Monday, January 28, 2008

Quick Thoughts on the Current Race for President

Does anyone else wonder what it must have been like to vote for President of the United States two hundred years ago? You know, back before we had constant polling to tell us who the most popular candidates are, so that we know how New Hampshire voted and can make our choices accordingly. Back before we had nonstop barrages of analysts and news anchors providing opinion pieces and daily updates on every little misstep a candidate makes. Back before biased coverage and expensive paid advertising. Back before percentages, projected winners, official retractions and "too close to calls." Back before the existence of channels devoted entirely to 24-hour news coverage. Back before the very existence of television. Back before you could watch carefully edited snippets of video on the internet instead of having to actually see the candidates with your own eyes. Back before screen presence and physical appearance and statements like "he just looks like a President" were considered qualifications for the job. Back before the voting public was segmented up into anything other than state, county and township. Back before the candidates started being chosen by two political entities that exist primarily as a means of getting certain people elected and only secondarily as a collective of people with a shared ideology. Back before public service was a carreer and not a calling. Back before "change" was considered more a platform (and enough of a platform to actually count for something) than an inherent byproduct of voting in a democratic republic. Back before elections were watched and followed like they were a national sports league, where every victory or defeat counts towards a record and a standing. Back before people talked more about the race itself then they talked about the candidates and their positions.

God that must have been boring. Yech.