An Either/Or Choice Isn’t Usually an Arbitrary Choice
The media has become overly fond, I think, of describing this presidential election as a choice between two unappealing candidates.
To be clear, I don’t think that the media is incorrect in making this assessment, but I do think that it is incorrect in suggesting that this election stands as a historical exception, rather than continuing a historical norm.
That is, I think that you could describe just about every presidential election in that way.
For instance, if I go back to when I started voting, I could describe the presidential candidates of the two major parties in broadly comparable uncomplimentary terms:
1972: Nixon as malignant and McGovern as impossible;
1976: Ford as completely uninspiring and Jimmy Carter as a self-caricature;
1980: Carter as ineffectual and Reagan as a somewhat shallow ideologue;
1984: Reagan as grossly over-estimated and Mondale as a leftover;
1988: Bush and Dukakis as equally uninspiring;
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