Friday, March 7, 2008

How Can Anyone be a 'Single Issue' Voter?

Over the weekend I was walking to my apartment was thinking about politics. Had a thought about the fact that I do not have a 'most important issue' in my mind right now. At that moment I hit a spot of ice and began to fall to the ground fast. Fortunately for me there was an iron fence railing to the right of me and I caught myself before crashing to the ground.

But it reminded me of the fear I had in my campaign days when I had periods of no health insurance and a fall like that could have bankrupted me had I been badly hurt. At that time I thought health care was the most important issue in our country. Being uninsured is an awful feeling and the near fall reminded me of that again.

Now I know there are many people out there who would never vote for a Pro-Life or Pro-Choice candidate. I respect both sides passion, but in our current country abortion is not even on my radar screen when it comes to what I want the government focusing its energy on.

Currently in this country we have many problems and while I blame President Bush for some of them the fact is, like Chris Matthews has said that since the Civil Rights movement and Medicare, the US Government has failed the American people.
  • For almost 50 years, we have talked about reforming entitlements (Social Security and Medicare) and the result has been NOTHING. In fact Congress have made them both worse by using it as a scare issue to woo senior votes
  • Somewhere over 44million people don't have health care and that number goes up every year
  • There has been no movement on a new energy policy and we grow more and more dependent on foreign oil while possibly putting the planet at risk with uncontrolled pollution
  • Our country has lost a huge number of manufacturing, blue collar jobs and our country is becoming a buyer of everything and less a supplier of anything
  • The value of our dollar is currently in the toilet
  • For the 1st time since WW2 Americans have less owe more to banks than they have equity in their homes
  • Home foreclosures are at their highest rates in years as a result of predatory lending
  • The cost of the war in Iraq is over $500billion and there are now estimates it will end up costing more than $3trillion
  • The infrastructure of the country is behind that of much of the world from the quality of our bridges and roads to the obvious poor construction of our levees
  • There has been little done to combat poverty
  • The US's foreign policy is far too often focusing on 'tomorrow' instead of the 'long term'

There are many more issues I can point to, but these are a number of them in the headlines which are vitally important to the daily lives of Americans. I know that come the general election there will be much discussion about abortion, gay marriage, and many other 'wedge issues' designed to distract voters from what is in their best interests.

I just hope that as a country we hold our candidates accountable to a wide array of issues and not to be so narrow in the issues we care about. We can not afford to do nothing and think it will be ok. The world is catching up if they haven't caught up already and we have important issues to deal with .

The next President will need to handle more than social issues that inflame the Red and Blue states. There must be a long term vision domestically and internationally as we cannot afford a narrow day to day mentality while the rest of the world is aiming to compete and or beat us across the board. Passion for single issues is not a bad thing, but it can be when it obstructs long term progress.

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