Let's face it: The 2012 election may be incredibly important, but it's "incredibly boring at the same time," writes David Brooks in the New York Times. And not content to leave it at that, he's come up with a lot of interconnected reasons why:
- Intellectual stagnation: It's "the same debate we've been having since 1964," the big-government liberal vs. the corporate tool. "Candidates don’t even have to rehearse the arguments anymore; they just find the gaffes that will help them pin their opponent to the standard boogeyman clichés."
- No substance: Candidates don't give serious policy proposals anymore. They don't evolve their ideologies. They "know that they'd be punished for saying something unexpected—by the rich, elderly donors and by the hyperorthodox talk-show hosts."
- Focus on the uninformed: Campaigns figure anyone paying attention has already made up their mind, so they focus on people "who don't really follow politics or the news."
- Worthless ads: There's little evidence that ad blitzes work, "but the campaigns are like World War I generals. If something isn't working, the answer must be to try more of it." And since no one seems to care if the ads flunk fact checks, it's impossible to take them seriously. "They are the jackhammer noise in the background of life."
Click for Brooks' full column
. Or, for another take on why the race is so mind-numbing, click here
. (Read more David Brooks