As we enter the heart of the political season and brace ourselves for the spectacle of two grown men competing for the favor of a nation (personally, I prefer Peter Jennings over Dan Rather), let us remember that this is the give-and-take electoral process our Founding Fathers envisioned, although they had probably been drinking for several hours when they first wrote it down. (John Adams: "Hey, John Hancock, come over here and put your John Hancock on this. Hahahahahaha! Get it?")
But seriously, this is one of the most divisive presidential campaigns in history. Experts say the country is split down the middle on almost every issue, which means that never before have so many Americans been so wrong. About half, in fact. One side sees the president as an unapologetic ideologue whose policies have seriously endangered the security, fiscal health, and environmental stability of the entire world. The other side thinks it's okay to do those things, as long as he's pleasant about it.
The two parties have pledged to do whatever it takes to ensure their side wins the election, including, in the case of the Republicans, teaching Dick Cheney how to smile without frightening the children. For their part, Democratic Party leaders in Washington are patiently waiting for the primary season to finish so the voters can put forth the candidate who best represents their concerns. (DNC spokesman: "And it BETTER be John Kerry! Oops. Don't print that.")
Once the two parties make their choice ("No, Jeb. It's not your turn yet"), the nation's voters will painstakingly explore all the issues and carefully consider the merits of each candidate. Then they'll vote the way the television ads tell them to.