Thursday, July 3, 2008

Lost in McCain and Obama: Don’t really know what they stand for

This picture of the State House in Boston, MA represents a proud government. It looks prestigious and honorable - characteristics that should define a Presidential election. However, tacky and disreputable better describe the 2008 Presidential Election.

The Democratic primary race is finally over, and Barack Obama emerges victorious. McCain has been the Republican candidate since February. One would think that the two are engaging in a little man-to-man combat – no punching, but more like a thinking man’s fight: a debate, a sit-down with party participants, or even a discussion during the seventh inning stretch. It seems like the candidates are doing everything that they can to avoid talking about the issues that matter. Don’t you think that this election lacks substance?

Let’s look at the Wall Street Journal over the last two days (July 1-3, 2008) to get a feel for the pressing election issues. One would think there are reports on economics, war, government spending, taxes, international relations, world hunger, social security…whatever. I guess that was just a pipe dream because the first thing I see is Obama Touts Volunteerism, Borrowing From Bush Theme, where Obama proposes that Americans jointly act like “Good Samaritans.” Off to the next article, McCain to Meet With Mexico's President, that reports of McCain’s excursion to South America to promote himself as the go-to guy for international relations. Moving on, Obama, McCain View Mountain States as Pivotal, describes how Obama is targeting 19 out of the 270 needed electoral votes (jointly from 3 states) to clinch the election. Oh, oh, here is an important one. White House, Candidates Plan Smooth Transfer of Power describes how the Presidential candidates are gearing up for a seamless transfer of power following the inauguration. Only at the end of my search (and I skipped many other rather banal reports) do I come across something of substance, McCain Crowd Tough on Immigration, where the Journal takes one half of a web page to discuss how voters view McCain’s position on immigration. Where’s the beef?

It is rather discouraging that the candidates are not pushing their economic plans. Don’t they know that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the American workforce lost 62-thousand jobs in June? Construction employment fell by 43 thousand, manufacturing fell by 33 thousand, and employment services fell by 59 thousand. The news was very bleak, and the outlook for the U.S. workforce is not good. With energy prices surging and jobs loss mounting, American consumers are feeling squeezed, so what do the Presidential candidates propose to do about that?

Well, my opinion would be to suffer through the recession until energy prices have subsided a bit. It is a larger cost to encourage inflation with loose government spending than to suffer through a bit of a recession. I want to vote for a President that will push for fiscal accountability – keeping government spending in check. And further, I want to vote for a President that will not raise taxes. Based on these facts, I don’t know for whom to vote. Sure, the default is Republican, but with McCain who really knows? It may be a George Bush, Senior all over again, “No new taxes”….just kidding.

So you have it. Both candidates are trying to capture the swing voters with gimmicks and sweet talking, and all the while, leaving their base in the dust. I think that Gloria Borger says it well in her opinion column of the U.S. News:

“That's precisely the problem. These are the two candidates who were supposed to engage in constructive debate, take their show on the road, highlight their substantive differences, do Lincoln-Douglas proud. Instead, they're Paris and Nicole—only they were never best friends. McCain proposes a long series of town-hall debates; Obama declines, through aides. And it's not as if the long-distance exchanges between the candidates and their surrogates are either uplifting or informative.”

Please leave comments and views. Best, Nontruths

1 comment:

  1. Hi Becca,
    Aunt Jane here - comment: have not believed in John McCain for years - volatile is the word that comes to mind and he has always been that. To tell you the truth, none of the elections in the last umpteen years has had a clear choice for the Republican party (since Reagan). But, for the first time, I am actually listening to what they have to say, which, as you point out, is not much. When you try to cater to every side, mush is what comes out. The American people are not used to hardship anymore and so will not be able to tough it out through fiscal responsibility to the calm at the other end. "Pork" is there for a reason and that takes spending.
    Wish you well with this! Love, Aunt Jane