By Hayley Lowe
American voters continually express dissatisfaction with the choices they have for political candidates. Most notably and recently, the Republican primary has left much to be desired with a recent poll finding that at this very late stage of the primaries, 33% of Republican voters would like another candidate to join the race. I believe that Americans of all political persuasions would like to see political candidates that are intelligent, nice, down to earth men and women with ambitious ideas and the ability to play well with others in order to get things done. However, this combination of qualities seems to be frighteningly rare in the modern political landscape.The reason being that you would have to be fully or partially bat shit crazy to sign up for the rig em’ roll of the contemporary life of a politician.
First, forget being normal person who has made normal mistakes and hopefully learned from them. Get ready for full exposure and be ready to explain with a straight face why smoking pot when you were 19 was some kind of significant event. Also, your spouse, kids, former minister, neighbors and distant cousins also shouldn’t have any skeletons in their closet. I mean really, something is wrong if you and everyone around you are this perfect or this good at hiding their past indiscretions.
Second, there’s the money, you basically need millions of dollars so forget running if do not have a gaggle of disposable income to blindingly throw at things like snarky television ads. You also must be willing to ask absolutely everyone for more money so that our recessionary economy can support your billion dollar campaign to get elected. Times are tough and the Romney campaign raised over $100 Million so far and $11.5 Million dollars alone in February, that’s for ONE month and just for the primary not even the presidential race! Does anyone think spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the race to the white house is reasonable? The cost alone makes candidacy prohibitively expensive for many of those that are truly public servants.
Third, the exposure. You would have to be a narcissist to enjoy the constant parading not just at rallies and speeches but on television, the Internet and in the tabloids. There is a microscope on your life and the exposure is ceaseless and all encompassing. What you and your family eat, wear, say and do is under constant scrutiny in spite of its actual relevance to the governance of this country. Any individual willing to endure this level of public scrutiny and visibility necessarily lacks humility.
Fourth, there’s the rhetoric.Once a politician is in the spotlight there is a constant concern of saying anything too radical or controversial. Politicians choose their words and ideas based on the strategic interests of appealing to a broad base of constituents and not alienating their party’s respective platform. Far too much time is spent watering down, framing and wording. Politicians should be encouraged to discuss and share a wide range of creative, dynamic ideas and proposals for how to address our country’s problems. The dialogue should not be limited to the rhetorical, partisan dance it has become.
All things considered, it is not surprising to me that we are faced with an impotent government and dissatisfying lot of candidates.
Republican discontent with candidates
Obama’s former pastor
Obama and Bill Ayers
Romney raises $11.5 M in February