The Loser’s Game

05Mar07

If the national media and the growing blogosophere were the sole arbiters of presidential candidate quality, then ethically we’d have to throw in the towel.

According to the coverage, each and every candidate possesses a pastiche of defects that precludes him or her from presidential worthiness. For instance, last week New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd lampooned Senator Barack Obama for his lack of political toughness while simultaneously chastising Senator Hillary Clinton for her ability to “deck” an opponent at politically opportune moments.

The worldwide blogosphere is equally as enlightening, equating Rudy Guiliani’s speech at the CPAC to a “coming out party” and attributing Mitt Romney’s change on certain issues to a “secondary virginity.”

The spite, ridicule and haughtiness has no end. It’s a black hole of self-indulgent cynicism. No one wins.

One might argue that the biting buzz does no harm; that it’s little more than innocuous 24/7 evening entertainment. But when the presidential political landscape is overwhelmed with negative pronouncements, then the morale and self-perception of our nation correspondingly takes a dive. The result? A growing distrust not only in the candidates but in our political system itself. And, this in a nation with consistently low unemployment and poverty rates and unprecedented personal freedom and opportunity.

But there is a sunny spot on the horizon….and surprise, surprise, it’s located right in your home town. A quick survey of local news and editorials reveals a more thoughtful, serious and even reverent approach to the upcoming presidential race. (“Local” in this context would include most cities, big and small, but excludes mostly-national and national-only venues.) Many local news outlets routinely tackle the issues and the candidates’ positions on them. While blasphemous at the national level, these smaller mediums actually devote valuable print/radio/air space to expose a candidate’s strength or highlight an enlightening personal story.

The recommended upshot mirrors the organic food movement’s tagline: Buy Local — it’s better for you, your community and your country.

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