Archive for Saturday, October 11, 2008

Simons: Presidential election will be critical to America’s future

October 11, 2008


A little more than three weeks from today, American voters will be going to the polls to select the next president of the United States - the president of the most powerful and most influential nation in the world.

Voters have two choices: Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, 73, a career military officer, a Caucasian; and Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, 47, a lawyer and community organizer, the first African-American to be nominated for the presidency.

This election comes at a time when tremendously important issues are on the table, which demand immediate attention. In addition to these current challenges, the outcome of the election could bring major, long-lasting changes to the American way of life.

Issues on the "immediate" agenda include: the U.S. stock market, the housing situation and the number of jobless Americans, even though more Americans have jobs now than at any other time in our nation's history.

Also on that list are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the constant war on terrorism and the challenge of keeping our country safe, the nuclear weapons threat and how to deal with unbalanced, dangerous leaders in Iran and North Korea. The "energy" crisis and America's dependence on foreign oil also has affected the entire world, not just the U.S.

These are just a few of the most serious problems facing our country. Unfortunately, American voters are not getting true, balanced and honest answers as to how the two candidates would address these issues.

Obama is a superb speaker and has put together probably one of the best-organized campaign efforts of any U.S. presidential hopeful. He has raised record levels of money to finance his campaign and has thousands of paid workers across the country. There are questions about the millions of dollars coming into the Obama campaign from unnamed overseas donors, and there are mounting questions about fraudulent voter registration practices conducted by the activist ACORN organization, with which Obama has had ties in the past.

Obama has been in the U.S. Senate since 2005 and has a spotty record for attendance and for passing on so many votes. According to several reports, Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate, and his vice presidential running mate, Joe Biden, has the third most liberal ranking in the Senate.

McCain has been in the Senate since 1987, and his critics have claimed his election would be merely an extension of the policies of George Bush. They point out that McCain has voted in favor of the Bush legislative program more than 90 percent of the time.

McCain's age has been an issue, along with his health and whether his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is capable or sufficiently trained and knowledgeable to assume the presidency if necessary.

Lately, McCain critics have raised the question of the senator's connection with the so-called "Keating Five," which involved the financial actions of a handful of Arizona officials, most of whom were friends of McCain. The Senate found no evidence McCain had acted illegally, although Democrats have brought up this issue in response to McCain's questioning of Obama's associations with his longtime pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and ultra-radical Bill Ayers.

The question of whether America will continue to be a capitalist country or move toward socialism is debated by many. Obama clearly favors more government controls and involvement while McCain is staunch in his support of less government and capitalism even though in a recent campaign speech he suggested the government should buy out or pick up the mortgages on thousands of homes in danger of foreclosure.

Both senators voted in favor of the recent $700 billion federal rescue plan to try to halt the slide of the stock market and bring balance to the U.S. economy.

Both candidates have made statements that their critics believe are untrue or misleading. For instance, Obama says he will initiate plans to make the U.S. energy independent within 10 years, which knowledgeable officials say is impossible.

Another issue in this election is the effort to get millions of new voters to the polls in November. It's a worthy challenge, but there is the very serious and real problem that a high percentage of these newly recruited young voters have little idea or knowledge about election issues or the beliefs and visions of the two candidates. A number of interviews with these newly registered young people show a shocking lack of understanding of current events and personalities.

In every election, there are developments that neither candidate can control. Usually, the party in power gets blamed for most troubles while challengers have the luxury of hindsight and saying what should have been done while not having any responsibility for their Monday morning quarterbacking.

It's surprising Obama is not further ahead in the polls, considering the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (and the number of American troops who have been killed in these two theaters), the energy crisis, the skyrocketing price of oil, the housing crisis and the economy.

And yet, only two years ago, the stock market was at an all-time high, regular gasoline was about $2.24 a gallon, the unemployment rate was around 4.5 percent, and consumer confidence was high.

Now the economy is a mess, and a good share of the public blames the Bush administration, even though, in 2006, American voters put Democrats in control of the House and Senate. How much of the current chaos should be placed at the feet of the Democratic-controlled Congress and its leaders, such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid, Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank?

The current challenges as well as what kind of country we will be four, eight or more years from now - the composition of the Supreme Court and whether socialism and bigger government will become the law of the land - all will be determined to a large degree by who is elected 23 days from today.

This is a tremendous responsibility with enormous consequences.


beatrice 9 years, 5 months ago

frwent, Obama's father lived in Nigeria, went to school in Hawaii where he met Obama's mother, then returned to Nigeria where he died in a car crash. While Barack Jr. did not live in Africa, his father most certainly did. humblecom, I haven't a clue what you are doing, but don't forget to subtact 1.6 points from McCain for his selection of Palin, who was just found by bi-partisan committee that started before she was selected as having abused her powers as governor.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 5 months ago

Senator McCain is a military officer, and a Caucasian . Senator Obama is an "African-American". Senator Obama has never lived in Africa, none of his parents did, why did you just not say a "black guy". Who washes and presses your white KKK hoods for you?

