Voters need to elect smart stalwarts, not contrived mascots
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 00:09
Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo once said "You campaign in poetry, you govern in prose."
Rick Perry and the U.S. electorate seem to have missed this memo.
The governor of Texas and 2012 GOP presidential candidate stands in front of crowds flaunting his record of 234 state executions like a peacock.
All the while smirking and announcing things such as "ultimate justice" while the crowd roars with approbation.
The death penalty remains one of the grayest of the gray subject matters for liberals and conservatives.
It's easy to find members of either party who are for or against the issue, or even members who are undecided.
But what is it about the conservative base, which cheers proudly at the mention of Rick Perry's 234 executions, that finds these campaign points attractive?
During the Tea Party debate in Tampa on Sept. 12, Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul if an uninsured man should be left to die by his government in a serious medical dilemma.
Before Paul had time to respond, the audience shouted loudly, "YES!" "YEAH!" as they applauded not Ron Paul's response, but the idea of our government leaving the man to die.
Capital punishment and health care are important topics for voters. But when did electing a president become a competition to find the next Chuck Norris?
Haven't we learned our lesson from the last cowboy president we elected?
This country could very well be in the twilight of prosperity, so why doesn't the base want a conservative who is intellectually seasoned rather than one who brags about shooting coyotes in his spare time?
There is nothing poetic about this presidential race thus far. Instead of positive politics and policy views that can instill hope in voters, it seems that all that can get the conservative vote rowdy is the topic of death and execution or throwing the kitchen sink at one another.
So what's the problem? If voters are responding to executions and hypothetical death situations, then maybe it's wise for the candidates to take this approach.
Then the problem is the cloudy view of whom elected officials should be. If we want the smartest doctors, lawyers and pilots taking care of us, why wouldn't we want the smartest president?
We need to stop electing politicians that we would want to have a beer with or go hunting with, and elect one who can use their brainpower to nudge us in the right direction. Someone who can begin to help restore the United States to what it used to be.
The state of U.S. politics and the 2012 GOP presidential race is starting to remind me of another quote: Jean-Paul Sartre said, "Hell is other people."
Collin is a senior majoring in English. He enjoys writing on topics such as nutrition, society and the environment. Collin also enjoys writing long fiction.