Although it may seem hard to believe, we are about to enter the home stretch for the presidential race. Under the two-year process, we are finally getting into the last six months of this race. Hopefully, by this point, you have had a chance to make up your mind on who you want to be the next president. Looking back over the whole process let's ask, are we really going in the right direction?
A large number of people polled said that the United States is not heading in the right direction. Although I won't disagree with that statement, I'm still not convinced that we will be choosing the right person to head as in the right direction in many of the areas that we are now faltering. Over the past nearly year and a half, I have expressed dissatisfaction with the pool of politicians we were offered to select the next commander in chief. On one hand that may seem unfortunate, because we have very good people running yet on the other hand, I still think we could have done better. After all, this is the most open race that we have had for a presidential election in over 50 years. Is this the best we can do? Maybe it's not just the candidates, but the way we select the president. This includes the process in which we grill every move they make and every word they say. The proliferation of the Internet, cable news channels, and gossip tabloids have not made the process better.
The length of the primary season, and the dates in which people vote have also made this a longer and probably not a better presidential season. Although many states wanted to have a say, early on in the process before many candidates dropped out, now the remaining states are looking to deliver a knockout punch for one of the Democrat candidates. Which one will it be? For a couple of months, we thought we knew.
Every year I anxiously await the beginning of summer. And, every year, I dread the end of the summer season. This year, I have an extra reason to dread the end of summer-that is when the major parties will hold their conventions. Then the real mud wrestling will begin. As long and drawn out as the primary season became for the Democratic side, the campaigning season after Labor Day will seem especially long and will probably be very nasty. As a political scientist, I become nostalgic for the good old days of hard politicking, the smoke-filled rooms, and all the arm twisting that will bring the eventual nominee. But going through it in 2008 does not seem as jubilant as it did in the 1920s or the 1880s. Has anything changed? Only the whole world.When this is all over, will we be satisfied with the result? If not, it will only be another year and a half until it all starts again. Or will it?