The Unity08 Corporation has added a footer to its website at www.unity08.com in which it lays out a scripted timeline for political developments in this country. The P.R. idea is that for each time period, the Unity08 Corporation will include phrases that indicate how swell it is, while beneath are phrases that indicate how dire and dastardly the other political process is.
According to Unity08’s political script, for October to December 2007 in the non-Unity08-Corporate political scene, the following is scheduled: “Sound Bite City, Unprecedented $$$ Raised, Front Runners Annointed.”
I won’t dispute that unprecedented money has been raised in the Republican and Democratic races, and I don’t disagree that this is a problem. But Unity08 is hardly the answer to this problem; if anything, the influence of big money in Unity08 is worse — of the $1.4 million it says it has raised, HALF of that has come from loans made on undisclosed terms from just four wealthy individuals. And front runners haven’t been anointed in either party — there are actual races going on with uncertainty about who will be nominated. And if a citizen chooses she or he stick to sound bites, but much more than that is available, too, for those willing to look. Compared to races a generation ago, the presidential race today is characterized by a great deal of written material by campaigns with information on platforms and plans and histories and legislative records, all available online and often at the candidate’s own website. All it takes is a google search or a visit to a candidate website to find much more than a sound bite. On the blogs and in discussion boards, you can find both trite and deep discussion of the merits of various presidential candidates. And if you step aside from CNN, you’ll find groups like NPR and the Brown and Black Forum holding in-depth discussions with the presidential candidates that cast a great deal more light than heat.
There’s lots of information to be found, and lots of important discussion regarding the upcoming election. It’s the responsibility of the citizen to look for it and to actively choose to participate in it, which is as things should be. But the greater availability of information, the in-depth political candidate debates, and the considerable discussion happening among people who care doesn’t fit the necessary plot line for the Unity08 Corporation to insert itself, cast in the role of the Savior. So Unity08 is ignoring that and writing its own script, one of those scripts that might read “Based on a True Story,” which implies the use of real names along with a considerable amount of creative license.