Opinion | Presidential campaign lacks substance, relies on clichés
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 00:10
The closer we get to the November elections, the more apparent the game of politics becomes. Debates and campaign speeches largely consist of attacks pointed at the other opponent, and word-dropping cliché points that avoid true policy stances such as “lower taxes, smaller government.”
We seem to watch for accidental slips in their speeches more than we do for holes in their arguments. It has become a game of who can excite the audience with the most charisma and without the most controversy.
The presidential race between Obama and Romney is at 49 percent for Romney, and 47 percent for Obama (2 percent for another candidate) according to Rasmussen Reports as of Sunday, Oct. 14. It is no coincidence that this change in lead occurred after Obama’s uncharacteristic lack of preparation and composure at the recent presidential debate.
If you compare general election campaigns of both parties through the decades, the same general, watered-down themes can be found.
They are empty statements that simply trigger an emotional response from the audience like, “what Americans need is change.” Basically every candidate running against the GOP has said this in the history of the United States.
According to CNN, Obama said in a recent campaign speech, “The problems we are facing are great, they are real…but know this America, they will be met!” What voters should and never do ask is, “how are you planning to do this?” Now try to wrap your head around this one, Miami; according to Huffington Post, Romney once said, “I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.”
Need I comment on this one? These kinds of statements seem to make up a majority of these candidates’ campaign time, and seem to draw the most applause. Voters have shown that they simply do not care about depth of argument, so why should the candidates?
This campaign shallowness is especially evident in the misleading and (not to mention) empty emphasis on the economy. As money is often first on the minds of Americans, it is no surprise that the economy is first on the campaign agendas of our presidential candidates. Yet another way candidates mislead the audience in their campaigns is the fact that social issues tend to be completely avoided leading up to election time as they touch highly controversial and fractioning chords with the public.
The ironic thing is that once candidates reach office, a major amount of their policies actually lie in the social arena. According to CNN, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives was elected on the premises that they would focus on the economy. However they jumped the gun and took actions within a month of taking office to defund Planned Parenthood.
So instead of listening and focusing our attention to the cliché economy-based word drops, we should dig deeper for the social stances of the candidates, because social issues are given more space on the agenda than what they seem to be given.
This goes to show the superficiality of campaigns and how much campaign topics differ from the true agendas of the politicians when they reach office. This is why I urge you all to look deeper than the cookie-cutter themes and insignificant ‘slips’ that can sometimes needlessly sabotage a candidate’s entire campaign, and through to their true agendas. A candidate’s character should not be measured by his/her composure or charisma on-stage as a speaker, but more from their personal backgrounds and their past actions in their other positions of office.
Take the campaign trail with a grain a salt, and see it as a game of who can tug at the heartstrings of the most Americans, who can lure them with their overly general visions.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have an awkward little man in the Oval Office who can truly guide the economy and represent the majority of Americans on social issues, than a flashy celebrity for a president gracing America’s talk shows. Whoever sits in that chair will carry the power to lead or delay the morale and progress of our nation.