We Ex Islers can go back and forth and forth and back about everything under the sun - and to what purpose? Do we gain anything at all with this? Those who are going to vote for McCain/Against Obama/Republican are not likely to be persuaded by any petty scandal mongering from those of us who are going to vote for Obama/Against McCain/Democratic, and vice versa. But we are likely to stir more animosity between friends.
This year, let's do something different. I know the campaigns can't avoid the mudslinging - most of America is nothing like Ex Isle, and so the campaigns are appealing to most of America, not just us. But we here have demonstrated a remarkable capacity for honorable discussion, debate, disagreement, have often admitted fair points for the other side, and have been known to learn from one another. I even pointed to Ex Isle as an example of reasonable debate and sharing of disparate opinions on a left-leaning blog site. I posted there to give them an opportunity to consider that their echo-chambering was not giving them a full understanding of what people outside of their "netroots" opinion set were thinking. I thought that highly of us - and I still do. While the news will continue to provide outrage and/or silliness for us to... well, get outraged and/or silly about, and while we may continue to thoroughly dislike the other side for (lying, cheating, mudslinging, finger pointing, etc.), I'd like to think that we can have one reasonably well sustained discussion about the candidate's positions here on Ex Isle!
We've tried before, only to get swept up in the miasma of the season - so serious policy threads don't get the attention of the lipstick on a pig threads, but honestly - there's so much to talk about this election - so many policy differences, so many ways in which the candidates are different...can we have just one thread where we civilly, openly, and vigorously discuss the issues?
I'll lead off with an opinion piece from two citizen journalists from Huffington Post. By source you can guess that this is a piece mostly favorable to Obama, but I'm not posting it for that reason - I'm posting it because the issues themselves interest me. I invite everyone to offer their thoughts, reasons why they think one approach is better than another, if they agree that the author's representation of the candidate's position is accurate (and if not, correct the record - preferrably with sources)? Here's the article:
Posted September 15, 2008 | 10:50 AM (EST)
McCain, Obama on International Diplomacy and Immigration
Over the course of this week, OffTheBus will be running a primer on some of the most important foreign policy issues the next president will face. The primer will act as a guide to how candidates Barack Obama and John McCain stand on each issue. Check out the links for more information on these issues. Today, the primer looks at where Obama and McCain stand on international diplomacy and immigration.
And what better way to talk about talking than to discuss his views on the United Nations.
In his article in Foreign Affairs magazine, Barack Obama highlighted some of the major issues facing the United Nations, a body that he insists "requires far-reaching reform." He asserted that "the U.N. Secretariat's management practices remain weak [and] peacekeeping operations are overextended." He also expressed criticism of the new U.N. Human Rights Council, which, he argued, spends a disproportionate amount of time disparaging Israel while ignoring issues in the rest of the world.
In spite of the need for change at the U.N., Mr. Obama has pledged to renew the U.S. commitment to the international body because "none of these problems will be solved unless America rededicates itself to the organization and its mission."
He has stated that Russia should be replaced in the G8 by India and Brazil and that the Security Council should be enlarged giving Japan and Brazil permanent seats.
Security Council enlargement is code generally for increased international representation. But for John McCain it means stacking the decks in our favor. And why not? Russia is flexing its muscles. China is on the rise. Apparently we are headed for a new Cold War.
After years of cooperation and productivity, the Security Council is once again deadlocking. Georgia. Zimbabwe. Kosovo. Sudan. Burma. Try as it might, the Security Council is having a hard time finding common purpose these days. In the heat of this summer's political crisis in Zimbabwe, the U.S. and its western allies put forth a Security Council resolution against the Mugabe regime. Their efforts were greeted with the Security Council's loudest boo - a China/Russia double veto. It was only the second time a double veto had been cast since 1972. The other time was last year.
For reasons of copyright - those are very incomplete quotes, and I've left the immigration piece out. Just posted that to get the ball rolling...