One would think I could find passion in politics. I used to love watching the hoopla of the presidential campaigns every four years in the United States. Regardless of political affiliation, I longed to see the candidates pontificate about their views, debate, and woo the American people.
To run for political office one needs some level of passion. I like to assume that all the candidates (those on the left and those on the right) have good motives and feel compelled to impact the world. I do not think any of them are "bad" people.
However my desire to experience the 2008 campaign season has come up flat. There is not one candidate whom I see with the level of passion I want in my leader. All of the front runners appear to me as manufactured face plates that are playing like a cover band for the special interests of the constituencies they are courting. A cover band can punch out some good music, but we all long to see something unique. We want to be wowed.
The presidential hopefuls are all dabbling with the Web 2.0 / Social Online Media tools....but it comes off stale. I do not believe that the candidates are texting their own twitter messages (most likely this is done by younger cooler staff members who actually know that Twitter exists!) or are writing their own blogs. They are certainly not putting things on YouTube that are not thought through and over produced. The toe in the water attempts into these mediums are as sculpted as everything else they do on a daily basis. In the world of "new" marketing (is it really new?) the term "transparency" reigns. I do not believe for a minute that we are seeing the "transparency" from these politicians in the same manner that it is demanded of others on the web.
Those who are leading in the 2008 race are all so guarded that we can never see their inner spark. It reminds me of Bob Dole (1996) and Al Gore (2000), who allowed their personalities to emerge after their losses. When they appeared on late night TV afterwards they were warm, funny and real. Why were they not like while running for office?
Where I do find passion in this race it is from the American people. But it is not passion FOR a particular candidate, it is passion AGAINST the other side. The two political parties are both equally engrossed in being nasty toward each other. There is so much hate in politics on both sides that it has sapped my enjoyment of the whole process. I want to be FOR someone, not just against someone else. Hate for the opponent is never as powerful as passion for your own cause. Everyone I talk with has opinions, but few are inspired by any candidate. Instead they so badly do not want one candidate that they will settle for anyone else.
I would love to see a candidate for President of the United States who can inspire the people of this country to excel. A man or woman who is so passionate about serving all Americans that people can overlook some of the single issues that so effectively divide our republic. I long to see Democrats and Republicans agree that they will disagree on certain topics, but to stop making those on the other side of the isle out to be the anti-Christ. We are fortunate in this country, and we need to remember that to whom much is given, much is required. Hate should not run our politics.
But for now, we have political machines that are working hard to develop talking points and crafting sound-bites that can be fed to the media and debated by well groomed talking heads on cable TV. Consultants make huge money to take polls and tell the candidates what to say to get votes. Campaign staffers look for ways to keep people from voting, because they know that if 100% of Americans voted it would change everything (and they don't want that). That is not passion, that is positioning. I want to see passion.
Have A Great Day.