About 230 years, and untold hundreds of billions of dollars, ago this country was founded under some pretty cool ideas. By accident of geography, a healthy dash of luck, and a huge amount of sweat, we’ve grown into a wonderfully large and diverse country that makes a HUGE impact on the world, and the world’s culture. We were small, now were large. Can you dig it?
But here’s the thing. In all that growth, in all that advancement of ideas and ideals, in all those billions of dollars made and earned, we still practice politics with slogans that are reduced down to nothing more complicated than can be expressed by a hundred cheering fans at a football game.
Since Barack Obama captured the Democratic nomination, slaying (at least for four more years) the hideous Hilldibeast, and the start of the real election campaigning began (real as in Dems vs. Repubs), the only things that have made the blogosphere are such terribly silly stuff as whether or not McCain is a U.S. citizen, or why Obama will not release his birth certificate.
This is an interesting time in America politics, with a couple of interesting guys running for the big office. They are both pretty sharp, eloquent, camera savvy, and able to work without a teleprompter. These are the kind of guys who can really debate; really get into the meat of an argument, and chew it down to the bone. Yet, the election so far looks to me more like they are campaigning for Prom King, rather than the Most Powerful Man In The World.
The sad part is, this is our own fault. If we only respond to the silly and sensational, then that is what is going to be “in play”, and right now, that is all we’ve got.
We are a country of bigger ideas than “We’ve got the spirit…” (hell, we are a country founded on bigger ideas than that), and right now we have a couple of candidates who are capable of articulating these more complex ideas, and doing it with élan. As citizens would should expect, nay demand, that they raise the bar of electoral communication, and we should do this every time they, the candidates, or any blog or new organization, talks politics.
Do not let anyone else tell you their pet molehill is a mountain. Do not let anyone else lower the bar of political discussion to such crap. We’ve been given such a steady diet of political junk food, for so long, that most of us accept it as a real meal. It’s not, and we shouldn’t.
We finally got some real political chefs in the kitchen. It time to demand something more than hamburgers and hotdogs.