I'm going to write a series of posts on what I'm hoping 2008 will bring in different topic areas, and I'll start with politics. After all, when you say "2008", the first thing people think of is the presidential election.
Just once, I want to vote in an election with a candidate I can really get behind--someone with a proven track record of accomplishment and moreover, the ability to bring people together. Right now, I watch the political debates and I just feel bad about where this country is going and who's taking us there.
We're too busy talking about immigration and the military and we're ignoring issues like education and healthcare. We're debating whether or not immigrants should get drivers licenses and we've going a generation of kids in our schools that are falling woefully behind their peers in other countries. Why? Because candidates pander to bitesized issues people can have kneejerk reactions to. Solving the education problem in this country is too hard--its a complex issue, and so is healthcare. Most of the current candidates don't have comprehensive healthcare plans... why bother? Most of us wouldn't understand the economic or coverage impacts anyway. But we do understand big walls between us and Mexico. Is there really anyone out there whose life would be significantly improved by a big wall? No, but we can sure have an opinion about it. That's what we're going to wind up voting for... big walls and licenses.
And why the f are we still on the electoral college? That's got to go away. My votes don't even count directly. Some democracy.
Did anyone notice Bush just vetoed an Iraq spending bill? Um... wait.. if he doesn't support this thing anymore, what are we still doing there?
I'm still waiting for Mike Bloomberg to run, but the longer this goes, the more I feel like I'm going to get left at the alter. We need someone out there who is willing to rise above the infighting around getting nominated by our two parties...someone who just speaks their mind. I want someone who speaks about finding real solutions and has real priorities that make sense.
I'm usually pretty optimistic about life, but we're running out of years where we can continue with "America as usual". We're a land of entitlement now. I see it in the kids I teach. Few of them know what real work means--what it's like to really challenge themselves, because they never had to. We have a generation of kids that is having stuff handed to them and they think the real world is going to be like that. It's also the same kids that are getting our best educations available. Full support, no hunger.
In fact, we're doing a pretty nice job of coddling these days. Can't pay your mortgage? It's ok... we'll keep your rates low... lower than the rates of financially responsible people who signed up for fixed rate mortgages on houses they could afford.
Someone call you a bad name? Don't worry... we'll get them fired. You don't have to stand up for yourself. Screw free speech, because bad words hurt.
We're nitpicking about what words which people can say, and meanwhile we're choking our planet to death. We're the last industrialized nation not to sign the Kyoto Treaty. I have to be honest.. I don't even know what's in the Kyoto Treaty, but I do know it's an effort to treat the environment better and every single other country thinks its a good idea. It would be one thing if there was some competing treaty and then I'd have to compare the two side by side, but since we don't seem to have any answers of our own, it seems pretty ignorant to just stand here with our arms crossed and be the last holdout. More screwy priorities.
People in this country need to realize that we're all on the same side... to learn to accept differences of opinion and work together in spite of them. Pro-life? Pro-choice? Gay marriage? If we don't learn how to work together, we can forget about being a competitive, productive partner in the world economy and political scene. I'd like a candidate that understands that, and brings people together to accomplish real advancement--putting structures in place that will help us over the long term, not win monthly popularity votes. It's not Hilary Clinton. It's not Rudy Giuliani. Barak? I dunno... Mitt? Meh. Ron Paul? Eek.
Somebody... show me something... anything. I'm tired of America as usual.
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