Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012 Election Only Just Begun

With the announcement last weekend of Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as the Vice-Presidential running mate for Republican Party standard bearer Mitt Romney, the real race towards Election Day 2012 has finally begun. For American voters, the contrast is stark and the choice is clear: continued big government Democratic Party-led liberalism leaning towards socialism, or Republican Party-led return to traditional American conservative free market principles.

While Americans have lived through a year's worth of Republican debates and primaries while suffering through the Obama economy and public media debates over the basic nature of America's future direction, they have also been largely spared a true bombardment of political ideas and exchanges. That is all about to change, as the coming weeks and months will bring an ever-increasing bombardment of television, radio, and internet ads, speeches, and endorsements that will likely have most of us thankful on the morning of November 7th no matter which way the election goes.

In Tampa, Florida from August 27th-30th, the Republican National Convention will take place and will take over the news cycle with speeches and policy outlines. America will receive a final, brief vacation from politics over the Labor Day weekend. This will be quickly followed by the Democratic National Convention in Richmond, Virginia from September 3rd-6th. The two campaigns will outline their policies, highlight their candidates, and point out their direction for America during these two intense weeks.

During the month of September, the two campaigns will take to the cities and towns of America, barnstorming the nation with stump speeches, public appearances, and fundraisers. Dozens of speeches will be delivered, hundreds of chicken dinners will be consumed, thousands of babies will be kissed, tens of thousands of photos will be snapped, millions of voters will be telephoned, and tens of millions of dollars will be raised as the Romney-Ryan and Obama-Biden teams do the public and media circuits, particularly in "swing states" like Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, and Florida.

October will see the arrival of fall, and the Presidential debates, a series of four scheduled events. It all starts on Wednesday night, October 3rd at the University of Denver where major swing-state Colorado will be in the spotlight with Romney and Obama squaring off on domestic policy issues. On Thursday night, October 11th at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky the Veep candidates Ryan and Biden will square off over both foreign and domestic issues. Tuesday night, October 16th will see the return of the Presidential candidates for a debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on both foreign and domestic policy. Finally on Monday, October 22nd at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida it will be a Romney-Obama showdown on foreign policy issues.

Following the final debate there will be just two weeks until Election Day 2012. You can be assured that all day, every day, we will be bombarded on every news station imaginable with a steady diet of Presidential politics. Much of the national cable and network news coverage and nightly portions of local news coverage will focus on the candidates, their daily appearances, and any particular items of note that crop up on the campaign trail. Who knows how man "-gate" stories will pop up. Will someone say the NFL is more important than the World Series? "Footballgate" How about Thanksgiving over Halloween? "Turkeygate" One thing is sure, the media will drum up and/or make up a couple of mountains out of molehills during the coming weeks and months.

This is all just to focus on the Presidential election. There will be a number of other important elections taking place at state and local levels as well. Republicans need to pickup 4 seats to take over control of the U.S. Senate, and there are at least 5 races currently listed by most watchers as a toss-up. The races for Governor in places like North Carolina, Wisconsin and Indiana could prove important to the Presidential race. These races will all garner a certain amount of attention, as will some ballot issues. For instance, typically liberal California will be voting on Proposition 36, which involves major changes to the "Three Strikes" law.

The bottom line for Americans is that their lives are about to be invaded by an onslaught of Presidential and other election coverage that is going to saturate our lives for these next three months. The best advice is to be ready for it, and accept it, because unless you are prepared to head into the hills and disconnect all of your devices, you are going to be subject to this onslaught on a regular basis. This is Democracy in action in the modern technological age. What's coming? Just wait until your cellphone starts getting calls from candidates, your email begins getting filled with political messages, and your Facebook page gets taken over by political ads. What? That's already begun?

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