Political Gaffes: Fun to laugh at, don’t take so seriously

Everyday, politicized headlines blare, “Romney cuts Big Bird” or “Obama hates business owners.” In a world where stress and anxiety have a hold on people’s lives, sometimes it is best to take a breath and relax, and not become wound up at the mistakes politicians make. Unintentional or not, gaffes are a staple of American democracy and politics, and they are here to stay. There are more than 314 million people in America and according to the census, about 1 out of every 15 citizens is eligible to run for the oval office. Are the two leading candidates really the best the United States can put forward? The problem is news organizations and most big media outlets analyze topics and issues too much. Most college students, and voters, are generally turned away from politics by the unnecessary quarrels that politicians have. Barack Obama has annoyed and upset many Americans with his “empty chair” policies. Being ruled over by an empty chair should upset most Americans, but most Americans need chairs for some form of support everyday. Long before he was president, Obama’s tongue has occasionally slipped. “I’ve now been in 57 states… I think I have one left to go,” when he was campaigning in 2008. When it came to slip-ups under his term in office president Obama has had gaffes like “The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries,” or “You didn’t build that.” To some, Obama is an “empty chair” president, whose policies have been meaningless in the recent years of his presidency. The man who Obama promised to be left many of his supporters from his 2008 campaign feeling like they had been stood up on prom night. Mitt Romney is a candidate who has changed his position on many issues, in other words flip flopped, from tax cuts to health care. Although most of supporters may not enjoy refering to it, Romney is a serial flip flopper. Yet flip flops are popular in the United States, giving Romney some favorability over Obama. Romney has been running for president for almost six years now and has had his fair share of gaffes over that time, including this one about following NASCAR. “Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends that are NASCAR team owners,” was an answer Romney gave during an interview earlier in the year. “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me,” was another gaffe that escaped from Romney’s lips. The serious overtones of politics are reduced by the mistakes that politicians make. There are issues that need to be brought up and seriously debated, but becoming angered over gaffes is nothing to truly be concerned about. Gaffes happen, your candidate has slip ups and so does the other candidate. For college students who may not be interested in elections, laughing or talking about a gaffe may make them interested in politics. To those who say we must demand the highest form of civility from our leaders in office: Learn how to take a joke, laugh at the jokes, move on and focus on the real issues. The gist is that sometimes political issues do need to be taken with a dash of humor. The point where people are yelling and bickering over a joke, video, speech, affiliation or gaffe is leading American further into a polarized mess.