Thursday, May 18, 2006

Newsweek: The Political Unpopularity Contest

Howard Fineman does a fine job describing the underlying reasons for what we see in opinion polls. Dissatisfaction with current leadership is really more acccurately chracterized as a lack of confidence in leaders in general.

The next election cycle—the midterm season now under way and the presidential campaign soon to follow—will be about one thing: leadership. Not just identifying who leaders are, but restoring the very idea that leadership is possible.

While the Exile certainly believes that leadership is still possible, it is also true that the current climate in Washington helps to nurture the same type of careerists and insiders that have guided us to the edge of oblivion. When it comes down to it, the only way to change what we all loathe about politicians is to elect different people, but more importantly, a different breed of people.

Many pols try to sell themselves as reformers, but the few that can prove themselves as such should be getting your votes. If a candidate promises the world or cannot or will not stake out a discerning position on an important matter, like tax, education, or health care reform, then that candidate is probably not any different from the legions of other hacks. However, if you can find one who can articulate himself, runs a clean campaign, and has some ethics and common sense, vote for him and tell others to do the same. There is nothing wrong with caring about politics and if we choose to encourage decent public servants, perhaps that opinion will again prevail.


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