The Spine

The Campaigning Season, Er Year(s)

By and

I don't know whether it is the Christmas season that will be intruded upon by presidential politics or the holiday season. But either way -- or both -- it is a sign that the candidates have no sense of respect for ordinary voters and their quotidian lives. It is the politicians' egos that permit them to devote more than a year and close to two years to the pursuit of the presidency.

We are the only country in the world by far that puts as much time, money and energy into the artificial life of campaigning: false conversations, false photographs, false debates, false facts, false visions, false, false, false. The U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Israel, Australia, the Scandinavians, all of the great democracies manage to elect their chief executives in no more than a month or six weeks.

The longer a campaign takes the more the candidates have to improvise new approaches and new gambits to the race. Now that the Iowa caucus has gone to early January and one election official (which is all it takes) is contemplating moving the New Hampshire primaries to late December, what complaint against Michigan and Florida will the national parties use against these two states which merely want to get into the act?

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