One of the least appealing aspects of modern presidential candidates is that, to avoid saying anything that might prove to be an embarrassing, costly blunder, they cling to a rigid set of talking points that reveal as little as possible about what they really think and who they really are.
The rap on Obama has been that he is a little too cool and aloof. The rap on Romney may be that he is just plain callous.
In a world of cell phones and satellite feeds - a world in which the president can sit in the White House situation room and watch a military action unfold on the other side of the world - it is not realistic to expect TV news to be anything but what it has become: a ceaseless flow of words and images that may or may not be accurate.
We need to work for a day when police shootings are rare and not the stuff of our daily news.
Maybe it's stress or anger or adrenaline or disillusionment or a bullying nature or simple fear of getting killed themselves, but there is a problem if a cop cannot tell the difference between a menacing gangster and the far more common person they encounter whose life is a little frayed and messy.
Even if you're drawing a cartoon and exaggerating, you want to capture something true about the person.
It is really no surprise that, in a media world that has been so compromised by an invasion of political partisans and inarticulate airheads with communications degrees, a fake journalist can seem more trustworthy than the real thing.
Like gods, we have created a new universe called cyberspace that contains great good and ominous evil. We do not know yet if this new dimension will produce more monsters than marvels, but it is too late to go back.
As long as anger, paranoia and misinformation drive our political debate, there are unhinged souls among us who will feel justified in turning to violent remedies for imagined threats.
Our vision of war is probably too influenced by the biggest one of all, World War II, where the forces of evil were so unambiguous and so relentless that there was no choice but to commit to total war and to demand unconditional surrender. Seldom, though, is it quite that clear cut.
Ah, to be a conservative climate change denier. While real scientists must do all the research and engage in heated debates about just how bad things are going to be, the deniers can rest easy in the bliss of willful ignorance.