TNE rioLy LAND
So You Think You
he Fox Network summer real-
ity series So You Think You
Can Dance? pits a group of
20 undiscovered, very talented danc-
ers in a 12-week competition, then let
us elect the winners. Another reality
series, that began a few hundred years
ago and will appear for our summer
and fall viewing, pits a countless group
of attorneys, business leaders and
used-car salesinen in a competition to
become the leaders of our government.
Although there is much more at
stake than who can dance a better
tango, and the implications of electing
these current and/or future leaders
are quite clear, why are
Americans already so dis-
engaged with the upcoming
Because there's more sub-
stance in a reality show than
in reality itself.
This is for all candidates
who wonder how to reach
out to people not already
part of their "base,' which is
defined by people who vote
based on the views of Ann
Coulter, Barbra Streisand,
Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore.
There's a new Silent Majority, those
who watch the 30-second slogan-filled
political ad and the 1-minute daily
campaign news story, and ask, "What's
The election isn't just about beating
the other guy, it's telling us what you're
going to do in your leadership posi-
tion to best represent us. And we want
The Web has sped up the 24-hour
news cycle to 24 seconds and a couple
of mouse clicks away from getting the
real background on any issue we want.
We don't wait for network news anchors
to give us the news at 6:30 p.m. It's
there anytime we want, and we spend
as much time as we want reading or
Republicans spouting, "We're win-
ning the War on Terror despite the New
York Times': has the same ineffective
ring as the Democratic reply: "Vote for
us because we're not them."
Change your campaign strategy to
substance. Slogans are for ketchup.
If you're already in Congress and are
facing re-election, voting on second-
ary issues — like gay marriage, flag-
burning amendments or whether the
National Anthem should only be sung
in English — proves that you're only
pandering to your base and not doing
the work you were elected to do in the
And the media share the blame for
publishing those votes on the front
Burying the critical but boring
policy stories like jobs, security (both
Homeland and social), immigration
and out-of-control medical costs near
the Star Jones story and the bowling
scores is a disservice to the public.
Legislators should stop having those
little catfights across
the aisle when the cam-
erasaren't rolling. We see
enough of that when Ann
Coulter gets on television
and calls liberals "hea- .
thens:' or when Al Franken
gets on television to call
Ann Coulter a "#*&@."
Look, we're at war
— with ourselves and
with the world. If you.
don't believe it, look at
Superman's new slogan,
"Truth, justice and ... all that stuff?'
All that stuff? It seems that the
producers are worried that "the
American way" will affect worldwide
movie receipts and sales of inflatable
Superman costumes to Muslim kids
in France. So they've taken America
out of an American icon. What's next
— replace "Made in the U.S.A." labels
with "Made in an English-speaking
Oh, that's right, it doesn't matter,
nothing gets made here any more. It's
all been outsourced to India, China and
other Third World countries that, in a
few years, will have better public school
systems than we do.
If you're running for national office,
how will you change the world's per-
ception of America? How do you edu-
cate our kids so they know more about
George Washington than they do about
George Clooney? How will you make
things better for all of us?
And we'd like you to tell us during this
election cycle, or we'll find another
Harry Kirsbaum's e-mail address is
Don't miss this unprecedented opportunity to
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View one of the historic Dead Sea Scrolls —
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