George Skelton has a column in the L.A. Times today in which he leads with, “Gov. Jerry Brown should resolve to…”, “Here’s a resolutions list for legislators…”, “…for voters”, etc. He made two points that resonated with me:
Resolutions for journalists:
• Focus less on the scratching and clawing of candidates and more on the substance of their policy proposals, if any. Less handicapping of horse races and more probing of program plans.
•Declare a moratorium on the overused words “historic,” “crisis” and “reform.” Especially the last. Every crackpot idea is not a reform. Not all motion is progress.
That resolution is sure to be quickly broken.
Focusing on the substance of candidates’ policy proposals has been an oft-posted topic-slash-wish of mine. The news [sic] media loves the horse race, but doesn’t spend nearly enough time discussing in much depth what the candidates’ positions are. For example, as I mentioned here, I’ve heard more than a few liberals say they’re throwing their support to Ron Paul because of his anti-war, pro-drug legalization talk, which makes me think they must be unaware of the rest of his platform due to the lack of coverage. Maybe they haven’t bothered to do any research of their own, because why would a liberal support an anti-choice, anti-1964 Civil Rights Act presidential hopeful?
As for the word “reform”… well, I’ve written about that before, too. Just because some politician wants to change existing law, that doesn’t necessarily mean “reform”. In fact, the GOP often wants to move backwards, not forwards. Many are dying to turn back the clock, repeal a few real reforms, and put this country in reverse until they revert to a time when “equal rights” meant white men were “more equal” than anyone else.
“Not all motion is progress.” Bingo.