The state of American presidential politics is simply depressing. The media has taken the reigns of the Republican primary and continuously injects Americans with their two anointed candidates, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. These candidates have records of expanding government, increasing spending and advocating market and foreign interventionism. On the other side we have our president who ignores the calls for restoring fiscal sanity, respecting civil liberties and halting the expansion of our overseas empire. The similarities between the “frontrunners” make them nearly indistinguishable; Americans might as well flip a coin to decide whom they will vote for come Election Day.

Our severe lack of choices should not come as a surprise. The unabated, diminishing interest in policy and increasing focus on both the electoral horse race and party labels have diluted American politics and pushed out philosophical voters. Ask your average voter why he supports a certain candidate. The usual response seems to be, “I want this person because he is a better option than the other.” What this shows is not only a symptom of widespread ignorance of the issues but also the fact that people aren’t completely satisfied with their choices. Some may take this lightly and shrug it off. But choosing elected leaders is not like choosing between Coke and Pepsi. The decisions that a president or any elected leader makes directly impact you, your family and every single American citizen. The president has the ability to drag us into war, continue the abuse of civil liberties, indefinitely detain American citizens and bypass almost every constitutional guarantee. So while I try everyday to remain optimistic that one day we will elect a principled president or at least have more than two choices, the passing days and subsequent elections chip away at my remaining optimism.

So who is to blame for this idiotic political madness? Maybe it is the media, campaign finance laws or corporations. Perhaps a constant, entertainment-induced coma or political sideshows like Rush Limbaugh’s comments and Obama’s birth certificate plague the American people. I tend to think it’s all of the above. The United States has so many real problems that should be addressed immediately, but no one seems to care. Our out-of-control deficit spending, rising gas prices, broken immigration system and disastrous education programs are just a few items that should be front and center on headlines across the country. Yet they fall to the side as politicians and the media frame less-significant events for political gain. Candidates, like Congressman Ron Paul, who have extensive grassroots support for speaking about sensible monetary policy, ending the war on drugs, bringing our troops home and upholding our constitutional rights, are blatantly sidelined by the media and ignored by the establishment. It’s almost as if the truth is intentionally silenced so those in power can hold on to it. It’s just one big club, and we’re not invited. Maybe I’ll never understand but I’ll also never stop thinking independently. I urge you all to think before you vote and never compromise on something you don’t agree with.