The Election Cage Match 2008

Garrison Ebie

Over the course of the last three months, I’ve gone from paying close attention to the presidential election to wanting nothing more than for it to just be over. This is getting old, out of control and has no more reason to last any longer. Presidential politics, and especially a drawn-out race for the White House that began immediately following Bush’s inauguration in 2004, tend to simply frustrate me. It’s as if Americans collectively said, “Oops, let’s find someone else” after voting the man into office.

Coming up with a point of view or an argument that hasn’t been said yet is a hard thing to do. By now, I imagine both candidates have been asked as many questions as interviewers can come up with. Even then, there’s no point in thinking of any others because after the first five seconds of a response, anyone listening can quite easily forget the question asked in the first place. We live among 24-hour news on cable television, where every conceivable viewpoint is discussed, debated and dissected. We’re down to the last two weeks of this rat race, and it’s finally come down to cheap shots and all-around last-ditch efforts to convince people to change their minds.

At this point, Sarah Palin has begun receiving so much media attention that the average voter could easily make the mistake that it’s actually she who is running for president. And that’s obviously what the Republican Party had in mind for that nomination. Get some chick who will remind swing voters of Hillary Clinton, then bash every American over the head repeatedly on a hot topic that they find hard to understand, but are forced to accept with everyday life. Taking it a step further, why not find a guy like Joe Plumber to completely take out of context and exploit to your own advantage? This is an election; morals can take a backseat for now.

The economy is fragile enough to burst open and collapse with even a small hiccup. It doesn’t take a biophysicist to realize something might go wrong when people who have the worst credit often get the most credit card applications in the mail.

Barack Obama’s tax plan will indeed “spread the wealth around.” But before anyone begins calling him the communist Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, they need to realize that when the economy is on the brink of disaster, the people of America need to suck it up and make a little sacrifice. The same people who, for some reason, think it’s just fine to tap into my phone line without court approval argue that taxing the rich is bad idea.

Disconcerting arguments and pledges are just a tiny preview of the array of hypocrisy it has always taken to run an effective presidential campaign. For those who take the stance that Obama’s tax plan is relative to socialism, go ahead. It’s a fair argument. But keep in mind that if your house catches on fire, who puts it out? When you borrow from the library, who owns the books? Who determines what children learn in public schools?

The State. The “Man.” The “Machine.” Whatever you want to call it, it controls more aspects of everyday life than we like to admit. Concerns about the government controlling our flow of personal income are rooted in paranoia.

Ideologies have become increasingly intertwined since the Great Depression. The economy, foreign relations and defense have become more complicated than anyone could have ever imagined. Problems cannot be solved using simple black-and-white, right-and-wrong reasoning.

Both parties ignore this entirely. They’re stuck in a game of tradition that should have ended a century ago, and neither deserves a whole lot of respect. All this talk of “coming together as a nation” might as well be thrown to the dogs because it’s just a mask until the final moments of an election. Anything goes now. Prominent members of political parties are more concerned with the survival of their party than the future of a country that supports them.

Garrison Ebie is a senior electronic media production major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].