Goodbye to political junkiedom?

I’ve been a political junkie since I was a teenager. I’ve especially enjoyed the theatre of America’s quadrennial Presidential campaign, starting with the stirrings of various candidacies, and then moving into the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

It’s no wonder that I’ve watched the last two seasons of The West Wing on multiple occasions!

Looking ahead to 2012

But now I find myself unable to generate any enthusiasm for the 2012 game to come.

Of course, part of it relates to my ongoing disappointment with President Obama, who very likely will get my vote for lack of better choices. The 2008 election, and the remarkable enthusiasm and hope it generated, seem like another epoch ago.

Of the Republican candidates for the nomination, all I can say is that this party has done much, much better in election years past. I imagine that a good number of GOP voters feel the same way.

The candidates are sparring against the backdrop of a national and global economic situation on the brink of full-blown disaster, and no one on either side of the aisle strikes me as being capable of leading us out of it. Add to that the poisonous tone of public dialogue in Washington D.C., on the airwaves, and online, and you’ve got a recipe for continued muddling along…at best.

Solutions? Answers?

Please don’t offer any sympathy for my inability to delude myself further that the drama of the coming campaign actually will result in any positive change!

Instead, we all should be worried about the choices before us. And even more importantly, we need to be asking how we recover from a situation that Washington D.C. — and Wall Street, for that matter — are ill-equipped to fix.

Personally, I think we still need to come to grips with whether our holy commitment to “economic growth” as measured by more, more, and more is even part of the answer in view of the financial and environmental challenges we face.

Sure, there’s room for entrepreneurship, innovation, and especially job creation — but only if we we avoiding building them on piles of debt, worker exploitation, and ozone emissions.¬†Otherwise, it’s time we had more important discussions about quality of life, community, and lives infused with meaning. That conversation probably won’t occur much, if at all, on the Presidential campaign trail, so I won’t be spending a lot of time watching C-SPAN.

See you at the polls, in any event.

-David Yamada

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