If we could assume for purposes of making a point here that if by some unusual action it would become unlawful to pander to constituents in Presidential elections, it would mean that there could currently be NO Presidential race! In simpler words: All that has been said and written by the multitude of current candidates so far has amounted to nothing more than making promises to potential voters, especially those whom they consider their voting blocks on the political Left and Right. If a candidate addresses a group of senior citizens, it is guaranteed that he or she will talk of making Medicare better, if they address a group of police men/women, the candidates are for law and order. And, of course, when you address an audience of people who are against the war in Iraq, it’s a sure bet that the candidate will promise to bring the troops home as soon as they get elected President of the United States of America. You get the jist, it’s pandering at its finest and purest and it’s a shame! We deserve better.
The reasons for this situation are many. As a result of the fact that there is no limit as to who can declare to run for President and the lack of an incumbent in 2008, we have had as many as 18 declared candidates with some others were still trying to make up their mind. On the Democrat side, we have had eight candidates since earlier this year and they have been seen in numerous presidential debates around the country during the past several months. On the Republican side, they had ten candidates in spring but the field has been reduced by the withdrawal of two candidates. But there are still some as of yet undeclared candidates according to the media. While Tommy Thompson, the former governor of Wisconsin withdrew his candidacy after a recent straw poll in Iowa, another man by that name, Fred Thompson, a former Senator from Tennessee and until recently a star of the television series ‘Law and Order’ is reportedly on the verge of announcing his intentions to run for this highest office in the land.
But that makes it right now 16 declared candidates for President in 2008. The Presidential debates so far have been real ‘panderfests’ and after such an event, mostly 90 minutes in duration the average voter does not really know what he learned or heard. This format does not lend itself to anything truly useful because the statements and responses to questions from the narrators (and some times even e-mails from voters) are limited to a minute or so and follow-ups are even shorter in time. When you have eight candidates on a stage and a question is posed on, let us say for example “Immigration”, for the next eight or ten minutes you hear one-minute responses from the candidates, one after the other. How would you like to be the last one asked? What can you say that has not been said before by the other seven? Depending on the candidate’s ability, he or she can only hope to say something that has not already been said, or try to be witty and funny on stage. No sooner comes such a debate to an end, members of the print and television media will explain all that to the viewers, instant polling results will be announced as to who (if anybody) won the debate or who had the best responses to questions and so on. And within a few days, the national polling companies will share their totally useless poll results with all of us. As stated in “Uselessness of Polls”, a previous column on this website: Who cares at this time?
How does the average voter react to this? His or her choices are many: One can decide who to give one’s precious vote to at the ballot box during the primary and general election; one can also wait for the next such debates to find out more from the candidates or one can just wait until much later and closer to the actual election dates when the fields on either side of the political spectrum have narrowed and the choices are fewer, like, let’s assume three or four candidates each.
We here at ‘Back to Common Sense’ will wait for such a time before we will take serious looks at the candidates. We cannot seriously see the need to analyze any candidate who does not have the proverbial “snowballs chance in hell” to get anywhere near to being nominated. We believe that we know who they are at this time but will not mention their names out of a sense of fairness to them. We could give a hint in that we strongly believe that not one of the four declared congressmen could come out as winners, but time will tell and we will mention it when it happened. The same could be said about four current and former United States Senators but let’s wait and see.
If there is one thing missing in the Presidential race to date, it is called Vision! As lamented before, all the candidates have so far done nothing but pander to constituents or reacted to issues raised by the media or opponents. Poll-tested answers to issues and position papers cannot possibly be all there is to expect from the pool of individuals who want to be our next President. It is at times even humorous to witness the reactions to challenges made by opponents. For instance, when Senator Barack Obama is challenged based on his lack on international experience, he reacts by making statements as to how he would deal with countries considered hostile to America, countries such as Iran, North Korea and Syria. He, Democrat Senator Obama stated that he would meet with the leaders of those countries and discuss our differences with them while at the same time, he would use aggressive military action in Pakistan, one of our allies in that part of the world, to drop bombs if it would mean killing Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaida leadership. What is particularly funny about such blustery statements is the fact that while Mr. Obama will sit down with our enemies, he as all the other Democrat candidates refuse to participate in debates when conducted or sponsored by Fox News television. A debate co-sponsored by Fox News and the NAACP, truly an overwhelming Democrat constituent group had to be cancelled because the candidates refused to attend. As reason for their decision they stated that Fox News was too biased against Democrats. We can only laugh at such nonsense. Do they, the Democrat candidates really believe that it is easier to hold meetings with the foreign leaders of Iran and others compared to participating in a presidential debate when sponsored by an American Cable Network. Hello? And you want us to make you the next occupant in the White House and therewith the leader of the Free World?
To be sure, we would equally ridicule the Republican candidates if they refused to partake in a debate sponsored by CNN, CNBC or other more liberal networks that they would perceive to be biased against their political beliefs.
This article and others on Back to Common Sense are designed to provoke further thought and investigation. It is not the intent for the articles to be politically biased. Sources are referenced in each article to encourage readers to delve into the supporting material. We welcome all readers to participate with their point of view either in support or contrary with additional information sources.