Who's Minding the Store?

Thursday, April 17, 2008
In my view, almost everything we have seen in this campaign from any of the candidates is garbage. The outlandish promises, prevarications, and outright lies only seem to grow bolder from year to year. Social Security broken? Don't worry! A new era of government will fix all, while it lowers the federal deficit, increases America's standing in the world, brings millions out of poverty, and spends trillions on new free health care for all. Isn't it wonderful?

Yet the engineer in me continually asks, how? How can we fix Social Security? What is the proposal? Will it work? How can we provide free health care for all? With what money? Will doctors suddenly work for less upon the election of a Democrat? How will we get out of Iraq without the deaths of millions on our bloody hands? Yes, there are a lot of rust-bucket people who are out of work or underemployed. But how are we going to help them exactly? We have indeed sunk into a "two-culture" state in which glib politically minded personable lawyers are not expected to have the least idea of what makes things actually work—I guess that's all to be left to the nerds.

Here's how Victor Davis Hanson expresses it:
So far we haven't heard specific workable proposals from the candidates about how exactly they would solve energy dependence, soaring food prices, illegal immigration or outdated farm subsidies.

There has been no new solution offered about the looming Social Security crack-up. Few candidates have expressed novel ideas of stopping staggering deficits or bulking up a sinking dollar -- much less exactly the sacrifices necessary on all our parts to restore American financial solvency. No one has offered a better way of dealing with an ascendant but lawless China, an unhinged Iran or the ongoing war against Islamic extremism.

In 2008, everything and everyone has fallen victim to a nasty campaign -- except America's nastiest problems.

Yep, that's it. Not a word about how to solve our real problems, which seem to be gathering apace like ominous thunderheads on the horizon, unnoticed by nearly all.