This election year, like any, has a large number of issues that politicians use to distinguish themselves from each other. Budget deficits, immigration, gay marriage, jobs, and corporate misdeeds are all big hits. But what is less obvious is that these issues that appear in the press in long scorecards and lists as if they are important are nothing more than pointless noise. A big bundle of issues, however eagerly they are debated, is no substitute for a genuine strategy – and the real leadership that shapes and executes that strategy. But this point is utterly lost in what pathetically passes for “debate” in our politics.