June 8, 2008
Election 2008 - The Good
Now that the two main presidential candidates have been all but chosen, the debates can begin about Barack Obama and John McCain. There are some positive things that I think we should get out of the next president.
The first, and the thing that makes me most optimistic is that Obama and McCain are closer to the middle than to the extremes of the political spectrum. More importantly, I think they're both the type that's willing to at least consider advice that didn't come from their own people, something anathema to certain administrations. Just having an administration that doesn't insist on going it alone no matter what should be a welcome change.
The second big thing that will probably come out of the next President is a change to the health care system in America. Obviously, any health care reforms will have to go through Congress, so too much emphasis should not be placed on which candidate's plan gets sent to Capitol Hill. One more caveat is that the reform may just screw things up worse. However, needed change in the system should come. Between the aging population and the millions of Americans without health insurance, there will be enough pressure to keep health care on the list of important issues, as it should be.
Next on the list of good that ought to come from the next President is a new energy policy that ought to place less emphasis on fossil fuels. Either the emphasis on nuclear energy that McCain seems to favor or the extra spending on alternative energy technology that Obama seems to favor ought to improve the country and reduce pollution. On the pollution front, both candidates seem to endorse a so-called "cap and trade" emissions policy, which if done correctly, I consider to be one of the best things that could happen to America. I emphasize "done correctly," because I'm not fully convinced it will ever get passed without giant loopholes and caveats that render the whole thing impotent. But, I'm still an optimist at heart so I think it's got a chance.
If the Democratic primaries were any indication, then this election should see many more people participating than in previous elecitons. Most pundits (and common sense) expect more minorties and young folks to be voting this eleciton. I think it's safe to say that it's a good thing when more of the population participates in elections. At the very least, it should bring attention to issues that may not have featured prominently in the public debate before this year.
I can't promise that all of these thigns will happen, or that they will even be changes for the better. Especially on these fronts, though, changes need to come, and I think we'll at least see some attempts.