Elections offer choices to the people. In modern America the choices are often fake.
- In 1932 FDR ran as a budget-balancing fiscal conservative; in 1940 he promised to keep us out of the war he was already preparing for.
- In 1964 Johnson ran as the peace candidate (while he prepared to expand the Vietnam War).
- In 1968 Nixon ran not only implying he had a secret plan to end the Vietnam War, but as a conservative. In fact he continued the war, and was the 2nd or 3rd most liberal president of that century.
It’s a process of decay. The 2008 election allowed us to choose between different candidates with almost identical policies. That was not obvious to those that voted for Mr. Hope And Change. Four years experience has shown that Obama’s economic and national security policies are almost identical to Bush Jr’s.
Now we have a new election, new choices. The banality of the 2012 slogans — Romney’s “Believe in America” and Obama’s “Forward” — cannot be exceeded, and the reality-free nature of this campaign will prove difficult to top. The news media expect little (rightly so), and cover the election as they do figure skating at the Olympics.
So what is the natural evolution of elections in the post-Constitutional era, as we slide from the Second Republic into plutocracy? We can look to Russia to see our future, where they run campaigns — but few expect anything serious from them.
In the last scene, the words on her t-shirt say “I will tear my clothes off for Putin“.
This need not be our fate. We can change. We can do better.
For More Information
Too see all posts about this go to these FM Reference Pages:
- Politics in America – and the 2012 Campaign
- Obama, his administration and policies
- America – how can we reform it?
Other posts about our dysfunctional elections
- Lilliput or America – who has a better way to choose its leaders?, 19 November 2008
- About campaigns for high office in America – we always expect a better result from the same process, 17 June 2009
- The economy speaks – and votes, 12 August 2010
- The winners and losers from this election, hidden amidst the noise, 3 November 2010
- Why do awesome people – like us – have such inadequate leaders?, 2 April 2012 — Because we vote.
- The presidential debates are performance art. They’re Kabuki., 4 October 2012
- A reminder that debates are fun, not politics: Reagan had Alzheimer’s in 1984 and we didn’t notice., 5 October 2012