Electorate Ennui

Posted: February 1, 2008 by April Watkins in Our Government, Politics
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I don’t know about you, but I am already exhausted with the Presidential Campaign of 2008.  I would venture a guess that so are most Americans.  The jocking for position by states to be the “first in caucuses”, or “first in primaries” has created nothing more than huge self promotions for those states.  As we have seen in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the old conventionalism of early voting as a portent of success for one candidate or another has been completely dispelled.  Ironically, the fight for being first has had negative impacts for the campaigns of each candidate, as the voters in each state are determined to show that they are not mere sheep to be herded.  Instead voters are making decisions based on what is critical to their needs in their particular states, counties and communities. 

As a political junkie, even I am bored with the continual barrage of debates as nothing of much substance seems to emerge.  Sure there are tidbits of differences here and there, but few disparities on policies within each party’s mantra.  The Republicans have given us the greatest divergence of opinions within their debates on the issues of immigration reform, economic stimulus plans and tax reform.  Previously considered underdog Ron Paul has interjected spice into the Republic debate with Libertarian views that many disgruntled Republicans (and Democrats) are now reexaminig.  Granted, some of Paul’s views are extreme, and not viable in a global economy, yet they do give pause to rethinking the direction of our government and its role in our daily lives. 

The Democrats have seen a surge in excitement in the youth movement through the candidacy of Barak Obama.  This newfound interest in politics and the governance of our nation should be a source of pride for Americans on many levels.  First and foremost, the viable candidacy of an African-American for the Presidency of the United States of America is proof that, as a nation, we can overcome prejudice.  Recent polls showed that in the age group of 18-30, race was simply NOT a factor.  This alone is a victory for America. 

While Hillary Clinton is not the first woman to run for a national position (In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was selected to run as VP with Democratic Presidential candidate Walter Mondale), she IS the first women to run a formidable Presidential campaign.  Whether you like her or not, if you are a woman you must smile at the shattering of that glass ceiling. 

The campaign will begin to be interesting again once we have two opposing candidates that can offer various plans for their vision of moving America forward.  In the meantime, we must continue to sit through the pettiness of trivial point bickering and verbal slaps…unless you have a DVR.  The good stuff is yet to come…and that’s when it will matter.

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