Now that we’ve all had a chance to take a deep breath and ignore the presidency, it’s time for retrospective reflection – for ditching conventional wisdom and group-think analyses.
No, this campaign wasn’t ugly and no it wasn’t worse than its idealized predecessors. There’s no denying that it wasn’t heartening but not for reasons which our self-acclaimed talking heads decree as the preeminent premise from which all other evaluations must depart.
The latest presidential contest differs by virtue of the very fact that it was more democratic than any previous one. No favorite sons were imposed by powerful political bosses. Anyone felt free to throw his/her hat in the ring, resulting in a wide array of candidates and a free-for-all. This is to our credit and not to our shame.
What was shameful, however, was that too many candidates were rotten candidates. Some were truly tainted by an inglorious past – to put it delicately. No “contracts” were taken out against them. If anything, it’s a badge of sociopolitical maturity that we no longer sweep suspicions about a candidate’s character under the rug. Continue reading