18 October 2008

Ironies, hypocrisies abound in presidential campaign that won't end quickly enough

It’s almost over and Election Day can’t come quickly enough.

That one of the two major-party candidates is clearly superior to other does not diminish my disgust with the staggering sums of money and human capital consumed by the campaigns that do nothing to directly improve the nation’s problems, nor does it disguise those policy areas in which the candidates are in complete agreement, starting with the $700 billion bipartisan Wall Street bailout, virtually identical foreign polices regarding Afhganistan and Russia, and the refusal to even discuss the life-and-death matters like the global food crisis and climate change.

Here are a few reasons I am looking forward to Nov. 5.

Barack Obama has made empathy with middle-class Americans the centerpiece of his campaign, yet John McCain is the candidate with a $300 billion proposal to help homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure.

McCain has sounded like a proverbial wild-eyed leftist in his attempts to distance himself from the Bush administration, the thoroughly corrupt GOP, and their Wall Street puppetmasters in the hope that the public will overlook his pivotal role in cultivating and sustaining the very rot at the top he is now attacking.

Sarah Palin, the governor from the far end of the “bridge to nowhere” and a virtual unknown outside of Alaska until a few weeks ago, claims the public really doesn’t know Barack Obama, who has been relentlessly campaigning for two years. Perhaps she could read aloud from the front page of just about any newspaper to her dim-witted supporters.

A recent trip to the book section on an Albuquerque retail outlet revealed mounting evidence of a dangerous and anti-democratic “cult of personality” developing around Obama: three books written by him and a children’s book written about him. Some Democrats’ adoration of Obama is eerily similar in form to the right wing’s devotion to the late Ronald Reagan.

Both candidates’ head-in-the-sand refusal to discuss how their spending plans are now impossible after their support for a $700 billion Bush bailout to Wall Street, which comes on top of billions of dollars squandered on two wars that have no clear objectives and have directly produced the brutal deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Candidate debates were once welcomed as an alternative to campaigning by 30-second TV ads and three-second sound bytes, but have become 90-minute commercials packed with hundreds of three-second sound bytes.

The GOP, which has mastered the art of voter suppression over the last eight years, has launched a frontal assault on the national group ACORN, charging it with voter fraud when in fact the organization has an exemplary record of registering hundreds of thousands of new and mostly low-income voters.

Seventeen days left, but, hey, who’s counting?