As the two political party conventions approach and the never ending 2008 Presidential campaign drones on and on, both candidates for the top job in the land continue to avoid dealing with any of the real issues that face America.
Perhaps there are some issues buried in the barrage of ads that feature pop celebrities and endless accusations but I’ll be damned if I can find them.
Republican John McCain’s vicious attack ads avoid any real discussion of serious issues while Democratic nominee Barack Obama is too busy defending himself to offer anything more than vague promises on the economy, the war and the increasingly defeatist mood in a place called America.
Can Campaign 2008 ever get to substantive issues? Perhaps, but the odds are long. With all the hyperbole, the odds favor voters entering the voting booth in November and casting their ballots without knowing what, if anything, either candidate will do as President.
Where, for example, does either of the candidates for President stand on?
THE USA PATRIOT ACT: McCain voted for the original act and for reauthorization. Obama voted for reauthorization (he wasn’t in the Senate when the original act passed). But neither candidate says where they stand on continuing the act that civil libertarians call the greatest threat to the Constitution ever passed by Congress;
IRAQ WAR: McCain, as we all know, supports the war but he is vague about what he will do to end America’s invasion of another nation. Obama used to oppose the war but is still "redefining" his position. His recent visit to the war-torn country offered little, if any clarification on his position.
GAS PRICES: Both candidates offer plans that are long on hyperbole and short on realistic fixes. Offshore drilling, advocated by McCain, offers no short-term relief and questionable long-time benefits. Obama’s plan to raise taxes on electricity and offer energy rebates is a "robbing Peter to pay Paul" solution. Meanwhile, gas prices are falling and some think they will continue to drop until after the election. Can anyone say "convenient?"
ECONOMY: Neither candidate offers a clear, concise plan for dealing with increasing foreclosures, declining jobs or rising prices.
THE AMERICAN MOOD: If anything defines the state of America today, it is the sour national mood. Polls show increasing pessimism about the future of the country and a nation in the doldrums. Americans worry about their personal futures as well. For a while, Obama’s upbeat message of change seemed to resonate with despondent Americans but his campaign of late has turned into standard political pap and the early optimism is fading fast.
This is not a campaign about issues. It is one of hyperbole, hype and hoopla. Neither candidate offers substance, neither deals with issues and neither has proven they can lead a nation out of the many crises that this nation faces.
More than anything, the choices we face is November highlight a failure in the system. The political system that controls the electoral process in America does more damage than good. It has failed the American people, the nation and the common good.
The problem cannot be solved with an election. It cannot be solved through a system that supports the status quo. It must be solved by a determined populace that says "enough" and takes the tough steps to take this country back from those who have seized it for their own greedy purposes.