Today the 2008 Election Season starts in earnest with the Iowa caucuses, the first event that will select delegates for the national political conventions. The next few weeks will see an avalanche of primary elections, as the states all try to elbow each other out of the way in an attempt to gain a larger influence on the eventual candidate selection.
Frankly, I’ve never had much enthusiasm for the political process. Back in my college days, I was a campus representative for Howard Baker’s 1980 campaign, but beyond that I’ve had no real desire to do anything other than vote. Certainly politics over the last few decades has done nothing to make itself any more attractive, as the dirty tricks and mudslinging happens earlier with each campaign.
For a centrist such as myself, I find the whole election process to be disappointing. Seldom does a candidate arise who actually represents the center, since none of the national parties embrace the values the center represents. So inevitably I see politicians who are far to my right or left, and whose only forays towards the center are usually just an attempt to kiss my ass in return for my vote. Certainly it’s no different in 2008, and I see no one who really attracts my attention.
There is one good thing that I see in this election. We have as diverse a group of candidates as we’ve ever seen run for president, but after a few early gaffes there’s really no attention paid to the things that make those candidates diverse. People complain that Hilary Clinton is bitter and angry, but not that she’s a woman. Others bemoan Barack Obama’s lack of experience, but no one talks about his color. And that’s just how it should be. If we hold any real dream of equality among our people, we have to focus on the important points like opinion and character and ignore color and gender.
By morning, the picture will be much clearer, and the initial leaders in the two races will have emerged. Should be interesting …