An Election With No Real Choice

My God. Still three weeks to go before this glut of shameless hypocrisy called Election 2004 is over, assuming – of course – that we don’t have another debacle that leaves the decision up to the Supreme Court.

I’ve been around politics for nearly 40 years and thought I had seen and heard it all, but this campaign comes down to the nastiest, most issue-challenged contest of the past four-decades.

On the surface, we should have substantial issues: an unpopular war where Americans die for a cause that’s not quite clear, an economy that can’t make up its mind if it wants to go up or down, millions of Americans without proper health care and a standard of living that can best be described as “nervous.”

Instead, the issue comes down to a choice between two deeply-flawed candidates, neither of whom can claim the high ground on honesty, leadership or values. George W. Bush wouldn’t recognize the truth if it walked up and kicked him in the balls (assuming he has any) and John Kerry changes his stories so often it’s doubtful he even knows what’s truthful and what’s not.

Watch either of these clowns in front of an audience and you realize neither is comfortable with people, particularly those who don’t fit into their rich, jet-set lifestyle (as most of us don’t). Neither could score points in a high school debate competition; much less in a public duel over the job of running what should be the most powerful nation on earth.

Sadly, our choice this election comes down to voting for dumb or dumber, frick or frack, dickhead or shithead. This is not a choice of the best man for the job. It’s the more agonizing decision of trying to decide which one is least likely to do the most damage over the next four years.

Bush is in over his head. No one with an IQ above that of the average plant really disputes that. But will Kerry be any better? Does a lackluster Senate career make someone more qualified to be President? If Kerry and his band of political advisors knew dick about running a campaign, we might know the answer to those questions, but thanks to some incredibly stupid decisions on his part, we don’t know the man who would be President.

Kerry says the invasion of Iraq was “the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time,” but it was a war that he – as Senator – voted to give Bush the right to wage. He says he will get us out of Iraq but doesn’t say how. Even the most ardent opponent of the war knows we can’t simply just walk away. We’ve turned the country into a haven for terrorists and we have to do something about the mess we created.

While Kerry doesn’t offer a specific answer on how he will do that, Bush stubbornly promises to keep doing what he’s been doing, blithely ignoring the obvious: that such a stupid course of action is what got us into the mess in the first place.

In three weeks, we must decide who leads this country for the next four years.

It would be nice to have a choice.

Real nice.

But we don’t.