It’s Tuesday and the election’s a week away. At this point, I’m
sure everybody’s expecting me to ramble about President George W.
Bush or Sen. John Kerry, and blither on about defense, or abortion
or some other political football.
I could rail against Bush’s economic policies and decry his tax
cuts as nothing more than polish for the silver spoons. I could
point out that Kerry’s position on Iraq is like Madonna’s fashion
sense; if you don’t like it, wait five minutes – it’ll change.
But frankly, all those arguments really do is point out the
simple fact that both candidates kind of suck. I can feel the angry
letters to the editor brewing out there, so let me explain. Be
honest for a second. How many people really agree with the majority
of the things Bush or Kerry says/does, and feel that either one of
them would be an excellent choice for president? Or, is the choice
made as if the election were between, say, broccoli and spinach?
Both choices are pretty lame and it’s the voter’s job to determine
the least lame of the two. And a recent poll by the Denver Post,
indicates that many people feel that way: dissatisfied with Bush
and distrustful of Kerry.
Am I the only person who is bothered by the fact that I have to
choose the lesser of two evils to lead the free world? Can you
imagine a restaurant with only two items on the menu? And that’s
just a brunch issue. We have only two real options to fill the most
important job in this country.
We are long overdue for a change in the way we do things here in
America. The fact is, for every election, right on down to County
Commissioner or County Clerk, we only get to choose between
Republican and Democrat.
Why the limited range of options? After all, Republicans and
Democrats haven’t always ruled the political spectrum. And now, in
the age of mass communication, I think we need to change the rules
to allow other political parties a fair chance at gaining
influence. According to www.opensecrets.org, Bush has collected
over $430 million for campaigning, Kerry over $300 million
(including $74 million each from the government). The next highest?
Ralph Nader, at an anemic $3 million. And he’s relatively high
profile for a third party guy. Below him are the Libertarians, the
Constitutionalists and the Green Party, each weighing in at well
below $1 million each. When TV ads are so influential in every
election, it seems unfair that the major parties can buy so much
more time and coverage.
It’s ridiculous that there are so many strong ideas about how to
better our nation and the only voices that have a real chance at
being heard are the ones that most Americans dislike.
I propose that we put a low cap on spending for any political
campaign, say, $20 million for a presidential election and
decreasing on down the line. Then, make sure that those federal
election funds are distributed equally to every candidate who can
get, oh, say 1 million signatures on a petition. Why wouldn’t it
work? It would help get every significant candidate out there equal
airtime and influence, and help ensure that the president of the
United States is the best candidate for the job, not just the
Matt Hitt is a sophomore theatre major. His column runs every
other Tuesday in the Collegian.