Sadly, the 2008 race for President has devolved into the same, useless morass that gives voters little choice, little hope and little reason to go to the polls.
It makes many of us wish "none of the above" was an option on the ballot come November.
Republicans had a chance to move away from George W. Bush’s failed war, his corrupt administration and his inane policies that have driven this country to an economic precipice. Instead, they opted for John McCain, Bush’s most ardent supporter on the war and a former so-called GOP "maverick" who now marches in perfect goose step to the party mantra.
Democrats continue to maim each other in a bitter fight between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Brack Obama.
Obama became the Democratic frontrunner with a campaign of hope and idealism. He called Clinton a product of "old style politics" but he has descended into the swamp of old style politics himself to try and hold on to his precarious lead in delegates and vote count.
Clinton says she’s a known commodity. That’s true and that’s the problem. What many voters know about Hillary are things they don’t like and don’t trust. Her bitter fight to overcome the will of those voters brings out her ruthlessness and opportunism.
Obama’s original theme of hope faded under Clinton’s relentless attacks and questions over his ties to a shady Chicago political insider, his controversial former pastor and some incredibly stupid mistakes. To fight back, he has become what he claims to oppose – a typical politician who reacts, responds and attacks. The uplifting message of hope has turned into shrill political hyperbole.
This leaves voters feeling like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis and gives us the usual mixture of pabulum and sameness at the election buffet.
If Clinton wins the Democratic Presidential nomination, we get a general election between two Senators who voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq. Both propose a politically-convenient but economically disastrous suspension of gasoline taxes. McCain and Clinton are more alike than different.
If Obama becomes the nominee we get an unknown who may or may not be up to the job, a novice who decries politics but plays the game when he has to. He says he opposes the war and will bring the troops home but it is unclear if he has either the fortitude or ability to navigate the murky political waters in Washington to accomplish his lofty goals.
Clearly, the Obama of January is not the same candidate we see in May and those changes raise questions with a growing number of voters who hopped the bandwagon of hope and now look for a place to jump off before it careens off a cliff.
The one word that circles each campaign like a hungry shark is "change." Each candidate offers change but as the campaign progresses it looks more and more like none can deliver.
When Election Day finally arrives, we may be facing the old adage that "the more things change, the more they stay the same."
Unfortunately, more of the same is an option that Americans cannot afford.