Democrats’ symbol is the donkey.
Republicans’ is the elephant.
Both beasts are looking more like horses, especially as pundits discuss the upcoming 2016 presidential political campaign.
Since most of the chatter is on the GOP side, let’s focus on that one.
How much do we really know about all 16 people who are seeking the Republican nomination? My hunch is not much … at all, if anything. No, we’ve been hearing a lot about polls. Who’s up? Who’s down? Who’s on the move — up or down? What happened to the formerly formidable candidates? How can they get themselves back up again?
Horse-race politics is back with a vengeance.
We keep hearing about it and about how much of a negative influence it has on the nature of the campaign to become leader of the Free World, commander in chief of the greatest military in world history, chief executive of the federal government — all that stuff.
We get fixated on the leaders. Can they keep their lead?
Then we zero in on the statements they make in order to become one of the leaders. That’s been at the top of the discussion list of late. I admit to joining that pack. I’m not proud of it. I’ll try to mend my ways.
But the commentary today must focus on why the media keep covering these campaigns as if they’re races to the finish line.
I’ll blame two of the major news networks for feeding the 2016 version of this frenzy. Fox and CNN are going to be hosts for the first two GOP joint appearances. They set down some ground rules that include poll-driven data: Only the top dogs are allowed.
Don’t all the candidates deserve to be heard? Don’t all of them have something of value to say? Aren’t the media obligated to give them all a chance to state their case before as many people as possible?
Isn’t that what our political system is supposed to foster, a free exchange among all the individuals running for the most important political office in the land — if not on the planet?
That’s not happening. We’re focusing instead on the horse race, which has been the norm of political coverage perhaps since the advent of television as a major information source.
I want to hear more from and about the candidates and how each of them intends to fight the war against terror, keep the country’s economy moving forward … you know, the stuff that matters.
The sound bites that seek to elevate candidates’ polling standing? The analysis from the talking heads about whether so-and-so will be in the debate based on his or her polling?
Honestly, I find it boring to the max.
I might need to take a vow to ignore the polls and concentrate on the policy statements. I now will ponder precisely that. I’ll get back to you.