The Spirit of ’08: Cut the crap, candidates.
January 29, 2008 News

No one among the ’08 presidential hopefuls has asked for my advice on campaign strategy, and that’s probably for the best. Frankly, I think the kinds of strategies and tactics we’ve seen in past national elections aren’t going to cut the mustard this time. Because times are tough now, and they’re about to get much, much tougher. These candidates have to get serious, because it’s getting pretty serious for all of us.

We simply can’t afford to get fooled again; there’s too much at stake, and too little time. We need real ideas, and integrity, and courage, and truth-telling in this election. The good news is, it’s hard to fake those things if we all watch closely.

Speaking of the press doing its job, I’ve lately seen one too many articles and reports like this one. So, CNN reporter, you’re telling me that black women (evidently a surprisingly homogeneous group) are in a heck of a race/gender quandary, because they can’t figure out whether to vote for the black man, or the white woman? Oh, really? It’s hard to read through that piece and imagine that it was written, and proofread, and edited and printed without anyone saying, “Wait a minute. Aren’t we about to totally insult the intelligence of our entire readership with this racist, sexist, elitist premise?”

The larger point is, in my opinion we’re much smarter than they think we are. And by November, as the major issues facing us continue to assert themselves, I think very few people will be supporting any presidential candidate simply because of their gender, their race, or their religion. Maybe 20 or 30 years ago they would have, but not today.

The following video is a great example of the change that I’m seeing in the quality of discourse. The interviewer hears the BS, and overlooks the BS for a while, and tries to steer the discussion away from the BS and back to real issues, and finally, the BS build-up becomes too much for him. What follows is a minute or two of uncommon clarity; Mark Larsen has a new fan.

My wish is that more of the debates, round-tables, and interviews in election ’08 begin where this one ends.

"2" Comments
  1. Stephen Halliday

    Hi Jack,
    I live in the UK and would be the first to admit that I don’t fully understand the US Political system but I have to agree with your article here. The radio clip is fantastic, it would be nice if interviewers working for the BBC were “allowed” to talk like the host of this show. I’d like to see more information about the 1% tax proposal that is mentioned here, I reckon that would port well to the UK economy at the moment.

    By the way, your book is the best book that I have ever read, please tell me you are working on some more, and fast!
    Come to think of it, I think I’ll start reading it again this weekend.
    Thanks, Stephen.

  2. Stephen,
    The nice thing is, I don’t think this US host was particularly “allowed” to do what he did, either. He just got mad about something very important, and thankfully he let that come out for all of us to hear.

    Personally, I think I’m seeing a new, heightened BS detector developing in the general US public, and that’s great. In my opinion it’s a ripple effect of the current wave of news/commentary/comedy shows (Colbert, Stewart, Mahr, etc.), and a very positive development. The jesters have always had more leeway in speaking truth to power, right?

    I’m glad you enjoyed the book! Yes, I’m working on the next one now, but by all means read Maximum Impact again; you’ll notice a lot of new things the second time through.

    All the best,

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