Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Leader of the free world, or American Idol?

He’s been called a rock star. His supporters were known as Obamabots; they were described as a cult-like group. Beyond campaign buzzwords and chants, they seemed unaware of their candidate’s agenda, and appeared to care little about the details.

Not much has changed.

As we approach the 100-day mark of his presidency, CNN reports that Barack Obama is more popular than his policies. Americans don’t always agree with what he has done over the last 100 days, or with what he proposes to do in the near future, but The Anointed One is personally popular.

The presidential election process is one we go through every four years: the primaries, the rallies, the speeches, the campaigns, the political conventions, the debates, the election, the transition (when necessary), and then the inauguration. At some point, we’ve turned this whole process into a popularity contest. Apparently, we are doing all of this just to (s)elect a somewhat attractive, nicely dressed, and smoothly spoken person (albeit inarticulate when occasionally speaking without his teleprompter) to grace every damned magazine cover on the newsstand.

Silly me, I always thought we were doing this to elect the leader of the free world! I had this notion that a candidate’s ideology actually mattered; that their stated views would be a fairly accurate barometer of the way they would govern, and that we should actually pay attention to what they are saying. I always believed that ideology is more significant than image when choosing a president; that it is much more important to support a candidate who more closely shares my political views on vital issues — even if they might not look as good on a magazine cover as their opponent with whom I have little in common.

Our priorities are way off. We’ve got the image and the magazine covers, but not enough of us care if the “change we can believe in” might be to change the United States of America from a superpower to a third world country in the next 100 days. As long our president looks good doing it, HOPE springs eternal! YES WE CAN!!!

To any Obama voter who prefers the man over his message, here’s a tip: if you want to vote for a rock star, American Idol will be on later tonight; knock yourself out. And please educate yourself before becoming involved with another campaign for President of the United States. We require much more for that job than Adam Lambert is qualified to handle.