Political Promises

Obama vs HillaryThe last weekend prior to the Indiana and North Carolina primaries have been particularly ridiculous. It seems that the new strategy of both the Clinton and Obama campaign has been to out-promise one another.

It reminds me of 5th grade as people ran for student council. “If elected, I will give new uniforms to the basketball team and cheerleaders.” [insert applause] Of course, when that girl got elected no one got new uniforms. It turns out the student body president doesn’t get to decide stuff like that.

It also reminds me of the countless stories I’ve heard from people joining the military. They will promise you whatever you want to hear so that you will sign on the dotted line. Of course, a recruiter has zero say in what you actually do once in the military. But their only job is to tell you what you want to hear so that you join.

It’s the same with these political candidates.  They don’t care what they promise, they only care that you punch their name at the election. It’s impossible for them to say things like “I’d eliminate the gas tax.” or “I’d pull soldiers out of Iraq the day I get elected.” or “I’ll tax you less while giving you more.” One candidate tries to look presidential in front of flags while another drinks whiskey and pretends to like country music. It’s all just marketing. Of course, the thing is that the President of the United States can’t just pull soldiers out of Iraq or cancel a gas tax or cut taxes while increasing benefits. The President is not a supreme ruler as there are two other equal levels of government. Do you really think that Congress would allow the President to abandon a mission in Iraq? Do you really thing the Supreme Court would consider it lawful to force corporations to pay more taxes? 

Ultimately, politicians only care about one thing. They care that you will walk into the voter booth and punch their name. They will tell you whatever fantasy you want to hear.

Let’s hear them argue about something important! Which mac-n-cheese is the cheesiest? 

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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