Nuance in a President is a Bad Thing - The Intrepid

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Nuance in a President is a Bad Thing

Apparently, a President’s number one priority is to produce “sound bites”. Forget nuance and detailed thought about complex issues, a Presidential candidate needs to be able to state their opinion on any subject in three words or less. At least that was the opinion given by Bill O’Reilly last week in his interview with Barack Obama on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor and subsequently by Republican author Dick Morris on the same show.

The issues facing America today are complex. The housing crisis, the War in Iraq, global warning, and energy prices are problems that require detailed explanation, thoughtful assessment, and debate. Although voters often require cues to properly assess candidates, the increasingly shallow brand of politics that Fox News and the other cable news networks have adopted is somewhat worrisome.

While the inane nature of the cable news programs in the U.S. is hardly news, it is somewhat discomforting to reflect upon the transformation of this campaign season. Both Obama and McCain each promised a civilized campaign season about policy issues. That dream currently lies in tatters as the candidates and the media fight over non-issues surrounding Sarah Palin, such as Bristol Palin’s pregnancy and whether Palin is at the centre of sexist attacks by the liberal media.

For the most part, the McCain campaign deserves the majority of the blame for prompting the discussion of these non-issues and abusing their power. But, the Obama campaign is also to blame for engaging in these idiotic debates.

As David Plotz, editor of Slate Magazine, accurately surmised this week during the Slate Political Gabfest: “It’s a feeling of just physical repulsion at what I thought was going to be a really interesting and rich campaign has become one that is being fought in all the wrong ways towards a result that the country is going to regret.”