Since I've been distracted by a small online political community I figured I'd briefly elaborate my political views on a variety of so-called hot-button issues. The Drug War has been covered at length already (I think it is pointless, at least the way we're going about it).
Taxes I am indifferent to, but government size and spending I am not. If the second is reduced, the first can be likewise. I don't think it is the government or the President's responsibility to control the economy or prevent recessions (which actually are healthy from time to time to shake things up). Nor do I assign the blame or credit for the economy to the government and its agents unless there is a specific policy which relates deliberate effects (such as many regulatory processes favoring big businesses over small). The various unintended consequences I also don't blame unless it was pretty obvious that this would have been a consequence. These are frequently involved in government policy. Well-intended policies are not the same as functional policies that produce those well-intended results.
Abortion I am indifferent to personally. Aside from religious scruples, I can find no justification that this is in fact a murder. There are a variety of natural causes that could occur to prevent a live birth during a pregnancy. I don't see a difference if people wish to exercise their choice and plans in the matter. However, I can see that this is a failsafe choice that is best left in the deck, so to speak. The current opposition to abortion is based more around either the 'murder' or our puritanical sexuality viewpoints. For the second it is completely insane to use government policies to attempt to control the sex lives of other people. For the first, it would seem that there needs to be a successful inclusion of 'other options' rather than a full ban. It is more intelligible to understand abortion as the tail end of a series of individual choices which probably were not wise. If we provide both the understanding and information to try to make those preceding options with more wisdom, then I suspect the appeal and necessity of abortions would drop considerably.
The coverage of this campaign has been pretty boring (hence the lack of commentary). There's virtually nothing on the minor candidates and their issues. And there's really not much on the major candidates issues either. I plan to throw my vote away (for Prez) and fully expect as of now Obama to win.
Education needs to be completely rebuilt. It hasn't usually come up because as usual, wars or money precede the decisive element in creating both: eager young minds. NCLB is idiotic. And our education system in general needs to be much more flexible to account for the various ways people learn and the various subjects in which their minds invest themselves.
The War: I'm not a fan. I haven't quite elaborated on my original oppositions, but these were mostly limited to the lack of accountable planning involved in the post-invasion portion of the show. They totally botched that element and in capitulating a government and leaving no administrative functional force (other than military force), it was totally unsurprising what happened next. Duh. If we can't use military forces that can create a functional strategic plan for suppressing the will of people to resist or rise up against our occupation, what's the point of having an occupation?
From the perspective of "preemptive aggression", I'm also not a big fan. It can be useful, from time to time to shake up people's perspectives and bolster diplomatic approaches. I'm not convinced that Iraq was a situation that justified it. Maybe Afghanistan. But even here, it would have been better had we done anything 20 years ago after helping kick out the Russians.
Tom Friedman on Thank You for Being Late
1 hour ago