There is melancholy occasioned by the current election process that makes one wonder if indeed the grand experiment enjoined since 1776 will succeed. The circus that has been presented to the public by both parties in the seemingly endless, mindless, media-driven effort called the nominating process makes a laughingstock of the public and outright charlatans of the candidates.
The faux debates held last year and this year by both parties were characterized by media honchos grabbing their share of the publicity. One hilariously remembers MSNBC's Chris Matthews doing the "gotcha- shuffle" across the stage and giving each candidate the "evil eye" in turn as if he had that worthy's number no matter what he/she said. The notion that ten candidates (republicans) all in a row or eight candidates all in a row (Cinderhill & the seven dwarves) furnishes significant enlightenment is also faux. Everything came in sound-bites as well as in well-rehearsed speeches – mostly sound and fury signifying nothing. This doesn't mean that nothing of substance was offered, but that the effort was essentially wasted.
Actually, perhaps a couple of debates might have been helpful, but the candidates need to make the rules, not the media folks. The affairs should never be held in public, since to do so encourages "hamming-it-up" by both the candidate and the media guy/gal. There should never be any applause, but the media folks were never equipped to curb it. It goes virtually without saying that the networks and high-profile newspapers and magazines push their own choices so transparently that one giggles. Remember the treatment NBC's Russert afforded Clinton on Meet the Press (in the debate, too) as compared to NBC's treatment of Obama? Disgusting! Think NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CNN, CBS, as well as rags like the highly discredited New York Times and Washington Post.
Though Fox News has a recognizable bias toward conservatism, it makes the effort to let all sides have their say. The smartest liberals do well to stay away from that network, though some, like Hillary, have taken their chances and done well. Some of the Fox folks are pushy and inordinately opinionated, but why not? That's the name of the game these days.
Ironically, the chickens have come home to roost with the democrats, who wailed and whined over the popular vote in 2000 (Gore by a hair), but were stymied by the constitutionally mandated election laws (electoral college), notwithstanding the Florida Supreme Court's attempted end-run around them. Hillary got the popular vote (at least so she says) and demanded the prexy spot because of that. Obama got the delegate vote (lost the popular by a hair) and has been awarded top spot because of that. This is because of the rules…the RULES that the dems have developed for themselves. And so the worm turns. Now, there will be no more talk about 2000, lest the SCOTUS step in and settle everything as the rules demand. Liberals approve of rules only when appropriate for furthering their cause.
Perhaps the most distressing thing about the democrat lineup was that none of the ten had had actual military service except for Gravel, whose gem of wisdom was that homosexuals make the best soldiers. The nation's commander-in-chief should have a working knowledge of the military, not necessarily combat experience, but at least a better familiarity than by simply having read about it. Indeed, one could have gotten the impression that most, if not all of them, actually loathed the uniform, as did Bill Clinton by self-confession. At a time when national security is the primary responsibility of the president, it is scary to think that either Obama or Hillary Clinton can actually be commander-in-chief or vice president.
Some of the republicans had seen military service, especially McCain, who had the most extensive knowledge of the military – graduate of Annapolis, career officer, fighter pilot, prisoner of war. As a senator, he has brought that knowledge and experience to bear on things that need military interpretation and application. One could feel safe with him at the controls, especially in light of the silly statement by Hillary Clinton about the phone ringing at 3:00 a.m. and her readiness to take on the world. Her husband, as practically a first action when he took office, sought to make homosexuality acceptable in the military but was turned around so fast on that bit of ignorance that his head kept spinning for a week.
So…it has been a most unproductive/unhappy primary season. The democrat nominee is young enough to be the son of the republican nominee, and that may be the best thing to consider in electing a president. Experience and knowledge gained by McCain through the extra 24 years that separate the two should be the tipping point.