Not much to cheer about in the 2008 Presidential sweepstakes.
The mud is flying in hot and heavy from both candidates, the SwiftBoat attackers are muddying the waters with their usual lies and the issues are lost in a sea of swirling, toxic waste.
For a brief moment over the weekend, it looked like John McCain and Barack Obama would put pettiness aside and focus on the many serious problems that confront this nation.
Then the moment faded. Both went back on the attack. Both hurled charges and countercharges that deal more with each other’s character – or lack of it – than with any real issues.
In other words, business as usual.
Perhaps, in this sound-bite driven, Internet invective-dominated world, real debate is impossible. Perhaps Americans have lost the ability to reason, to discuss issues intelligently or to discern substance from hyperbole.
Perhaps we ask too much.
This election may prove America has lost the ability to intelligently govern itself. Voters cannot make informed decisions when they are uninformed. Too many Americans get their information from dubious sources, whether it is the partisan, right-wing talking heads of Fox News or equally partisan, left-wing entertainers posing as newsmen on MSNBC.
Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann pander to different philosophies and political points of view but both pander to those who want slanted news pitched to fit a specific, pre-conceived view of the world.
Sean Hannity and Chris Matthews each pitch partisan political muck that has little to do with fact and too much to do with set, philosophical agendas.
Even the venerable Associated Press, long the bastion of stogy, but objective, reporting is taking a more opinionated, "aggressive" role in "analyzing" news.
Today’s primary sources of information are based on the notion that Americans are too stupid to make informed decisions if they have the facts – all the facts – from unfiltered, unbiased sources.
Instead, shout fests disguised as news talk shows bring on designated spokespersons from each side of the political spectrum and allow them to spew propaganda as fact.
Voters will listen to the partisans who most closely reflect their particular points of view and reject any different points of view as "lies" because they are less interested in truth than in fitting in with their political peers.
The result is an uninformed, partisan electorate that follows the party line even if it goes against the best interests of the nation.
The system has failed. The grand experiment of an America of the people, by the people and for the people has failed. Come November, most voters will take their choice based on with party’s political mud convinced them to hate the other guy the most.
There will no joy in mudville.
Mighty America has struck out.