Politics and the news
Politics is an ugly game.
It is really, just plain and simple, and with all of our advances, all of our “progress” and all of the changes in the world we live in today, politics just keeps getting worse.
You can attribute it to the world of instant everything I think. We live in a day and age where anything that happens can be on the news or on social media in a matter of minutes. Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed and all of the rest have morphed our way of learning about things into microwave news. What I mean by that is pretty self-explanatory.
Personally, I don’t need my news so fast and so banal that I get a notification every time the POTUS has a bad hair day or Nancy Pelosi makes a weird face. Do we really need to know if Kylie Jenner stubbed her toe or if a man in Indiana is suing his mom and dad because he didn’t ask to be born?
All of that instant news makes the world of politics infinitely uglier, and I for one am so sick of it that I just quit watching national news at all. I have no use for CNN or Fox News. All they do is rehash the same banal garbage day in and day out, while they wait for the next tragedy to come along so they can broadcast it live.
No mam, give me the local news any day of the week. There is still a lot to be said for the credibility and worthwhile value of a local news broadcast, or of course, your local community newspaper. There are great folks out there working long hours to bring you what is happening in your own community, the kind of news that is actually important.
I will take a feature story on a local business, or a news piece on what is happening at City Hall downtown well before I will waste my time watching a national news broadcast that wants to tell me how many hours President Trump played golf this month, or if former First Lady Michelle Obama was at the Grammys.
That is where a local news outlet can make a difference. Covering City Hall, local schools, local businesses and the good deeds of hometown folks is the best kind of news there is, and there are responsibilities that come with that coverage.
Especially when it comes to politics.
When there is a local election, whether it be at City Hall, a school district, or county politics, your local news folks have a responsibility to get it right, provide fair and balanced coverage, show no partiality, and get the voters the information they need to make an informed decision.
It is not the job of local news to sling dirt at a candidate, pick a side, and in most cases, endorse a candidate. Big city news folks can do that sometimes and get away with it, but not the folks anywhere else.
The thing about that is, if the candidates themselves don’t sling dirt, then the news media doesn’t even have to worry about it. In my opinion, slinging dirt just makes the slinger dirtier than anyone they may be slinging it toward.
We have some very interesting local races coming up, with several spots being contested for New Boston city council, and at least one spot contested at DeKalb City Hall.
After the filing deadline this Friday, we will begin working on election information, with profiles of all of the candidates, and get that to you, so that everyone can make an informed decision.
That is where I think we sometimes make mistakes. Voting a straight ticket or voting for someone just because they are Republican or Democrat, or even male or female, is not much of an informed choice. Neither is voting for someone because they go to your church, have a kid on your kid’s ball team, or you just like the way they look. Voting, even in a small town, local election is a freedom and right that people once died for to give you that choice. We should probably spend more time getting to know the candidates before we decide how to cast that ballot.
It is my hope that all of our local elections can happen without any dirt flying or any other kind of ugliness. I hope we can learn about our candidates, and cast our votes for the ones we decide are best suited to the position, based on the facts, and not rumors, propaganda or dirty politics.
JFK once said, "Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."
Sounds like good advice.