…but I WANT it!

~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.

John McCain wants:
…U.S. government to go green,” June 24.
…More Afghanistan troops,” July 15.
…to stay out of Favre controversy,” July 31.
…a man on Mars,” June 5.

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!”


One thought on “…but I WANT it!

  1. The candidate who gave this speech has my vote:

    I want to live in a country where every individual and every family is able to enjoy what most Americans would agree is a basic level of material comfort and security.

    Our cities to be safe and vital, affording residents a quality of life unmatched in human history.

    I believe that our country needs to have ample supplies of clean and sustainable energy.

    We must protect our natural resources, and every person should know that the air they breath and the water they drink is safe.

    No person should be deprived of essential health care because they are unable to work, or because they don’t make enough money.

    People who are mentally or physically disabled should be able to live in a safe and comfortable environment that affords them all the dignity the human person is due. We should end the scourge of homelessness in our cities.

    Seniors should have sufficient resources to be able enjoy a secure and leisurely retirement.

    Our schools should be accountable, and should allow every child to reach his or her full potential.

    I support a foreign policy in which this country is safe and secure, respected and admired by all.

    I want a country where opportunity exists for every American, and where hope is the watchword.

    If you agee, then you will vote for me. In my innaugural address I will explain how, working, together we will achieve these goals with policies that avoid the mistakes of he past.

    If you don’t agree with these goals, then you will vote for my opponent.

    Thank you, and God bless.

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