Political Buttons


…and Greg’s Political Button Game is born

Finally, a politician is catching up to me. I recently watched Senator Ted Cruz corner Fox’s Megyn Kelly on her political views, and personal party allegiance. It was awesome.

In case you missed it, Cruz implied Kelly was clearly not a liberal, based on her reporting, and she and other Fox News personalities have indeed voted in presidential primaries in the past.Cruz’ claim was that journalists were ideological voters too, regardless of the objectivity they feign in their lofty media role.

My mother was a teacher for forty years, and said that her younger students were often surprised to see her shopping at the grocery store. Those youngsters believed that all teachers lived at the school. Very cute, but also applicable to some media members who believe they never leave the microphone – they remain “above” regular citizens in a way.

In their minds, they are clearly smarter than regular people, and somehow anointed with the only correct vision for the issue of the day. Volumes of public record corroborate this claim of journalistic subjectivity.  

I like Megan Kelly a lot, but it was surprising and fun to see her speechless for a change, if only for a few seconds! How could she possibly say on camera that she personally votes Republican, and voted for George W. Bush twice? Cruz was subtly goading Kelly to come clean, and she did not answer his baiting. It was fun for me to watch, which shows how old I am getting.

I was waiting to hear her tell the senator she never bought into the War on Women against Romney, and voted R in 2012.   

(Megan Kelly’s political views are only speculation on my part of course, and I invite her to counter my opinion anytime!).

Decades ago, when experiencing my government of Quebec creeping up on my civil rights, and after observing the observers observe – that is, watching and critiquing the media itself – I figured out a sure-fire way to ensure objectivity in journalism.

I dreamed up a little game — the Political Button Game — and this election cycle would be a perfect time to play. Like any game, there are rules, and the rules must be followed by all media personalities who do the news or comment about politics – in print, on television, on the radio, online, smoke signals – all of ’em!

As you will see with the game, journalists would now be required to wear a political button. If a reporter or commentator does not vote, has not voted, or is ineligible to vote, they’re not allowed to wear a button. For a radio personality, it would now be required to disclose his or her button color upfront, and at sign-off — just in case the listener missed the beginning of the radio show!

If the reporter is an illegal immigrant, then his or her button is also a GPS – to assist immigration services in tracking them down for deportation.

Here’s how the Political Button Game works, and who qualifies:

RULE 1: A big button must be worn every minute a reporter or commentator is on camera: A red button with an R for Republican, a blue button for Democrat, and some shade of purple pastel for Libertarian voters. The letter chosen must reflect the actual past votes in previous elections, or how someone is planning to vote in 2016. According to polls, most people know who they are voting for already, and wear it on their sleeve anyway. With this full disclosure on the lapel rule, if anyone doesn’t like it, or thinks it’s un-american, they don’t have to vote! And, those folks are also free to move to another country that might work better for them! That freedom thing is so awesome that way.  

RULE 2: Undecided – or registered Independents – are excluded from having their own button. For once, they have to act like grown-ups and make a choice upfront. And if they have voted the same way for the past two elections or more, they must wear that letter. (See Rule 1).  

RULE 3: For this game, the L button is just a catch-all for Libertarians, Reformers, Independents, Greenies, and all other unelectable parties.

RULE 4: Ok, here it comes. Only U.S. Citizens who are eligible to vote may vote. It’s a new concept to many Boomers and younger liberals, but it’s surely what the founding fathers of our country would insist on. Even in 2015. Living legally. And, almost as surprising, valid photo I.D. is required in order to vote. Same requirement as signing your kids up for youth sports, renting a car, or buying a drink. Sorry, it’s a rule.

Four simple rules. Easy.  


The nice thing about the Political Buttons Game, is nothing changes in terms of the election itself. The only thing that changes is disclosure; those who feed us information and opinions must disclose upfront their political leaning and voting track record. This is a little bit like a politician having to disclose everything down to his or her bank account so that we know who we’re dealing with!

Whether or not the journalist is being objective, or tilted toward personal ideology, can at least be weighed and determined by the reader or listener. Those journalists or commentators who wear no button are not bad people, but we’re at least able to know they have no skin in the game. They’re just talking.

Now that Political Buttons must be worn, the playing field of spin, ideology, or personal bias should be much more level for the average voter like you and me. I can’t imagine the buttons not keeping everyone a smidge more honest and upfront, don’t you think?

And in the spirit of honesty and full disclosure, I will wear a button too — I am an ideological Libertarian, with a big R on my big red button.

How ’bout yours?

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