I have yet to pay serious attention to the political actors running for President from the two major parties, though JT keeps threatening to ask me about this on the radio. I think it too early to take any candidacy seriously at this point, at least from a policy perspective. What do I mean by this?
Quite simply put, becoming a party’s nominee seems to have less and less to do with actually winning the general election for an office. The positions staked out by candidates from either party seem designed to whip up party “base” and bear little resemblance to policies u think likely to be proposed in a general election or while in office.
As soon as primaries are won it appears to be the norm that candidates back away from stances they held, in some cases, mere hours before. I understand the electoral math behind these changes. It is absolutely true that the nature of the game changes after the primary. The competition after the primary and before the general election is for “undecided” or “unaffiliated” voters, not to be the one anointed by the party faithful.
As a result we end up hearing three and four versions of a policy, each with a different twist or tweak designed to appease some voting bloc. My general regard for the sense and soundness behind policy from politicians is not terribly high to start with, but the notion that policy ideas at this point are even worthy of the label policy is laughable.
I suppose the primary process, thinking mostly about the Presidential race here, can be viewed as a boost to employment. The fact that it goes on so long, that there are so many candidates, and so many outlets has to boost employment at least in some of the early states. I can buy that as a positive effect, but I am not going to consider candidates serious, let alone the impotent ramblings they self-describe as policy ideas, until there is more thought put into the ideas or an election is much, much closer.