Did you know that the President’s job is to run the country?

            I was raised in Massachusetts.  I am a thirty-something, secular-Jewish woman with several graduate degrees.  In the humanities.

            Let’s just say that the Republican Party ain’t working too hard to try to win over my vote.  I am a pretty clear demographic, and there aren’t a whole lot of doubts about which way I am likely to swing in any given election.  It probably will shock no one to hear I am pro-choice, list the environment as one of my top concerns, support gay rights, and worry a lot about the public schools.

            All that said, John McCain does not scare the shit out of me.  I know I probably should be able to say more for him, but the fact is, given his predecessor, that is saying quite a bit.  The man seems intelligent enough to run a country, as opposed to certain other recent Republican Presidents. 

            This does not mean I want him to be President.  I disagree with him on so many points it is dizzying.  But, I do not think he is an evil force in the universe, and I do not think he is ill-qualified to be President.  (We’ll leave aside for the moment his totally unqualified running mate who I think is a frightening prospect for this country.)

            I’ll bet that most Democratic politicians also recognize that McCain is perfectly capable of the job to which he aspires.  Yet, we spend our days now listening to diatribes against the man.  Not against his policies, mind you, but the man himself.

            And it goes both ways.  I am pretty sure most Republicans realize that Barack Obama is a pretty smart guy and could handle the Presidency.  Yet, they feel the need to attack him continually.

            Why?  Why can we not debate the issues?  Why can’t we talk about policy plans, rather than personal qualifications?  Why the hell can’t we admit that both candidates are capable, and then move on to talk about their different opinions?  Why does it have to be a popularity contest?

            Are we really that shallow?  Can we really not handle hearing the reason one man likes one set of tax cuts and another likes a different one?  Are we incapable of hearing two different plans for addressing global warming without couching them in personal attacks on the people with the plans?

            Or do our politicians just think we are that dumb?  After all, we do seem to be acting as though Barak Obama is running against Sarah Palin.

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Just saw this video over at someone else’s place  Go watch it — much funnier than my post.

18 responses to “Did you know that the President’s job is to run the country?

  1. Well I have a couple of theories here.

    One, the politicians in this country don’t trust us to make informed decisions. And perhaps, with good reason, because we’ve shown a sad lack of judgment in the past.

    Two, I don’t think they differ enough on the issues to make the issues the focus of their campaigns. Seriously, how can McCain REALLY stand behind George Bush on the war and the economy? He’s a serious-minded, thoughtful individual, and I think in his heart he knows that the mistakes of the present campaign have to be fixed. But he can’t win with his base if he says that, so he has to divert attention from himself and towards his opponent.

    I think Obama will have an easier time bringing the focus back to his issues because they are so different than what we currently have and he doesn’t have to hide them. But the McCain campaign is up against a wall here. All they have left is scare tactics and smear politics.

  2. For a while there I was just so relieved to be coming down to two candidates I could actually consider without terror I felt that was enough. Now I find I’m so irritated by the coverage of both sides that I actively avoid it as much as I possibly can because it’s starting to give me that uncomfortable twitch in my spine I had for the last few elections. I want to like a candidate – I want to vote FOR someone, not against someone. But the pettiness and nastiness I catch glimpses of is starting to erode some of that hope…

  3. I am so sick of Palin. Sick, sick, sick. She could end up running our country which is a nightmare I don’t want to experience.

    Regarding your last statement. Yes they think we are that dumb.

    I’ll stop now before I end up writing a rant.

  4. What I don’t understand is when did it become a bad thing for someone to get a good education and succeed at something?

    When did it become such a bad thing for someone to be intelligent and knowledgeable?

    Isn’t living up to your potential and working to make the world a better place something we all want our children to try for?

    Why is it assumed that everyone who has achieved or succeeded academically is a snob?

    Personally, I think it’s a sad thing for our country and for our childrent that the focus is all about personality instead of what the future will hold if we don’t pull it together.

    Sorry for the rant Emily.

  5. i do have to think they think we are dumb. but hell, we are certainly ACTING dumb by allowing them to pander to us like this.

    this has become beyond terrifying.

  6. Emily,
    I am with you on McCain. He was the best guy they had in the pack. Still, he needs to lose for so many reasons, not the least of which is that the Republican Party needs to be killed. We need a conservative party, but not this one. Until or unless the Republicans suffer a string of really demoralizing defeats, they are not going to adapt to reality. Sigh.

  7. I agree 100%. i’m so sick of hearing about lipstick and pigs and babies when I want to talk about POLICIES. Imagine. I’m even more sick when I realize that many Americans will base their vote on lipstick and pigs and babies and never have any idea about the policies.

    And, as an aside, I did use to feel that if Obama didn’t win (my CLEAR choice), McCain wouldn’t kill us. But I’m so baffled by his choices lately that I’m starting to change my mind on that.

  8. I could not agree with you more

  9. AMEN on so many points.

  10. Did you see that piece in Edge, “What Makes PeopleVote Republican?” http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt08/haidt08_index.html

    It was listed on aldaily a couple of days ago, so maybe you have. Anyway, I thought it was quite intriguing (if only tangentially related to your post– though it does touch on why many people don’t actually vote based on policies.)

  11. here here. Here here.

  12. Agreed. About all of it.

    (Have you seen the buttons that say, “Obama: because this time I want a smart President?” McCain is no intellectual slouch, but that button made me laugh anyway.)

  13. I totally agree!! That is one thing that I love about living out of the States during this time – people overseas are REALLY interested in policies – because they more directly affect their livihoods than pigs or lipstick (except for a few Asian countries – which are totally run on lipstick and pigs)

  14. Bush has put us on that locomotive heading for the gulch. McCain and/or Palin will stock the furnace. Frankly I find it hard to believe that anyone would want the job. If a caring, educated, concerned person becomes President they will have to invent Hover technology to just stop the train let alone get us on another track.

  15. Puppies and Worms

    Interesting comments

  16. Oh I loathe the way all elections eventually dissipate into slanging matches. Obama will come out with such dignity if he refuses to get involved that way. I don’t know why people do it, except maybe they become so desperate to win, it’s all they can think of. For myself, I’m only interested in what these people will do when they are in power, and the cheap jibes have absolutely no interest for me whatsoever. So I agree with you wholeheartedly.