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The problem with normal

By April 22, 2008Uncategorized

Picture_3Just thought I’d let everyone know: I’ve officially stopped caring about the presidential campaign. There’s no point, really. If the candidates have clear ideas about what policies they intend to pursue they’re savvy enough to know to keep them out of public view. Take a clear position and the people who disagree with that view will use it against you. So the candidates don’t give detailed accounts of their positions.

Why doesn’t the press drill more deeply into the candidate’s views?

Well, that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? First, they make more money if they get more viewers/readers. People are more drawn to muckraking and scandal-mongering than sober analysis. Second, fact-checking and analysis are labor intensive undertakings. Inciting passions is not only profitable, it’s also childishly simple.

And speaking of children, that’s what most voters are like. The only question they ask is “what’s in it for me?” If my job was lost to out-sourcing then globalism be damned; I’m for trade restrictions. If my life is guided by religious fundamentalism then I want Supreme Court justices chosen based solely on how they might rule on abortion issues, even if that is a miniscule part of the typical docket. If I fear terrorism then I want to hear more about Barack Obama attending a madrasa. Perhaps I have a more reasonable concern about terrorism. Well, then prefer a television ad about a leader answering phone calls at 3 am.

What are the qualifications that are most needed for someone to be the President? Are the majority of people really in any position to analyze this question?

A wise man once said: “People don’t ask fundamental questions, or if they do they expect someone else to answer them.” That pretty much sums up the situation. It’s not a new phenomenon, by the way. It’s been going on for so long that everyone accepts it as normal. Well, it is right? After all, the word ‘normal’ derives from ‘norm.’

So, if this is normal count me out. I won’t be voting, and I won’t be watching the mad dash. I’ll try to ask myself some fundamental questions. And I won’t be looking to the ‘normal’ crowd to answer them.

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  • Phil says:

    I don’t know who you are but this post is great.

  • s. domas says:

    Amen Ernie! I’ve felt this way for at least the past 3 presidential elections and haven’t voted in one since the first Clinton-Bush in 92.Nothing is more demoralizing or illustrates the ever increasing dumbing down of the country then a presidential election. I put a lot of blame on the 2 major parties (who am I kidding, the only 2 parties) and I refuse to vote for either one. There is only way to destroy a political party, stop voting for them. My lack of voting is more political than someone who mindlessly votes for the jackasses that are served up to us every four years. I support your non-voting.

  • Ernie says:

    No Tom it’s not like that at all. If I go to a restaurant I alone choose what I eat. I don’t have to depend on other people to make my selection. Voting for President is quite different, as you can easily discern. I am only one of millions of people who shape the decision of who gets elected. My influence is miniscule. The office-seekers calculate voting blocks in the same way that insurance companies calculate risk pools.

    The voting block of people who truly want to know about issues, and want a leader who will do what’s best for the nation as a whole (disregarding parochial interests) is not one worth taking into consideration. The voting block of people who are satisfied with slogans and rally cries is large. So my vote is not even part of a constituency that shows up on a political strategist’s radar.

    So the proper ‘food analogy’ would be this: I would rather not go to a nice restaurant if my ability to select a satisfying meal was dependent on people who were thoughtless and prone to selecting fast food. Saying that people have some sort of moral or social imperative to vote sounds good, but only if you don’t think about the meaninglessness of the whole thing. I have a right to choose not to vote, and I choose not to because it’s a waste of time and I find the process demoralizing. I’d rather conserve my energy and focus on things that are uplifting.

    And, for what it’s worth, I like Popeyes chicken. I don’t eat it often, but when I do I enjoy it. I do try to avoid things that are unhealthy, such as thoughtlessly following a path just because it’s well-worn.

  • Tom O'Connor says:

    Saying you’re not going to vote because most voters are ignorant is like saying you’re not going to eat at Commanders Palace anymore because most people prefer Popeyes

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