For like young Abigael, I too feel a pang of discomfort every time another negative political ad appears on my television screen, or I hear another self-important pundit pontificating on the implications of yet another totally inconsistent and perhaps meaningless poll, or I read another report belaboring the criticality of “this last weekend of Election 2012.”
This entire election cycle has been excessively wearying, as no other in my recollection has ever been.
Please! Let this thing be over!
How many debates did we endure over the past year? I’m not only referring to the three between Obama and Romney or that embarrassing vaudeville sketch inflicted on us by Biden and Ryan. Don’t you remember the interminable procession of debates between the Republican candidates who were grasping for their party’s presidential nomination?
Honestly, I completely loss count on those.
There was a time in our nation’s history when it was considered unseemly for presidential candidates to campaign for themselves. The candidates role was to stay at home, doing little more than sitting on their front porches drinking tea and acting “presidential” while their surrogates fanned out across the countryside like a swarm of locusts giving speeches, attending rallies, and drumming up the vote for their candidate.
We have William Jennings Bryan to thank for coming up with the creation of what he referred to as the “stumping tour“. During the 1896 presidential campaign he took his political fate into his own hands, toured the nation personally giving some 500 speeches and losing the election in the process. Perhaps history was trying to teach us a lesson through Bryan’s experience. But we didn’t learn anything from it and the art of political campaigning has been on a downhill cascade ever since.
Two more days to go in Election 2012. I’m cautiously optimistic that I may have just enough patience and wherewithal to make it through to the end.
Yet I quickly come to the realization that by Wednesday morning, the pundits will be back with their unrelenting, unending dissection and analysis of voting trends and demographics to explain to the poor, unenlightened masses why one guy will be our next President and the other guy won’t.
And on and on it goes, the Circle will be Unbroken.