Monday, September 8, 2008

Is November here yet?

Anyone else tired of the campaign season?  Is it November yet?  When will the news feature a single story that is not tied directly to the glories or failings of one of the presidential hopefuls?

Don't get me wrong, I'm interested in politics.  I participate in our political process.  I even try to make sure I am properly informed about what is happening in the political sphere and what the physical and moral consequences of my voting or not voting has on my neighboring Americans.

That said, this has been the longest campaign in American history (if you count the insane battle for the Democratic Party primary).  I am very, very tired of every would-be journalist echoing someone's else's sensationalist commentary on the latest eye twitch or turn or phrase which could be interpreted this-way-or-that.  I am tired of pithy soundbites, no matter what I think of either political candidate.  I am tired of the bumper stickers.  I just want the vote to hurry up and get here and see the chips fall where they may.  The presidential election is important to the future of this country, but there are other things that need our collective attention.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks so.  As usual, our friends at First Things say it best:
By my reckoning, the inanities of mass politics in a democratic society are a necessary evil. Campaigns must be conducted. Candidates need to have talking points. Political parties have to close ranks and push for victory. And I recognize the inevitability of the ever-growing, para-political world of media commentators, think tanks, lobbyists, magazines, bloggers, and grassroots movements. Who wins matters, and we are rightly invested in the outcome of our elections.

But I worry. I worry about friends who seem to vibrate with anxiety over the thought of this or that candidate being elected. I worry about others who seem to invest undue confidence that their highest moral and spiritual ideals will triumph if their favored candidate is elected. And most of all, I’m amazed at the serious attention that seemingly intelligent people give to the passing ephemera of the news cycle. Have we convinced ourselves not only that politics matters, but that it matters most of all? It’s an unfortunate mistake.


Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of the Gordon Smith vs. Jeff Merkley ads. They seem to be getting uglier all the time. I'm waiting for something like, "Jeff Merkley wants to eat live human babies." Or, "Gordon Smith causes stomach cancer." I'll vote for whichever one of them buys a 30 second spot and just shows a big piece of dog poo with flies buzzing around it on a hot day and their opponent's name with a red flashing arrow pointing at the poo. The only words in the whole ad would be, "I'm (candidate) and I approve of this message."

I've got to wonder, is there anyone who has seen a politcal campaign ad for one cadidate that cuased them to change their vote? I'm sure there have been ads for ballot measures which have achieved this, but most if not all people I know have decided who they will vote for as soon as the primaries are done and we know who will be on the ballot. I also know that there are ads which disgust some voters to the point that they will vote for the opponent just to send a message. I'm wondering though if anyone has ever seen an ad and gone, "well, he's got a point, I think I'll vote for this guy instead." I'm mostly just curious from a standpoint of the number of voters won by campaign ads vs. how much the candidate spends. Would it be $1,000 a voter? $5,000? $20,000? More? I really have no idea, but I would honestly like to know.

I heard a guy say something that bothers the distrustful conspiracy theorist inside me the more I think about it. He said, "if voting made a difference, they'd outlaw it."


Jake Shore said...

What's weird is that I see all these people abuzz about their canididates and the campaign all over TV, but I don't know a single person like this. I don't get it. People, especially Obama supporters, treat this election like the fate of mankind is at stake.

I agree with Ted. Do the ads really make a difference?

Tim Lewis said...

Seriously, just check the box and get on with what really matters.

preacherman said...

I can't wait til November.
I think it is starting to get tiring a little.
I know I am tired of all the mudslingging that is going on. It is crazy. Does it get any nastier than politics?
I don't know how it is OR but we have been swamped with political ads.
I am just praying for the right leader to be chosen. When I vote I am going in thinking about Character, leadership, who's direction is going to be the best for my family, kids and their kids, and so on....
Thanks again for this great post brother.
I hope you have a wonderful week.