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There’s no Beef in the US election

Megan DeYoung

Super Tuesday is over but the big question remains: “where’s the beef?”  Sadly the US election has as much substance as the burgers in the 1984 Wendy’s commercial.

This election has become the punchline of jokes around the world.  Instead of laughing, those working in corporate responsibility and sustainability rightly want to know: how is this going to affect the role of business in society?

US politics today is a three-ring circus full of spotlight hogs, bullies, and sensationalists.  The candidates spend so much time yelling at each other, belittling people who disagree with them, and treating media like their personal reality show, that they forget to talk about policy.

Our country and our world are at a serious crossroads.  The candidates agree on that, but not on how to solve it.  In fact they rarely speak at all about what they would do.  Debates are riddled with name calling, finger pointing, and interruptions.  Candidates are going for soundbites, not serious conversations.

A look through the remaining candidates’ websites reveals only a bit more for some.  For others it’s the same blather said on the campaign trail.

I could throw up my hands and say that we’re talking about politicians so of course I shouldn’t expect depth.  If I were to be okay with that – which I’m not – the next obvious question is what is the media doing about it.  Answer: not much.

Hours upon hours of air time and column inches have been used to cover useless and sometimes hurtful information.  Marco Rubio’s boots get unwanted attention from rival candidatesDonald Trump skips GOP debate, hosts rival eventHillary Clinton barks like a dog to slam Republicans.

Many times I have been reminded of a segment from the movie The American President.  The fictional president Andrew Sheppard, says “We have serious problems to solve and need serious people to solve them…He [opposing candidate] is interested in two things and two things only. Making you afraid of it and telling you who to blame for it. That ladies and gentleman is how you win elections.”

Come on America!  Don’t let the candidates scare you into your vote.  Demand more from politicians and the media.  If the information isn’t coming to you, GO OUT AND GET IT!

Every so often I fantasize about moving to Canada to escape the circus.  But my family and I love New York so I’m here for the long haul.

Instead of running from the problem of the US election, I’m running towards it.  That’s why we’ve decided that Corporate Citizenship will help fill the gap in the policy discussion.  Leading up to the Presidential election in November 2016, we will explore how the candidates could affect key corporate responsibility topics.  We will do our best to be robust and thoughtful.  We invite you to join the discussion online.  Let’s drown out the blather and talk in a respectful and informative manner.

We nominate ourselves to bring the beef to the party.

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