Ever wonder why the presidential election campaign is such a ho-hum affair?

Maybe it's not just because George Bush and Michael Dukakis are so boring themselves but because both candidates want to avoid the kind of campaign that would go beyond staid platitudes.There's room for wondering in view of this week's report from the Associated Press that both Bush and Dukakis have embarked on a strategy to keep reporters at bay, eschewing any probing questions.

In fact, Bush's press secretary went so far as to admit that the campaign is not interested in anything that would "garble our message," and that includes cluttering it up with questions from the news media.

In other words, forget what's on the press' mind even though it's often what's also on the public's mind. Forget, too, about the problems and human needs behind those questions. Never mind that a candidate who is inaccessible while seeking office can't be expected to be more accessible after winning it. Never mind, either, that such inaccessibility is no way to generate enthusiasm among the voters. Instead, tailor-made propaganda is all the matters.

If the 1988 presidential campaign results in a record low level of turnout at the polls, it clearly won't be only the voters who are to blame.