Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Fisher on Running For Office
Last night, I was honored to receive the Republican nomination for a seat in the state Assembly, to represent the district where I have lived for over fifty years.

The Absent Booker

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Since the theme that is growing on me is that the ever-growing population is injuring our election system, it was startling to read in the paper that a candidate from New Jersey who is running for U.S. Senate is not even making campaign appearances. Mr. Booker is definitely not running in the same election with or against me, and in fact, I never heard his name before, never met him, and have no reason to suppose he would be a bad Senator. Or a good Senator, either, and wait to see him identify himself in the campaign for an important job. But it was certainly startling to read in a newspaper known to favor his party that he isn't campaigning, he's in California. He is said to be on the West Coast looking for campaign contributions from movie stars -- for the election after this one, where he is being promoted for President of the United States. I understand it's a good campaign strategy to project the image you are invincible, but this is really an extreme case.

And so, if for no other reason, I'm inclined to hope he loses, because I hate to think this is a growing tendency. All that seems to count in this strategy is to harvest a big pot of campaign money, hire some ruthless ghostwriters, and pour campaign money into spot TV ads in the week before the election. I expect to hear some dreadful things about his opponent and I don't know whether to believe them, considering the source, and remember I won't even get a chance to hear it in person.

These images are contrived and synthetic. As the population continues to grow, we can expect to watch more and more of this sort of thing. Somewhere I got the idea that the airwaves are public property. What right do the TV stations have to make such astounding amounts of money from our election process, using public property to do it? I'm told the available time in October is completely reserved, for months or years in advance, and that a majority of the revenue for many stations comes from the month of October. The only owner of a TV station I ever heard of, was Lyndon B. Johnson, so you begin to get the idea. Maybe we can't do much about the growing population, but we certainly ought to be able to make a publicly owned airwave available for even a poorly-funded candidate to use.

Originally published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013; most-recently modified: Wednesday, August 07, 2019