Keeping it to a few words
Yes, back then, they would go on and on for 10, maybe 20, seconds, passing on their wisdom and maybe an empty campaign promise or two. It gave us such wonderful insight, we felt like we really got to know these people posturing and prostituting for our votes.
Today, alas, their campaigns are boiled down to slogans, most notably Barack Obama's "Change We Can Believe In."
Once, politicians with too much time on their hands would babble on about changes they would make in the economy or health care, throwing out empty but promisingsounding details of what they would do "if elected." It didn't matter if they were political novices or running for their ninth term in Congress, they could always do more and better if elected again.
The presidential candidates today, however, with millions and millions of dollars at their disposal to win a job that pays $400,000 plus benefits, have refined the process. They have apparently figured out that we don't really need, or cannot really handle, details ... just give us a few quick, easy, comforting, promising words.
"Change We Can Believe In" can mean anything each of us wants it to mean, including nothing. If you don't want to think about it, you can take comfort in the promise that change is coming. Let's not worry about whether the change is for the better, but cling to the beautiful sound as we repeat the mantra ... "Change We Can Believe In."
John McCain's Web site is topped off with a banner that reads, even shorter and perhaps more vague, "Country First."
It should be safe to assume he's talking about this country, the United States, unless it's lower-cased "country," as opposed to "urban." That might be a good political ploy to make us country folk feel like he's got us first on his list.
Surely he does mean "USA First," but does that really tell us anything?
Does that mean that he would be calling on individuals to abandon personal plans and dreams for the betterment of the country? After all, it's "first." Or, is he insinuating that his opponent is not placing the nation first?
Back on Obama's site, we find another label, "Listening to America."
See, he at least defines the country (forget that America actually refers to two continents) and promises that he's listening to it.
So, tell him, America, do you want the country first or would you rather be first? One could infer from a video game on McCain's site, a game powerfully named "Stop the Pork," that Obama would gladly direct pork barrel funds your way if you don't elect McCain to stop him.
The elder candidate's site doesn't seem to build so much on listening. Indeed, it has a section called "The Straight Talk Express." There, that sets the record straight. No lies or deceit, just straight talk and if you don't believe him, ask him.
Well, Obama might disagree. In fact, back on his site you can find a whole section called "Fight the Smears" with his side of the story under the heading, "Spread the Truth."
The veteran politician McCain, of course, touts his experience: "Ready From Day One." Obama, who has not completed even his first term in the Senate, avoids that issue by completing a circle back to the beginning - "I'm Asking You to Believe."
I believe. I'm just not sure what I believe.