Some of you have noticed that I've written very little -- almost nothing -- in this Blog lately about what usually is my favorite topic: politics. Yes, one reason is that I'm lazy, it's summer, and I've been busy with other things -- more on that later. But here's the basic truth: I am finding this year's 2012 presidential contest a pathetic disappointment. The candidates are shallow: Romney and Obama both. The debate over "issues" is pointless chatter. The news coverage is insipid. The time spent on it -- sixteen months to pick a president -- is ridiculous. (In France or Britain, the whole campaign lasts two months.) The free-reign influence of big money is cheapening the whole affair. And the actual task of governing the country and dealing with the real economic crisis is treated as a boring afterthought. (In fact, the actual decisions that Congress will make in this year's "lame duck" session after Election Day -- not talked about by either candidate -- may prove far more important to the future of the country that the presidential choice itself.)
Yes, the Republicans have been particularly terrible this year with their incoherent economics and right wing social views. (Why couldn't we have George Romney as the candidate instead of Mitt?) But the process itself is out of control and off-putting.
So why have I been silent about this? Frankly, I don't like having to sound like a crabby, cynical, nasty, grouchy old man on the Internet. But when it comes to this 2012 presidential election, I don't know how to avoid it.
So, in the spirit of straight talk, I have decided to break my silence and start laying out my case. It may take a few weeks and many posts -- using my usual historical comparisons -- but I'll give it my best. And maybe in the process we'll discover some silver lining to this awful-looking mess.
So stay tuned to this spot. More is coming. All the best. --KA