This is a post that indicates mariner is bored and looking for something to do. Most readers will find little benefit in reading further. Nevertheless, the mariner grows bored with the Presidential Campaign. Some readers may be bored as well. We have learned who the candidates are by watching endless interviews, and reading redundant commentaries. By now we intuitively know our four candidates’ personalities, platforms, location on the spectrum of liberal-conservative, rational-irrational, useful-irrelevant, and plutocrat-egalitarian among many more. Whatever else is to be known is minimal and fodder only for the gristmill of the news media.

What will keep our attention for the next seventy days?

The post title implies what the mariner will not watch. He will focus on the larger perspective of two combatants sparring in a coliseum – more like boxers than gladiators. We have grown tired of the meaningless debate points (punches); we may be more interested in watching a higher level of competition: It’s not what they say; it’s whether they successfully counter the other one thereby gaining or losing the match to the Whitehouse.

This means we must keep track of polls, betting odds, electoral probabilities, one or two political websites, related national and international news, and which pundits are brought to the glass tables of cable news. The specific detail of the candidates’ comments will not mean as much to our spectrum analysis – it’s whether the campaign changes a candidate’s momentum.

If the reader chooses to pursue this more sophisticated comparison, his reasoning powers will be enhanced by practicing ‘vector analysis.’ Assume the reader has the task of keeping a washer centered over a small circle on a large table. This is made difficult because the washer has seven strings attached to it hanging over the table edge each with a different weight tied at the other end. The task is to rebalance the weights on all the strings so that the weights are complimentary to the task of centering and stabilizing the washer over the circle. In the example of the campaign, it’s how much out of balance the strings are – the distance away from the center; the farther, the more momentum for one of the candidates….. Perhaps this is too much trouble.

But for those who may enjoy casually thinking about the campaign from the point of view of all the elements of a campaign instead of just the words of the candidates, entertainment may be had for seventy days. The personal benefit from this effort is that the reader will know why the candidate won, not just because the Electoral College and FOX/CNN says so.

Ancient Mariner

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