Recently, for reasons that escape me now, I decided to watch the old TV series "The West Wing." It is an admittedly left-leaning look at presidential politics, following President Bartlett and his band of merry folk through eight years in the White House.
The episode I watched last night was the election day episode where Democratic Congressman Matt Santos and Republican Sen. Arnie Vinik, the two presidential candidates, are in a neck-and-neck race. In the campaign there were three things that struck me as remarkable.
First, they stuck to their promises to avoid muckraking and negative campaign ads.
Second, they had an actual debate with give and take, on-the-fly responses to questions from each other and vigorous point-counterpoint rather than canned election quips.
Third, on election night, when it looked like the result might come down to a few very closely contested races, both candidates made it clear they would let the electorate decide and forego court challenges.
I totally understand that this was a fictional series, but I think it has been suggested that sometimes life imitates art. Wouldn't it be great if that could happen between now and November 2016 when we choose our next president?