Editor: If we care about politics, as many Americans do, we need to discipline ourselves to learn what the candidates stand for, ask good questions, make informed decisions and try to avoid the constant reminders of their blips and missteps.
It’s fairly easy in the coming presidential election to know where you stand with the candidates because they have very different perspectives and values. Let’s take them for who they are and resist the temptation to “inhale” all the toxic ads and journalistic embellishments of every gaffe that is made as though it were serious business. In a sense it is serious business — for the media industries — but not for us.
It’s not being a Luddite to tune out the campaign “show.” What I’m proposing is a nonviolent, nonpartisan protest — a citizens’ campaign against the commercialization of politics. It distorts and diminishes our democracy, which is far too precious to become just another commodity. It’s not about who spends more on ads or how clever — or lethal — the ads are. It’s about which leader we believe will serve our country best — domestically and internationally.
We are coming out — albeit slowly — of the worst financial crisis our nation has seen since the crash of 1929. The reasons for it are various, and there is no magic fix. Still, our most threatening problem domestically is the growing gap between rich and poor. We need to address it with prudence and compassion.
And on the international front, we need a leader who understands the complexities and nuances of our relationships in the world and what we should or should not do according to what is right and what is possible.
Keep in mind that it is probably the most difficult job in the world.
Publication Date: August 10, 2012