There was a time when talking politics was talking about the issues. More taxes or less? More regulation or less? Are we on the right track or not? Most importantly, how do we fix what we perceive as wrong?
But since the Reagan Administration, and particularly since the rise of Fox News, politics has become less about the issues and more about personalities. George Bush is a man people would like to have a beer with. Gore is cold and robotic. McCain is an honorable man of the people. Obama is elitist. Edwards is obsessed with his hair. Y'know what? I don't give a damn how much Edwards pays for his haircut or how well Obama bowls. I want to know what they propose to turn this nation back into a place I'm proud to call home. Because for the past seven years, I've been ashamed to call myself American.
People are starting to wake up to the fact that the media has been treating politics like a reality television show. We want to know when our troops are coming home. We want to know how we're going to fix our insanely expensive health care system. We want to hear solutions to our energy problems. But instead we get news that Obama's inability to bowl makes him elitist, Clinton's propensity for getting teary makes her unelectable and McCain throws a good party.
If you dig, and I mean really dig for it, you'll eventually learn that McCain wants to keep our troops in the line of fire for a hundred years and Clinton agrees with him. Obama wants to regulate health insurance, Clinton wants to make it mandatory for us to pay for health insurance regardless of what we're offered and McCain thinks we shouldn't change a thing. As for energy, Clinton recently said she'd confront OPEC, Obama would push biofuels and McCain favors the nuclear option (literally).
But what are we talking about today? How Rev. Wright is undermining Obama's campaign. Clinton's "nuclear option" to bring Michigan and Florida delegates to the national convention. McCain is a tough, moderate warrior. This isn't about issues, this is about personalities. They peddle this bullshit on reality television all the time and call it drama. This just happens to affect the outcome of our nation instead of just television ratings. Have you heard, Obama is an elitist and Clinton is a rich bitch? McCain, he's just a good old boy who happens to be a Vietnam vet and former prisoner of war.
What do I think? I think I'll vote for any Democrat before a Republican. I think if the independents and third parties were given a fair shake, they'd get a lot more representation in government. I think talk about "elitists" is pure bullshit, and the "liberal media" is a myth that may have reflected once media bias, but it's been the "conservative media" for a long, long time now. But the media controls the microphone, and they're skewing the discussion in the name of "news entertainment." I think Obama is flawed, Clinton is more about ambition than public service and McCain is the most elitist and out of touch of any of the candidates.
We're not going to get perfect candidates. We're going to get human beings. That's really all we have to choose from. None of them have God's special blessing or divine insight into the problems of the world. But they're the choices we're being given to represent us, and it's up to us to choose a candidate who will honestly put the good of the nation and the world ahead of their own agendas. We failed to do this in 2000 and 2004, and in that time we've gone from the world's prime superpower to crumbling empire. Our economy is imploding before our eyes, our credibility is shot, our moral piety has been completely discredited, our civil rights almost gone and all the pieces are in place for the Glorious Leader Bush to declare martial law and suspend elections. My gods, Rush Limbaugh suggests that Republicans should provoke a riot in Denver during the Democratic Convention, and gets away with it because he was "just joking!"
This nation is in serious trouble, and all we get is half-baked drama you couldn't sell to a cable station. Is it any wonder that I'm feeling increasingly paranoid about our future?