The Republican presidential primary is under way with the has-beens, the attention grabbers, the true believers, and those known only to their immediate families vying for pick of the litter. And the warm-up act promises to be more entertaining than the main event. As someone said, if writers Stephen King and Dave Barry had collaborated, they couldn’t have come up with anything scarier and funnier.

Who among us will soon forget Newt, the serial bridegroom, promising to take legal action against anyone who said that he said what he said. Newt hasn’t gotten the word yet that we no longer rely on the Pony Express for our news. Now we get it fast, and we get it on tape.

Some wannabes have already fallen by the wayside. Baptist preacher turned opportunist Mike Huckabee dropped out because his heart said, “No, don’t give up the lucrative job with Fox.” Then, alas, we lost The Donald, a man who would have been a great leader, as he told us many times. His plan to take Libya’s oil away from them certainly had great possibilities, one being World War III. Who knows what other grand ideas were hatching under that coonskin cap hairdo.

It is all great fun, but there is a time to laugh and a time to get serious. While we are enjoying the warm-up act we need to keep in mind what a young man running for the U.S. Senate from Arizona said in a rare moment of candor back in 1986.

He looked directly into the TV camera and said, “Understand what we do to you. We spend all of our time raising money, often from strangers we do not even know. Then we spend it in three specific ways. First we measure you, what it is you want to purchase in the political marketplace―just like Campbell’s soup or Kellogg’s cereal. Next, we hire some consultants who know how to tailor our image to fit what we sell. Lastly, we bombard you with the meaningless, issueless, emotional nonsense that is always the result. And whichever one of us does that best will win.”

Evidently he was not the best bamboozler for he lost the race to his opponent, John McCain. Things have only changed for the worse in the 25 years since Richard Kimball spoke the truth about money corruption in political campaigns. The 2012 general election campaign promises to be the dirtiest in history. Corporate money will flow like the Mississippi at flood stage, and we will hear a lot of “meaningless, issueless, emotional nonsense.” So keep your BS detector charged, and do some research.

There are many sources of reliable information available, but none better than Project Vote Smart. It is an accurate information source that supports no candidate and embraces no political philosophy. The information it collects on candidates and where they stand on issues is readily available to the public at www.votesmart.org or 1-888-868-3762.

Project Vote Smart was the brain child of its president, Richard Kindall, and one of its strong supporters is the man who was his opponent in 1986, Senator John McCain.

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