By Judy Reiss
I can distinctly remember the first television that I ever saw. It was tiny, oh about 7 to 8-inch square and there were about 10 of us huddled in front of the tiny screen. Truthfully, I don’t remember what program we watched, but it really made no difference. And then things changed very quickly. When 4:30 struck, it meant going to a friend’s house to watch a western every afternoon and then, of course, we watched Uncle Milty (Milton Berle) who had the funniest program on in the evening that any of us could imagine. Those, folks, were the “good old days”.
Along with the wonderful programs that we all insisted on watching, there were the selling of products. We all knew the names of automobiles and wouldn’t even consider buying a new car before we saw it advertised on TV. We also knew that Betty Furness was the spokeswoman for refrigerators and other household appliances. If she said we should buy a Hot Point appliance, that is what we did.
And when the times changed, so did the programming offered. Although I was too young to remember or to even care, I remember my parents being glued to our own TV to watch Senator Joe McCarthy as he rooted out everyone that he thought was a communist! I thought then and thought even more strongly as I grew older that TV could be used for good or evil and McCarthy demonstrated this for quite a long while. And then people smartened up!
What about today? Now the programming on TV is way beyond what those of us who were young in the beginning ever thought possible. And last night, I sort of longed for those good old days.
Now, I don’t care what you or I or anyone else decides to watch on TV. And truthfully, I only watch a few channels and don’t bother with the huge offerings for every age and every taste. But I’ve decided that nothing makes me more bored or more annoyed than the zillions of commercials that we see each and every day that tries to convince us to vote for the candidate that is running for President of the United States.
Give me a break! First and foremost, our election for that important office isn’t for 10 months! Ten months! And we have been inundated with these commercials for months. And every time you watch, are you changing your opinion about who to vote for? And do you think that by November of 2016 you will know who you are going to vote for and why? And it seems to me that the political slander that is offered each and every day is absolutely irresponsible. Think about it. The cost of these diatribes is outrageous and way before we are encouraged to go to the polls and votes, billions of dollars will have been spent to try and change your mind. Think about it. Billions of dollars to interrupt the program that you want to watch to try and get you to either change your mind or make sure that your decision is the one you actually want.
What could we, as a nation, do with the money we spent on electing the official to the most important job in not just our country but the world? It would be an amazing figure and would help many of our citizen. And one more thing to think about. No one has insisted that the candidates who are driving us crazy with all their rhetoric, tell the truth! Nope, lies and untruths are the basis of their speeches. And unfortunately, no one expects the truth anyway. So, you and I as voting citizens of our country have the responsibility to figure out who is lying and who isn’t. And then you have to pray that you have actually figured out which is which. If you have the time it would be interesting to go back, oh say, about 10 of our presidents and figure out what separated the good ones from the bad. And you will be amazed at how many good ones there were and how sordid their private lives actually were. It would seem that private indiscretions had absolutely nothing to do with their ability to run the country! Think about it. Also think about how the world has changed and what a heavy responsibility the President of the United States has in today’s world. Can you really trust a 30-second sound bite to give you all the information you need to make an educated decision? If you can, you are a better person than I am.