Great, if dark, satirical video from The Onion. The point is that maybe there is just a tad too much emphasis on the presidential election. I agree, but it is important to disentangle two components to this overemphasis:
- First, even given the huge size of the U.S. Federal government and the increasingly imperial Presidency, there is too much emphasis on the importance of a single election. As has been pointed out on LRC many times, we’ve got a problem that is bigger than any particular Presidential administration, even one as stupefyingly horribly as George W. Bush’s. People need some perspective.
- But, second, some of the emphasis on the election is entirely rational given the power that is up for grabs. There was a time in this very country when who the President was bordered on trivia, since he wasn’t going to have much of an impact on our lives. That time is long gone. But it does not have to be that way. We could once again not have reason to care that much who wins the most votes from the diminishing number of people who bother to participate in the charade. But this would mean a presidency that is not running a worldwide empire fueled by seemingly infinite amounts of money.