Just in case you tuned out the political world this week (which I understand is next to impossible but more than a little tempting), everything about the presidential nominating process for both Republicans and Democrats seems to be over . . . except for the shouting and funny hats always in evidence at the respective summer conventions. Those voters in Georgia and other March 12 primary states still can go to the polls on the applicable dates, but it’s pretty much a done deal that, hey, déjà vu all over again, the 2024 election in November will feature Joe Biden and Donald Trump going for the gold. Both candidates have accumulated just about enough committed delegates to ensure their nominations.

If you listen closely, I’m pretty sure you can hear a huge collective cacophony of constituents in every state crying, “Say what?” and “Are you kidding me?” and “I don’t believe this.” Well, believe it. There are roughly 350 million people in this country (not including the 10,000 or so who just crossed the southern border last night), and We the People (at least those who have voted thus far) have decided that Presidents #45 and #46 should vie for the office once again.

Of course, some on both sides of the political aisle will say “Huzzah” to that news. Many others will be heading to CVS and Walgreens to stock up on Tums before it’s gone from the shelves. But no matter what your personal reaction to the re-do of 2020 was, “them’s the facts,” to quote no English teacher ever.

Given the reality that there is little, if any, love lost between the campaign camps of Scranton Joe and The Donald, there’s great reason to believe vitriol will be in abundance for the next eight months. (See reference to Tum’s above.) It’s been estimated that somewhere around $3 billion will be spent on advertising alone, just the White House race. And most, if not all of it, will undoubtedly be of the negative variety.

With the nominating process pretty much already over for the year, and thus the usual election year spending not really necessary, I have a proposition for both the Biden and Trump campaign commanders. How about you both help save the sanity of the citizens you purport to love by waiting until at least, say, mid-September to start sponsoring virtually every network TV, streaming, radio, and social media program on the air?

To make sure you keep our interest front and center until then, it’s okay for both respective campaigns to go ahead and collect donations as per usual. And for the foreseeable future, it would be okay to run small ads in newspapers every day, and maybe two ten-second spots on all other media every 24-hour cycle. But there can only be one negative ad per candidate that simply shows a picture of either Biden or Trump with the phrase, “He’s a Bum” under it and a corresponding photo of the other guy right next to it featuring the caption, “No, HE’S a Bum” under it. Really, we’ll all get the idea and we’ll either say, “Yep,” or “No, he’s not.” But we won’t have to suffer the constant barrage of innuendo and outright falsehoods normally prevalent during the electoral process.

That limited ad structure surely wouldn’t cost anywhere near $3 billion. And still leaves plenty for when the gloves come off and fisticuffs resume in full closer to Election Day. But here’s the best part: The campaigns will still have bunches of cash on hand. And with all the leftover money that can’t possibly be spent on hurting the public’s ears and turning us against both candidates, several worthy charities could become the beneficiaries. Which recipients would be up to both political camps.

Voters may even decide for whom to cast their ballots based on the chosen charities. Far be it from me to make suggestions, but I’m pretty sure organizations such as the American Cancer Society or perhaps the Heart Association, you know, non-partisan institutions whose causes affect all Americans some way or other, would welcome five or six hundred million dollars or more added to their coffers this year.

It’s just a thought. Since the normal slogging through the mud that is part and parcel of the presidential nominating process should be non-existent this year given the fact we already know the nominees in March, both parties and candidates have a unique chance to help elevate our political process plus possibly even make us proud of our electoral system. And when’s the last time anyone can remember saying that without gagging?

©MMXXIV. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer