Want Real Change? Not In This Election…
We’ve all seen the headlines: “The Reverend Wright Controversy”; “Democrats coming on Fox News”; “Obama is an elitist and calls voters in PA “bitter”; “Many Superdelegates still undecided”; “Clinton misspeaks on Bosnia sniper fire”; “Clinton takes a shot of whiskey at a bar, is she an alcoholic?”; “McCain challenges Obama to accept public financing for the general election and encounters FEC problems”; “Obama is up in the polls”; “Clinton is up in the polls”; “Polls say both Democrats can beat McCain in November”; “Polls say neither Democrat can beat John McCain”…
Sound familiar? These represent just a small cross section of the slew of news stories that have come to our attention in the last few months since the 2008 primary season has kicked into high gear. No doubt, these stories have had quite an impact on the primaries and our views of the candidates. The media can even sway who is winning in the primaries and who is still left on the candidate slate. The problem is, none of these relate to a single issue. Instead, they cater to political game playing and mudslinging that will ultimately get us nowhere if we are not able to decipher exactly where our next President stands on a single issue.
The fuel churning the fire in voters bellies this election year is the simple desire to change the current administration and the recognition that we desperately need a major change from the most unpopular government in history. Obama is running on the theme of Change, while Hillary is proposing to bring experience to the White House and completely overturn all Republican policies and legislation. McCain is claiming he will cut the B.S. with his “Straight Talk Express” and bring both parties together on critical issues, but Democrats are saying he will only continue on Bush’s policies and that he does not represent change.
So now that I’ve laid out things you already know, what am I getting at?
None of this matters! Well, maybe I should say, none of this SHOULD matter. The media, no doubt with pushing behind the scenes from both major parties have decided to make this election cycle’s maturity level equivalent to that of a middle school class president election. It has become totally about “he said, she said” and who is doing what on that particular day and who knows who and popularity rather than a political campaign about ISSUES.
We the voters are electing somebody into the highest office in the United States, an office that has the ability to abuse their power to impose their will on us, raise taxes, force legislation and regulations down our throat and tell us what we can and can’t do. Yet all we seem to care about is a misplaced comment they made or how many delegates they have wrapped up or if they can swing the “less than $50k/yr but more than $25k/yr, over 50 but less than 65, 2 children in college, multi-nationality, less educated rural North Carolinian that used to live in Indiana” vote in the election? Come ON America! Please wake up.
Here is a little known fact: the President is not the ultimate authority in our country.
There is a little known body called “Congress” that is made up of the “House of Representatives” and the “Senate”. They have the ultimate authority, as they can overturn any law proposed by the President, re-hear any Supreme Court decision, declare War (though they bequeathed this power to George W. Bush on the matter of Iraq), propose legislation and spending, sign treaties and trade agreements, and even impeach (put on trial, not necessarily remove from office) the President.
Actually, according to our Constitution (I’m willing to bet money the vast majority of American’s have never read the Constitution), the President is supposed to have very limited powers. Those powers are to primarily include; being a voice of America to foreign nations, being the figure head of the government to the people, and serving as our Commander in Chief of the armed forces carrying out the direction of the Congress. However, in recent decades we have let the President’s role increase greatly in power to a large extent, and it seems to be the only election we care about.
So for American voters to yearn for “change” from the current administration, they need to understand what that “administration” they are bashing consists of.
The rise of gas prices is the major issue at hand these days, and everyone seems to want to blame the White House and assume that Bush and Cheney wake up every morning and decide how much a gallon of gas should cost that day. The truth is, oil prices are holding at such high levels because of our reliance on OPEC’s oil instead of our own due to Congress barring any drilling in the ANWR province for our own, “American made” oil and their insistence on setting aside a percentage of energy production to no-benefit ethanol, that uses more energy to create than it produces and keeps oil supplies lower than they should be. Prices are also shot artificially higher due to investors driving up the price of a barrel of oil, which is simply a commodity to invest in just like a stock, because they are afraid to invest in any type of equity backed security because the dollar has been in a freefall due to excessive amounts of government borrowing, spending and our failing economy. I go into further detail on this here.
The current Congress has done absoutely nothing to help the price of a barrel of oil. When they took office in the beginning of 2007, a gallon of gas was roughly $2.15 a gallon. However, in a bill that took Congress almost the entire year to agree on and pass in 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, they thought of all the sneaky ways they could tax and regulate oil companies out of business. They did this to push their pet cause of Global Warming, make a sharp move to green everything and bring alternative energy sources to the forefront.
