Sorting it All Out

By Christian
This week sees the final debates before the first Presidential primaries take place on January 4. With the decimation of my favorite sports radio station last week I have been listening to a lot more news radio. Additionally, being holed up for a few days last week with the ice storms raging outside and a baby with pneumonia inside, I was afforded with the opportunity to catch up with the last couple of issues of the weekly news magazine that we subscribe to. This convergence of events has resulted in my spending time trying to figure out which issues are really important to me as we head into this season of primaries and rooting for particular candidates.

**I think the issue I will give the most credence to is not really an "issue" per se. It's more of a skill. As I look at America and what we need to see accomplished over the next four years, my perception is that we need someone who will have great skill in international diplomacy. Someone who can broker deals and mediate conflicts and work well with others when necessary. I remember thinking before the 2000 election that Bush seemed like a nice enough guy, but that he was really lacking in foreign policy experience. If our biggest issue was going to be our relationship with Mexico, then we would be cool. As it turned out, there were much bigger issues and he failed to surround himself with advisers who could carry him through. Eight years later, we're in a pretty bad place on the world stage. As China continues to emerge and we are really needing Iran and Pakistan to be relatively stable, we need someone who can spin all of those plates and rebuild our credibility.

**The above point makes me really worry about the prospect of Obama being president. He has been very aggressive already with his comments on Pakistan and China, and I think that could hinder his ability to work with them in the long run. I understand why people like him, however. I also understand why his message really appeals to people who are big fans of Oprah. However, he probably would have been well served to sit this election out and continue to strengthen his prophetic message of social change while getting more foreign policy experience. Actually, a VP role might fit him really well.

**At this point, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani are the only candidates I am rooting against. That's pretty good, as far as keeping a positive attitude about politics goes.

**Domestically, I'd like to see someone with strong ideas for health care reform. There is a saying here around the Hope Center that health care, housing and education are the three biggest injustices in our society right now. The thing about health care is that we are really close to it taking a huge bit into the middle class, which would cause a weakening of the middle class that could be seriously detrimental to our already fragile economy. I had a professor who was sceptical that we could get this problem fixed however, "before the blood of the middle class is flowing down the streets."

**We need to get spending in check. I'm a proponent that we get Iraq put back together before we completely vacate it, and think about doing something similar in Afghanistan. However, our supplemental budget is spiraling out of control, so we do need to cut back in some other areas before we get too much more in debt to China.

**I really don't understand fully why the Republican base doesn't like John McCain more. I have some additional thoughts that I'd like to flesh out on that in a later post. Elli and I were really impressed by him in both the YouTube and the MTV debates, however.

Fair Dinkum

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