St. Charles Herald-Guide

Politics is an entertainment medium, too

By Allen Lottinger - November 24, 2009

Our political system was supposed to give people the ability to run their country by electing their officials. But it does more than that.

It actually gives us hours of entertainment that we could get no other way. Hollywood or Broadway could not produce drama anywhere near as interesting.

In Louisiana, we have a Republican congressman who voted for the Democratic health care bill and a Democratic congressman who voted against it. Will that help get the Republican congressman re-elected in a district dominated by Democrats where he luckily emerged the winner of the last election when the incumbent was indicted for crimes in public office?

And will the Democratic congressman, who is a moderate, be able to beat a conservative Republican senator he plans to try and unseat next year in this conservative state?

At least they are being bi-partisan. But the national parties they belong to hate it because they each want things one way. Suspense reigns as we watch their commercials and wonder how the conflicts will end.

And how about our President Barack Obama who currently is assuming co-leadership of the world with the premier of China. He is saying some nice things about that communist country but also some things about how it could respect human rights and freedom more. But most of the Chinese are not hearing it because officials there have banned much of the news on the visit in their country. After all, they are not a democratic country with freedom of speech.

Meanwhile, Mayor Ray Nagin from next door is making news visiting other countries also. But his visits apparently are not to help lead the world, or even the city, but to see the sights. After all, he does not have much time left to enjoy the pleasures of his office on the city’s dime.

Political parties and politicians spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out how to upend their opponents. We constantly get e-mails  from both major parties not on what their men are doing right but what the opponents are doing wrong. Apparently there is more interest among the general public in the bad things than in the good.

Politics is not boring in this country. If it were, it would probably not attract the attention it needs to get the public involved in elections.

So we should see some good in making politics so entertaining . It helps to make us more interested in knowing what our public officials are doing.