Richard Heckler 9 years, 5 months ago

Christopher Buckley endorsed Obama over McCain.================================ One thing americans do not seem to comprehend is the amount of money being spent on the mideast invasion. It is my assertion that other nations are very much concerned as to how the USA spends its' money in ways that do not invest only create liability. Yes the rest of the world is very much aware that spending $30,000,000 a day on a moneyhole is not fiscally responsible. Wonder why the rest of the world has no faith?Face it war is not investing. The world is now hearing that our politicans want to expand the war back into Afghanistan plus Pakistan. Is there no end? Where is the money?The USA must be spending $30,000,000 a day on war when our economy has been going downhill. This is really quite stupid.Help for Main Street, Reform for WallstreetThe Magnitude and Meaning of the Proposed Bailout:What $700 Billion for Wall Street means on Main StreetNPP Provides Analysis of $700 Billion for TaxpayersThe plan proposed by President Bush and Secretary Paulson for a $700 billion bailout of Wall Street is difficult for most people to comprehend. At NPP, we've been crunching the numbers and offer this analysis of what $700 billion means to taxpayers.A healthy and productive economy requires substantial investment in affordable housing, health care, education and renewable energy. Taxpayers in the United States will be required to pay $700 billion for the Wall Street bailout. They should also know that for the same amount of money, they could secure the following: 51.6 million people with health care for four years OR 181.2 million homes with renewable electricity for four years OR 2.9 million elementary school teachers for four years OR 27 million four-year scholarships for university students$700 billion is more than what is currently allocated for the U.S. war in Iraq. This amount would allow us to repair all of our nations 77,000 deteriorated bridges and still have $519 billion to spend; or it would allow us to rebuild all of our nations 33,000 deteriorating schools and still have $664 billion to spend. For more analysis and trade-offs at the State and Congressional District level, please visit National Priorities Project's Trade-offs page online ( Take action:Call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121

Boeing 9 years, 5 months ago

Uh...when was the last election that WASN'T critical to the countries future???But merrill I hope you know you're driving me AWAY from voting for Obama with your constant annoying blabbering.

Boeing 9 years, 5 months ago

And they push me from voting for McCain. Really it's just failure all around for their causes when it comes to me. I know they don't care but, hey, I like to let them know they are failing with at least one person ;)

overthemoon 9 years, 5 months ago

supertrampI returned to this comment section to say exactly what you have! Took the words right out of my keyboard!There is, as you say, greater interest and engagement in the political process this year than ever before. Perhaps the best and only positive legacy George Bush leaves us is the knowledge that we must engage in the process to prevent his kind from ever taking office again.And Mr. Simon, in case you haven't noticed, young voters have a world wide web of information that is much broader and intelligent than the podunk LJW. If local voters are uninformed, then who do we blame for that??? I am disgusted by your suggestion that the "political process" is so complicated that first time voters might screw it up. That smacks of voter intimidation. Or were you just saying that people might "screw up" and vote against your obvious choice of candidates?

News_to_me 9 years, 5 months ago

erratic, throw it on the wall to see what sticks politics vs. thoughtful, measured judgment.politics of fear vs. politics of hopetrickle down economics vs. providing a decent living for all Americans.government overly influenced by the wealthy and powerful vs. government by the people and for the people.four more years vs. back on the right track.the choice is simple my friends

overthemoon 9 years, 5 months ago

Also...His father came to America to attend school in Kansas. Hawaii was later. Beatrice, I appreciate you're trying to set the record straight, just try to do it with the right facts?

Richard Heckler 9 years, 5 months ago

Who was in office when terrrorists got around the nations security and intelligence then hijacked 4 large commercial airliners simultaneously? Republicans!. There are many other reasons not to put republicans in office ever again. Republican presidents have some long history of big time crime taking place within their administrations. How do voters forget so easily? Crime against Vets: What party is in the white house that went around the nation lying to citizens about Social Security? Republicans! party is in the white house and has been observing the sub prime loan scandals, pretending nothing was wrong? RepublicansCRIME: Who has history with financial institutions going south such as the savings and loan scandal? Republicans! Who hosted the Iran Contra secret illegal sale of weapons? Republicans! Who brought the nation Iran Contra number 2? Republicans! Which party illegally spied on the democrats to win an election? Republicans! Watergate! Which party held secret energy meetings and refused our elected officials its' content and who attended? GW Bush and the republicans!CRIME: Which party lied to congress and the world,went against military advice and created the worst strategic blunder in the history of the USA aka Iraq War? Republican Party!Which party has held secret oil deals with Saudi Arabia?Republicans! Secret Oil deals for Iraq Oil- Republicans! AGAINST THE ECONOMY: Which party introduced voodoo economics into our system? aka Reaganomics. Republicans!Who still practices Voodoo economics? GW Bush and the republican party!The USA has fewer jobs for taxpayers today as a result of a Texas republican governor exercising his executive decision making powers as president of the USA.CRIME AGAINST DEMOCRACY : PNAC's policy document, "Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination. Many PNAC members hold highest-level positions in the George W. Bush administration.

