I think the problem with politics isn't so much on the candidates. I think the real problems fall heavily on the parties and the system which is in desperate need of an upgrade. While I believe we have the best system in the world, it is far, far, far from mint.
Since I have moved to VT, I have been asked one question more often than any other; "You a Red Sox fan?" I easily and quickly answer "no" only to get a disgusted look and an even more disgusted reply, "Don't tell me you're a Yankees fan?" Again, I can reply "no". Then, the person opposite me gets very confused. The next statement out of their mouth is, "so, you don't like baseball?" For the record, I'm an A's fan. After mentioning this fact, I expect to hear another confused response, "who?" That's right, the fans here think these are the only 2 teams in baseball, the only 2 worth watching, and the only 2 that can and should win. The Mets are more like a board game that is played by candle light when it's really storming and power is out.
The political parties are just as ignorant. Why does it have to be Republican or Democrat? Why is that anyone who comes along with great ideas, a great track record, and great potential, they are automatically out of contention if one party doesn't choose them as their candidate? I have heard people say, "I really like [name], but I guess I'm voting for [name] because he's the Republican and so am I." And most of the time these people follow one party because their parents, spouses, or friends lean that way and therefore they blindly follow. I think both parties have some great ideas and some really shitty ideas. Why not find somebody who is the best of both worlds as opposed to whoever the party decides to puppeteer.
I am a true independent. I try to get info on both parties, but usually end up losing interest due to grandstanding while saying nothing, mudslinging, and hearing the same lies I heard 4, 8, and 12 years ago. (this is another point I'll tackle at a later date.) This is the first year I've tried to put more interest in really learning about the candidates so I can really make an informed decision. Sometimes it really is a vote for the best person for the job, and sometimes it really is just a vote for the lesser of two evils. The later is why I have never voted. Some in part because I am not informed enough, and others because I don't feel either candidate is worth my time, my consideration, my vote, or my gas money. Before you hit me with, "Do you know how many people died to give you the right to vote?" speech, let me ask you How many people died to give me the right to say both these candidates are lying assholes and don't deserve my vote? The greatest support I've seen for my reasoning is the South Park episode where they have to vote for a new school mascot. The choices are turd or giant douche. Stan is offended by both and decides to make his voice heard by refusing to speak on behalf of either one.
However, too many voters cast their ballot for all the wrong reasons. Many women wanted to vote for Hillary just because she is a woman! My mom even had people telling her she HAD to vote Hillary to show support. Meanwhile, I have read interviews with people, even athletes, who say they don't follow politics but they will vote for Obama because he is black. The athlete is black and so is the candidate so therefore he deserves the vote regardless of policy. Others tell me that if I don't vote for Obama then it shows my true Southern roots as a racist. Really? Just because I don't like his policy, all of a sudden I now hate all black people and think that none of them can run a country or play QB in the NFL? Absolutely ridiculous.
Before this thread becomes a novel, I will add one more thing on behalf of the system itself. Why the hell do we still have delegates?? I can understand their usefulness back in the day when it was impossible to account for every person. These delegates listened to the people in their area and projected the popular opinion. However, we have such advanced technology that we can account for every person, their children, pets, income, etc but we can't count their individual vote? My gripe in this comes from living in Vermont. This is a blue state through and through. For every McCain sign you see, there are 20 Obama signs. VT has a history of being Democrat and the trend probably will continue. This leads me to ask, if I cast a vote for McCain in Vermont, does it matter? I ask because while it may go toward the popular vote, the delegate for my state will vote Democrat and his/her vote has a lot more power than my individual. It is very possible to win the popular vote yet lose the election! I thought this country was run by a government of the people, by the people, not by the state shaped groups of people. Just cause we are in the same state, doesn't mean we feel the same. Even if the delegates voice is chosen by only 2 votes, all the ones on the lower side get tossed.
The comedian Jeff Ross gave a great example of the problems with the two parties and their "debates". I'm paraphrasing here. Jeff and his friend go hippo hunting. They sneak up on one and shoot it. The hippo dies and falls over on them pinning them to the ground. Instead of combining their strength and intelligence to push the hippo off them, they lie there for 5 and a half years arguing over who's choice it was to go hippo hunting in the first place!
I will wrap it up here and look for some input. Whether they be support, criticism, or even corrections to any wrong thoughts I might have. More to come, though!