Election fatigue sets in during home stretch

by Editorial Board / Beacon Staff • November 1, 2012

At issue: Months of horse betting takes its toll on young voters. 

Our take: Buck up, you're not finished yet. 

Barring congressional intervention in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, this presidential election will have ended before the next issue of the Beacon debuts. The country will have spent over a year goading this political cycle—from the winnowing process of Republican hopefuls like Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann, to the advent of President Obama’s reelection bid and his ensuing two-horse race with former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney.

Needless to say, we are as tired of the tedium, negativity, and cynicism as everyone. To quote comedian Jon Stewart, “Please, for the love of god, make it stop.”

Both sides of the aisle are responsible for our collective election fatigue. In his most recent opinion column, the New York Times’ David Brooks discusses how Obama’s negative ads have only decreased his credibility. This week, Mitt Romney’s ad falsely implying that Jeep will outsource jobs to China has drawn a storm of backlash from major auto companies. The stench of stale desperation lingers over the final days of this campaign. 

That negativity and misinformation further permeated social media in 2012. While political tweets and Facebook status’ can be informative and sometimes comical, the proverb “too much of a good thing” comes to mind. More than ever, armchair punditry has claimed its new home on the Internet. Anyone with a Facebook or Twitter has, at some point, been exposed to a not-so-persuasive, probably offensive, 140-character statement regarding the election. The country is divided, guys—we get it.

Nevertheless, from this home stretch will emerge our future leaders in state, local, and national government. In that spirit, the editorial board of the Beacon curated a four-page supplement devoted to politics as they pertain to the Emerson student body. The Beacon Election Guide contains op-eds from leaders of Emerson Democrats and Emerson Republicans, information on where to vote, and results of a campus political poll. 

As the finish line approaches, we must remember that the race to better our world continues beyond this election. When the dust settles on November 6th and the blight of political advertising vanishes like a spell breaking in a fairy tale, it may feel like we have a president for life and what have to deal with canvassers or super PAC’s ever again. Sorry folks, but we’ll be doing the same thing four years from now.

What is important is that we do not zone out from politics until the dauphins of 2016 are veep-vetting and abusing debate moderators. America’s political stage is a show that plays every day, and for voters to best informed and involved in the process they should be going to the show before closing night. Track the issues and the figures that will make up the next election.