Not another historic election

Of course it had to happen with this US election as well. It happens with every election now, whether domestic or international ones. TV anchors, journalists, bloggers and especially the candidates call this “a historic election”. But they almost never explain why.

In my view, this election is not a historic election at all.

There are two possible outcomes: Either an incumbent is re-elected. I don’t see anything historic about that. It has happened quite frequently, for example for George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan in recent history. Or the incumbent is not re-elected due to the economic situation and is replaced by the candidate of the other of the two main parties. This has also happened before, for the last time in 1992 when Bill Clinton won against George Bush senior. If at all, maybe in retrospect the US election of 2008 was historic because it was the first time that a non-white American was elected as President.

The act of the US Presidential election itself is also not historic. It takes place every 4 years, quite regularly since 1788.

If you want to talk about historic elections, I would draw your attention to the first election in South Africa after the end of apartheid, the first election in Germany after the re-unification of the country, the first election in which women were allowed to vote, generally first elections after the fall of dictatorships.

So, tone it down, politicians and media folks. Calling everything “historic” only sounds hysterical.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a journalist, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Elections, History, Language, Media, Politics, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Not another historic election

  1. Heck, the 2008 was the most recent “historic” election, as we elected (GASP!) a black man! (Actually, I think that’s a lot of the problem THIS time around, despite what most people claim. It ain’t just a coincidence that one of the hottest selling bumper stickers of all time was the 2008-vintage “Don’t blame me, I voted for the white guy”. Sad, but absolutely true.)

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