If a candidate has a clear vision and a clear agenda, and if that candidate has a plan for the policies to make that vision and that agenda a reality, then the candidate will want to spend as much time as possible talking to the American people. That's how one builds support for one's agenda. That's how one creates a mandate for leadership in a democracy.
If, on the other hand, a candidate desires power but has no clue what he would use that power for other than to preserve it for himself, then the less the people are told about his agenda, the better.
When George W. Bush appeared on Meet the Press back in February, Tim Russert asked him to explain why he thought he deserved a second term. The president dodged the question, saying only that he "looked forward" to having the opportunity in the months ahead to talk to the American people about his plans for a second term. This was a bit odd -- here he was speaking directly to the American people on network television, but all he told them was that he looked forward to having the chance to tell them something later. Since then spring has come and gone and it is now high summer and still we hear little more than chants of "four more years" and the continued assurance that President Bush looks forward, someday, sometime in the future, to explaining his vision.
This is not how someone behaves if he actually has a vision for the future. Bush doesn't. He's still just stalling for time while his advisers and aides work to cobble together something that could pass for an agenda for a second term, provided no one looks too closely.
"The bad news is we're lost and we don't know where we're going," the captain says. "The good news is we're making excellent time."
Sunday, July 18, 2004
slacktivist: The Vision Thing
What I think I like best about Fred Clark is the way he cuts to the heart of the matter: