IBJOpinion

HETRICK: Take two aspirin and call me when the election's over

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Bruce Hetrick

Summer has come and passedThe innocent can never lastWake me up when September ends– Green Day

By the time this is published, we will be six weeks, four debates, 35 gaffes, 12 leaked videos, 267 charges, 534 countercharges, 5,680 grainy slow-motion attack ads, 1,029 opinion polls and 2,827 fundraising appeals from the 2012 presidential election. Thank God and hallelujah it’s almost over.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to vote. I’ve been ready to vote.

I’ve studied the candidates, analyzed the issues and watched my political Twitter feed accelerate to autobahn speeds.

I’ve read newspaper columns left, right and center. Watched “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” “This Week” and “Fox News Sunday.” I’ve even worn out the mute button on my TV zapping political ads I’ve already seen 1,000 times.

If the intent of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision was to make citizens united in their disgust with excessively funded, overkill politics, then it’s succeeded.

The Republicans have me on their snail mail list, probably from some long-ago contributions to smoke-free workplace supporters—or to Dick Lugar, a fellow too moderate, intelligent and thoughtful for today’s Republican Party.

So every time I open my mailbox, there’s a new letter from Mitt Romney. Or a photograph of Mitt Romney signed by Mitt Romney’s auto-pen. Or a letter from some Republican Party official. Or some Republican senator. Or some Republican House member.

A la “Chicken Little,” they all tell me the sky is falling (because of Barack Obama, not climate change; they don’t believe in climate change). They tell me the sky will fall faster if the likes of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are in power. They tell me they’ll do better. They don’t tell me how.

The Democrats have me on e-mail and text lists. Probably because of contributions to smoke-free workplace supporters, tobacco-regulation supporters and health-care-for-all supporters.

So every 30 seconds, I get an e-mail from Barack Obama. Or Michelle Obama. Or Joe Biden. Or some Democrat Party official. Or some Democratic senator. Or some Democratic House member.

They invite me to dinner with Barack. Or a party for Barack at George Clooney’s house.

They tell me about Mitt Romney’s latest gaffe. Or the threat to the middle-class masses if Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are in power.

They tell me we’re digging our way out of the Republican-caused mess. That we’re moving forward. That we can’t afford to go back.

They tell me we need to end the gridlock in Washington. They don’t tell me how.

Having read all these fundraising appeals, having watched Clint Eastwood talk to an empty chair at one convention and Bill Clinton “lickin’ to tell me” at the other, having seen a policy forum with Indiana’s gubernatorial candidates, having read and watched umpteen thousand campaign news stories, having studied horse-race poll results ad nauseum, having seen my friends turn on one another in Facebook posts, I’m more than ready for the final month of this campaign.

So here’s my October election approach—which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

I’ll be informed. I’ll continue to read, watch and learn—including and especially the debates. If Mitt Romney comes up with a “There you go again” moment, a la Ronald Reagan, I’ll add it to the political encyclopedia in my head. If Joe Biden hits Paul Ryan with, “Folks, I knew Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy was a friend of mine. And Congressman, you’re no Ted Kennedy,” I’ll catalog that one, too.

I’ll be entertained. While politics and governing are serious business, they’re also great fodder for comedians. The nightly news and the Sunday morning shows pale in comparison to David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, “Saturday Night Live,” Bill Maher and Jon Stewart.

To put a spin on an old ABC slogan, I’d venture to guess that more people (especially young people) get their political news from political comedy than from any other source.

I will not be suppressed. I have my driver’s license, passport, Social Security card, four utility bills and my parents standing by to prove that I am who I say I am at the polls.

I will not be bought or bamboozled. The millionaires and billionaires with their super PACs and 501(c)(4)s can spend all they want on deception, distortion and other disruptive ads. I’ll be happy that my friends in television are making a killing selling every second of advertising time. But the more those ads twist the truth, the less likely they’ll be to twist my arm.

I will value substance over slams. As September ends, I’m sick of hearing what’s wrong with the other guy. I want to hear what candidates will do and how. My mind is made up. A fresh take on “how to” is the only thing that might change it.

But I doubt it. Wake me up when it’s time to vote.•

__________

Hetrick is an Indianapolis-based writer, speaker and public relations consultant. His column appears twice a month. He can be reached at bhetrick@ibj.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT