The 2012 presidential election season was exasperating: long hours and late nights spent agonizing over national security, the debt crisis, and the dismal economy, and I was not even a candidate, nor was I impressed with one.
I do not think I ever “liked” Governor Mitt Romney. Sometimes, I think I agree with President Barak Obama but fail to understand where he is leading the country. Was Governor Romney a “severe conservative”? If I could offer a definition of that expression, which I can, it would not likely mirror yours. As for whether President Obama is liberal (enough), you can get a full spectrum of answers just by googling said query.
The central problem with this election was that the candidates never succinctly captured what they stood for. Instead, we were spoon-fed character assassinations that left us, like addictive carbohydrates, hungry for more substantive ideas. The candidates were known more for their character flaws than for their coherent legislative agenda.
Ideally politics would focus on the words being said and the candidate’s message: voters would be clear about what politicians were for and against. But this is not the case in the current political environment of the United States. The fact that politics has become a contest between two factions, with neither side of voters fully grasping exactly what they were voting for means that this battle over who can best govern the country has been undermined.
The new party to emerge since the last presidential election has an even murkier message than that of the Republicans and Democrats. When the Tea Party figures out who they are, what they stand for, and what they would do if elected, have them give me a call. In fact, I’ll give them my home phone number because I am waiting with bated breath for a politician to stop conceptualizing policies and instead give us the nuts and bolts of their plan.
I am, along with others, socially moderate, fiscally conservative, and for the foreseeable future, politically done. Those of us in this category want less government intrusion on decisions that affect our families and health while ensuring that the government spends our money wisely.
The political monster in America needs a dramatic revamping. Until any major shift occurs to change the way political messages are disseminated, it is up to voters to do their due diligence and research how a candidate has previously voted. Remember, actions speak louder than words and a candidate cannot escape his or her record. Voters must take the reins, engage earnestly with the political system, and stand up for a socially moderate, fiscally conservative platform. Americans would be in trouble if innovative satirist and essayist H.L. Mencken’s commentary on the political process were to remain true: “Lean back and chuckle grimly as the farce replays itself over and over again.” Right now, many of us are “politically done” but that does not have to be the case forever.