Many times I am tempted to forever turn off TV, radio and internet news and check out on the great farce that is politics in the USA. This is probably the 7th Presidential election cycle that I can remember and the more of them that I experience the greater my weariness and cynicism becomes. How many times do we have to recycle the same boring themes that are virtually meaningless and yet seem to work again and again? Some examples:
a) The GOP does things ‘for the rich.’ If you listen to Democratic candidates such as Obama, Gore and Kerry you would be led to believe that the Republicans are deregulating, promoting trickle-down economics and cutting taxes for ‘the rich.’ Apparently the GOP leaders behind the scenes like to sit around and plan how they can hurt the poor (or ‘the working class’) and help the rich. They strategize on ways to give more money to this top one percent while at the same time hurting the average guy.
This preposterous story completely ignores philosophies, presuppositions and guiding principles. It is a grade-school level story that is tirelessly employed by Democrats to vilify Republicans and it is about the only thing we hear every four years. The fact that a Republican candidate doesn’t stop and take the time to completely dismantle this sloppy story amazes me.
b) This is the ‘most important election of our lifetime.’ Every four years we have another most important election®. This particular cycle Joe Biden seems to be the one trotting this line out more than anyone else does. And really, who can blame 7-11 Joe for thinking that? After all, any chance at relevance or being remembered that he has rides on his getting elected this time, so to him, this is indeed the most important election® of his lifetime. But I would appreciate it if a candidate came along and said that ‘this is NOT the most important election of your lifetime.’
c) Washington D.C. is the problem. Every candidate who is not an incumbent President runs against Washington. How do people fall for this over and over and over again? W did it, Clinton did it, now both Obama and McCain are doing it. By Washington the candidates mean lobbyists, Congress, and whatever the current administration is. And you see, this candidate is going to CHANGE Washington, end ‘partisan bickering’ and ‘get things done for the people.’ Because no one else who has ever run for office has ever thought ‘wow, I should get things done for the people and change the way Washington works.’ All of the previous candidates for President for the past 50 years have wanted to keep Washington the same, not get things done for the people, and stay the course of fighting and arguing.
What a dumb, trite and meaningless story this is! And yet I am probably doomed to hear it repeated every four years until I die or our Republic collapses!
d) “Special interests” are the problem. Is there a more vacuous phrase than ‘special interests’? Who or what exactly are ‘special interests’? Is it special as opposed to general interests? But yet every candidate for just about every office in America accuses the other candidate of working for the special interests. This phrase drives me insane with boredom and yet I will probably never stop hearing it.
e) Candidate X is inexperienced. The GOP is trying this on Obama, the Democrats are trying it on Palin. Nixon used it on Kennedy, Ford on Carter, Carter on Reagan, Bush Sr. on Clinton, Gore on W, and so forth. It is utterly meaningless. I could care less if you have never been to a G8 meeting, met the Prime Minister of Zambia, or thought about import tariffs while aboard Air Force Two. This argument never works and it never should. It’s like the conundrum that anyone faces when trying to break into a new field – you can’t get experience until you do the job. And I could care less whether or not you have it now. What matters to me is entirely your beliefs, outlook on the world and philosophy.
f) The candidates are running due to their love of America. Give me a break. Every single candidate for President from every single party is running because he or she has a pretty high opinion of himself. The issues are window dressing. If Bush hadn’t gone to war then Obama would probably be running against him for coddling a dictator in Hussein. It’s all a sham. They run because they want to be famous and to leave their mark on history; to hopefully be remembered by future generations. They don’t care about you and don’t care what happens to you. The ‘issues’ are just whatever it takes to get them elected this time around. Once in power Washington will be just fine and things will resume their normal course.
In my mind we would be a lot better off if candidates would argue philosophy instead of details all the time. Why should government be doing things not enumerated in the Constitution? Why do people refer to the Declaration of Independence when it has no force of law? Why is smaller government better or worse? What does ‘free market’ mean? What is the source of law, sovereignty, authority, power? Is there such a thing as just war? Why do we get to police the world? There are so many important philosophical questions that drive all the nitty gritty policies that the parties come up with, and yet we NEVER get debates or even speeches that outline worldviews or thought systems. We get jumbles of numbers and word games, stupid stories and appeals to the common man. Our system is a joke and it produces substandard and shallow leaders who do nothing and accomplish nothing. This is our fate in a democracy of imbeciles.
Politics are a fraud and a racket. If you get worked up about it then you are focused on the wrong things. I care because of abortion and other moral offenses against God and that’s it. If we returned to laws based on God’s law, moral order and the culture of life then I would tune out of politics for the rest of my life and ignore it entirely.