The Calm After The Storm

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, one is struck by how unforeseen events can take control of everyday life.  This event struck the northeast but just ask anyone living in Tornado Alley what nature can do.  For the Northeast, getting debris cleaned up and electricity restored is the first priority.  No time for politics.

Still, the clock is ticking.  Next Tuesday, one week from today, the nation officially votes for the next President.  For many, Tuesday will mark the end of senseless negative political ads and a return to equally senseless, but less irritating auto and medicine ads.  For others, the election outcome will either raise hopes or caste a spell of near despondency.

In this calm, will voters take this time to think the election issues through?

The election is not about the economy or jobs.   It is true that the political rhetoric says the election is about jobs and the economy.  Compared to other major countries, however, the US economy is growing faster and unemployment is lower.  Any thoughtful analysis would say the US is well on it way towards full employment.

The election is also not about foreign policy.  While some may argue that the US needs to exert its influence (read military power) in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia also represent growing areas of concern.  In short, this is not the time for the US to be tied down with a land war anyplace.

This election is not about the poor, the health care uninsured, the elderly on fixed income, the newly graduated seeking employment, or our failing school systems.  The election is not about the political divide or dysfunctional Congress.

The election is really about all these issues… but in the context of a $1 trillion deficit projected as far as we can see.  The election is about how can the country improve each of these issues while on a path to regain control of both the deficit and the debt.

Neither party has caste the election in these terms.  Most likely the reason for silence is that the only path forward which will work will call for broad sacrifices.  The successful path forward will say good-by to the free lunch form of politics.

So, in the absence of either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama saying taxes must go up for everyone and that entitlements along with defense spending must be reduced, voters are left to decide with only half a deck of cards which candidate to select.

Maybe the Hippocratic Oath is more appropriate for this election.  Who will “do no harm”.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party

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