Political commentary from the otherwise apolitical Ned Lundquist

Political commentary from the otherwise apolitical Ned Lundquist:

I voted yesterday. Because I will be underway on a U.S. Navy ship on election day (what a great excuse to vote absentee, hey?), I voted at the Fairfax County satellite government center in West Springfield. Even there I encountered people trying to hand my candidate materials, days before the actual election.

I have my “I voted” sticker, but that won't stop the calls coming to my house, or the people trying to jam something into my hands.

For weeks I had to navigate a swarm of people trying to register me to vote at the Franconia-Springfield Metro station. I was, of course, already registered. And I applaud efforts to get people to register. But if I were not registered, I sure wouldn't give my personal data to a stranger at the Metro station.

I'm glad I'm done with this election. The rest of you have to wait a few more weeks. I haven't been what you would call undecided, but I am a middle of the road American, and a centrist if there is such a thing. You would think not by this campaign. Everyone is being torn from the center to the right or the left. The campaign has gone on way too long, and now there is nothing to do but scare us voters.

Last June, my Canadian friend Eric Bergman, told me that the American presidential campaign just went on forever. And that was last June. By now I'm sick of it and sick of them. What benefit is there at this point to continue this campaign. The process is not helpful to the electorate, not to mention the waste of money. Imagine what could have been accomplished with that money. Hundreds of millions of dollars that go for TV ads to slay what a jerk the other guy is. The waste is obscene.

This election turns friends into offensive boors. Both sides show irrefutable evidence that their candidate is right, and the other soooo wrong. They are preaching to their own congregations. Nothing is accomplished. If you don't agree with their position, you are negatively categorized. I'm being diplomatic because these are my friends I'm talking about.

The pols say the battle is for the undecideds, but I cannot think of any promises or slurs coming out of either candidate now that would change my mind. I've said all along that this game will be decided on a fumble, or a blocked kick, and I think I may be right.

To listen to these candidates gives me a headache. Both call for change. But this is Washington. The debates resolved nothing. If i want to watch an argument I don't need to turn on a TV in my house. Change is by design hard to accomplish, because all change must be approved and paid for by the Congress. The only way to get something through Congress is to rub shoulders and scratch backs, and the people we are thinking about electing are part of that process. So much for change.

And what if there was change. Big change. There is no scenario that will make all of you change-seekers happy. Change will not mean change the way you want it for you and your own interests. So be careful for what you ask for.

As for me, I just ask for this election to be over.

4 Comments to "Political commentary from the otherwise apolitical Ned Lundquist"

  1. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    October 24, 2008 - 12:01 am | Permalink

    Candidate fatigue weighs heavily these days. In the mail today, we got three notices from candidates begging for our vote and one pamphlet urging us to protect marriage. I would donate to either party, provided they agreed to stop campaigning. My sense is that will probably not become a sustainable model. Enjoy being at sea.

  2. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    October 24, 2008 - 4:23 am | Permalink

    Unlike in some states where campaign fatigue is an epidemic, here in Texas you would almost wonder if there is actually an election going on. The biggest campaign down here in SAT is whether or not to extend term limits for city council members. The presidential campaigns agreed that Texas was a foregone conclusion (red state, I'd have to assume) and have ignored us completely. Well, except for the numerous fundraising “opportunities” we've been offered.
    My concern about the evolving and ever-increasing sophistication of political campaign strategy is that entire swaths of the country that are not considered to be “in play” are left out of what should be a national discussion on issues that matter to all of us as a country. The campaigns have largely ignored Texas, and many other states, leaving the average person here uninvolved and causing young people to miss out on the opportunity to engage in a civic dialogue.
    The price we will pay for better campaign strategy is the demise of a shared sense of responsibility for civic involvement and participation in the processes that sustain America's true ideals… liberty, justice and dignity… freedom AND responsibility… in one nation, filled with opportunity for all. Watching the circus into which our political leadership has devolved causes me to fear that the ideals on which America was founded are no longer those for which we still stand today.

  3. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    October 24, 2008 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I too am appalled at the amount of money being spent on advertising when there is so much good work that needs to be done in the world. Further, why don't candidates have to follow the Truth in Advertising laws? David Ogilvy considered this to be the greatest scandal in advertising and considered practioners in creating the advertising “prostitutes”. I saw a suggestion on Talent Zoo that we should be like other countries and not allow advertising, just do PR – I think they should also have to follow the IABC code of ethics as well.

  4. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    October 25, 2008 - 12:19 am | Permalink

    I too see the amount of money being spent on this election as obscene. All this money and I don't feel as if I have learned anything about the candidates that could not have been learned if they had spent only 5% of the amount they have spent.
    Change is a meaningless theme. Change is the only constant. Change is neither inherently good nor inherently bad.
    As for the ads–I would happily debate either candidate about how many false statements and stats there are in their ads.

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