The Curiously Discreet Candidate

It would appear that the 2008 presidential elections will most likely hinge not on the stances candidates have assured their voters they have publicly taken on any given issue, but on the stances voters hope their candidates are already sworn to in secret. The correct assumption is that wise candidates understandably avoid revealing their most deeply held convictions to the general public, lest they become vulnerable to a barrage of tailor made smear tactics from the dominant fringe on either side of the political aisle, and are effectively rendered unelectable.

In essence, many voters will find themselves possibly squandering their cherished privilege to vote on the curious principle that it is the more prudent course for their candidate to conceal his or her actual proposals until the necessary authority to implement them in the public arena is fully appropriated.

This temporal alliance of duplicity between base voters and their candidates implicitly exonerates the latter's reluctance to fully elaborate on what it really is that they will pursue as active policies once they are inside the White House; a reluctance that is based primarily on the fear of alienating a potentially vital segment of voters who do not consider themselves blindly committed to either one of the respective political bases.

Take Hillary Clinton for example.

Soon after her precarious fumble on the issue of providing driver licenses for illegal aliens, Mrs. Clinton affirmed that she now leans towards a more moderate view on the subject; but this epiphany did not come until she was made privy to the fact that a lot of potential Democratic voters are as opposed to the idea  as many Republicans.

Unfortunately, there are those who belong to a hard line contingent on the left who do believe that measures like dispensing driver licenses to illegal aliens, or say, precipitously withdrawing from Iraq, are not such bad ideas after all; and her advisors are well aware of the fact that this assembly of arguably imbalanced individuals also represents a sizable portion of Mrs. Clinton's base.

This contingent of extremists is wagering that while Mrs. Clinton may be expressing doubts about these issues in public, her undisclosed stance is very much aligned with theirs. They can only surmise that Mrs. Clinton is, by necessity, assuming the posture of a stealth political operative, until the day she is actually elected, and only then can she openly reveal and implement her grand vision for the country; hence her many recent remarks on a variety of issues that are nothing short of labyrinthine.

Republican candidates and their base are likewise inescapably yoked to a similar stratagem.

Republican hopeful Rudolph W. Giuliani's long-time support for abortion didn't hinder Pat Robertson from lavishing him with a rather mystifying endorsement. The Christian leader's bet is that Giuliani's profoundly incoherent stance on abortion is not deeply rooted enough to prevent him from nominating a conservative judge to the Supreme Court. Again, this venture is based not on what Mr. Giuliani has explicitly told his conservative base -- in spite of what the media contends -- but what they can safely infer is tucked somewhere inside his four year plan folder.

The question that voters from either party must ask themselves is how many of them feel comfortable enough voting for someone who considers it a virtue to promote his or her bid for power on the principle that honesty is not always the best policy.

But this is by far a new historical development. People like Democratic Senator Dennis Kucinich provides not only a sobering reminder of why this is the way things are destined to remain in politics, but is also one of a few endlessly amusing victims of this not so contemporary dysfunction.

Only the most credulous fail to recognize that since time immemorial, in the business of politics, where sincerity and character are presumably to be valued as highest, voters have always had to divine what a candidate is saying between the lines.

The notable difference today is that, unnerved by a surplus of character assassination professionals available for hire, the savvier candidates are actually expected not to be completely forthcoming in their declarations, lest the competition finds a way to capitalize off their candor or at least neutralize them.

And we've certainly come a long way indeed, when a candidate who has the best chances of getting elected is the one who speaks only in half truths and expediently avoids any full disclosure of the real principles - regardless of how twisted -  upon which his or her convictions  are grounded.
It would appear that the 2008 presidential elections will most likely hinge not on the stances candidates have assured their voters they have publicly taken on any given issue, but on the stances voters hope their candidates are already sworn to in secret. The correct assumption is that wise candidates understandably avoid revealing their most deeply held convictions to the general public, lest they become vulnerable to a barrage of tailor made smear tactics from the dominant fringe on either side of the political aisle, and are effectively rendered unelectable.

In essence, many voters will find themselves possibly squandering their cherished privilege to vote on the curious principle that it is the more prudent course for their candidate to conceal his or her actual proposals until the necessary authority to implement them in the public arena is fully appropriated.

This temporal alliance of duplicity between base voters and their candidates implicitly exonerates the latter's reluctance to fully elaborate on what it really is that they will pursue as active policies once they are inside the White House; a reluctance that is based primarily on the fear of alienating a potentially vital segment of voters who do not consider themselves blindly committed to either one of the respective political bases.

Take Hillary Clinton for example.

Soon after her precarious fumble on the issue of providing driver licenses for illegal aliens, Mrs. Clinton affirmed that she now leans towards a more moderate view on the subject; but this epiphany did not come until she was made privy to the fact that a lot of potential Democratic voters are as opposed to the idea  as many Republicans.

Unfortunately, there are those who belong to a hard line contingent on the left who do believe that measures like dispensing driver licenses to illegal aliens, or say, precipitously withdrawing from Iraq, are not such bad ideas after all; and her advisors are well aware of the fact that this assembly of arguably imbalanced individuals also represents a sizable portion of Mrs. Clinton's base.

This contingent of extremists is wagering that while Mrs. Clinton may be expressing doubts about these issues in public, her undisclosed stance is very much aligned with theirs. They can only surmise that Mrs. Clinton is, by necessity, assuming the posture of a stealth political operative, until the day she is actually elected, and only then can she openly reveal and implement her grand vision for the country; hence her many recent remarks on a variety of issues that are nothing short of labyrinthine.

Republican candidates and their base are likewise inescapably yoked to a similar stratagem.

Republican hopeful Rudolph W. Giuliani's long-time support for abortion didn't hinder Pat Robertson from lavishing him with a rather mystifying endorsement. The Christian leader's bet is that Giuliani's profoundly incoherent stance on abortion is not deeply rooted enough to prevent him from nominating a conservative judge to the Supreme Court. Again, this venture is based not on what Mr. Giuliani has explicitly told his conservative base -- in spite of what the media contends -- but what they can safely infer is tucked somewhere inside his four year plan folder.

The question that voters from either party must ask themselves is how many of them feel comfortable enough voting for someone who considers it a virtue to promote his or her bid for power on the principle that honesty is not always the best policy.

But this is by far a new historical development. People like Democratic Senator Dennis Kucinich provides not only a sobering reminder of why this is the way things are destined to remain in politics, but is also one of a few endlessly amusing victims of this not so contemporary dysfunction.

Only the most credulous fail to recognize that since time immemorial, in the business of politics, where sincerity and character are presumably to be valued as highest, voters have always had to divine what a candidate is saying between the lines.

The notable difference today is that, unnerved by a surplus of character assassination professionals available for hire, the savvier candidates are actually expected not to be completely forthcoming in their declarations, lest the competition finds a way to capitalize off their candor or at least neutralize them.

And we've certainly come a long way indeed, when a candidate who has the best chances of getting elected is the one who speaks only in half truths and expediently avoids any full disclosure of the real principles - regardless of how twisted -  upon which his or her convictions  are grounded.