(Note to Joe Six-pack: that's Chinese to you and me.)
With less than six weeks until Election Day, presidential campaign activity is heating up. John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin gave him a nice bounce in the polls following the GOP convention, but after ten days of the media's anti-Palin hatchet job, most polls show Obama with a small lead.
To my Republican friends I say, don't worry. Dukakis was leading by double digits at this time in his ill-fated campaign against Bush 41 in 1988. You can't argue the fact that this is a year Democrats should win the White House, but their ill-conceived selection of a senator who has done nothing other than given an eloquent speech or two will be their downfall. I mean, come on! George W. Bush's presidency has been a disaster. You can't pick up the paper and not read a story with the word "crisis" appearing in multiple headlines (mortgage/banking crisis, stock market crisis, gas crisis, cost of food crisis, Cincinnati Bengals crisis). While Bush doesn't deserve all the blame (Nancy Pelosi and the do-nothing Democrat Congress also come to mind), he has set our party back a good fifteen years along with help from cronies like Tom Delay and the rest of the Republican Congress that has one goal in mind: re-election. The point is, this election is the Democrats' to lose. And it looks like they will.
So while the Democrats should be running away with this, they're not. And McCain, for all his warts, still has that maverick image that has a lot of cross-over appeal and his addition of Sarah Palin to the ticket is holding out as a good pick so far. She'll probably continue to be an asset to the campaign so long as no nude photos of her making angels in the snow show up in Playboy, as my Democrat friends are praying for. But will McCain change Washington? Absolutely not, and neither would Obama. Why? Because voters don't want change. If they wanted change they would follow the wisdom of Albert Einstein who once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. So when the American voting public goes to the polls and re-elects the same knuckleheaded bunch of losers to the U.S. Congress year after year, they should expect to get more of the same. More double-talk on tax relief, more ignoring of the looming Social Security crisis, more re-tread ideas to improve our public schools. You get the picture.
Certainly if elected, McCain will do his part to cut some pork here and there but basically without a wholesale change in Congress (which will not occur), don't start looking for him to push any significant reforms. Americans like their politicians to give them what they want and let some future generation figure out how to pay for it.
So this campaign boils down to the lesser of two evils. The one you know and the one you don't know. I'm hoping the American voter recognizes the danger in handing our country over to some guy whose most significant job before becoming a politician was "community organizer."
So this Friday night the war hero and the community organizer will face off in their first debate. Look for both candidates to speak in platitudes and attack their opponent a lot more than telling us what they would do to fix (fill in the blank). The media loves this crap because it's a lot easier to report on who called whom a pig (or not) than it is to write a story about what a $9 trillion dollar national debt means for our future (China owns about $400 billion of that debt by the way. So get your kids out of French class and start teaching them Mandarin).
But what the media and the candidates are giving us is what we want. After all, who amongst us is going to sit around on a Friday night watching two presidential candidates debate the real ins and outs of Social Security reform? For that matter, who is going to sit around on a Friday night and watch them speak in platitudes? The Internet puts at our hands access to all kinds of information but the bottom line is the sound-bite lives on.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of www.IrreverentView.com. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@411Communications.net.