Thursday, October 30, 2008

Charlie Gibson thinks early voters subvert the process

I was watching the ABC evening news and was amazed to hear Charlie Gibson tell George Stephanopoulos that a troubling thing about early voting was that people were voting before the campaign was over. Voters who waited until election day to make their selection had more information than the early voters, Charlie fretted.

My immediate reaction was that Gibson must think that political campaigns are like movies and voting is a way of rating or judging the campaign in the same way that reviewers rate films. Charlie Gibson must think that early voting is like writing a review of a movie even though you had not seen the whole thing.

What a ridiculous way to view the process by which we select our leaders, as if the whole purpose was to select the candidate with the best campaign rather than the best candidate or as if we assumed the best campaigner necessarily would be the best office holder, or something.

But after mulling it over for a while I realized that Charlie Gibson was just reflecting the world view of the Advertising Industry which pays his salary. Modern political campaign, with their highly paid professional consultants, are just an extension of that industry. Charlie Gibson is serving the interests of those who pay his salary by trying to convince the public to vote for the candidate who has spent the most money hiring campaign professionals.


Anonymous said...

We started this "advertisement" drama two years ago. Voting early now is like walking out on the last 12 seconds of a movie's credits. Like we're really going to change our minds if we find out that the production team used Panavision equipment.

Daniel said...

Just imagine, what if there were voters who previously had paid attention to both candidates' careers in the Senate. Those voters would possibly believe that they might know the candidates' true character better than those voters who listened only to the campaign propaganda.