By ROBYN SHAPIRO
With the passing of the Obama era, a new chapter in our nation’s political life is unfolding. Tuesday marked the beginning of that history as voters decided for whom to vote in the New Hampshire primary.
In article after article, reporters have emphasized the cutthroat competition candidates have displayed during their debates, speeches and advertising.
Recently, The New York Times has provided a map of “who’s bad mouthing who” in the Republican Party’s advertising campaigns. You can find it at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/02/08/us/politics/republican-presidential-candidates-attacks-new-hampshire.html.
While the news media have provided detailed statements about what the competition has said about one another, it has been seriously lacking in the most important information of the election: the presidential candidate’s platforms.
Everyone knows that Jeb Bush said “Donald Trump is a jerk” or that Donald Trump called Ted Cruz a “pussy” and while this certainly captures one’s attention, it holds more value as entertainment than it does as information.
For the average busy person who has not had time to sit down and watch the all of the debates and speeches of the candidates, the platforms remain unclear.
The news media should be providing a baseline understanding of the candidate’s platforms, especially before the primaries sweep the nation. It has emphasized the “high school personality” reputation between candidates rather than focusing on the leadership and content. By doing this, uninformed voters aren’t choosing to vote for the right reasons.
Accessibility is everything, so making the candidates’ platforms as available as possible is crucial for an educated vote. If the news media provided a briefing article attached to the so-called “newsworthy” smack talk, it would at least give the opportunity to readily seek information about the presidential platforms.
Through out the rest of the campaigns, the news media should highlight how the candidate will handle our nation’s problems, rather than how they will handle their opponents.