I was recently watching some snipet from an interview with Mike Huckleberry, the new darling of the right. To paraphrase, he was saying that "average Americans are sick of all the personal attacks that politicians engage in."
First of all, NONE of these candidates (with the possible exception of Kucinich) has any right to claim they know the minds of the "average American". Fuck you. Don't insult our intelligence. You are at the highest levels of a self-perpetuating power structure that is completely detached from the general populace - We, the average. Part of how I know this is that you claim that average Americans are sick of personal attacks.
Are you fucking kidding me!? We LOVE personal attacks! We LOVE conflict! We eat that shit up with a fucking spork! We love to see people getting in other people's faces. We love to see shit get NASTY. Have you watched TV lately, Mr. Candidate? Have you seen the covers of the magazines in the supermarket? They're right by that thing they use to scan groceries to calculate the price. Ever seen one of those? They're amazing!
In fact, just take a look at how we deal with other countries. We name-call and insult. Christ, you politicians do it to each other more that anyone! It's the American way!
Speaking for myself, most of my days are fairly conflict-free. I get up, do my thing, and enjoy my simple life. I suspect this is the case for many other average Americans. Most of the conflict I witness is in the media and is happening between powerful people or fictional characters. It's too bad, because I think there are ways to stimulate people and entertain them without the constant reliance on conflict. It's harder, but it's possible. Unfortunately, average Americans AND politicians share one general characteristic - intellectual laziness - and so, conflict and mudslinging will continue to rule the day.