Thursday, August 28, 2008

What Obama Should Talk About Tonight

CNN's David Gergen said something rare and wise today. He said that Obama's speech tonight must not gloss over the reality that America is facing an economic disaster that hasn't been seen since the Depression.

While the media's campaign coverage continues to focus on the horse race (e.g., What Obama needs to do to carry Pennsylvania) and such ephemera as the multimillion-dollar convention set created by Britney Spears' designer, we have:
  • An economy based on our consuming ever more
  • China and others poised to bury us. Russia seems to be hankering for another cold war.
  • Insecure borders, with immigration uncontrolled
  • Terrorists who want to use nuclear and radiologic devices to destroy us and our allies
  • Ever more Americans worried if they'll have as good a job next year or any job, for that matter
  • Millions of Americans without health insurance and who couldn't afford fee-for-service, and we really don't have a way to provide it without hurting the quality of health care for those who currently are insured.
  • An education system that for decades has been long on promises, and despite massive spending increases, short on delivery.
Too, we face enormous environmental dilemmas:
  • Do we spend many billions of ever harder-to-find dollars to attempt to cool the earth when the science behind the global warming predictions is growing ever shakier?
  • Do we invest more billions of dollars in taxpayer money to accelerate the development of alternative fuels so we can more quickly become energy independent, or would it be prudent to not tax the public on schemes that the private sector deems not worth the investment?
I wish, vainly, that Obama's speech tonight would address these issues instead of focus-group-dial-tested, meaningless propaganda phrases like "Change we can believe in, "Keep America's promise alive." We need new directions, not the tired old policies of the failed Bush-McCain administration."

If Obama addressed the aforementioned core issues in a circumspect and forthright way, despite my Libertarian leanings, I'd seriously consider voting for him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing you titled this "What Obama SHOULD Talk About Tonight."

My dear Mr. Nemko, if you think for one second that Barack Obama will deviate even slightly from the script he's been following for the past year and a half on the biggest night of his career, you're crazy. I expect John McCain to do the same next week.

Tonight's speech will be heavy on feel-good fluff and light on substance. I expect to hear something about this being a historical night, the party/country coming together, his family, his upbringing, McCain's service to this country, and the "yeah, but" reason why he's not presidential material. And since this is the 45th anniversary of the "I Have A Dream" speech, expect that to be referenced too.

The issues you bring up will be addressed sooner or later. My guess is it will probably be later, likely when it's too late to address them.

By the way, there's a bookie who has laid odds on the cliches that Obama might use in tonight's speech:


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