Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Political Tragedy of Shakespearean Proportions

World Magazine's Peter Jackson suggests that there might be a negative "smear campaign" directed against John McCain by Democrats accusing him of negative campaign tactics that he is not guilty of.

Indeed. It appears that we are condemned to a campaign focused on who is negative and who is not. There will be many accusations, many protestations and expressions of hurt feelings, and many exclamations of heart-felt apologies when someone must express remorse over seemingly crossing that invisible line. Candidates will distance themselves from supporters, and pundits will gravely question whether such distancing was both far enough and timely.

Both the candidates and the media covering them will dwell on this drivel. One wonders if anyone will bother to try to shift the focus from negative vs. positive, to substantive vs. not.

Substantive debate over things that matter can be positive or negative. There is nothing wrong with "going negative" in a substantive sense.

However, one somehow suspects that this campaign will be "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

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