Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Watching the debate last night was a really interesting experience. First off I'm going to say that honestly, I don't know which candidate is really going to do a better job. Each campaign is well designed to exploit the weaknesses of the other and create a web of rhetoric that prevents them from actually nailing down the actions they are going to take to fix the problems we are facing.

I did like how McCain's approach to the economy is to stop the housing market's free fall, since I think that creating a stable base to build on would actually make a difference. Renegotiating your mortgage at the real value of the house would take back that easy money people thought they were getting without robbing them of everything like losing their house would. It sounds like a good middle ground. I'm not sure what Obama's plan is, all I can remember is this idea of taking money from Wall Street and giving it back to Main Street. But that doesn't make any sense since most people on Main Street have their money in 401ks, which is governed by Wall Street. I imagine he's just trying to say that he's going to take the money from the rich and give it to the poor, but that sounds pretty stupid because the poor people lost the money in the first place trying to be like the rich people, so doesn't that just create an endless cycle of having to keep robbing the rich to give back to the poor so they can keep giving to the rich? I'm less concerned about pinning down the blaim for why we are in this position and more concerned about what is actually going to be down to fix the problem and prevent it from happening again in the future.

I thought another big point that should have been emphasized is how can the government, and specifically the president, help push for more innovation towards energy independence. I don't care about off site drilling, I care about alternative energy, specifically stuff that works like nuclear and wind power. Are they going to cut the subsides for turning corn into ethanol and instead shift money into places like the National Science Foundation or consumer credit for people who install green technology in their homes (where appropriate)? Neither candidate talked about this. There was a lot of vague generalities about nuclear power and drilling, but no factual details about what real steps can, should and will be taken. I wish the debate would at least show more of the candidates thought process on these issues even if they don't actually commit themselves to one action or another.

The final large point of emphasis was foreign relations. Again I had to agree more with McCain since he really seemed to be confident and know what he was doing. Foreign relations is like the ultimate chess game, you have to be strong and fortified, not over extending too early and leaving yourself weak, but also always holding a card up your sleeve in case things go the wrong way. McCain seemed to understand that you can't always just sit down and talk everything out, because if the person you're trying to talk to isn't meeting you at the same level then nothing good will come from it. When you're the alpha male, you have to keep a certain image, and if you lose that image then you open up ideas that you have weakness and can be overthrown. I think it was a misstep for Obama to say too much about his plans for Osama Bin Laden, esp since it made him seem like he's acting emotionally rather than rationally. If you're going to lead you need to be able to pull back enough from the raw emotion so you can focus on the bigger perspective.

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