Republican primary bores without Dem’s input
Aaron Selya, Web Editor
January 31, 2012
This election cycle is different than the last one. It is boring. The one redeeming part of this race is the Daily Show and The Colbert Report making jokes about the candidates on a nightly basis. It seems that the media is the only group of people having anything more than a passing interest in the race.
The democrats I know generally do not care about the Republican Party’s primaries. When they do discuss the candidates, they talk about how unelectable they are and get a good laugh out of the ridiculousness of some candidates. The Republicans I know seem to be resigned to having Romney as their nominee, even though they are not optimistic about his chances of beating Obama. Despite my friends’ interest in both, I am finding it difficult to get excited about the election.
There is no race happening on the democratic side, so democrats are content letting the Republicans sling mud at each other while Obama makes his final policy decisions in preparation for beginning a full-scale campaign. When the opposition is not engaged in the race, the presidential nomination process seems like nothing more than infighting.
The last presidential election was full of excitement and intrigue. For the first time in more than 10 years there was no incumbent or potentially electable vice-president running for president, leaving the field wide open. The democrats were deciding between Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama. Regardless of who was nominated, there was excitement over the feeling that history might be made.
On the Republican side, there was a three-way race between two governors and a former prisoner of war, which was not decided until most of the primaries ended. The excitement over the race climaxed with the Republican selection of Sarah Palin as the nominee for vice-president, a polarizing decision that forced everyone to pay attention.
This year is different. Without the democrats on the field, the nomination process feels long and drawn out. There have been 17 debates between the Republican candidates with more scheduled before the nomination. It’s exciting to watch the candidates step out from behind political ads and stump speeches to attack each other directly, but the sheer number of debates has robbed them of their importance. The candidates have sparred so many times that there is no more excitement. Even the moderators of the debates have been boring. Moderators should not allow themselves to be berated into submission by the participants of the debate.
Additionally, this year is lacking the active public participation surrounding the previous election. When I bike around Santa Rosa, I do not see any political posters, signs or bumper stickers.
This year there has not been any significant youth involvement in support of either party or candidates, except Ron Paul. Perhaps the people feel that Obama is old news because this is America and if you are not new, you are old.
This year, the race seems so boring it’s hard to remember the White House is at stake.