Friday, September 12, 2008

Obama Is Not Getting It

Well, maybe he is, but isn't letting on. The inconvenient truth here is that the American people do not pick their presidents based on the issues. They pick their leaders based on appearance and personality. Sound like a high school class president election? Perhaps. But that would be looking at things in too "negative" a light. My take on this is that Americans are by and large a very trusting people. The Japanese-American political economist Francis Fukuyama touched on this in his book called Trust in 1995. We elect our leaders and trust them to do the right thing. And why do you trust anyone to begin with? Because you connect with them on a certain, intrinsic level. No one has the time to make two lists of the myriad of issues that plague this country and then compare them side by side on an Excel spreadsheet. We trust that Obama will do the right thing. We trust that McCain will do what's best for the country. And yet, politicians know that they have to pay lip service to the issues because what they are really doing is revealing the politician's deeper instincts and values. I haven't heard much from Obama on the issues these days, and that's where he's going wrong.

Palin may not have experience, but lots of people are trusting that she will not do anything inherently wrong. And Obama's campaign knows this. The government is run by tons of leaders and advisors who will make sure that Palin will not do anything too seriously wrong once she is elected. Her role is to get McCain in the White House, and she is doing that job just perfectly at the moment.

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