The first time I put my big girl pants on and mustered up the guts to run for something, was when I was a sophomore in college. At a school with a student body larger than some Midwestern cities, I decided to run for a seat on the Student Government’s senate.
At first, I was running unopposed. Spending my time lallygagging, kicking my feet back and handing out free pizza to try to gain votes for the other kids who were running for different positions. Until one day, a guy I had never heard of decided to run against me.
I spent a week campaigning, with my back toward the sun and my body parallel to my opponent, as we both stood outside classroom buildings begging for the chance to speak, to meet, to greet every single student that would take a minute to stop and “take a glance at Jen Glantz’s…political agenda for senate”.
We both stood there, promoting ourselves and our wacky ideas that we would implement and fight for if we were elected. And when the blisters settled into my converse sneakers and my heart raced itself to the finish line, on an overcast Wednesday afternoon, when I learned I lost the election to my hard working opponent, fair and square, I gave him a hug and a pat on the back of good luck.
And I lost by only 8 votes.
Being that it’s a state that often “swings”, in the warm month of October, Florida becomes the wide-open home to snow birds and repetitive political attack ads. A time where Presidential hopefuls (I’m talking to you Mittens and B.OB) vie against one another by airing their dirty laundry, or frankly just airing anything dirty they can find–even if it’s not 100% true.
$104 million dollars has been spent by both parties on political TV ads in the state of Florida (More than 80% of those ad’s are attack ads against their opponents). When I first saw this number in the Washington Post, I was flabbergasted, twiddling my thumbs thinking how much “change” that amount of money could bring to a slew of issues, we as hard working–or out of work–American’s face.
Let me break it down:
The average salary in Florida is $40,750. If both parties used these funds to do what they “say” they desperately want to do when elected and create more jobs, 2,552 people in the sunny-side up state would now be employed.
Instead, this large chunk of chump change that could pay my rent in my overpriced NY apartment for 5,777 years, is spent on ads that make us couch potato, Real Housewives watching, Ben and Jerry scooping, TV junkies, roll our eyes while we stretch our thumbs to punch down on the channel changer to get rid of and away from these repetitive ads.
You can take over the headlines in the newspapers, weave your way through my water-cooler conversation but please give me back the meaningless commercials that are sandwiched nicely between the brainless television shows I prefer to watch to wind down after work.
All of us, you, me, your great aunt Petunia, has tried to win something in their lives. Whether it was to become the next captain of your little league team, to get accepted into your dream college, to win over the heart of that dimply boy with the shaggy hair that sits behind you in algebra. Imagine if we attempted to “win” by slandering our opponents?
What if when we went to apply for a job, we spent more time presenting employers with reasons why other applicants are not as qualified over showcasing our professional experience? Or when we are competing in a 5K, we spend more time tripping our running mates rather than trying to run faster than them?
To “my friends’ Mr. Obama and Mr.Romney, if you’re indeed going to put your money where your mouth is, invest in honesty vis-a-vis investing in yourselves. Ads that clearly outline your plans and your changes would be more beneficial to my lazy, over worked, couch cushion behind that’s hitting the polls in less than a month, rather than slandering your opponent and making us all cringe at the thought that both of you may not even be “morally” qualified to lead our country.
Whatever happened to “friendly competition” “survival of the fittest “may the best man win”? Why does it have to be “ugh, well they both seem horrible so let me flip a coin to determine who I want to vote for?
Can I get an ayyyy-men?