Friday, January 04, 2008

Political Malaise

The following is from FactCheck.org. Is it any wonder that so many Americans are fed up with and disinterested in the current political climate? When even the "Christian" candidates cannot be trusted to be honest and not misleading in their statements?

The year 2007 wasn't a good one for political honesty. Though not even technically an election year, it provided a bumper crop of falsehoods and distortions nonetheless.

Presidential candidates kept us busy:
  • Republican Rudy Giuliani made false claims over and over about his record as mayor of New York, and even about England's health care system.
  • Democrat Bill Richardson also mangled the facts repeatedly, claiming credit for creating more jobs as New Mexico's governor than actually materialized and using a made-up figure about the performance of U.S. students, among other misstatements.
  • Republican Mitt Romney claimed undeserved credit for himself as governor of Massachusetts and made false or misleading claims about two of his rivals.
  • Democrat Hillary Clinton ran an ad claiming that National Guard and Reserve troops had no health insurance before she went to work, when in fact most of them did.
  • Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee repeatedly twisted the facts when talking about his record on taxes in Arkansas and other subjects. And there were plenty of other howlers from the large field of candidates.

As we start 2008, and the game is afoot with results coming in from Iowa last night, I can only hope that we end up with a president who will forgo demagoguery and deception. I'm not so sure we have anyone like this among the choices, and I seriously wonder who will get my vote come November. I'll definitely vote, it is an important thing to do and my personal discontent will not lead me to "check out"; but it will be a hard choice.

What are your feelings on the process right now?

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3 comments:

Amy said...

Ugh, I'm fighting the feeling that it's not really going to matter. I will also probably vote, but at the moment I don't know think it will be a decision I feel really excited about.

Chaotic Hammer said...

Yep, I'm feeling definite apathy. I'll vote, but more than likely I'll be voting against someone terrible in favor of someone less terrible.

Our system, as great as it is compared to most others, is set up in such a way that truly honest people don't have a chance of succeeding. And to top it off, we have a horribly uninformed populace, which is pretty sad considering how much information we have access to. Perhaps that's one of the problems -- information overload.

For me, there's also something else involved. We only have so much energy, and so much passion, and so many hours each day to influence the world we live in. I used to spend a lot of time concerned with politics, somehow buying into the notion that we can effect change through the world systems currently in place. I no longer believe that is an effective use of my time or energy.

I now have much more passion for serving the Lord, and giving of myself to the people I interact with directly. I know that leaders of nations can have a little bit of effect on our lives, but not nearly as much as we can have on the world by actually living out what we believe about Jesus.

euphrony said...

You know, one of the things that bothers me is just how much the actions of candidates seems like a season of Survivor. And I mean that in a bad way. The candidates hem and haw about what they believe, what they want to do, and how they would do things. They make alliances with the understanding that they will break them the moment it is expedient for their campaign. They rally for support from their competitors, hoping they will survive longer and inherit a new fan base and some votes.

I understand that none of this is new. It’s been this way for the life of this country, and its not likely to change anytime soon. Every watch the series on the presidents on the History Channel? Very interesting. Some of it I knew, some I didn’t. Read about how Andrew Jackson lost his first bid for the office and you’ll see what I mean.

I know that they have to reach out to millions of people. I know that no one can please everyone. I just wish they would admit as much, be honest about themselves and their opponents, and leave off with the crap.

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