|Not to state the stupidly obvious or anything...
||[Oct. 14th, 2004|11:41 am]
Here's what was bugging me last night: Both candidates for president have a nasty habit of talking crack.|
You find this out if you listen to NPR, which spends most of its post-debate jawboning on evaluating the objective truth of what was said. Both Kerry and Bush base their campaigns in large part on saying things that are specious, misleading, or just plain wrong about their opponents. If you go to factcheck.org they comprehensively diagram the mendaciousness of both candidates.
Both candidates know that what they say is being fact checked, and yet they say things that they have to know aren't so. Not only that, for every stretched truth, misdirection, and howling lie they present, there's an actual fact they could use instead to make the same point. It's almost as though they're allergic to facts.
Furthermore, in those cable news shouting matches between representatives of the two campaigns, whenever one side complains about something the other side said, the complaint takes the form "he said X when really it's Y," where Y is something every bit as specious and wrong as X.
Am I naive in thinking that a fact-based, as opposed to crack-based, campaign strategy could be as or more compelling? It sure seems like the main character trait required to run for president is the ability seem authoratative while spouting drivel.
I end up having to decide on who to vote for based on how I think the guy would behave once in office, in spite of, not because of, what he says in public. But it feels really sad that I have to say "I'm voting for Kerry, because I'm guessing he won't do anything stupid, even though a lot of what he says is beside the point or wrong." At least I'm not a Republican and I don't have to rationalize the manifest idiocy both of what he's said and what he's done.