America needs a boring election

Think about what is making this election dull. For one thing, the fact that America has ended one war (Iraq), is retreating, albeit too slowly, from another (Afghanistan) and has, so far, avoided a third (Iran). The venom injected into American politics by the Bush administration’s “war on terror” has largely left the bloodstream. Romney can’t bash Obama for losing Afghanistan; he can’t call him soft on al Qaeda; he can’t even sound too warlike on Iran, because after a decade of ceaseless war, Americans are tired. Yes, the campaign would be more interesting if American warships were getting shelled in the Straits of Hormuz. But I’ll take boring any time.

The second reason the campaign is boring is because America is caught in a slow recovery from a deep recession. That’s not great, but neither is it Greece. Obama has stabilized the economy and revived it, inadequately. That may be less exciting than the Jimmy Stewart-style runs on banks that some predicted a couple of years back, but I’ll take it.

Finally, the campaign is boring because the culture war isn’t what it once was.