Friday, July 20, 2012

What is this Election ABOUT???

Two recent articles I like because they explain just what is the crux of the 2012 presidential election.

The first is an opinion piece on the "Politically Astute" blog on called "Should we go at it alone or get through this together?" Blogger Tim McCann writes,

"As a nation, we have long been headed toward a showdown of two competing ideas on the role of government in America ... On the one hand, Republicans offer a call for smaller government. They claim that our economic woes and our high rate of unemployment is the result of over-regulation and over-taxation ... On the other hand, President Obama and the Democrats believe we can all get through this together ... The President calls for more stimulus spending in the form of infrastructure repair and additional investment in renewable energy technologies."

McCann's conclusion:

"Republicans' solutions strike me as mean-spirited and un-American. If Republican ideas were so good, why would they have to pass laws that could result in hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians not being allowed to vote because they do not have the right papers (sounds Kafkaesque, right?). Why would they feel the need to lie to Americans to sell their ideas (death panels, the ACA cuts Medicare benefits, gay marriage will ruin families - all nonsense)"

A second article in a similar vein is an opinion piece by Fareed Zakaria in the Washington Post called"What voters are really choosing in November." Zakaria's premise:

"The presidential campaign has gotten so heated over the attacks and counterattacks from the Obama and Romney campaigns that it’s easy to forget that larger issues are at stake in November. That’s unfortunate because, beneath the froth, there is an important ideological debate to be had about America’s future."

Zakaria describes Obama's and Romney's positions in very similar terms to McCann's.

Zakaria's conclusion:

"Both views have merit. It would make for a great campaign if our nation had a sustained discussion around these ideas. Then the election would produce a mandate to move in one of these directions ... In other words, the great shift in the U.S. economy over the past 30 years has not been an increase in taxes and regulations but, rather, a decline in investment in human and physical capital. President Obama has real facts and a strong case — which makes it all the more depressing that his campaign has focused on half-truths and weak arguments."

Both articles highlight the failing of our 2-party system as it exists now. Each party is so focused on scoring off the other, that the critical goal of finding the best person to solve the country's problem has been lost. An actual debate based on facts cannot take place because each side is too politically welded to its position to be able make concessions or compromise to reach agreement.

No comments: