Democrats and the Obama Administration have finally stopped blaming George W. Bush every time something goes wrong. They have realized that this isn't working anymore. So now they simply talk about the horrible situations President Obama inherited when he took office -- that is, saying the same thing, just putting it a different way. Republicans, on the other hand, blame everything that is wrong in this country on the past nearly four years of Barack Obama's presidency. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are doing the same thing, and both are equally wrong: They are looking backward for all the negatives that they can possibly dig up instead of looking forward to the positives that could be ahead.
Robert Duvall, playing Augustus "Gus" McCrae in the TV movie Lonesome Dove, put it well when responding to a terrible tragedy they had encountered: "Yesterday's gone, and we can't get it back. It's best we get on with today." I may be in the minority, but, quite frankly, this voter doesn't care so much how we got where we are and whose fault it is; I am much more interested in what is going to happen after the election to fix the things that the great majority of us Americans of both parties are concerned about and have to deal with regularly in our personal, family, and professional lives. We want solutions, not blame!
I'm not speaking in terms of generalities -- I want both presidential candidates to tell me specifically how they plan on dealing with such issues, for example, as: getting the United States back on a sound fiscal basis and paying down our out-of-hand national debt; finding ways to break the patrician gridlock that exists between Democrats and Republicans and has paralyzed our federal government; instigating job growth and getting our people back to work again; keeping Social Security solvent; seeing to it that that United States has the best possible medical care available for all of our citizens and an affordable way to pay for health care over the long haul; and curtailing the escalating costs of college education, thus making college more affordable rather than just making more funds available for college students to borrow.
Being negative in specifics about the past in order to play to their respective political bases and being vague about what they plan to do in the future in order to attract independents is like trying to be all things to all people. That's not only unfair and misleading, it also just doesn't work over the long haul. Yet, both of our presidential candidates are guilty of doing this.
I recall some of the words of a song made popular by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters in 1944. It went something like this: "You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative... [and] don't mess with Mister In-Between." This would be good advice for both President Obama and Governor Romney.
I am not going to vote for a presidential candidate who spends all of his time reciting the negatives of the past and blaming the other candidate or his party for the county's problems. "It's best we get on with today." Nor do I want "pie-in-the-sky" platitudes that are totally unrealistic. My vote will go to whichever candidate provides the most information about realistic specifics of what he is going to do if he is elected. Both President Obama and Governor Romney have no problem with drugging up specifics of the past. Let's see them be specific about the future.
Follow William B. Bradshaw on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BradshawBud