election angst

I’ve tried to watch (or listen) to all three presidential debates and have been disappointed by each of them. I thought last night’s debate on foreign policy would at least spark my interest in international affairs. However, Obama failed to articulate his strategy on foreign policy in any coherent way; thus, the only difference between the two candidates seems to be that Obama would use “coalition partners” before deciding to invade foreign countries or arm insurgent groups, while Romney and his neocon advisers would probably just go ahead and attack a lá Bush W. Romney also repeats a refrain about expanding free trade with Latin America, as if he’s unaware that this is precisely what the Obama (like the Bush) administration has been doing the last four years. The other message Romney repeats is growing the military, and this is one place where Obama’s answers were clear and direct. Anyway, severely disappointed that important issues like climate, global poverty and food security, drone attacks and civilian deaths, displacement and human rights are no where mentioned. The best candidate by far in these elections, in my view, is Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party, who is able to make connections between the lack of health care here in the U.S., outsourcing of U.S. jobs, global warming, universal higher education, alternatives to austerity at home and abroad, and our need to build alliances with countries like China rather than start trade wars with them. It’s a travesty that Americans won’t hear Dr. Stein because the commission on presidential debates has locked out third party candidates. I’ve heard that when the League of Women Voters ran the debates, they were much more substantial. That said, I’ve found a great web resource for voting — put in your address and you can go through all the ballot measures in your city and state and have a “sample ballot” with your choices emailed to you to take to the polls (or, in my case in Oregon, mail in my ballot). Check it out: Vote411.org


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