Politics in America – The Perpetual Campaign!

By: Richard H. Frank

Over the past decade we have seen the political process in this nation evolve from the selection of qualified representatives to govern to an “American Idol” system based upon non-stop campaigning to gain the popular advantage over an opponent. No sooner have the results of an election been tabulated, and even before the winners are sworn in, do the professional politicians begin the campaign for the next election.

Take for example the case of Barack Obama following his election to the 110th Congress as the junior Senator from Illinois . Two years following his taking the oath of office as Senator  he was elected President. By all accounts he devoted a total of approximately nine months, in the interim period between elections, at “real” legislating. The balance of his term as Senator was spent campaigning for President and not doing the business of his constituents in Illinois.

On November 3, 2010 the cycle is once again repeating itself, not only in the Democrat’s camp but also in that of the Republicans. The reality is that the media and the 24-hour 7-day news cycle is largely to blame for this phenomenon. The lead story on most television newscasts is not what must be done by government to solve the nation’s pressing problems, but who is most likely to defeat incumbents in the next election. What ever happened to our “Representative Republic” where politics took  second or even third place to governing in the best interests of “We the People”?

The situation in America today reminds me of my experience from 20 years ago while travelling extensively on business in South America and Mexico. Political campaigns seemed to be never-ending and run like marathons. Could it be that we in America are approaching politics as many second and third world countries do?

Perhaps a change in the process needs to take place where a moratorium is placed on primaries, conventions and campaigning until 6 months before any election is held. In the interim those in office and those seeking office might just concentrate on the people’s business and less upon their own re-election.

All the political pundents and advertising agencies will cry foul since campaigning in America is a multi-billion dollar business. A business that creates nothing of lasting value nor anything to spur lasting economic growth.

The question being asked by all the talking heads this morning is who can defeat Barack Obama in the 2012 Presidential election? I for one think that President Obama will defeat himself should he not change the course his administration is presently pursuing. Whether he believes it or not, the electorate has rejected his pledge to “fundamentally change America and the world.” Should he continue to insist upon his agenda and ideology he does so at his own peril and that of his party.

He needs to recognize that his only challenge does not reside within the Republican party but from within his own. I for one believe he lacks the experience, qualifications, maturity and dedication to the values and principles embodied within our Constitution to hold the office of President of The United States. Further I believe history will record Barack Obama as his own worst enemy.

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