The Constant Campaign


{image via ABC}

With the political arena providing endless drama and debate, it really feels as if we are all actors, or at the very least, bystanders in a constant campaign. Political actors and parties battle for right and wrong, each determined to lobby and support their side of each particular argument, whilst fighting for the votes of the electorate.

Debate is good. It is the cornerstone of our democracy, and provides each and every one of us with the opportunity to express our feelings and opinions. Many individuals around the globe do not have and cannot afford this luxury, of which we almost always take for granted.

Whilst watching the latest batch of the Sunday morning political shows I began to think how this constant campaign cycle has led to the increasingly obvious and potentially toxic polarization of politics.

It seems as if campaigns have a constant presence in our lives. Members elected to the House of Representatives barely have time to warm up their seat on the house floor before they are back on the campaign trail, embroiled in the never-ending cycle of television adverts, debates and event appearances. The President follows a similar path, especially if he (or she!) decides to stand for a second term. I can’t remember a time when Congress has been more divided, and with an approval rating of only 16%, it is clear that the partisan political environment has made an impact on the opinions of voters.

The discussion and debate of key legislative and social issues such as gun control, immigration and the environment have also turned into continual campaigns. Key issues like these, have the power to divide us and bring us together, particularly when they carry such emotive weight. The tragic shootings in Tucson, Aurora and Sandy Hook have brought this important issue to the forefront of the public’s minds and emotions, the polarizing dialogue confirming that something must be done to prevent such tragedies from happening ever again. The debate surrounding this key issues continues to rage on, its outcome unclear.

It often feels as if the political landscape continues to be overwhelmingly toxic, with the 24-hour news media contributing to elements of negativity. Partisan channels, radio stations and websites of each political persuasion amp up issues and individuals until it feels like the future of the human race depends on the outcome of the one particular discussion. At times, civilized debate seems like an outdated mannerism of the past, and often makes me wonder if the 24-hour news cycle to blame for the polarized world we find ourselves living in.

In an age when image and airtime carries such gravitas, it appears as if the constant campaign is here to stay- whether we like it or not.


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