I have been under attack. Not a personal attack (although others might view the same circumstances that way), not a physical attack, but rather I have been experiencing information overload. It’s just coming so fast and so heavy that this busy post-graduate student hardly has time to write about one epiphany before the next comes along. And of course by that time - poof - it’s gone. And make no mistake, not only is there news aplenty to write about in this presidential election, it also has the distinction of being new news.
In January, history of unprecedented proportions will be made; either way, there will not be two white males serving as president and vice president. Can’t happen. Sometimes in the heat of the rapidly escalating battle, this little historical footnote is lost in the noise. And although it represents the bridging of a huge gap in racial and gender equality, it is equally important that we keep our eye on the ball. This country, despite denials from the current administration, is a mess.
It just is. The responsibility appropriately falls squarely upon the shoulders of the administration - and party - in power. Ok, I know, I know, the Democrats are the majority in both houses, but not in large enough numbers to affect any real change. You know, the kind of change the Republicans perpetuated from 2000 up until the 2006 midterms. That kind of change is not what we need any more of. It is, in large part, why this country is a mess.
Allow me to enumerate. First and foremost… the granddaddy of all blunders, a fiasco that captures all the insidious elements of deceit, huge amounts of wasted (and as yet unfunded) taxpayer dollars and last, but absolutely not least, the needless deaths of more than 4,000 US service men and women. Never mind the civilian casualties (Iraqi and American) and all those untold thousands of life-altering injuries that will remain to cause this administration recurring embarrassment on how these brave souls are treated when they return home. In case you’ve been living under a rock, I am speaking about the war in Iraq.
It is a war that one party and its ticket still supports. The war has not been as much a page one event as it once was, but it is still going on. It appears to be going better, but nowhere close to good. People are still dying at an alarming rate, money we don’t have is still being spent so fast it boggles the mind and Bin Laden (who had absolutely nothing to do with Iraq), is still on the loose. We need to get out and one party’s ticket has pledged to do just that.
But that’s not all. The Republican Party has become increasingly elitist, and I don’t mean in the academic sense. The cronyism, which has done far more than dance on the line with corruption, is rampant. These are not scandals of impropriety (read sex scandals), they are real crimes with real victims. Valerie Plame, Joseph Wilson, Scooter Libby, Doolittle, Abramoff, Cheney, Rove… perhaps Reagan left some of that Teflon for ole’ W, but it all smells the same. There are so many more names that space simply does not permit... And that old song and dance is being revived in a ticket called McCain-Palin.
New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman recently wrote how the McCain-Palin campaign has a teensy little problem with the truth. After citing several fallacies iterated and reiterated from the campaign, Krugman sets the record straight, but more importantly, he lends insight into what this pattern of factual impairment might mean. He contrasts the comparative complexities of the Bush-Cheney deception with the ease of seeing through McCain-Palin lies. “How a politician campaigns tells you a lot about how he or she would govern,” he said.
Since both Obama and McCain are campaigning on a "change" platform, let us take a look at what that change would mean. Granted, McCain appropriated the change message late in the game, but it is fair to say that change would occur in his administration despite Obama’s claim that it would just be four more years of the last eight. I agree with Krugman, “I’d argue that Obama is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would be just a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.”