What the election should be about

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Might we elect the first woman president? The first black? Does John Edwards worry too much about his hair? Is Hillary Clinton trying to be too macho? Is Mitt Romney too Mormon?

Are these really the questions we ought to be asking? Is this any way to elect a president?

Of course not. But as the 2008 presidential election heats up a year early, it is personalities and demographics we're hearing about, as if this were the red carpet leading to the Academy Awards rather than the road to the White House.

Can it get any more trivial?

Well, yes. There's a subplot going on about who's going to attract more Hollywood support, Clinton or Barack Obama.

We don't know how to spell the sound that just came out of our mouth.

This election cannot be allowed to be about star power, or demographic novelty.

It probably shouldn't be about Iraq, either: With any luck at all, Iraq will be in the rear-view mirror by 2009.

No, what this election should be about is the future - and what shape our federal government should take.

What this election should be about isn't who the candidates are, but what they will do.

What is their view of the role of government? Will they grow its influence in our lives, or shrink it? Will they tax the economy into submission? What will they do to rein in entitlements and pork before the federal government completely buries us in debt? Will they convince Congress to stop stealing our Social Security retirement funds?

How will they prosecute the war on terror? What else will they do to keep us safe?

Will they continue to play us for suckers in trade deals, or will they seek fair trade vs. "free" trade? What will they do to revitalize America's manufacturing base?

Will they enforce immigration laws?

Do they agree that the country's economy needs to get "back on track," as an Air America radio personality suggested recently? (Back on track? You mean we need to get rid of low unemployment, low mortgage rates and record-high stock market returns? If that's off track, we'll take it!)

What does it say about our electoral process - and our news media - that Americans know more about how much a candidate spends on a haircut than where he or she would spend our money?

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sjgraci
2
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sjgraci 07/20/07 - 01:07 am
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"What does it say about our

"What does it say about our electoral process - and our news media - that Americans know more about how much a candidate spends on a haircut than where he or she would spend our money?" Have the editors at the Chronicle been reading liberal blogs? They are finally coming around to what liberals have been screaming about for years. The media is not liberal, they are incompetent, lazy, and sensationalists... i.e. tabloids. What's worse is, what does it say about the easily manipulated public? Truth is, instead of being the fourth estate and the watchdog of government, the media has abused its role and power by selecting who gets elected. Candidates they don't like or approve of, in any party, are marginalized, ridiculed, and mocked over trivial non-issues. In short, these unliked candidates are assassinated by the media elite. Want proof? Look at what they did to Howard Dean, Al Gore, and George H. W. Bush. Here's a link to one of the most brilliant liberal bloggers, Digby at Hullabaloo, in what she perfectly describes as "puerile nonsense" . She and the Chronicle, for once, are on the same page: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/this-is-why-we-revile-them-by-dig...

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 07/20/07 - 06:01 am
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The election must be about

The election must be about ending the US war in Iraq. That is the biggest issue facing this country, our Congress & the 2008 Presidential candidiates. Don't count of the Crusader President, George W. Bush, to give an inch. If anything he will ratchet up the war in Iraq & expand it to Iran & Pakistan. In addition to ending the war in Iraq we must have a balanced budget. The bottom is falling out of public education which is bedrock for a skilled workforce. United States must commit itself to address global warming & allocation of water resources. Americans are fatter & unhealthier than ever. Obesity & diabetes threaten our health & the health of our economy. Those issues must be addressed along with universal health insurance. An effort akin to the Manhattan Project must be undertaken to make this nation more energy independent. We have to develop diversified sources of energy & adopt appropriate technologies as well as conserve & innovate new energy efficient technologies. This is vital to our national security as surely as education, health & control of our borders are vital to our national security & economic growth. Corporate tax law reform can unite us again in a civil society

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 07/20/07 - 06:05 am
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National Enquirer should be

National Enquirer should be proud for setting journalistic standards so many years ago. The scandal du jour sells much better then relevant information about any politician. What the election should be about and what it is about are not going to be the same thing.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 07/20/07 - 07:25 am
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Patricia Thomas, if you

