Campaigns this year are particularly light on details.
I’m not looking for the presidential candidates to get down into the weeds when they are talking about policies, but I would like them to at least explain how they intend to accomplish some of their stated objectives, and how, specifically, that is going to help me.
Most people apparently are satisfied with lofty statements of “fighting for women,” “making America great again” or “taking back our country.” Awesome. Yeah. What are you planning on doing and how do you intend to accomplish that?
I look back at how President Barack Obama promised a more open and transparent administration and how that has not come to fruition. History is littered – and we are all pretty much waist deep – in the discarded remains of empty promises made by politicians of both parties when they were trying to get our vote.
This election, however, seems to be more pie-in-the-sky than any I have ever seen in the past.
The Republicans all want to repeal Obamacare. OK. What are you going to put in its place? And how are you going to accomplish it? Some of the candidates are pushing ideas that were considered and thrown out long ago because they were unworkable. Tell me what you are doing differently to make sure that your idea works.
Democrats want to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. We need a livable wage they say. Republicans balk and say that it will result in fewer jobs, but the statement doesn’t hold up when you look at some of the states that have already raised their minimum wage. So why are you really against it? For the Democrats, you say lifting more people out of poverty will decrease the burden on social services. OK, if I buy your argument, then the next words I want to hear out of your mouth after “it will reduce the need for government assistance” is “which in turn will translate into less spending and a tax decrease for the middle class.” Haven’t heard that last part yet, and I’m not holding my breath thinking I will any time soon.
Donald Trump is going to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of our country. And he’s going to make Mexico pay for it. How, people ask. “Oh, they’ll pay for it,” he responds in campaign stop after campaign stop. Good plan.
Marco Rubio took it on the chin from Chris Christie in the last Republican debate because he keeps repeating the same tired phrases. Christie should have looked in the mirror. Perhaps he didn’t get any traction and had to drop out because people were tired of him saying the same empty phrases.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton can stand on the debate stage all night long talking about their ideal America, but neither one has indicated they have a plan to end gridlock and bring the Republicans back to the table. Likewise, all the Republicans want to do is oust Democrats. Well gee, if they are elected they will have achieved their singular objective. So what are they going to do the next four years?
Superficial fluff is as much a part of a political campaign as cotton candy is a part of the county fair, but you get your fill of both relatively quickly. Based on the ratings the debates are getting, I guess I’m in the minority. For candidates, doing the equivalent of throwing candy from a parade float seems to be enough to satisfy most voters. And given that, the superficial pandering that’s coming from the current crop of candidates is no surprise.
Pass the popcorn. I can’t wait to see who gets voted off the island next.