Public Policy Polling released a poll today showing (deploring?) that voters know little about political candidates. While it may be true, this observation really misses the point.
Ideally, we wouldn't have to know much about our political candidates... or care about them in the least. Ideally, our politicians would be so powerless as to be inconsequential to our own lives.
"My idea of a great president is one who acts in accordance with his oath of office to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." Not since the presidency of Grover Cleveland has any president achieved greatness by this standard. Worse, the most admired have been those who failed most miserably." (Robert Higgs)
It is only because our politicians are so arrogant and insist on having so much arbitrary power over us that any of these things matter.
The best politicians would do NOTHING about healthcare or any other economic issue other than REPEAL existing government restrictions and mandates and subsidies... and enforce the few statutes that make sense fairly and evenly.
The free market does anything and everything better than government could ever hope to. It is the government that causes our economic problems and the free market that is always the solution. The best political platform is this: "My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them." (Barry Goldwater)
It is merely because politicians in Washington and Raleigh and state capitals are so tyrannical that knowledge of them becomes important. But the political class has managed to make government so complicated that many feel they cannot understand it. But if you ask those same people what they want out of government, the answer would be very simple: LEAVE US ALONE. STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY. STOP TAXING US TO DEATH. STOP STEALING OUR LIBERTY. LEAVE US ALONE.