The Daily Grind Video

The truth is a powerful thing.

But in our politics, it’s also a pretty scarce thing…

The truth?

The 2012 Election Cycle is little more than a depressing exercise in what happens when all bets are off– when things like human decency and complexity take a back seat to pontification and electoral strategies, identity politics and cultural buzzwords.

The truth?

The 2012 Election Cycle Sucks.


Because there’s no real choice in this election.

There’s a President in office that has been a good President but has taken measures that prevent him from being the great President that the country needs right now.

The problem?

We can’t hold him accountable because his main competitors; Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich aren’t equipped to take his place.

Not a single one of them stands a chance against President Obama electorally—they’ve all isolated significant segments of the population while attempting to appeal to their conservative base.

In the process they’ve taken different stances on so many positions that it’s impossible to decipher what they stand for.

In 2012 there’s no real choice and that sucks.

Don’t believe me?

Well, even Republican Governor of Mississippi Haley Barbour has admitted that none of these candidates have yet made the case that they can beat Obama.

The truth?

No such case exists.

For insight into why that is check out my #GOPTrilogy; A series of candidate music videos all set to the tunes of Brooklyn-based up and coming Indie group Motive who have been kind enough to lend me their music. These videos have been released over the course of the last month with “Self-Evident: A Santorum Music Video” premiering, here, today…

You’ll note that there is no Ron Paul video.

I understand why he appeals to young people in particular. He mostly tells the truth.

But the country is changing — we need new leadership.

For my generation, you can’t be a person who supports same-sex marriage and then support a candidate who equateshomosexuality with bestiality.

You can’t support aid for low-income communities and support a candidate who says that he doesn’t care about “very poor people”. You can’t support world peace and support a candidate who believes that George W. Bush should have let another terrorist attack through to keep us on our toes. You can’t support women and then endorse a war on their bodies. The list goes on.

I have no doubt that all four Republican Candidates are probably good people with mostly good intentions– and, to be sure, the process should play out — but I also have no doubt that none of them will ever be President.

The arbiters of the 24-hour news cycle also need to step up and stop inciting distractions.

Many things have been said about political pundits but I actually think that, collectively, their greatest offense is that in the effort to advance their respective agendas, they forget that sometimes it’s best to just shut up and listen.

If those in media insist on resorting to radical statements intended to inflame and offend — as Rush Limbaugh has done recently — then the rest of us need to make them irrelevant.

Responsible voices on all sides of the ideological spectrum are tasked with drowning them out. Check out Blacking It UpUp & Up and Variety’s Wilshire & Washington for examples of media ventures that are already doing just that and support independent-minded voices like them.

Ultimately, the truth is that we’ve grown so accustomed to mediocrity that we now greet failing institutions with apathy and accept that our leaders will prioritize grandstanding over governance.

The truth?

We need to change the system, but in order to do that we need to be honest about how bad it’s gotten.

The good news?

We’ve already shown signs that yes, we can do better.

-Sara Haile-Mariam

Sara Haile-Mariam is a self described artist & agitator based in New York City.

She’s served as the Communications and Outreach Associate at Campus Progress where she directed and served as a spokesperson for Vote Again 2010, a coalition of over 35 youth organizations and media partners working to increase youth turnout during the 2010 midterm election cycle.

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