I was looking around for something else and found this headline attractive, and the article underlying it well reasoned. I don’t agree with all of the author’s points, but his big point I definitely do. I’ve been trying to get that point across to folks for quite some time, to encourage people to have more realistic expectations of what candidates can (and can’t) do.
On Inauguration Day, a new U.S. president is a demigod, the embodiment of aspirations as vast as they are varied. Over the course of the years that follow, the president inevitably fails to fulfill those hopes. So the cycle begins anew, and Americans look to the next occupant of the Oval Office to undo his predecessor’s mistakes and usher in an era of lasting peace and sustained prosperity.
This time around, expectations are, if anything, loftier than usual.
There are no perfect candidates on the ballot, folks. Most of the things you don’t like about the current administration are going to be present in the next administration, and most of the problems facing the current administration around the world are going to continue into at least the next administration. Particularly if you’re looking at the military situation in Pakistan/Afghanistan, which is likely to still be an issue for a decade or longer, again, no matter who is elected in November. As are the new-old Russian expansionism, and China’s desire to expand their influence around the world.
So, ignoring the pie-in-the-sky promises you’re going to hear from the candidates, no matter how much you might want them to be true, is going help have some more realistic expectations over the next four to eight years.