Democrat James Carville and Republican Mary Matalin have chosen to drink through the 2012 election. The married couple satirically state there is not much more to do. The disillusionment with politics is nothing new in America. This year is far worse than the previous six elections. The President’s quote on government spending for the national infrastructure has been reworked to define the entire Republican Convention. The goal of “That’s what I believe” was to get ideas out in the open for conversation and hopeful debate. We are further from politicians saying “I believe” or “We Believe” than ever before. Instead, negative media ads pollute the airwaves and more and more people distance themselves from the conversation. Beyond the podcast from Open Door Rapport, people seem dissuaded from talking about what they want and more about what they don’t want.
On a personal level, I have been asked what I wanted to do with my life during the course of traveling around the country under the pretenses of promoting Wild Harmony. I failed to answer this seemingly simple question and made those who may have just been seeking small talk confused with statements of what I didn’t want to do. I believe that we all struggle with the question, but that is no reason to shrug away in fear that someone may disagree or hold opinions that challenge individual convictions. In a world where we share the tools to collectively analyze the best and worst of ideas, we fail to take the time to seek common ground. We fail to work to understand each other, our strengths, our weaknesses. I have found that the best way to figure out what I want is by talking about it in the open. It also helps to keep it simple and answer the question directly, or say, “I don’t know, but I’m trying to figure out what I want.”
The former Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice stated that we seek peace through strength, which is a registered trademark of the American Security Council Foundation. You know, the capitalized “R” with a circle around it. Rice continued during her convention remarks to address education concerns and correlated them with national security. This too is based upon a Council on Foreign Relations document. There is nothing wrong with having a foundation to rhetoric, something uncommon of other politicians at the 2012 Republican Convention. However, attribution is lost and the segment of the voters both parties are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on attracting are likely overwhelmed with information. By simply inserting, this is what they probably believe too, the reality is completely lost. It’s hard enough to decide what one wants, but when politicians point out every possible weakness, no matter how subtle, they inadvertently dumb down the debate to personal experience and emotion. The danger here is that the election may be decided by a phrase, rather than by issues and where America is actually going as a nation. As of August 30th, there are 69 days left until Election Day 2012. I hope Carville and Matalin are wrong in their satire. (When Carville cared: Mock Debate Video) There is too much at stake for a cocktail party to take precedence over sincere dialogue. That’s what I believe. -JAC