As a political observer, it is crucial to recognize when there is a disconnect. As the 2012 general election carries on, its important to gauge where things are. The GOP contenders have thinned out with Romney being the eventual nominee, and President Obama has in effect begun his campaign. While the machinations of the political process unfolds, and the criticisms have already started, it is important to note a couple of things.
One, many people aren’t paying close attention to the political process at this point. Two, outside of how the political programs of each candidate will effect the lives of the average person, there is a palpable amount of indifference. Those who are in the know and speak regularly of politics and others that could care less are different sets of people out here.
There is a perception out there that official politics has increasingly less and less to do with the everyday lives of people. There is a difference between fascination with the process itself, and those who are concerned about the outcome and what it means for them concretely. Speaking personally, when I talk to people about politics nowadays, people aren’t concerned with how this or that candidate measures up in terms of stats of education, career experience or even the degree of being personable . In most cases, especially recently, people think in terms of how policies would effect their lives. Whether it would make it harder to put food on the table, harder to go to college, get a job, etc. It is things like those which will quietly be factored in to people’s political choices, one way or another.
Any player on the political scene that does not tune into this will find themselves out of touch with what people are really concerned with. More people are concerned with how to get their children into schools (without them closing) than knowing the details of what Bin Laden’s last words were. But you wouldn’t know that from watching mainstream media. Elections do matter, but even with a national election going on, many are thinking about their personal bottom line. It bares remembering, for media and politicians alike.
-Marc W. Polite
The Blue Collar Scholar