Politicians Aren’t Telling Us Everything
If you were paying attention to theÃ‚Â Presidential Debate that recently took place at Belmont University you may have heard Tom Brokaw mention that the candidates had been briefed ahead of time on the questions that will be asked. This is a fairly standard procedure in the world of politics. We would hope that this would result in all of the questions being answered with complete well thought out answers that provide the American public with the information necessary to make an informed decision come election day. Sadly, we would only be half right.
Listening to the candidates answer the questions we get an opportunity to hear the same lines we’ve heard from both candidates before. Barack isn’t going to raise your taxes if you make less than 250k annually. McCain wants to fix the economy. McCain is going to fix education, Barack will solve energy - their opponents won’t do these things, just ask them. These two gentleman could tell you for hours why their opponents are wrong. What neither of them will do is provide real hard details on how they plan to accomplish some of their lofty goals. Oh sure, for what felt like the first time this election cycle both candidates hinted at their plans during the Belmont debate. McCain is going to have a spending freeze on new programs, and possibly cut a few more, to get his budget to fit. Obama started to describe his energy solution and how it would be comprised of a mix of energy sources. And then these talks are over, the amount of information they can give is shackled by the self imposed time constraints for each question. The time they could have spent devising a way to answer the questions in the short amount of time allotted has instead been squandered on trying to figure out which mottos they should recite to get the best reaction, and where each tagline their campaign has come up with will fit best.
I’ve looked the information on their platforms, they have ideas. Both of them have some good ideas and both of them have some bad ideas. The most troubling thing, however, is not the content of these ideas. Its the frequency, or infrequency, with which these ideas are actually being brought to the American people. Its insulting. Every time a candidate mumbles some platitude, waves his hand, and smiles into the camera without explaining what exactly he means, or how he plans to accomplish “The Mighty Grand Plan Of Prosperity”, he smacks the American voters in the face. They are making their opinions on the thoughts and interests of voters clear. They think we can’t handle thinking through complicated issues like the current economic down turn. They think that 95% of us will automatically vote down party lines. They think that 95% of us are one issue voters. It’s insulting.
Unfortunately there are two sides to every coin. The fact that politicians get away with this is a testament to the forcefulness of the American public in demanding better transparency when it comes to policies and legislation. It shows that we have been conditioned to accept this type of campaigning and voting as the status quo. I suppose if we don’t have the self respect necessary to demand our leaders speak to us as equals why should they, why would they, do so. I for one won’t be giving them a pass on this one. When will politicians start caring more about their message than they do about getting elected?