The 2008 Presidential election is guaranteed to be historic simply based on the candidates. We will either have our first black president or first woman vice president. Not unlike previous election cycles as recently as Herbert Walker Bush the economy (stupid) is the issue. The hyperbole and failed policy of “read my lips” has not occurred though we do have “I’m the decider”. Past performance being no indicator of future gains the political history is no more assured than what we see in the stock market.
The candidates will sit down at the debate tonight and discuss the issues. Unfortunately I believe Senator Obama will talk about all that is wrong with the George W. Bush presidency and the past performance of Senator McCain. In an even weaker move Senator McCain will attack the relative merits of Senator Obama’s short if illustrious career. Neither candidate will serve the people by these “you suck badder” forms of political debate.
We need plans of action more than we need change based in beliefs in the past.
The candidates have devolved into a rut of looking to the past and ignoring the future. The candidates are giving the voters gruel instead of the steak and potatoes of a real debate. It is easy to attack the past of a candidate especially if the opposition has provided minimal or flights of fancy for the future. Though Senator Obama has provided some future looking information it is full of holes and shows a certain lack of maturity in thought. Senator McCain would rather engage in rhetoric than put his name on a document that shows vision.
Some things I wish the candidates would talk about tonight.
1) Since 2001 the United States has engaged in radical reductions in civil rights what kind of plan would the candidate implement to restore rights and restrict government power?
2) The economic issues of today have roots in the debt super cycle of post world war 2 policies and the economic incentives of both republican and democrat legislatures and presidencies. What plan does either candidate have for breaking the massive consumer debt cycle and highly leveraged stock market?
3) The McCain campaign has been wracked by DMCA take down closing non-main-stream media outlets like youtube. Copyright law and patent law are at odds with good economic policy, the technology, the user community, and good stewardship of creative works while balancing profit and good business sense. With the appointment of a copyright czar have we declared war on consumers or is there a fundamental disconnect and what would the candidates do to support people while protecting content providers?
4) It does not take much reflection to realize that bloat and excess exist at all levels of government and in all forms of from the smallest municipality to the largest school district. The workers in those environments would strenuously disagree but in a time when the average American is looking at economic issues what plan does the candidates have to address these issues and “right size” the government and spending when euphemistically the people of America are getting hungrier?
5) Each of the candidates have discussed change and talked about being more Maverick than the other. So, what kind of really outside the box thinking are they willing to engage in? Nationalizing the public school systems? A flat tax with no loop-holes (the post card tax return)? What kind of really outstanding out of the box change do the candidates truly plan to engage in?
6) Is it time for America to turn more inward and declare an end to American hegemony and bring our world-wide troop presence home? International troop presence enriches in many ways foreign economies and is a drag on the US economy. Reducing to zero the foreign aid the United States provides would provide for the substantial infrastructure and domestic programs needed. Is it unfair for an American voter to look at the massive over seas presence and wonder what they are giving up or paying for? What kind of plans do the candidates have to address domestic needs when foreign policy has so substantially owned the viewpoint of the presidency for the last 8 years.
I know the candidates won’t answer my questions, but I’m interested in know what they would say. I realize that my questions are not easy one word questions with sound bite answers. The issue is that the issues are difficult and we have problems that have to be balanced by other needs. There is a certain perception that over the last 8 years and maybe 24 years that the American voter has been taken advantage of significantly by the government.
Partisanship does not solve problems but it can make them horrifically harder to gain consensus. As the debate in the blogosphere has degenerated from ideology and issues to bickering I have noticed a few things. Nobody seems to be identifying himself or herself as an American. In a world already cruelly manipulated by the politically correct speech of hyphenated Americanism we have given up. Whether self-identifying as an Obama supporter or McCain supporter the identification as a republican or democrat has eclipsed the title that identifies us all as American.
I do not need hyperbolic speech of who is a bigger Maverick rabble-rouser, or who has change you can believe in or support or ignore or whatever. I do not need to hear a rehashing of the historical significance of what may be the biggest economic disaster of the last 50 years or the war profiteering and scandalous conduct of the government as it conducts spying operations against deployed military members talking to their family members. I am a fairly smart individual I get that the last 8 years sucked. Now give me a plan to a brighter future with milestones, steps to the process, and enough meat to allow us as a population to work towards something.