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yes, they love promises and anything that does not contradict national mythology. it is very critical that if anyone running for president says there is/are problem(s) that the comments and examples be couched in "we can overcome them because we are americans!" rhetoric first and foremost.
i just finished a book by matt bay called "all the truth is out: the week politics went tabloid" which discusses what he considers the watershed moment when politics and the way politics is covered and presented shifted from discussion of issues and ideas to empty suited nonsense. it was 1987 and the moment was gary hart. even though plenty of politicians had had affairs in the past hart through his own foolishness allowed for the shift and the media and public went along with it. earlier there had been occasional times when things went off the rails such as the so-called malaise speech or the nixon era which made celebrities of woodward and bernstein but by and large campaigns were not covered the way they are now. another factor that he points out was the change the democrats made with the primary system which contributed to the groundwork for the mess we have now.
very interesting reading.
as a result we have candidates such as obama for instance whom he briefly discusses from and end result standpoint who had "hope and "change" as slogans with absolutely no ideas or solutions put forward. think about that for a moment. what real structural changes have occurred since obama became president? i am not picking on him personally but rather that he is singularly the result of the tabloidization or politics. look at one of the so-called gotcha moments he experienced-57 states in the country- as though that actually meant anything. the same could be said of some of what happened to mitt. and some of what happened to mitt was not along those lines but was more revealing of his thought processes and philosophy for governing such as the 47% speech. in the case of mccain in 2008 the choice of palin was driven by tabloidization.
imo another excellent example was the prostration of obama and mccain in front of rick warren. how disgusting and small.
as the author notes we are getting the leaders we deserve. nothing of substance, nothing that challenges the people to actually think. imo fdr, jfk, lbj and even ike could not be elected today.