Saturday, January 05, 2008

Primaries, Caucuses, and "The Vision Thing"

The Iowa caucuses are over, the Wyoming caucuses are underway, and the New Hampshire primaries are just around the corner. As a public service, and in order to help you make sense of all that you hear during this election season, here is a useful device you may wish to install on your computer, TV, or radio:

Don't thank me ... I just hope you find it helpful.

But on the serious side, I'm getting more than a little tired of this seemingly eternal season of political posturing and empty rhetoric. While caucuses and primaries are useful in thinning the herd of presidential contenders, after a while they all start to run together in an endless roar of white noise that crowds out other, more substantial news.

So far, I haven't seen anyone running for President - from either party - that I think is worthy of the office. They all have lots to say, but little behind it ("all hat, no cattle" as they say in Texas). They have ideas, but no real plans. Desires, but no big picture. No one has what George Bush the Elder dismissively called "the vision thing."

As the Cheshire Cat said to Alice during her adventures in Wonderland, if you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. Without a vision of the destination, of the desired future of the country, none of the candidates can present a coherent program to get us there. No one is looking at the nation and the world as a complex set of interlocking systems in which every action in one place produces a result in another. As far as I can tell, each candidate's vision is limited to the electoral horizon and the goal of changing his or her address to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Everyone claims that "change" is needed, and I agree. After the catastrophic presidency of George W. Bush, change is essential. But what, exactly, do you plan to change? How do you plan to do it? What's your plan for working with a poisonously divided Congress to get your "changes" turned into laws? What's your plan for turning your promises into accomplishments?

I've spent some time reading the websites of all the major candidates, and reading the transcripts of their statements in the "debates." Lots of promises out there, but not much in the way of a coherent vision of how they all fit together to produce "change," and how they plan to get there.

Nope. Nobody out there I like...

Hope you are having an easier time. Good luck.

Time to make myself a nice drink and start fixing dinner. I need the drink after thinking about the election.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



craziequeen said...

We don't have caucuses here - so when the subject inevitably arose on West Wing I had to go away and look it up....

Brits are disenchanted enough with our lying cheating politicians, without having to endure caucuses too......

[not a fan of modern politics]

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I have to say I'm with you on this. I've been saying for ages: None of the Above in 2008.

Let's throw them all back and see if we can get something better.

John said...

I agree with Mistress of the Dark.

How about this one?

Bilbo for President!