~Lauren M. Ruhland, 2008 MCPP intern
I’ve seen too many headlines in the format (politician) WANTS (some particular goal) lately. These articles are invariably heavy on empty rhetoric and emotional appeals, but light on politically and economically feasible ways that we could implement the pol’s preferred system. As a little experiment, I thought I’d take a look and see what the two major parties’ presumptive candidates have been wanting lately. It was as easy as typing “(politician) wants” into my Google searchbar.
Barack Obama wants:
“…Michigan factories retooled for alternative energy products,” August 4.
“…U.S. to be first in space,” August 3.
“…Florida, Michigan [delegates] restored in full,” August 3.
“…More from Germany,” July 25.
To be fair, seating the Michigan and Florida delegates is the Democratic Party’s issue to deal with, and few people are going to choose a candidate over his position on Brett Favre–at least, few outside Wisconsin and the western U.P. However, grand visions of space travel, top-down industrial restructuring, and major foreign policy shifts aren’t going to happen just through wanting it so.
Other presidential hopefuls have slightly more humble wants. Libertarian candidate Bob Barr “wants America to take him seriously,” while independent and former Green Party candidate Ralph Nader just wants your attention. Current Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney hasn’t been wanting lately, though in 2005 she did “want [the] government to open files on 2Pac’s life and murder.”
UPDATE: There’s even more fun to be had if you search for “(politician’s name) pledges,” “calls for,” and “promises!”