I’m not sure if a proud Canadian such as myself should be following the American presidential race so closely but it’s been hard to resist with so many interesting characters and issues involved.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that some of the campaigning has been alighting on the superficial side.
Don’t get me wrong. There is no shortage of debate about health care, abortion, the environment and, of course, terrorism. There have also been some fascinating exchanges on issues of race and gender thanks to the groundbreaking rivalry between Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton.
However, it also seems like the candidates for 2008 fancy themselves as entertainers rather than politicians.
First, there were the “Chuck Norris Approved” ads for Mike Huckabee.
Then, Obama poked fun at his friendship with Oprah on Letterman’s top ten.
Should a potential leader of the most powerful country in the world really be engaging in these types of shenanigans?
I’ll admit that you can’t talk about health care all the time and no one is denying that a world leader can have a sense of humour. There’s also the issue of low voter turnout. If people aren’t tuning in to the debates, maybe you do have to get their attention during Letterman.
I just wonder how soundly we’d all sleep at night knowing the president of the United States was voted in on based on his or her potential ability to headline a variety show.
I’m not saying politics shouldn’t be interesting or engaging. I’m simply arguing that politics should ideally be interesting on their own merit, not because they found their way into the prime time lineup.
In the end, these are the people with all the power and we need to know that they reached their positions because of their experience, insight and (hopefully) integrity, not because they entertained us.