âThere is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission.âÂ Who could forget the reassuring voice of Vic Perrin as he spoke those familiar words every week?Â âFor the next hour we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits.â Ainât nostalgia great?
So as I sit here, a week before the election, I begin to wonder, whatever happened to the awe and mystery?Â Where did it all go?Â This election is one of great importance to both parties so why are there sooo many undecided voters?Â According to independent polls done by the Associated Press and Pew Research Center about one third of all registered voters are undecided.Â Â It is estimated there are 218 million registered voters in the United States.Â That means there are 72 million undecided voters.Â 72 million people who are not sure how they will vote on Tuesday.Â Thatâs a lot of fire power still on the sidelines.
It canât be because of any of the âwellâ qualified candidates running for everything from dog catcher to Governor.Â Wait âŚarenât those the same job?Â Oh sorry thatâs only in California.Â It canât be that these people havenât seen all the ads; read all the political articles by the âexpertsâ; listened to all the radio spots and certainly they must have watched the flood of TV commercials or at least listened to one of the mind numbing debates.Â If not Iâm sure they must have read at least one of the gazillion emails choking every ones in boxes and Junk Mail filters.
So whatâs the problem?………How about all of the above.
Okay, so how many of you out there are sick and tired of ALL the political ads littering our airways?Â Come on letâs see a good show of handsâŚâŚ..Yeah I thought so.Â Sometimes you gotta wonder exactly âwhoâ is controlling our TVâs or for that matter our lives.Â Every ten to fifteen minutes (on Fox itâs every 5 minutes), right there before us in glorious High Def and surround sound audio, we can see and hear, sometimes MUCH louder than the program we are watching, one candidate or another or one of their âsupportersâ pitching us their âschpeels.âÂ On and on and on and on and onâŚ.ad infinitum.Â It gets to the brain numbing point where you really donât care anymore.Â And therein lies the problem.Â
In the old days before radio and TV, before computers, IPods and the internet, you know prehistoric times; candidates would travel from town to town on a train or bus and state their positions.Â They would spend a few days in each town and call their opponent a horse thief or cattle rustler, buy a lot of drinks for everyone and be off to the next âwhistleâ stop before everyone sobered up.Â They would leave behind a few posters and hand bills but that would be it.Â Gone but hopefully not forgotten.Â Then weâd vote.Â No visual or audio over load; no brain cell killing droning; no land fill stuffing mailers.Â Short and sweet.
Now most of my friends will tell you I am not a person who would love to take this country back to quieter, simpler times.Â Those times may have been quieter and simpler but they had their fill of problems too.Â Besides I believe we need to play the hand we are dealt.Â But every once in a while I think we need to look back and see what made those times quieter and simpler and see if there is anything we can use to help us lead better and less stressful lives today.
So hereâs my take on the whole campaign thing.Â We need to limit the time candidates and their supporters can campaign.Â I think one month before the primary and one month before the general election will do nicely.Â This should force the candidates to get their point across much faster simply because they wonât have the time to do anything else.Â Also I think we need to limit the number of ads any candidate or party can harass us with every night on network TV.Â One an hour should be about right.Â And if they are going to debate they should actually DEBATE.Â Not have an hour long, scripted infomercial where a well known news anchor asks them questions they already have the answers to.Â With just those simple changes to start I think we wouldÂ have a lot fewer undecided voters and a hell of a lot moreÂ ”better informed” voters.Â Till then peopleâŚ.
âThere is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image; make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits.â