Unasked and Unanswered
18.59.08 - Mark
We've had a few dozen presidential candidate debates (with a plenty more being scheduled or planned or are simply inevitable) but aside from some questions based on whatever new campaign tactics have popped up since the last "debate" the things are the same old political show and tell, except all show and little told.
I get that the economy is a bit issue, with subtopics like NAFTA and free trade, and China, and tax refunds, and the recession. The War on Terror has been a hot topic since 2002, and once you add immigration and health care you have a pretty stable set of issues that just about any one can find something to cheer or chastise, except it really doesn't tell us much about a candidate, which is probably why they happily blather on about "experience" and who's more "qualified".
Here's a hint, unless you've already been a president of the US, or the governor of a state you have nothing close relevant experience or qualifications. Even then being a Governor doesn't help much - case in point: the current POTUS. So let's cut out this experience and qualified BS and move on to real issues, as many of them as possible. This county has more problems than illegal immigrants, taxes, and a handful of terrorists who "terrorize" us because of our foreign policy decisions (and we're not just talking Iraq).
In no particular order let's have a reasonable talk (preferably multi-partisian) science's influence on policy, technology, education, cost of college, the war on drugs, position on tobacco and alcohol and the legal age, sex education, religion in government, non-existence of viable third parties, election (and specifically electoral college) reform, civil rights, green technology, nuclear energy, sensible energy independence (which is more than "no foreign oil"), transparency in government, lobbyist and PAC reform, abolishing ear marks, how we'll fix our global reputation, our lack of participation in numerous global treaties (like the antilandmine treaty, or the one opposing child slavery, etc), ethics in government, the role of the average citizen in government, gay rights, minority rights, moving past petty social labels (like black, Hispanic, etc), controlling the FCC's influence on content, getting rid of the national debt, whether or not we're taking the right course of action in regards to China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, how we'll fix our relation or at least get past our difference with the United Nations, this list goes on...
The guilt isn't entirely on the candidates, the news networks no longer want to ask these hard questions, not that the candidates would answer them but if everyone is serious about "change" let's stop playing politics as usual with it's selected and vetted clean cut party line issues and tackle real problems big and small, long standing and dormant to the near future and extremely pressing.
Of course this is only going to get worse as we start getting into congressional and gubernatorial races.
Happy New Year
01.13.11 - Mark
Let's hope it's a good one, since 2008 is already promising to be an interesting year.
17.59.42 - Mark
Sometimes I get tired of the Cult of Al Gore, but there are a lot of things I respect about Gore, and would likely vote for him in an election. Now that he's Won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the environment, it would be a good time if he announced his intentions to run as president. The Peace Prize secures his credibility as an international leader, which is what the United States needs in a president right now. If he then got a strong domestic candidate (I like Obama, and he's probably smart enough to do this) to sign on to a ticket, they would have a distinctive edge over other candidates.
As influential as Dick Cheney has been in the Bush administration, I can see this election cycle focusing on both the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. At least I hope it does, VP is too important a position to hand over to just anyone.
As If I Really Forgot...
20.19.31 - Mark
I've got the democratic presidential debate on the TV right now. As anxious as I am to get Bush out of office, watching this political jockeying feels like watching a slow motion train wreak. I mean we've already had people announce and drop out, and as pointed out above we're seeing presidential debates 18 months before the election - and like all politicians they're doing a splendid job of not saying anything. The only thing I'm learning from this is that right now I really don't want to vote for any of the candidates, even if I do like and agree with what they have to say.
By the time the actual election comes around we're going to be tired of this batch of f**king jokers that no one will want them sticking around for 4 to 8 years. It's a shame that there's no way to stop this whole BS engine and put it on pause for 6 months or so.