ralphralph 9 years, 5 months ago

It really doesn't matter who wins. Really. It doesn't.The Fed Govt has gotten so big, and so far beyond its proper role, that whoever is at the top is just going to influence the ways in which we get screwed, not whether we get screwed. It would probably be best in the long run if the whole damn thing comes crashing down, so we can start over.

humblecommentator 9 years, 5 months ago

Mathematical Decision:Economy=.6Foreign Affairs=.4ECONOMY OBAMA calm style 1 capable advisors 1 FDR-WJC legacy 1 TOTAL 3 X .6 = 1.8 MCCAIN actual proposal 2 x.6= 1.2FOREIGN AFFAIRS OBAMA initially opposed Iraq adventure .5 x .4 = .2 MCCAIN supported surge when unpopular 2 x .4 = .8OBAMA GRAND TOTAL 2MCCAIN GRAND TOTAL 2

beatrice 9 years, 5 months ago

Go to the official websites of McCain and Obama, then tell me who is thinking about putting country first.After clicking past the "give me money" pages for each, what do you find? McCain's site has a video attacking Obama, while Obama's is about explaining his plaform. It becomes pretty clear who is putting country first and who is just saying anything to try to tear the other person down. McCain's campaign has been like this for a long time. He is putting party before country. He has no vision for the country, so he must attack and tell lies. It is very sad. As someone who lives in Arizona, I hope he drops out of the Senate after this.

beatrice 9 years, 5 months ago

overthemoon, I'm pretty sure Obama Sr. never attended school in Kansas, but rather received a scholarship to attend the University of Hawaii, and then he went to Harvard. Obama's mother was born in Kansas. I just find taking political editorials seriously difficult from someone who twice publicly supported George W. Bush.

Tom McCune 9 years, 5 months ago

"So here we are in a country with more wheat and more corn and more money in the bank, more cotton, more everything in the world-there's not a product that you can name that we haven't got more of it than any other country ever had on the face of the earth-and yet we've got people starving. We'll hold the distinction of being the only nation in the history of the world that ever went to the poor house in an automobile. The potter's fields are lined with granaries full of grain. Now if there ain't something cockeyed in an arrangement like that then this microphone here in front of me is-well, it's a cuspidor, that's all."These people that you're asked to aid, why they're not asking for charity, they are naturally asking for a job, but if you can't give 'em a job why the next best thing you can do is see that they have food and the necessities of life. You know, there's not a one of us who has anything that these people that are without it now haven't contributed to what we've got. I don't suppose there's the most unemployed or the hungriest man in America has contributed in one way to the wealth of every millionaire in America. It wasn't the working class that brought this condition on at all. It was the big boys themselves who thought that this financial drunk we were going through was going to last forever. They over-merged and over-capitalized, and over-everything else. That's the fix we're in now."-- Will Rogers, 1931

WilburM 9 years, 5 months ago

Just when you thought Dolph could not top himself for pure blather, he does. It's amazing. No wonder that the LJW has no real clout in this community. During the most serious financial crisis of the past 75 years, we get incoherent rambling. Must be nice to own the barrels of ink.

supertrampofkansas 9 years, 5 months ago

Satirical,If Obama wins, then I take it you are moving out of the country?I find your "analysis" of this article to be sorely lacking. I also find your "rewriting" of history to border on the idiotic. You do understand that the stock market crash occurred in 1929, 3 years before FDR and democrats had control have the House and Senate. Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover were in control of the White House through the 1920s and the repubilicans had full control over both the House and the Senate during Hoover's reign, 1928-1932. By the time Roosevelt became president the Great Depression was in full swing. The depression is the main reason why he was elected POTUS and the democrats gained control over both of the legislative branches. The fact that we came out of the depression after FDR gained control was also the primary reason for why he was elected 4 consecutive times to POTUS. The current term limit we have on the executive branch now was a result of the FDR era. So I encourage you to reread your history books Satirical particularly because you could benefit from learning what actually happened historically.While there have been several different schools of thoughts regarding the causes of the Great Depression, there are several main causes that seem to be common among all of them: inequality of wealth and income, lack of regulation in the banking industry, overvaluation of the stock, and massive amounts of debt . Sounds familiar doesn't it?Of course, I am not surprised by your sheeple response to this clearly partisan and biased commentary. Simon relies on your willful ignorance and your blind faith in swallowing his propaganda-driven agenda.

