LETTER TO THE EDITOR: There’s still a circus but it must be stopped

A recent news item tells us that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has ended forever after 146 years.

One of many reasons given for closing is that the elephants were no longer part of the show. Elephants were the last appealing interest for young people to go see the circus. Now, Pokémon Go, online role-playing games and YouTube have captured their interest.

But the circus is not really over, folks! It has evolved into what we had last year … the United States presidential election process. Looking back at 2016, it really was a circus! And the elephants are back – they won it all!

If you can stop laughing, I really think that our country cannot repeat what happened last year, where one person dominates all the attention. His name has been and continues to be the first word I see on the bottom left corner of my TV screen every morning.

I offer the following as a solution to this problem … and by the way, people always tell me my ideas are great! (A little “Donaldspeak” here, which obviously worked for him.)

First, shorten the election process: it should be no more than two months long. Have all the candidates write, in their own words, 25-50 words about each of the issues and have those official statements posted on a limited number of quality news venues (like DSN). NO EDITING! People could compare, side-by-side, their statements.

Next: Video Day, where the candidates would simply read their statements, but now, we could see how sincere they are about what they wrote. Do we believe that they say what they mean and mean what they say? Candidates would read, in alphabetical order by name, and all parties would be included.

Next: Primary Day … All 50 states on the same day! The winners by party would now appear in one debate. There would be no questions; each candidate would have 45 minutes each to talk about the top five current events, and if they mention another candidate’s name, they would be penalized five minutes for each time they do. Finally, Election Day … hopefully, hacking will be a non-issue in 2020.

Sound good? Here’s why, folks. We just went through 18 months of media coverage, analysis, and lots of talk, talk, talk … which was almost solely about one man. And now, after all of that, it seems we really don’t have a really clear picture of who Donald Trump really is and what he might do. How can this happen?

In 2020, let’s make changes in the election process. Let’s not run away to join a circus.

Joseph Stine

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