As this depressingly stupid but important presidential election drones on, I have to say I’m more inclined to opt out by the day. There are simple truths that both campaigns are avoiding. Perhaps it is true that common sense is a most uncommon trait. Let’s look at just a few things my mother taught me that I thought was pretty much common sense. I wasn’t sure if she got them all from Dear Abby or if they were under the collection of old wives’ tales, but damned some body in these campaigns needs their mom to tape some old copies of Dear Abby to their bedroom mirrors. Just like my mom did for me so that I would develop some common sense.
First, I was taught that People in Glass Houses shouldn’t thrown stones. That means if every one supporting Senator Barack Obama is going to criticize Sarah Palin for lack of experience, they better take a good long, hard look at the top of the ticket. Which is worse? An inexperienced Presidential candidate with a Washington Hack at the second position or an inexperienced Vice Presidential candidate with a Washington Hack at the top of the ticket? You decide.
Second, I was taught to not open my mouth when I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. Neither McCain or Obama seem to know enough about the economy that either of them can answer questions without sounding clueless. Maybe I’m being hypercritical here since I am a financial economist, and what’s going on is right up my area of expertise, but PulEEZE tell me that one of these candidates had your basic macroeconomics and microeconomics courses somewhere on their college transcripts? Oh, right, we have NO idea about that because Obama won’t release his … and McCain was busy crashing planes and trying not to be absolutely dead last in his class. I’m not expecting a Rhodes Scholar for President, but … wait, we did have a Rhodes Scholar, as I recall, and things went pretty well then … maybe we SHOULD start asking for candidates that did their homework for a change.
Third, I was taught not to talk out both sides of my mouth. McCain has evolved into a Teddy Roosevelt Republican who likes government oversight seemingly overnight. None of his primary stump speeches would’ve lead any one to that conclusion. Obama has taken so many sides on one position, I feel like that little green possessed girl in The Exorcist every time I hear another speech. I mean, really, how many sides to a single issue can there possibly be? Obama seems to find a new one with every new audience.
Fourth, i was taught if you keep on lying it increases your chances of being caught and that people really NEVER trust anything a liar says. I don’t even know where to begin here. The first thing thing that comes to mind though is the Obama interview with O’Reilly. He just keeps brushing off those specious friends of his. They just folks he knows in his neighborhood. That was it, these are the people in his neighborhood, in his nieghborhood, in his neighborhood … yes these are the people in his neighborhood, they’re the people that you meet each day. I mean, right, we all have thousands of folks we know, and each of know at least one person who tried to blow up the pentagon and was sorry they didn’t blow up more buildings, another person who is in jail for corruption and fraud, yet another person who says Goddamn America and blames the country for 9-11 … sheesh, I know I’m highly odd, that I don’t have any friends like this? and I mean… you do, don’t you? Then there’s this week’s McCain thing: the fundamentals of the American Economy are strong and what I meant was the American workers are the most productive in the world. Yeah, right, that’s not a non sequitur there.
Fifth, I was taught Birds of a Feather flock together. Neither of these candidates can say they are outsiders looking in on the current financial crisis. Senator Obama with his limited amount of time in Washington is the number two Senator to get funds from both Fannie and Freddie. Penny Priztker is the mother of the subprime mortgage meltdown as well as his finance chair. Half of his finance committee has major connections to most of the big players in the current housing bubble and investment banking blow up. John McCain relies on Phil Gramm for advice. Puhleeze! You think we don’t know if you weren’t part of the problem you at least turned a blind eye to it? Or were so busy on the campaign trail you wouldn’t even have known what was going on even if you read the news?
This has to be the worst set of candidates I have ever seen or heard of in U.S. History. Why can’t we just have some folks that show a little decency, wisdom, and common sense? If we don’t get some primary election reform soon, I’m going to expatriate to some place that appreciates democracy pretty soon. It’s a lost art form here.