Friday, January 1, 2016

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Now, No Ifs, Buts Or Maybes

Stage one, a protracted, speculative, media-controlled and
illusive period of the quadrennial U.S. presidential election is
now over. Most everything counts now, especially the count of
the voters. Stage two, an elaborate road show of strategy,
ambition, existential twists and post-modern turns will now
unfold in all of its ritual pageantry.

Stage three lies well-ahead. It will come after the major party
partisans have their say about the man or woman who will
carry their standards into the climactic battle for the holy grail
of American politics, that fabled bully pulpit located in an
oval-shaped room in a large East Coast house painted white.

Every presidential election has its own character. Pundits and
historians search feverishly for precedent elections, and while
there is a continuum of political themes moving through the
history of the Republic, U.S. politics are always rapidly
changing, especially in recent years, altered by the dynamism
of demographics and the technology of communications.

Stage one is like a theatrical audition. Every voter considers
himself the scriptwriter. In stage two, the voter is assigned to
be in charge of casting. Finally, in stage three the voter becomes
the director. The inaugural the following January, of course, is
the awards ceremony.

Yes, the presidential election is theater For some, it’s a tragedy.
For others, it’s a comedy. For most, it’s simply an irresistible
drama. Forget most of the polls you have read about. Forget the
media shenanigans, the sensational flubs and histrionic forays.

But don’t forget the voters.

It’s always about the audience.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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