Millions of adult Americans are being tortured every day, yet the story rarely makes the news. The two-year presidential campaign that began last November (the moment the mid-term elections ended) is already causing unprecedented psychological pain among some of our citizens. Why so long, people are asking? Water torture, restraint chairs, whipping posts and solitary confinement are nothing compared to being forced to follow this election campaign day after day, night after night. We have not only the political parties and candidates to thank for this, but also the 24-hour cable news networks and their advertisers.
Meanwhile, the debate continues as to whether votes obtained by torture are any more valid than votes obtained by other means, such as a presidential campaign that lasts just a third of the time. While a two-year campaign may not be illegal, many are also asking whether our current form of electoral persuasion may be a violation of human rights or even immoral, because it distracts legislators and policy makers from doing their jobs and addressing the real problems this country is facing. There are people suffering out there.
To sum up, only six months have passed since last November, and people are already wondering if we don’t have anything better to do. In that time we could have already elected a new president. It’s time to end this torturous exercise in democracy. It’s outrageous, and we can do better. Other civilized counties have legally defined campaign lengths. Why can’t we?