Traditionally, the media have been framing issues to fit the two-party system with the emphasis on the frame. First, they create the red and blue frame, then try to fit issues in that frame. Let me illustrate my point on the recent article Control of New York State Senate. . ., published by WSJ on October 31st.
The article sets the frame—Republican vs. Democrat.
“. . .races in Nassau County on Long Island could help decide which party controls the New York state Senate, where Republicans wield control even though the Democrats hold a razor-thin majority.”
“. . .seat had been held for three decades by former Republican. . “
“if the Senate Democrats want to make up ground, this is crucial district for them to win.” [emphasis mine]
After the author set the frame (half of the article), he fit the issues in—taxes and corruption. I find this framing flawed, as it emphasizes the party rather than issues. The reporting should concentrate on the issues and only then it should mention the position each individual candidate has on the issue in question. That’s how it works in real life anyway.
For example, The Republican Club invited their candidates to speak at the Malverne library. There was a lady in the audience who spoke about the air traffic noise pollution. She sounded as being very involved in the issue. She does her own research, reads studies, attends hearings. Now in the election cycle, having all the acquired information about the issue, she is deciding what candidate will represent her interests better. If I wanted to learn more about the issue on the air traffic over Malverne, Valley Stream, Lynbrook, I would definitely go and talk to her.
Similarly, I have been involved in education, doing my research, attending meetings, and surrounding myself with like-minded people. That’s why I will vote on the issue and know that in our district (9) senator Todd Kaminsky is a better choice for public school system. He established a working relationship with parents. He just happens to be a Democrat.
I know that my friends, public school advocates, will vote also on the issue and, for example, for Ed Ra (19) and Al Graf (5) who just happen to be Republicans. A political party is not working with constituents, individual party members are.
So find your issue/interest. There are myriad of them and social media help connect people. Get involved and speak, or the only “person” speaking will be the ALEC and big money. #gomules