What You See Is What You Get

Once limited to a catchy name for a then very nifty new computer interface, this term may now pretty accurately determine what is happening in American politics.

I know I promised to devote this blog to South Florida and to a lesser extent Florida politics, but in reality to understand what is happening here we really have to look at and understand what is happening nationally.

For several years there has been a raging debate among those of my political persuasion going like, “Why in the name of your Diety du jour do all these people vote for George W. Bush?”

I have recently heard a theory that seems reasonable to me.

There are according to this theory about 23% of American voters who would vote for dubbya even if he were televised live torturing a puppy while a little girl dying of cancer cried as she watched from her wheelchair. I assume students of human behavior have a word for this — I don’t. I just accept it because there seems no other reasonable answer.

That leaves the rest of us. Think for a moment. Just knowing that the rest of us could easily outvote the 23% should disturb you. It does me. There are lots of reasons why we don’t, but lets start with the WYSIWG hypothesis.

Clearly from all the surveys done, TV remains the primary source of news for most Americans. In other words, we all assume what we see on the tube is what is really happening — WYSIWG. A long treatise on reality TV could be inserted here, but lets try to limit it to “THE NEWS.”

Permit me to throw out some ideas for thought, discussion, opinion or whatnot.

How often have you seen on the “National News”, the “White House Correspondent” standing in the “standup area” outside the White House saying something like, “The President issued this statement today . . .”. Now, how often have you seen the “White House Correspondent” say, “In my investigation of this story I found that on August 15th, . . .”? There is precious little reporting done on “The News”. Instead there is lots of dissemination of government press releases. We are learning about what the government wants us to learn, and we continue to have a “White House Correspondent” there to read us the press release that could just as easily have been emailed or faxed to the Washington bureau. This maintains the illusion that we are viewing news. Now think again. This time about when the last time you saw on your “LOCAL NEWS” any coverage of what the candidates in your area offer in the way of reasons to vote for them. We should not be talking about commercials here. They fall into the same category as the White House press release with only one difference, and you can bet the farm your local station knows the difference. You pay for the commercials.

So we’ve managed to bring it back to “local”. We will in the future revisit some of the above, but for now, lets not cloud the already muddy waters.

For some facts a surprising number of people don’t seem to be aware of, here’s who is running for what, and when in Chadville.

The details of voting specifics will be limited to Palm Beach County, the political center of The Land of the Hanging Chad, and where better to find the straight poop than from The Supervisor of Elections official website.  If you dig around on that site, you’ll find that the 2006 Primary Elections will be held on September 5 — less that 3 weeks from now. You’ll also see you can vote by absentee ballot — even if you’re not going to be absent. And there will be “Early Voting.” It begins 15 days before the election itself and must by law include some hours on the weekends. Best of all it might take place in some building you would be visiting anyway. Really dig on Dr. Anderson’s site for this information. It makes voting almost fit in with your normal routine.


One Response to “What You See Is What You Get”

  1. BocaDem Says:

    My next post will further introduce Dr. Anderson. Don’t miss it.

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