Friday, September 5, 2008

Top 5: Myths Assumed by Presidential Candidates

Watching the conventions over the past two weeks, I embarked on a thought experiment. If aliens from another planet watched these conventions, and the conventions were the only information that had about our government, what are some wrong assumptions they would make? This is what I came up with:
  1. Congress does not exist. Candidates make bold pronouncements about the bills they will pass, ignoring the fact that legislation is produced by Congress.
  2. State and local governments do no exist. They also assume that they will have a great deal of authority over responsibilities normally left to the state and local governments, such as reducing crime and reforming education.
  3. Everyone's lives will dramatically change because of this election. Change happens slowly in the US. This is by design. You wouldn't know that by listening to these candidates.
  4. "Special interests" are the cause of all our problems. It's not entirely clear, of course, who these "special interests" are. Let's assume they're not talking about the ones that donated to their campaign.
  5. Washington, DC, "inside the beltway," residents are evil. I have no doubt that there are some in DC whose main purpose is to advance their self-interest. There are also plenty who serve the public good, engaged in much of the necessary, but less glorified, work of government.
Can you think of any others?

4 comments:

Heather said...

6. God blesses America (and no other country).

7. The media is an evil force, only out to besmirch the reputation of honorable people.

-- Heather Tafel

Tracy said...

Great post - great thought - so true, hmmm
change is slow, and WE ALL need to be a part of it - not just during elections, but as a part of life.

Bitter Man said...

The economy will immediately and perpetually adapt as a result of the president's economic adjustments, even if they are endorsed by congress in their entirety and without adjustment.

Dr. N said...

Oooh Heather, those are some good ones.

Another I thought of after reading bitter man's comment--we have an authoritarian economic system where the president "manages the economy." If only I had a dime for every time I heard a candidate say that.