Good thing it isn't 2008 yet. If I had to call it now, I think most people would agree the GOP doesn't stand a chance of taking the White House. And why should they? George Bush inarguably has committed grave offenses against America, all in the name of winning one lousy war. Is it important? Should we all just stop bickering and support our President, because the Middle East is and will become even more a grave threat to our security, and that outweighs all other concerns? Of course not. I don't care if this war is preventing World War 3. It's not worth compromising our freedoms, the foundation of what makes us Americans.
That being said, Bush is on the way out anyway. No matter who replaces him, no matter which party, his policies will expire with his office. Any conservative will have to tread carefully in that place. Bush has stained the concepts of "conservative" and "Republican" with his own tyrannical policies, which really resemble neither political wing--they are his ideas alone.
So who's going to pick up the slack? If the vote were tomorrow, it would be a dead heat, but the smart money's on Obama. We Americans have far more guilt about black people than women, so he gets a bigger sympathy vote. Plus, he has ineffable charisma, and he has eloquently avoided shooting himself in the foot, as so many presidential hopefuls have managed to do in just the last 4 months alone. He's got what it takes.
And that's all we know about him. He's a politican, like any other. Bush said things in 2000 and 2008 before the elections, and then he did something else. My god, people, that's what they always do. They make promises, and break them. They say they're for this, but they're really for that. Now, we've got Boston republicans pretending to be hunters, and two front-running Democrats who are so full of pomp and pageantry that we hardly know where they stand on *anything*.
It's a good bet they stand on Democratic ideas. Historically, Democrats have favored big government, which means less rights for Americans. They'll latch on to a few things that everybody agrees with, like industrial regulation to reduce the causes of global warming. Then, they'll tack on some gun control, some tougher laws to restrict the freedom of students, and maybe (especially if we get Hillary) some video game control too. After all, they're just as evil, ask anybody.
What will we get with the GOP? God, who knows. They can't field a halfway decent candidate, because they've all fallen under so much corruption in the last 10 years that they've hardly got anyone left with a soul. They don't know what platform to stand on to win it. They're making John Kerry look like an icon of stability with their indecision. They're making fools of themselves.
No matter what, Bush politics will end, and that's a good thing. However, the political world is so polarized, so charged with strong, negative emotions, that anyone we get is going to piss a lot of people off. Rooting for so-and-so for 2008 is short-sighted, since things could easily turn around again in 2012. It's a vicious cycle, this polarization, and it is perpetuated by ignorance and irrational argument.
The media feeds off of this energy, and augments it. They can't wait to politicize everything that happens, especially if it's negative. They sit behind their desks and say inflammatory things, hidden behind the glass wall of the camera. They bring people into their outdated "networks" by hosting the most popular shows on television. Pure news outlets like newspapers and news channels tend toward a political leaning and become a breeding ground for that viewpoint, regardless of facts.
It's the media, and they've always been this way. Well, at least for the last century or so, since the modern, sensationalist newspaper was invented by Pulitzer and Hearst.
But do we need them anymore? Do we not have a new, entirely superior method of mass communication?
The media claims to be objective, and accountable. But in fact, one is not allowed to question their objectivity, because they use tricky words, and it's easy to pretend to be accountable when you are isolated from the world by cameras and closed doors.
Internet communication is supposed to be subjective and anonymous. But completely slanted viewpoints are quickly reduced to tatters, and the facts tend to prevail in group discussion. An internet user's reputation is easily and instantly discoverable using various tools, and particularly egregious offenders of logic and internet etiquette will be swiftly called out by a vast army of internet watchdogs.
While all individuals are subjective, the masses tend to be objective. The media doesn't have masses, it has monolithic personalities who consume their own marketing feces and become caricatures of themselves. It is impossible for individuals, especially those with massively inflated egos, to be subjective. It becomes equally difficult to hold them accountable, since they can always hide behind their popularity and their lawyers.
So why the hell do we listen to them at all?
While I don't have a ready solution to abolish the traditional media, I can say this: no matter how politics changes in the coming years, we're all going to be pissed off about something, and the fires of our frustration will be fanned by the traditional media.
Just a bit of crushing pessimism for an otherwise boring Wednesday.