls will get from that?” Instead, it should be, “So what ideas do you support from Romney and why do you support him over another candidate?” Although that may sound a little hypocritical for me to ask someone else’s editorial, there is method to that hypocrisy…

So what’s my suggestion for people who realize this? The sort answer: do your own research and pick your candidate. The long answer (keep in mind I can be overly analytical and sometimes use Microsoft Excel too much. So forgive me): What I’d do is first make a list of the important topics that each candidate stands for. Whether it’s a religious piece, a policy piece, an economic stance, foreign policy, whatever…Put it on a list. Second, prioritize that list. Finally, the hardest part, and this is where the hypocrisy comes in: make your own probability that they will accomplish their goal and/or stand up for their belief. That’s the hardest part because, let’s face it, how else are you going to believe someone is going to accomplish this goal if you don’t hear it from a news source? Try to stay away from the editorial commenting from the media and look at the source. And another note, it’s especially hard to see through the “word dance” of a politician or pundit and their twisting of words. Pay special attention to facts. I’d even check them out at politifact.com. It’s pretty obvious from here. Figure out which candidate is most probable to get your list done and which is most important to you. The candidate with the most likely favorable outcome wins your vote. I don’t care if he’s been married 5 times, or he believes monkeys can fly, so long as I think he’ll get the job done. So maybe my analysis isn’t meant for everyone, and it’s clearly very subjective. But at least it helps cut through the noise a little.

As for the media coverage…it is called a “race” after all, isn’t it? And the media makes money off you consuming its information. So call it what it is: entertainment. Just be careful not to let your entertainment guide you to picking the wrong candidate. Good luck in November everyone…

 

This is a guest post from a close friend of ours. Politics isn’t something we normally cover here on acslater.com, but if we feel there’s something to be said, or someone wants to say something, we’re more than happy to be an outlet for that.