This general election of 2010 seems a little "off" compared to earlier ones. Here we are, a week before the vote, and there isn't a whole lot of discussion about the candidates or ballot initiatives. At least not compared to the past. Could it be that the saturation of (mostly negative) television ads has sucked up all the media oxygen, so that conventional political reporting (including the not-very-interesting horse race angle) has been shoved aside?
The blogs seem bored. The networks and newspapers spend more time on the weather. The level of political energy out there seems equal - or less - to what you'd find in a typical week during the summer of 2009.
My guess is that, deep down, people know there are no solutions on the horizon to our economic problems. By either party, since serious reconstruction of the system, along with plenty of time, is the only way to get out of our current state of imbalance (speaking broadly: worker share of productivity gains, savings rate, house/income ratios, health care costs).
I suppose the conservatives are fired up, but what gets the independent voter motivated? A lot of attack ads? Bromides about jobs? Even the social issues don't resonate like they used to.
What's the national narrative? What's your local one? There's not a lot of "Yes! Let's get moving with this policy!" - whatever the hell it might be.
I think people are basically tired. Tired after the last two years of economic anxiety and the last ten years of stagnation. Thus, the low-energy for November 2010.
This doesn't have to be a permanent state of affairs. After a while, energy returns to the system and vigorous debates and policies follow. But it doesn't seem like we are anywhere close to that at the moment.
i wasn't being critical. i really am tired. first we had endure eight long years of a ginned up fear of terrorism. now it looks like we have to ride out this wave of economic terrorism. what's next? an extinction comet?