A tremendous amount of time and money — especially money — is spent on political campaigns, even here on the sparsely populated Central Coast. But at the same time, it’s rather alarming how little of substance is ever said or put forward by the candidates of the two major parties.
Instead, we get personal attacks, smears and a lot of sound and fury about superficial concerns and flash-in-the-pan so-called hot-button “issues” that get a lot of attention by the increasingly tabloidlike broadcast media and much of the print media — media coverage that’s 1,000 miles wide but only a quarter inch deep.
Minority opinions by those with out-of-the-box ways of looking at things are most often ignored totally, or are marginalized and subtly, or notso-subtly, ridiculed.
Along with this, we have an “educational” system that most often avoids in-depth studies of history, social dynamics, social and political issues, etc. You get a society full of people with shallow understandings of the world who become easily susceptible to ideological demagogues and Big Lie smear tactic artists, spreading hate, suspicion, fear and simplistic explanations of events and developments.
Not exactly a set of ways to ensure “democracy.”