Today was the first round of debates among the Democratic candidates for the Presidential office. I missed it. And I feel rather badly about it. I feel like I should be more involved, more engaged, more interested. But I find it hard to generate interest in an election that is over a year away. I know that this herd will be culled down vastly by that time. Plus, I usually find that the debate format annoys me since everyone seems to be arguing without listening.
I need to find a way to get myself engaged in the process, because, as Molly Ivins, rest her soul, used to say, "We are the government." If I don't care, why should the government care about me? I think part of the problem is that I don't fit neatly into any of the camps; not conservative enough for the Republicans, not liberal enough for the Democrats, not green enough for the Green Party. I always steal Dennis Miller's line and say I'm a realist. I believe that prisons should be punitive but not torturous. I think that we should spend more money on schools than prisons and that while prisoners should have access to education, that they should have to work for it. I think we need a graduated welfare system that supports people as they get back on their feet and doesn't punish them for trying to get back on track, but that there should be limits to how long help can be received. I think we need viable alternatives to fossil fuels. I think kids should pull their damned pants up and enunciate. I think people who talk on their cell phones while driving should receive a shock every time they break a traffic law (though I'm not really sure how to implement this one.) I rarely see a candidate for any office and think, "Now, that's someone I want to represent me." I find this both sad and alarming.
What are you looking for in a candidate?