I never thought we would miss the debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, but the last two debates have made 2012 seem serious. The candidates and the moderators have spent more time on topics better suited to reality television than the world’s biggest stage. This presidential campaign has not given most Americans much confidence in the future of our country, economically or socially. This is reflected in the record-high negatives of both candidates.
Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the most incredibly corrupt candidates ever to seek the office of President, but this is being lost in the sea of sensationalism created by Donald Trump’s rhetoric. Instead of having a substantive conservation about our crushing $20 trillion national debt, stagnant economy, feckless foreign policy, and loss of religious liberty, we are analyzing the candidates’ Tweets and rehashing talking points and policy positions from the 1990’s. This entire campaign is about the personalities of the candidates, not the people they are supposedly running to serve.
The fact that the two candidates have spent their entire adult lives in the public eye underscores why we’re not having a presidential campaign but a personality contest. The moderators are certainly not helping; they are asking people already more interested in personal power than public service questions that have nothing to do with public policy.
This campaign says as much about the current state of American culture as the candidates themselves. We have become accustomed to being amused more than informed. Our politics have become more about the people in the race than the We, The People. This election has become a testament to the truth of Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
We can only hope that after a fall campaign that isn’t befitting a great nation, there will come a time of national reflection. After eight years of a president who pushes his agenda in spite of Congress, a Supreme Court that acts more like a super-legislature than an arbiter of the law, and a federal government that bullies states as if they’re subservient, we are in real danger of losing the republic.
If the presidential debates had the style and substance of the vice-presidential debate earlier this week, the country would be the better for it. Ideas do matter, and this campaign isn’t about them. The combination of celebrity candidates and a salacious media has ensured that Americans are being left out of a campaign that’s supposedly about their future.