We’re starting to hear about who is and who isn’t running for President and Primaries start in just seven months. Wait, did I say “Just seven months”? I mean Christmas is seven months away, and I don’t really feel any pressure to start shopping yet. I wouldn’t even know how to start choosing a Presidential Candidate yet.
What are the issues going to be?
The last time the primaries came around, the real-estate bubble was only slowly leaking air and hadn’t started to hemorrhage; people were still thinking it was just a normal down slope in an up and down market. The word “Bailout” was not part of the average American vocabulary.
Healthcare and getting our troops home were the big issues in the primaries. The deficit was a minor, but present issue.
Right now, the big issues is the Federal Deficit and the National Debt. Unemployment will be an issue for Republicans unless it starts a steady decline and becomes a bragging point for Democrats. And the arguments we’re going to hear are predictable. Republicans will say we spend to much. Democrats will say we need to cut spending and remove tax loopholes and will probably say we need to increase taxes slightly on a very small percentage of the richest part of the population.
By next January we’ll know the names of a dozen Republicans, each of which only 2% (on average) of us were previously familiar with. A couple token Democrats will throw their names in so that Obama can start getting his campaign messages out in Primary Season, but none will be particularly serious.
The economy is recovering and everyone’s going to take the credit for it and blame the other folks for the economy not recovering faster.
I mean, we’re doomed to hear, for the next seventeen months, how bad things are and whose fault it is that they’re bad. G.W. inherited a balanced budget, but no one could have seen 9/11 coming. I mean sure we can look back now and say that most of those nineteen asses were on the government’s radar, but there were a lot of people on the government’s radar and most of them haven’t so much as stuck their tongue out at an American Flag in the last decade. Obama inherited an economy in a nosedive and managed to pull up, but at the expense of deepening the National Debt faster than anyone would like.
Of course those debates are a long way off, we have to narrow the race down to the Republican candidate, Obama and the token, but more serious than most, third party candidate that seems to always pop up when there’s an incumbent running.
Which brings up one of the most ass-backwards things about our electoral process: Why do we debate the details BEFORE we debate the major point of difference? I mean, starting later this year we’ll see Republicans going at each other’s throats over the tiniest details, trying to magnify those details into actual issues where there is a difference between the candidates’ platforms. Ideally, the candidate with the most popular stances on those details will go on to debate the major issues with the winner of the Democratic Nomination. During that period of debate, the late summer and early fall of 2012 all those little details that mattered so much in the winter and spring of 2012 will be forgotten and both sides will slip farther from the middle to more clearly define their differences. This generally means that not only do the details disappear; they become moot as the candidates go into denial that there ever were minor differences in the details. Whether a candidate was pro-gay marriage, or just thought civil unions were good enough won’t matter anymore. Nor will it matter whether they wanted to reinstate ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell” or ban gay service altogether. Come November, they’re simply either pro-gay rights or pro-family-values. (Yeah, don’t get me started on the abuse of the term “Family Values”.) Sometimes I wonder if maybe we should pick the party first, and then work out which details, and thus which candidate from that party, best represents the people. No, I don’t see that change happening — ever.
No matter what the outcome of the elections over the next year and a half, one thing is certain. Come Christmas 2012, I will be sicker of politicians than ever. I yearn for the days where politics isn’t front page news and I can’t name a single congressman. It would be nice one day to walk into our break room and see Fox News actually has to talk about something that doesn’t involve the District of Columbia. Of course,
when if that happens I’ll have to stop bitching about how vile politicians are and blog solely about American Idol The Voice.