Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Election 2008: A Momentous Choice

The nation will soon be going to the polls to choose the new leaders of the government of the United States. This choice will have a remarkable impact on the future state of the nation. The two alternatives could not be more stark and definitive.

The Republican candidates offer a world in which the relationship between the powerful and everyone else remains essentially unchanged. Not only do they not offer any solutions for the problems that currently beset average Americans. The rationale that is used in defense of this policy is that solutions to these problems do not fit within the purview of responsibility of the United States government towards its people. One can suspect, therefore, that should the Republicans gain the ascendance, the numbers of individuals without adequate health care, without appropriate shelter, without higher educations, without enough food and without jobs will continue to grow.

The view they espouse is one that envisions a unipolar world in which the United States remains dominant, relying more on military might than goodwill. The attitude of the potential leadership is embodied in self-righteousness, rigidity and narrowness in thinking, deficient in compassion for those less fortunate and potentially extremely polarizing in the vast, varied and complex social environment that is America. The thinking is essentially fundamentalist in perspective, relying on a climate of fear, suspicion, prejudice and ignorance that will insure a divided and antagonistic population well into the future. Both candidates have vowed to criminalize abortion. Such a turn of events would be disastrous for the country on many levels. The Republican Vice Presidential candidate has even claimed that she is not convinced that global warming is a result of human activity, in marked opposition to the vast body of scientific knowledge to the contrary.

In extreme contrast, the Democratic Party candidates represent a view that sees the country as rich in diversity and recognizes the monumental problems that face ordinary citizens. They offer plans to help correct these issues and, as a result, have enkindled a feeling of hope in those who are despairing, especially the young. It is a perspective that sees an important role for the government in promoting solutions to the problems that face so many citizens. The alternative provided by these candidates is one that envisions a country that is a participant in the community of nations and ready to deal with the problems that confront the global community such as global warming.

The Democratic Party candidates represent a world view that looks into the future and not the past, and relies on the intelligence, compassion and good sense of the American public. They choose not to use fear as a weapon to manipulate public opinion.

The choice that the electorate will make in determining the next President will impact the future state of the nation in an essential way. It is a choice that will have momentous ramifications both domestically and internationality.

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