The protracted Presidential election process is like a window into American character. What are we seeing?
From this view I see the case that big money is so powerful it has created an industry, electioneering and it is at odds with good government. Getting elected in America has almost no connection with governing in America. They are different orbits, different universes. What it takes to get elected has almost no connection with what it takes to govern. In fact so much effort is spent on raising funds it should raise flags the system is at least out of kilter if not broken.
A member of the US House of Representatives will spend as much if not more time raising money for re-election than she or he spends on doing the people's work. Members of the Senate are also trapped, but with 6 year terms, they can attend to governing and legislating. Maybe it's time to change house terms to 4 years, if we can't reform campaign spending.
This election window also exposes the damnable situation in which the Republican party finds itself. The evangelical, right wing and loony fringes control the nominating process and have driven the party to being out of touch with the majority of working Americans. Real Republicans are forced to play to the right and still they find themselves trailing vanity candidate Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson who is so unqualified to be a President he belongs in the Sarah Palin zoo.
It also exposes the travesty of making New Hampshire and Iowa important. Those two states have long eclipsed their real value and role. It is not the fault of New Hampshire and Iowa. The fault is with the media and the parties.
Campaign reporting has digressed to numbers and carnival. It is more about the process, the horse race and personality than substance. Journalism has been dumped for entertainment, hype and gotcha. True, there is a refining process in being exposed to 24 hour coverage and examination but it has gotten so silly as to be almost pointless. Why should performance in Iowa and New Hampshire dictate a candidates true viability everywhere else? It is because the system is so top heavy with money and contribution momentum and because the media has top loaded those two states and their own process in the hype circus that life is imitating bad art.
The best chance at a cure is old advice. Limit campaign spending. Shorten the campaign cycle. Make it impossible for candidates to transport their war chest to any personal use. Get rid of PACs. For their part the media needs a serious season of self evaluation and analysis. News managers need to realize the point of the campaign is not to build ratings, sell advertising, aggrandize careers, but to examine true and relevant issues and the women and men who are asking to be hired by the public.