Basic economics tell us that if there is speculation around a good (in this case, speculation that the supplies of oil produced in America would decrease drastically if Congress got their will) then this will drive the price of the good up. With almost a whole year of speculation surrounding this bill (the bill was brought to the floor of Congress initially in January 2007 and passed December 19th, 2007), investors drove the price of a barrel of oil up drastically. The price of a gallon of gas increased from about $2.15 to just over $3.00 at the end of 2007. All the while, Congress did nothing. Now a gallon of gas has shot up to over $3.60 a gallon, and they still have sat back with their butts on their hands and continued to watch.
And in case you didnt know, the Democrats have controlled Congress since January 2007.
There are countless other issues that the Democratic Congress has failed to address since taking over in 2006. However, the uneducated voter likes to point the finger at only Bush. He is owed his fair share of blame, but he is not the one proposing to tax oil companies out of business, or take more of your already thinning paycheck for nationalized healthcare, or force you to pay more into an unsustainable Social Security fund (benefits you will never see), or make it acceptable to “dispose of” an unborn human life as if they were some parasite. And as I just recently heard, I believe Hillary Clinton proposed on Bill O’Reilly to annihilate Iran if they were to ever attack Israel. Proposed military action in Iran and Afghanistan, in addition to having a weak plan to withdraw from Iraq…you think the military is stretched thin now? Just wait until Hillary gets in office!
So for everyone to jump on the “change” bandwagon, and vote all Democrats into every office is not only hypocritical, it is lying to yourself. Actually, if every branch of the government becomes controlled by the Democrats with no opposing voice to hold them back, we may very well see a continuance of large scale inflation, a declining dollar and economy, and higher and higher commodity prices.
Ultimately, I am trying to make the point that the 2008 Presidential Election should be focused around issues, which would be the complete opposite of what it is now. The primary focus should be shifted to the Congressional seats that will be up for grabs, and what those who are running for Congress are proposing to do when in power, and the detailed solutions proposed by our next President. While it is obvious the President holds more power than any individual Congressman does, it is frightening to think that the Ameican public doesn’t seem to care about their take on the issues at hand, only about comments made about the other candidates, or who can give a better speech.
We need to stop for a second, and demand that the political game playing and bantering come to a stop, and that the candidates focus on giving us specifics on what they plan to do when in office. When I say specifics, I MEAN specifics. We all know what the major candidates want to do in a utopian society, however neither have given us any specifics or details, and that is what we should be demanding.
The one candidate (who, by the way is still in the race) that actually wanted to discuss ONLY issues, and ignored the political game playing and bantering, was ultimately shunned by the media in what some are calling a “media blackout” because he did not cater to the typical politics we all seem to respond to. Instead, the media chose not to cover Ron Paul’s intellectual views or give him adequate time in a debate, or even cover his campaign at all, going so far as to say that he dropped out of the presidential race months ago when in actuality he is in the race to this day. America missed their real chance for Change after he was pushed to the fringe.
If America wants change so badly, which is almost unanimously agreed on, then we need to band together as American people and address the issues at hand. It is impossible to do that when the candidates that were largely chosen by the media to be the “front runners” are offering little change. The political spectrum is very vast, and consists of more than just the Republican and Democratic party, but the bashing of our monopolizing two party system is for another day. However, within the two main parties, there are many viewpoints, and only the most central ones are being represented in this election for the President.
We need to demand that everyone be heard, and that all issues are debated fairly from all sides. If the American public still chooses to go with the stance of the major candidates on issues, so be it, at least they will do knowing all sides of the issue. I am not saying that I am for or against any of the candidates stands on certain issues, but when researched, they are all quite similar. The disparities are almost all in the methods of paying for their proposals. Only with healthy debate, and equal respect for everyone on all sides of an issue can America truly change, and become the great country we once were.
Update: Hillary did extend to Obama last weekend an opportunity for a “Lincoln-Douglas” style debate, with no moderators and each candidate asking each other the questions they would like to bring up. A debate in that fashion would force the candidates to give specifics on what they want to do or else be hounded by the competitor. Obama, the one candidate who is scared to death to give a specific detail on anything, of course denied the invitation.