My response to the email about the petty nit-picked details of each candidates: I don't care about anyone's past, I care about their present. And because Obama is black in America, he HAS to have a perfect resume in order to even be considered. There are some people in this country who still hate "niggers." watch this delightful video produced by Al Jazeera, the CNN of the Middle East, and you'll see what I mean.
Qualifications and degrees and history and past affiliations and records and truth/"facts" about political candidates have no relevancies any more in the American political system, for any party, so all of this is moot.
This is no longer a democracy. People do not trust the government any more because there is nothing to trust. It's the case with constituencies in all parties. There is no transparency, there is no consistency, there is no accountability - this is no democracy. the laws have been manipulated in such a way that the laws are subverted.
One example, our voting system is so flawed and unorganized that it does not even meet the standard criteria required to be considered for observation by the Carter Center, the international organization designated by the UN that ensures democratic voting takes place in developing nations around the world! From their site:
Would you discuss U.S. voting procedures in light of emerging international standards?
Dr. Carroll: According to international standards, the management and administration of elections should be impartial and transparent. Most countries with strong democratic institutions have an independent national election authority that administers elections nationwide with uniform processes and standards. In the United States, elections are administered at the state and local level, often under the direction of partisan officials, and with varying practices, procedures, and machinery.
The United States should adopt uniform voting procedures within states and perhaps nationwide, and antiquated voting machinery should be replaced with more reliable technology in all communities, rich or poor. In addition, simulations of voting systems would test reliability and accuracy before elections and build confidence in new technology.
There also needs to be a way to let voters know whether they have followed proper procedure and a way that they can immediately correct mistakes. Having a paper record of the vote or a paper receipt for the voter is a way to build confidence in the system. There is also a clear need to create an information-sharing system among counties and among states to cross-check voter registration to eliminate duplications, deceased registrants, and other errors.
That's only addressing the voting - not the lobby system, the earmarking, the electoral college issue - or the many other perversions of our constitution. The big problem is that Americans have been so identified with their chosen candidate's personal identity and their "character" presence rather than how they vote on the issues. This happened because Americans don't know what the issues are because the public education system of this country is so terrible.
Things have shifted in a more civilly-involved direction with this particular election because of its star-power, total dependence on the medium of television, and its requirement that characters be "cast" in a role within the structure of dramatic narrative - The Election '08 Program. It means nothing, really. When we all expect a politician to "represent us" we think that means that they must replicate exactly who WE are based on absolute irrelevancies to the political process like race, religion, family background, job history, personal history, life, challenges - not at all how they stand on the issues. But again, Americans don't understand the issues, how the issues directly affect them, or how the political system actually works. I really don't either.