Friday, September 17, 2004


The Next Four Years


I'm still trying to wrap my mind around why this years election seems more shrill than most and why the focus appears to be on such ancillary topics like what Bush and Kerry did more than 30 years ago. Could it be perhaps that we are all collectively aware of the challenges we face in the next four years and in some effort at avoidance - like our grandmother whisper cancer when asked about the loss of her dear friend - we choose to deal with these 'less filling v. taste great issues'?

I don't think anyone would dispute the fact the we as a nation face a challenge as great as the cold war when it comes to combating religious fundamentalism in the middle east. (or for that matter here at home). We may think that Iraq wasn't worth it, but know that we can't walk away now and leave the populace to face another slaughter as they did when we abandoned them after the first Gulf War. Then there's North Korea and Iran, two countries that appear to be much father along on the WMD road than Iraq ever was. Could we stand back and let Iran and N. Korea go nuclear (if they haven't already)? And if not how would we scrape up the man power to go after them?

On the home front there are many daunting challenges as well. Federal spending is out of control and we're going into debt at a rate approaching 1/2 a trillion dollars a year -at a time we need to be preparing for the retiring baby boomers. How do provide expanded programs like Bush's "Ownership Society" or reform social security when the government is spending 20% more than it takes in?

It'd be nice if the media focused on those issues and us as voters new as much about social security, intelligence, or drug costs as we now know about type faces and 'th's. (Just venting).

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