Monday, May 21, 2007
Lowered Expectations for 2008 Prez Race
Of course, it's difficult to be excited with the expansive groups from both major parties, comprising about 16 candidates by my lazy count. My opinion on the early debates? I missed them completely. Thanks, major media outlets, for keeping me informed of these things!
What's always interesting to watch is the media winnowing of candidates to the "front runners" and those with top contributions. I rarely find those candidates representative of my views. They almost always have major flaws of position from my perspective. I could detail these flaws but it's just too depressing this early in the race.
I believe the estimate of total expenses for the 2008 race is over a billion dollars before it's done. Let me write that out: US$1,000,000,000.00. I thought of detailing what a billion dollars could do in if spent elsewhere in the US economy but that is a bit of false comparison.
What is disturbing is how much we choose based on presented image rather than substantive issues. I believe John Lennon described it as picking a favourite Daddy from the group of Daddies. In other words, an emotional reaction rather than a reasoned one. Let us not forget the curious phrase which always makes the rounds during this period: Acting Presidential. It always strikes me as a failure of vision that people might pick their President by whether a candidate appears "Presidential" during press conferences or speeches.
While I perfectly understand candidates changing and evolving their positions on issues over time, often it merely seems like an accommodation to polls rather than a genuine development of policy. This is why candidates often seem shallow and lacking in personal conviction to me. It all appears as stage management and posturing generated in staff meetings. It rings false and hollow. Once I get that sense about one position by a candidate, I begin to sense that many positions are like that. Then their credibility begins to erode to me and I lose faith that the candidate will ever act with constancy.
Welcome to this year's cynical views on elections. Umph.