Patricia Thomas, if you follow your thought process through to its logical
conclusion, profits are the bottom line that drive the corporate media.
Since viewership, listernership, & readership are what determine
advertising revenues, the lowest common denominator applies. When it
comes to an economic lesson in budget deficits vs Paris Hilton
cheesecake, the network that carries the cheescake piece wins the
ratings race & the advertising bucks. Clearly campaign finance
reform laws are needed, but they are off the table. Big money from
private sources is driving the current race. Former "maverick" John
McCain abandoned his crusade for campaign reform and is now bust.
Obama, Hillary, Giuliani can raise money. Romney, Bloomberg, &
others have money. It has always been anathema to me why we have
allowed our electoral process to become a media circus act.
Nobody likes the paid advertising (except corporate media). President
Calvin Coolidge had the answer in the 1920s when he stated "The
business of America is busiess." Ron Paul is big in the blogosphere
& nowhere in the public polls. Marshall McLuhan understood the
electronic age when he said in the 1960s "the medium is the message".

heffner
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heffner 07/20/07 - 08:50 am
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Oh, if only we had a Crusader

Oh, if only we had a Crusader President! Why stop at Iran and Pakistan? On to Syria, to Gaza, free Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and anywhere else in the world where Islamofascists rule! Great ideas, Cain!

But I do not understand something. Bush lied to get us into this war in order to get the oil - is that how it goes Cain? Well, then why do we need a "Manhattan Project" to become energy independent? We got their oil didn't we? What a puzzle!

deekster
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deekster 07/20/07 - 10:39 am
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More show than substance!!

More show than substance!! That is America in 2008. More reputation than character. God help us for we cannot help ourselves. We are the weak, immoral pea brains the BIBLE describes as needing a SAVIOR. So called MEN OF GOD want to run "political campaigns" and change Washington instead of doing what Christ commanded them to do. Preach salvation through JESUS CHRIST and change lives. Changed lives is the only thing that will change America. True GOD fearing representatives at all levels of government.

deekster
24
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deekster 07/20/07 - 10:40 am
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What happened to "party

What happened to "party platforms"? Oh, I think they disappeared after the failed "Contract with America". We need to clean house in Washington and hold our representatives to account for their votes or lack of same.

DrGunby68
1
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DrGunby68 07/20/07 - 11:37 am
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There is applause from the

There is applause from the left for this editorial in a small respect. I usually have only contempt and disbelief at the dang near neo-con status of the ACES' op eds. They take to task their own party (ok so, their party affliation is not evident, but we certainly know what it really is) for raiding the SS trust fund and not fixing immigration. They don't and won't say it, but their folk are the prime instigators and perpetuators of these problems. Also, low unemployment, when looked at through appropriate academic lenses', is a farce. The poor are poorer than they have ever been and the ACES actually have the gaul to speak to mortgage rates. The subprime fiasco, which we all will pay for in terms of an eventual bailout, is a capitalistic driven nightmare that will see Wall St do well, but lots of consumers will be left holding their bags as they get put on the street.

_kpc_
22
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_kpc_ 07/20/07 - 01:17 pm
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Not sure if the ACES really

Not sure if the ACES really had an ancient region in Western Europe (Gual), but they may have had some gall. I'm sorry, I just found that somewhat humerous.

DrGunby68
1
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DrGunby68 07/20/07 - 02:21 pm
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That is pretty funny on two

That is pretty funny on two fronts. Didn't mean the pun...

_kpc_
22
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_kpc_ 07/20/07 - 02:31 pm
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I'm glad that even when we

I'm glad that even when we don't agree, that we can laugh at each other!

lord griggs1947
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lord griggs1947 07/20/07 - 03:42 pm
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Yes, indeed, the editor is

Yes, indeed, the editor is quite right about needed intelligent public discussion or real issues. How do we make better use of the insurance industry and Medicare-Medicaid to get the 43 million insured or do we go to the one-party payer? How do we get better trade treaties that do insure wokers' rights and enviornmental concerns and how do we get TAA to do better and what else do we do to help displaced workers?How do we make government more efficient and more cost-efficient? How do we use our troops around the world and how do we make more effective use of diplomacy?[ For once Cheney-Bush is dealing effectively diplomaticall with North Korea. May they do better with Iran!]. How do we make better the New Covenant's workfare state? How do we further reduce poverty? How can we encourage entrpeneurs not only to reduce global warming but also to create even more jobs? How do we further encourage entrepreneurs? How do we get corporate taxes in line for fairness and to get more taxes from a lesser tax rate but one that ensures compliance? Just what government programs do we need? How do get rid of corporate welfare? How can we make FEMA more effective? Can we avoid buzz words ? Hope!

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