Take a minute and think about this. Do you know how each of the four players in the presidential election stand on the issues? In the past few weeks, has your understanding of their standing been increased or not?
I know for me I have learned next to nothing in all the speeches and debates. The candidates know that being specific can cause them to lose voters. Obama especially has been playing fast and light with the issues, saying just enough to make me think he thinks like I do. When I look at his record, I see a die-hard liberal who votes the party line almost always. When I hear him talk, he is mister mainstream.
But this election is not about issues. In fact, there has been precious little about issues in the media coverage. Whether its Chris Matthews getting a thrill up his leg for Obama, or Sean Hannity throwing softball pitches at Palin, this election is turing into the People's Choice awards.
As a diehard moderate, I always feel like an outsider to both parties. But this year it is extreme. The campaign--the longest ever in history I believe--has given us nothing but play-by-play pundits, gotcha questioners, and dances with Ellen. Each candidate has figured out that issues don't matter, even as they say that what we really want to know is the issues.
This is the Entertainment Tonight Election, and I have no clue what either ticket will do or not do for the country. Will Obama push forward with half a trillion dollars of health care reform after we just gave 700B to the financial bailout? Will McCain do anything different than Bush on the war? What will either candidate do to stop global warming? When you parse the speeches, there is little there. No specifics, no plans deeper than bullet points. If I am wrong and there are specifics, please respond with the links.
The media has not done their job. Coverage has been almost entirely about the "phenomenon" of Obama, and more recently Palin. The mainstream media falls over itself to make Obama look good. Foxnews (and to a lesser extent than normal, talk radio) have given McCain the same treatement. No one has really given a rundown of the issues, nor have they challenged the candidates into giving specifics. It has been all about the horse race. Who is up today. Will x get a bounce from the convention? What is the Palin factor? What about the elderly white woman vote? Will there be race riots if Obama loses this fall?
Crap. It is all crap. We are in a war. Our air is poisoned and our planet is warming. Banks are folding hours after we find out they are in trouble. Russia is selling their nuclear bomber to Chavez, and Iran is laughing at the IAEA. Talk is no longer "if" we will have a recession, but how bad it will be.
And we don't know anything significant about how McCain or Obama will deal with the issues. Both are worthless in economics. The only reason Obama is leading on this issue is because people don't think: dems are better at economy, reps are better at foreign policy. The old stereotype.
I will vote. Though I voted for Bush twice and really like McCain in 2000, I am having a hard time this year. Obama is a rock star, and I don't vote for rock stars (and I live in CA, we had that opportunity not too long ago). McCAin is a war hero and moderate, or was. Now I can't tell. Both are pretending to be something they aren't, to get elected, and I'm not sure who they are.
Given what I have seen of politics lately, there is only one thing I think we can be sure of: