2008 Presidential campaign rhetoric will not bring us together

, Barack Obama tells Americans that he wants to transcend “the smallness of our politics” and lead a “project of national renewal.” In his web-site announcement on January 16, he identified himself with those who are hungry for “a different kind of politics.” He is expected to formerly announce his campaign on Feb 10.

Even New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, on announcing his presidential campaign exploratory committee, told AP that, “The country is looking for somebody to bring the country together — a unifier, a healer.”

It is not clear, however, what Obama or Richardson, or any other Democratic politician seeking to manipulate images of hope means by a “new politics.” They sound like a good ideas, but their voting records reveal only traditional liberal Democrat mumbo-jumbo.

These guys, Hillary, too, plus Republicans including McCain, Romney, Guiliani, as well as Brownback’s family vaules, must do more than spout platitudes about the critical condition of our national electoral and legislative systems. As Jim Skillen at the Center for Public Justice argues, “The reason today’s politics is so “bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence” (as Obama says in his book), is that interest-group politics, congressional management, and the electoral system reinforce one another to produce the outcomes we experience.”

Obama, Richardson, Clinton, Sharpton, McCain, Guiliani, Romney, Brownback— any of those knuckleheads winning an election will change none of this.

Let me repeat for emphasis.

Obama, Richardson, Clinton, Sharpton, McCain, Guiliani, Romney, Brownback— any of those knuckleheads winning an election will change none of this.

As president they each will have little power to advance a new politics unless during the campaign they declare their intention to reform the electoral system and then, after victory, lead Congress to make substantial changes.

But you and I both know this is not going to happen, and American voters will again—and quickly—wander off searching for some fresh new face who will blather on about “redeeming” the nation come the 2012 electoral cycle.


  1. says

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. We all want "national revival". We want less poverty, more options for our children, and etc. There are problems with relying on government and politicans to make this happen.

    First, power is irresistable to the sort of people we don't want in charge and the more power we investment in government through regulation and laws and taxes and military, the more room there is for the worst sort of people to control our lives.

    Second, government can only enforce these mandates with violence or threat of violence. Those who don't go along with the plan set forth by Obama, or Richardson or any other politician must be forced to go along or be punished – possibly fined and imprisoned – if they don't. Can we really achieve peace and well being by investing more authority in the state and hurting those people who choose to pursue happiness in their own peaceful ways?