Fold your hand…by Caitlin Mock

I hope I am not alone in feeling like the current slew of campaign ads from both camps both consistently accuse their opponent of providing “more of the same” without actually saying what the same is or how they are different, although they always claim to offer up huge buffets of change.

These ads and this election is turning into more of the same. This election has the opportunity to be the most historical and electrifying that many of us may ever live to see so I don’t understand why the candidates and their camps are getting downright boring. It scares me that the sound bites from last week mostly focused on lipstick. On a pig or on a pitbull or on a hockey mom, I think there are more important issues than lipstick. I am honestly surprised I haven’t seen Palin Plum mass produced by Revlon and thrown into supermarkets yet…

For example, does it concern anyone else that you have to dig into candidates websites and political journals to find legitimate positions on issues? Stop playing the change card and the Maverick card and tell us what you are going to do, where you really stand. It’s easy to assume that because McCain is a Republican and Obama is a Democrat that they have clear cut positions on the most pressing and contentious issues today but I am becoming cynical to the point where assumptions might be costly, and I don’t think I am alone. 

I need to know if McCain was really serious about staying in Iraq 100 years. I need to know exactly where both candidates stand on abortion and birth control. I don’t really believe Obama wants to begin sex education in Kindergarten and I am so sick of exaggerated falsities. In this era of sound bite news, the candidates must be constantly editing their internal monologues and thinking before they speak. I can’t imagine the pressure that comes from knowing that everything that is uttered off the cuff will be recorded, repeated and sent to the other team. It’s like taping the rivals football practices and it is honestly beginning to seem as trivial as small town high school sports. Competition is necessary and desirable. After all, this is a presidential election in a time of war and economic disaster. But can’t we all just agree to play by the rules? I really wish both teams would fold their respective hands and shuffle the deck. Leave the attacking to the special interest groups. Don’t worry McCain Camp, Obama may not discuss his three purple hearts every time he opens his mouth but I am sure there are some Swiftboaters out there waiting to launch. And Obamaland, stop saying more of the same unless you tell us what more of the same really is and stop saying how much you love change unless you tell us what and how you will change. 

In fact, Obama’s love of change has led him to be the tail end of many jokes. In this elections JibJab, Obama is shown riding on a pink unicorn singing about “the change we must change to the change we hold dear, I really like change have I made myself clear!” This is not portraying him as a very serious candidate. And in addition to sound bites, new journalism, like this blog and all the other voices and posts and videos out there in the online world can really effect a candidate positively or negatively. 

In conclusion, both teams need to step up their games and come to bat ready to play. I’m not advocating softball but maybe leave the attacks and metaphors alone for awhile and really tell the American public what you are about. And please leave the cosmetics out of it because lipstick smears and fades away and then we will see the naked truth in this election. 

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5 Comments

Filed under McCain, Negative Campaigning, Obama

5 responses to “Fold your hand…by Caitlin Mock

  1. npitman

    The are only two real issues I see with this argument. 1st: It has been shown that negative works. In every presidential campaign that most of us actually remember and a few that we have read about in history classes and baby politics classes, the campaign that has the most successful negative adds, wins. Bush Jr tore into Gore and Kerry with negative advertisement, Clinton took Bush senior and Dole apart with hammering them with negative ads, Bush Sr. accused Dukakis of being un-American, Reagan accused Mondale of being a big government liberal and Carter of being weak specifically with Iran, Cartern had to attack very little coming in the wake of Nixon against Ford. 2nd: What was the last presidential election won by someone who put policy at the forefront of their speeches and debates. Again you probably have to go back to Carter and that could very well be because of the Nixon backlash and not from some Carter genius. The point policy at the forefront of national elections do not a winner make, attack better (not necessarily dirtier) and you win.

  2. snickerbites

    I personally agree with her argument. I’m sick and tired of McCain and Obama constantly telling one another that they need to move away from the same old thing and move forward to change…well what does that mean? How can they both be trying to convince voters that their opponent is more of the same thing while promoting that they themselves are the change? They can’t be both at once! We have reached a time in the election where each candidate needs to come forth and reveal how they are going to change America, policy wise; because as of now I just keep seeing them making broad negative statements about their opponent without information on how they will make it better. For voters who are too lazy to look into the candidates’ personal website, they look to the media for information (hence why TV ads are so powerful). I’m sick of this mudslinging, its time to get to the real deal.

  3. Stephen Noriega

    I love the “buffets of change” line. That cracked me up. Most candidates know that they must stay on message and avoid anything that might alienate a large sector of their voters. Thus, they must stay with these well-rehearsed, Powerpoint deliveries that mostly leave us in the dark about most of their potentially controversial stances. It would be great if we could have a debate where each candidate loses points when they evade a question. I want to hear the issues. However, the candidates do not want everyone to know their positions on abortion and other issues.

  4. Tony Robinson

    I agree with Noreiga–“buffets of change” is well put.

    Though I agree with your disgust as general media coverage and moronic ads that dominate TV, it is also true that there is plenty of hard policy information out there for voters who care. Your post tends to blame the campaigns for being moronic and distracted, and you state several times that you want and need more hard policy information–but of course both campaigns have put out SLEWS of hard policy information, on their websites and in the party platforms. Google searches will quicky turn up reams of information about what the candidates stand for. The hard information is out there and easy to access.

    so who’s to blame that moronic lipstick debates tend to dominate what we watch and what we talk about? Not the candidates. As Pogo once said, in a comic strip before your time, “We have seen the enemy, and he is us.”

  5. caitlinmock

    No I totally agree that the information is out there. But as you said, it’s only the voters who care who tend to access it and that’s what worries me. We are to blame, or maybe not us but as we’ve said in class the “normal people” who don’t spend all their time talking politics and policies but like catchy sound bites and jump on swift boat bandwagons.

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