Tuesday, January 08, 2008

waving from the sidelines

Oddly enough I haven't been into the presidential campaign race even though if there is a year to get into it, this would be a year to do it.

This year I've been watching the campaigns in the light of perception. How does the media influence? How does star power influence? How does what we don't know actually make us think of others more favorably? And how knowing too much leads to a certain level of downfall.

I think taking a political compass quiz about where I sit politically, not just in the democratic vs republican mode but really the full spectrum of liberalism, conservatism, and libertarian, has really made me take a different look at politics. I took the quiz and I was for the most part smack dab near the crosshairs, about as middle of the road as you can get.

Interestingly enough when they plotted out all the presidential candidates they all really sat in one grouping that was in the middle of conservatism and libertarian. That was kind of shocking considering how the campaigns frame themselves and each other as left and right. In the end, they are not that different from each other. But perhaps this is the small corner of the political map that the American government sits in. Obviously, you're not an anarchist if you run for politics, in fact, you really do like the overall system the way it is, and that's why you're running for a valued position in that system.

I'll be voting in the primaries and in the election, but actively campaigning for anyone hasn't really stirred my bones.

I guess what I'm waiting to hear about is really how the candidates are different from each other. I really don't care about who is or isn't running negative campaign ads, that's part of their game. And don't ever think that there's anything spontaneous about anything that any one says. They are all political machines. That's the game. You don't survive Washington DC if you're not a bit cutthroat in your own way.

But it's fascinating seeing the values and virtues we place on the leadership of the presidency. And how when we re-elected Bush he too had played to those values and virtues, even if we didn't think he played them out in his term.

But is what America thinks they want from a President, really what makes a good president? I don't know and I think it's too early to go stumping for anyone right now.

I am a bit jealous of people on the campaigns, I mean, they have found someone to be passionate and convicted about.

No comments: