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article imageOp-Ed: Let’s Cut the Fanaticism and Put an End to Trash-Talking Politics

By G. Robert M. Miller     Oct 10, 2008 in Politics
Well, people are being shot on the streets (and in the trees) for supporting Obama. We’re all being flooded with negative attack ads. And we’re all fiending for screw-ups (myself included). But we have to stop it right now.
Man Shot For Wearing Obama T-Shirt, Panic Attacks: Voters Unload At GOP Rallies (for not being dirty enough), Barack Obama’s Lying About Link to Bill Ayers, Insists John McCain, Sarah Palin’s Alleged SAT Scores Revealed, Cindy McCain Accuses Barack Obama of Endangering Her Son in Iraq, Obama’s Associates: Imagine if they were McCain’s, The Screwups of Campaign ’08, All Negative, All the Time; these are just a few of the most recent articles to swirl around the internet amid the closing weeks of the 2008 presidential race.
One thought.
Let’s stop being babies – yeah, I’m Phil Gramm on riddlin right now, but, – this election is too important for us to be caught up in demagoguery. Yeah, I’m saying forget McCain’s past; screw the Keating Five scandal (if you believe it is worth bringing up). And yeah, I’m saying forget Obama’s past too; disregard the Bill Ayers debacle (if that is contentious in your opinion).
We’re all staring economic catastrophe square in the eyes – all of us – and the most significant factor that will determine whether our kids will be playing with pots and pans come say, Christmas 2010, or opening toys and gifts from around the world will be the actions taken by the next federal government of the United States. So let’s talk issues, let’s talk policies, and let’s talk about them both in great detail.
We’ve had years (years!) of commentary on the party figureheads, and have you been enlightened? I don’t think I have. I have a greater dislike for one of the party leaders after all this, but I don’t know that I know more about how either party will address the future since the presidential hoopla started.
Anyone who loves Obama has probably read The Audacity of Hope, and that book published in 2006 says everything, if not more (and in greater detail) than he has said on the campaign trail about what he plans to do if elected president (as well as some grossly over-romanticized stories, see ‘it tasted of chocolate’… yuck).
McCain, my friends, has failed to understand that in order to convince an undecided he has to outline more than just the fundamentals of how to save the national (and global) economy. To quote McCain on the economy from the second presidential debate, “Let's look at our records, my friends, and then listen to my vision for the future of America. And we'll get our economy going again. And our best days are ahead of us.” He then sat down. Translation; ‘focus on what’s in the past and then listen to my vision for the future which I’m not going to tell you about, but don’t worry about that. Fundamentals, fundamentals, my friends; I’m gonna go sit down now’.
Neither of the party leaders are giving us important information and we’re freaking out over the stupid stuff they’re feeding us. And to exacerbate their lack of communication, we, the interested, are digging for dirt; but if we’re digging, we’re looking downward – we need to be looking forward, and on level ground.
So let’s cut the fanaticism; let’s get rid of it completely. There is one month before voters head out to the ballot boxes and in these final, crucial weeks, let’s focus only on the issues, and not whether or not either of the figureheads of the party’s are fundamentally perfect or fundamentally evil.
A while back Warren Buffet said he would appoint either Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama to head one of his companies, and for the sake of argument let’s assume he would extend the same courtesy to McCain (though it may have been for a reason that he didn’t; McCain had already been selected by the GOP, though this quote came out before the official naming of Obama as head of the Democratic Party). When someone is appointed to head a company they have to, without exception, detail in great depth both a short term (five years – in this case I would accept four though) and a long term (10-20 year plan – I would be fine with eight) plan that ensures the success of the company.
To be fair there is actually an exception to this rule. If the company looking for a new CEO has an inept board of directors or the hiring is based on blood (in a broad sense) not competence, plans sometimes don’t matter. And in the case of electing a new head of state, every single engaged person is part of the board of directors. Let’s cut the fanaticism, we the board are faced with a serious choice here and let’s not base our decision on emotion, fear, or expectations. My friends, let’s have the fundamentals of our opinions be based on competence and nothing else.
Let’s have cutthroat meetings like the ones that take place in the board rooms of the most successful, competent businesses. Hell – let’s have Buffet himself moderate a ‘Buffet-style’ meeting; one that lasts several hours (or days) and features 20 plus page handouts outlining – in detail – plans to secure future success.
After all these months, we have just one left, let’s use it wisely. There are many issues that the next US president will have to tackle (I have only mentioned the economy, but that is only part (a big part) of the puzzle) and we should know exactly how they will act to solve them, both in the short and long term.
At this point, I don’t care about Obama or McCain – I care about how things are going to be fixed. So let’s cut the fanaticism; let’s get rid of it completely. No more people getting shot, no more Bill Ayers, no more Keating Five; just detailed plans.
What do you think? Is the demagoguery out of control? To what effect should the character of the each candidate guide our decision?
Thanks for reading.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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