What an interesting year to be a non-partisan observer of the political process in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of decade’s worth of campaign finance law. In a city that already has had its fair share of indiscretions that still live in urban legends old amongst certain circles, this ruling of corporate speech being equivalent to the First Amendment rights of an individual opens up a number of opportunities to the wealthier individuals, businesses, and special interests in AND around the city. There stands a chance that certain groups that have minimal access to the process may be shut out completely. This ruling not only affects Democrats, but also Independents and unaffiliated voters as well. A third party of its own in theory that has seen the most growth and traction in the election of President Obama. What union backs a candidate that is not a Republican or a Democrat?
As a responsible voice within the media I take it very seriously what I say, endorse, and/or do. In my humble opinion I think that this was a crushing blow to our industries already diminishing integrity. Each major media outlet has a perspective, others can now be bought out in the open, but that won’t be what anyone pays attention to – they’ll just be listening. Influence on any and every demographic will be a matter of dollars away from anybody with the financial ability to do so. The general voting public is not in the know, though most would argue otherwise, the proof can be found in the numbers on voter turnout. These same numbers do not stand to increase however as a result of this ruling, swaying the opinion of those that do vote becomes easier, a strategist’s dream come true.
There are many very important elections that lay before us in the next 2 years, now more than ever is it imperative that those of us that actively participate in the political process (in ANY capacity) define our boundaries now before our industry becomes a pawn in someone else’s lustful desire for power. Now more than ever must we be cognizant of the fact that the influence that we wield will ultimately come to fruition in the world that our children live in and we must be careful. Now is the time to weed out those that see this as a job they are good at because of charismatic personality and uplift those that consider this a craft and respect it as such. It’s too late to ask that of politicians find this higher moral ground, we already know that, but it’s not too late to require it of ourselves.
What a season this shall be as I know that we won’t, already is the media inundated with money hungry self-interested characters all looking for their big break…like actors waiting tables in the meantime. I already can think of a list of 10 off the top of my head of outlets that will be pushing certain interests and/or organizations. My advice to the voters is to PAY ATTENTION. Don’t believe something because someone else said so, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Do not assume that because you have listened to their show or read their column for years that the interests, opinions, or ideas presented are truly their own – when they buy “ads” they are buying our voices and our pens. Be not jaded by partisan tactics and history, study each candidates body of work, and identify with the candidate that’s WORK aligns with your interests and issues – not those of someone else with more money.
Where is the line we don’t cross if it’s written in pencil and everybody has an eraser for the part where their standing?