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Why political campaigns don’t talk much about substantive issues

Our political campaigns have a serious and growing problem. Candidates for office rarely mention major issues facing their prospective constituencies, much less propose solutions. Instead, the focus is too often on attacking their opponents in the race or painting pretty PR images of themselves. This does a disservice to democracy, to voters, and to the country at large. If we never have genuine discussions about troubling problems then we’ll never resolve them. Instead, such issues will be glossed over, ignored, and then kicked down the road a few years for someone else to deal with.

The California primary is next Tuesday. I’ve perused many candidate websites and read numerous campaign statements. While they generally do mention the lackluster economy and crumbling state educational system, generally their solutions, if you can call them that, are vague, promising to somehow grow the economy and fund education more but without giving specifics.

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