Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How important is this election?

Sure, it's a mid-term, and the chance of both houses changing leadership is still pretty slim, if you believe the latest polls, but there is something happening here, Mr. Jones.

Check this Times of London column, for example: A vote to send tremors around the world, in which Bernard-Henri Lévy says:
...everything will be decided according to local squabbles. Yet these are the only elections of truly global importance in the world. This is the only electoral battle that we know of on which, in a strict sense, the fate of the planet hangs.
...The war in Iraq will not stop magically. However, a Bush Administration faced with a Republican minority in Congress would be obliged to foster alliances and at times take into account dissenting opinions, particularly the ones within the party.
...The two victories of the “moral values” maniacs in 2000 and 2004 were never a movement but a battle of the rearguard. The sustained direction of the past 40 years of American history — toward the victories of civil rights, the democratisation of the South, the loosening of moral strictures — demonstrates that the Bush phenomenon is above all a last stand, the ultimate and terrible outburst of a beast that knows it is wounded and is gambling it all.

And, Ten things this election should have been about (and still can be), from Nieman Watchdog:
Q Do we know what the next phase of the war on terror will be?
Q Can we secure energy independence?
Q Is EPA obsolete?
Q Will entitlements bankrupt us?
Q Should we provide health insurance for everyone?
Q When the next disaster happens, will anyone be home to answer the phone?
Q Has FEMA learned Katrina’s lessons?
Q Is the big Mexican fence keeping problems out—or walling problems in?
Q Can we make our ports safe?
Q Can we really manage the risks of 21st century life?

On that last one: cynics are asking whether we’re heading for a world where we have to fly naked and without luggage to prevent potential terrorist from smuggling weapons on board—but where we’re building high-rise oceanfront condos as hurricane bait.

Seems it's hard to get voters to think about this sort of question, when really all they want to talk about is Britney Spears' marriage or Kirsie Alley's bikini, or whether Dan Rather has lost it. No wonder we're in a mess. (Funny, I don't see any of those people on this ballot from The Atlantic to find the most influential American....)

Meanwhile, however, Greg Palast says this election has already been stolen.
(Via Memeorandum.)


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