Election Expedience: A Sorry Plight
There are a number of interesting articles in the various news sites every day on the politics of choosing a viable vice-presidential candidate. Of course, a few decades ago the American public listened to or watched the Republican and Democratic national conventions to find out who the presidential candidates would be. We now know by February who the presidential candidates will be, and the suspense between February and July centers around who will be named their running mates.
The politics of selecting a vice-presidential nominee is disheartening, particularly in light of the schism between the moderate Republicans and the "religious right." The major media treats this as if catering to those fanatical Bible-believers is just a stumbling block to success. No, it's just a slight matter of who approves of murder and who doesn't! Of course, if one values political expedience over matters of life and death, the continuing war over legalized abortion is a nuisance factor and not a matter of integrity.
There are writers for major media outlets such as Business Week who suggest that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge would be the best candidate for VP because he's such a vote-getter. They also cite the fact that he is a Catholic who believes in abortion, which would alienate the religious right from George W. Bush's supporters. Thus, this excellent vote-getter will doubtless not be the selection for Bush's running mate. This escapes such pundits: if he isn't true to the tenets of the faith he professes, what is his integrity level elsewhere? Or is that a politically incorrect question?
After eight years of Clinton disgraces, lies, immorality and corruption coupled with a present high level of economic prosperity, is it possible that any and all consideration of integrity, morality and principle is consideration of nuisance factors? Is winning strictly a matter of manipulation over leadership? Apparently too many think so.
We've all heard of the educational system causing the "dumbing-down of America." Perhaps our political arena has brainwashed the general public into believing that the only thing that matters is political expedience, and that there is no such thing as a winning-ticket based on vision, morality, ethics and integrity. That may well be the Clinton legacy: a brainwashed America.
We know Americans vote their wallets, tending to keep the present system if the wallet is full and demanding change if the wallet is depleted. Right now, I am wondering just how we have a projected 2.17 trillion budget surplus over the next decade, (as projected by the Government Budget Office). The U.S. has a huge federal trade deficit and Alan Greenspan cautioned the Council on Foreign Relations to expect some bearish market conditions to reappear. I also wonder why Social Security is referred to in the media as a "trust" when the funds aren't locked up in secure accounts. No one seems be answering those questions. It is my feeling that the political debate is over how to spend a prosperity that may be more figures than facts.
If we're dealing in fictions at all levels, how can we really believe anyone will lead this nation in the direction of stability and a higher level of morality and trustworthy leadership?
If we are to believe the latest polls, the people who never call me or anyone I know, then Al Gore is closing in on George W. Bush's lead. Why? Has Al Gore said anything that makes him or his agenda any more effective? Not that I've noticed. Has Gee Dubya done anything to make his platform less acceptable? Not that I've noticed. Are polls really representative of what the American public thinks? Not that I've noticed. We're dealing in political fictions of all sorts.
That is the very reason that George W. Bush needs to come out with his true convictions and select someone as a running mate who has convictions and speaks out convincingly to demonstrate a capability for leadership.
The general election is the one thing that is not a fiction! We as Americans are going to have repercussions from this presidential election that will last for years, particularly in the appointments to the Supreme Court and the federal courts throughout the nation. If we don't recognize, as a nation, the long-term effect of these court appointments, we're dumbed-down more than we know!
A breath of fresh air called political integrity might do more for the election process and the chances of winning than all the manipulations put together. It might even wake up a very sleepy America where people are dozing comfortably on the pillow of economic prosperity. There is a growing distrust of our government that needs to be reversed. The truth could well be the proper antidote for this apathy and distrust.
It would be a new approach, to say the least!