Tedder

Gagflex: Head-Spinning Election Issues

Thank God for the electoral process, because apparently without it there would be droves of politicians aimlessly wandering around clueless as to what issues they should stand for.

During election seasons politicians become similar to a cousin who only comes around when he or she needs money. They’ll pick their issues from whatever hot topics have been brewing in the media, and like a company feeling out its target market, they’ll choose which side of the issue to stand on according to how much support they can garner from their respective parties. So the chances of a successful politician supporting an issue that won’t sell to the majority are about the same as the terrorists in Iraq suddenly giving up and going home.

This is the reason why you won’t see many politicians publicly supporting gay marriage. It’s even difficult to find gay marriage supporters within the folds of the Democratic Party, and they’re supposed to be the compassionate party. In the 2004 primaries, Dennis Kucinich was the only Democrat to support gay marriage. The Republican Party is obviously against it because they’ve always been the party of intolerance within the realm of modern politics. But even Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Howard Dean and Tennessee’s brightest congressman, Harold Ford Jr., are against it.

It’s not as if these seemingly bright people want to intentionally suppress the civil rights of a group of people. They do it because at the moment it’s a hot button issue that isn’t popular with the masses. Really, it’s hard to imagine that Hillary Clinton would ever seriously care about a homosexual couple getting married.

Immigration reform happens to be the current topic that’s suddenly caught fire and appeared out of the blue. It’s not as if immigrants from Mexico just started jumping the border this year; this is just a good campaign topic for politicians to act like they care and know something about.

Back in May, President Bush said his plan was to send 6,000 troops to guard the border. This is obviously just political posturing, because as of one month later he’s sent about 1,200 troops.

The original number of 6,000 troops wouldn’t be enough to guard the Tennessee/Alabama border, let alone having 1,200 to guard the entire 2,000 mile border between Mexico and the United States. The troop numbers will increase as time goes by, or as it gets closer to election time. And on the reverse end of the immigration topic, it’s a guarantee that the politicians gunning for the Latino vote will be a little slower at falling in line with any new reform policies.

Gay marriage and immigration reform are just couple of topics that pundits and politicians bat back and forth like a game of table tennis. During an election year anything can suddenly become important. If Bill O’Reilly convinced enough red states that finding Natalie Holloway was the most important issue, then Bush would be sending 6,000 troops to Aruba. And if the gay marriage advocates had the lobbyists who work for the pharmaceutical companies, then you would probably see Bill Frist be the best man at a gay wedding.

These issues are important and should be debated, but there are plenty of important issues which will never see the light of day because they are either minority issues, or there just isn’t enough money to line the necessary pockets to make change.

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