Satirical 9 years, 5 months ago

Excellent article, excellent points. Many people have said Obama's policies remind them of Carter's policies. I think they are wrong, they are more like FDR's which perpetuated the Great Depression.The economy started tanking when the Dems took control, and will move towards a Depression if they take over both the legislative and executive branches in this election. People always say it couldn't get any worse, but the truth is it can always get worse. If we give the Dems control over 2/3 of the branches of the federal government we will move rapidly towards socialism and an FDR economics which failed to get us out of this country's last Depression. Unfortunately due to Obama having 3 times more money than McCain, much from large donors, it is likely he will win the Presidential election. All that we control is whom we send to Congress and the Senate. Don't give the Dems a blank check and a red carpet towards socialism and another Depression.

RogueThrill 9 years, 5 months ago

This article is about an inch deep and a mile wide.

stair_car_hop_on 9 years, 5 months ago

I agree that the most offensive part of this article is the assertion that younger voters have a "shocking lack of understanding" about the current political situation. Really, I'm surprised I'm not seeing more outcry. My friends and I are livid. I'd like to see those interviews. I'd also like to cross reference those interviews against the ages of Americans who believe Obama is an "Arab," a "terrorist" and a "commie". From the video footage I've seen, it's certainly not the younger voters who are most ill-informed.Perhaps all the shockingly ignorant young voters in Lawrence should consider shopping for some new reading material, and leave the LJWorld for our wise elders to enjoy.

LiberalDude 9 years, 5 months ago

I think one of the funniest and most ridiculous arguments being made by Republicans is that the reason things are so bad in the U.S. right now is because of the 2 years of Democrat majority in congress. This is just a stupid argument and they know it.Democrats have slight majorities and weren't able to do much of anything because you need 60% in the Senate and they only have 51%. Plus Bush has just vetoed anything good that they try to accomplish. The reasons for all of our current problems happened way before 2006 (the crazy expensive Iraq War, deregulation, making other countries hate us, letting lobbyists control decisions, sending jobs overseas, etc.)The blame should be squarely on Bush and the Republicans. We need change. We need Obama!

beatrice 9 years, 5 months ago

The bi-partisan committee in Alaska investigating Palin have concluded that she did indeed abuse her powers as governor. She is unfit to be governor of the least populated state in the union, yet McCain selected her as his running mate after meeting her just once before making his decision. McCain is unfit to be our president as he is unable to make sound judgments.Obama will be our next president. He is by far the best choice. Once he becomes president, his supporters will need to make sure he follows through with his stated agenda and not just blindly support his every action, as we have seen happen under Bush.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 5 months ago

"A number of interviews with these newly registered young people show a shocking lack of understanding of current events and personalities."Ahem....several have also shown the same for one of the candidates. Strange that there was no outrage or even a mention of that. Too, no mention of Palin's abuse of power. Given the 8 year long abuses of george w. bush, it seems relevant that one of his possible replacements has been found to possess the same unethical tendencies.

karmaxs3 9 years, 5 months ago

Gee Dolph, who ya gunna vote for? Try not to be so obvious.

overthemoon 9 years, 5 months ago

Kenya. Barak Obama's father was from Kenya.In fact, he is a TRUE African American. His father African by birth, his Mother American (Kansan, actually)He is half white, half black. Of mixed color like most of the world's population will be in 50 years.Time to get over it, folks.

supertrampofkansas 9 years, 5 months ago

"Another issue in this election is the effort to get millions of new voters to the polls in November. It's a worthy challenge, but there is the very serious and real problem that a high percentage of these newly recruited young voters have little idea or knowledge about election issues or the beliefs and visions of the two candidates. A number of interviews with these newly registered young people show a shocking lack of understanding of current events and personalities." - Simon saysIf that isn't elitism, I don't know what is. Simon is implying of course that if Obama is elected POTUS, it will be the result of stupidity of the masses. Ironically, people like Simon rely on this ignorance and apathy to further perpetuate their self-serving interests. Frankly, I am heartened to see so many Americans taking an interest in the political process again. It indicates a desire to become a part of the democratic process that makes America great.

Jayhawktriplegrad 9 years, 5 months ago

A "shocking lack of understanding of current events and personalities" by new young voters? C'mon, Dolph--take a look at the Youtube clips of the comments of "mature" supporters standing in line for a McCain rally? I'm sure there are a bunch who believe cavemen "palled around" with dinosaurs and probably a "shocking" number who still believe the earth is flat, dont'cha know.

beatrice 9 years, 5 months ago

Tom, don't you mean "a simpleton's choice"? Only thing simple about what you presented was the level of reasoning that went into the argument.

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