Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why is politics boring?

Here's another quote from David Foster Wallace (from Up Simba, his report on McCain 2000).

"Even though our elected representatives are always wringing their hands and making concerned noises about low voter turnouts, nothing substantive ever gets done to make politics less ugly or depressing or to actually induce more people to vote: our elected representatives are incumbents, and low turnouts favour incumbents for the same reason soft money does."

"The entrenched Establishments of the two major parties ... are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical. "

As far as I can make out, this is the first US election since 1928 in which neither of the candidates for the presidency is a member of the Presidents-and-Vice-Presidents-and-their-families club. (Adlai Stevenson in 1952 was the grandson of a Vice-President. Does Dan Quayle have any grandchildren?)

It is also one of the most interesting in my lifetime. [See my post US Election 2008: Sincerity versus Authenticity]

So what has happened to Establishment power this time around? I blame the Internet.

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