"What it was, was football."
The classic Andy Griffith comedy recording from 1953 describes a country boy's hilarious observation of a melee of coaches and men in black and white shirts waving frantically at players in uniforms and helmets chasing a funny-shaped ball in a cow pasture painted in stripes.
It is easy for an unaware observer to relate to "what it was, was a presidential race."
The contest commences, in Andy Griffth's patois, with a passel of candidates hollerin' at each other until all but two have their feelings hurt so bad they quit and go home. And like most football games, presidential contests are covered in great detail by "the press," now named "the media" to reflect the rise of television.
The two contestants standing after the nomination auto-da-fé are open prey, especially today, with the nouveau cable news outlets magnifying coverage to spike ratings — ordinarily low in usual circumstances, but sky high in events begging for continuous 24-hour coverage, such as 9/11 or the heavyweight slugfest between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. In these circumstances, the broadcast networks cannot offer competitive coverage without sacrificing revenue for normal programming, leaving their cable cousins to fill time hyperventilating sordid and trivial factoids, from the boardroom to the bedroom.
The belly-aching about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton being lousy choices for the electorate exacerbates the media attacks. But that is not their fault. Voters and pundits forget that we do not pick candidates out of Who's Who. It's about who is running, not about who would be a better candidate than the official choices. The carbon dioxide footprint, spewed into the atmosphere by people who can't grasp this obvious reality, measures off-the-scale in election season.
Actually, there is a simple way to guarantee less grating candidates and reduce the television soap opera invasions of privacy during the campaign: copy the British. In the UK's parliamentary system, the potential candidates cannot simply declare their candidacy for any party. He or she visits the local office of the party they like and applies as a candidate who would represent their values and issues. This keeps the oddballs from applying, and headquarters free to perform a background check and certify the applicant, after which the ruling committee of the party accepts or rejects him or her. Certainly, scandals slip out but not an entire lifetime's worth of foibles like in the American system.
The vetting process also shortens the time period of the election (and obviates the need for term limits). Since the skeletons in a candidate's closet are vetted in advance, and vacillating opinions about definitions of party doctrines are not in question, the media have little else to report but the issues, whittled down and digestible to voters by the party. Controversies are usually unable to slip in to cause controversy and veer elections off course. If, for instance, a party's platform does not mention a position on abortion, their candidates cannot toss a grenade into the proceedings in an attempt to alter the race to make a moral or personal point.
Another advantage of the parliamentary system, versus the two-party system in America, is the inclusion of all political parties in the show; and each of them has a chance to gain a seat or two, providing citizens a peek into their real agendas. US politics could be less fractured today had the system provided for multi-party candidates instead of the occasional third party nominee everyone knows can't win. Instead, political fringe activists revert to an underground guerilla war against the system that spurns them. If the US Congress housed Democrats and Fascists, Communists and Republicans, Greenies and Libertarians — and yes, Black Party, Gay Party, and Women Party members — we could see who they are and whether or not they have good ideas or seditious goals.
And better than the mercifully brief election cycle and issue-oriented party campaigns in UK is the no-fuss process to dismiss a party before its 5-year lawful term. As soon as they are deemed to have lost the confidence of the people, and enough members of Parliament can muster the necessary votes, new elections are announced — the solution the US needed to rid the country of President Obama before his disastrous second term.
Talk about "no confidence," yet the nation was held captive for four years by its founding infrastructure that provided a process for a president to become a dictator. The same fear existed during FDR’s four terms, which caused Congress to limit presidential terms, from no restriction to two four-year terms. Obama verifies that was too little too late.
Bernie Reeves founded five regional publications and the Raleigh Spy Conference. His writing has appeared in National Review and American Thinker. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.