Tuesday, November 2nd 2004 is election day in the U.S. Electoral sentiment will break one way or the other and the next day either President Bush will have been re-elected to a second term, or we will have President-elect Kerry. Either way the country could and should do better. Once again, the "bane of the electorate" will have ensured the election of a disappointment.
What is this "bane" you ask? It is something indefinable that both parties seek to ensure in their candidates - "electability".
Thus in 2000 the Republicans did not use their primary process to find the candidate that had the best ideas, programs, or direction in which he/she wanted to take the country. Anxious to win they looked for someone "electable", settled on George W Bush, then consecrated him and made sure that any opposition was steam-rolled. As a result conservatives have been stuck with a leader who over the past four years has abandoned many of the core beliefs that used to define conservatives, for example the idea of limited government. Some conservative politicians (true to the short-sightedness that characterizes many politicos - see OPED39) actually have followed along enthusiastically, others because they prefer one of their own to a Democrat, no matter what..
Similarly, this year the Democrats broke early for Kerry during the primaries because they felt he was the candidate who was most "electable". As a result we have a candidate who doesn't inspire much enthusiasm among the electorate, and who will get many votes just because he is not George W. Bush!
The bottom line is that within 18-24 months we will have a significant case of "buyer's remorse" over the winner.
© SNi 11/01/04