Sorry, but I took the whole day off from writing yesterday.
My Thursday post elicited four comments, two from my friend Mark Not the Race Car Driver about my point. I'll try to define it better here.
I expect our elected officials to address the issues that are creating our economic mess. I haven't heard much of that from the crop of candidates we had earlier in the year and I don't here it now from the final group. That's my point. They and too many of their supporters are too involved in the dogma of their campaigns because dogma is easy.
Part of the problem is the national media covering these races. They seem more interested in who is going to win than why someone is going to win; that "why" being their positions and solutions.
The top presidential news today is that Obama's unofficial foreign policy advisor quit after it was revealed she called Clinton a "monster." So what? That's news? The Bush Administration announced this week that 63,000 jobs were lost in February, the greatest monthly job loss in five years.
From the report on NPR: "These are very weak figures and reinforce fears that the economy is in, or is falling into, a recession," economist Ken Mayland told NPR.
"Mayland, president of Clearview Economics, said losses were heaviest in construction, manufacturing and retail, all consumer-driven industries, suggesting a recession may continue well into 2008."
So why aren't the candidates talking about this? Why aren't they talking about the basic failures of the economic policies of the last 30 years? Because these are difficult issues that challenge the status quo of the corporate control of this country.
America was built on the premise that manufacturing jobs and unions were the gateway to a better life. That premise has been systemically destroyed through the union-busting started by Reagan and the decision to increase profits not through better products and competition, but by shipping jobs overseas where workers can be paid substantially less.
Are the candidates grappling with: The weakened dollar? The energy crisis, real or contrived? The home mortgage fiasco? Spiraling credit card debt and its implications? How to turn around the deficit caused by the war in Iraq? How to build new entry-level jobs in this country that might lead to something other than a promotion to fry machine?
FDR had to put in place a number of programs in place that enraged the Big Money Boys back in the 1930s and he could do so only because the crisis of the Depression had given him the political clout. People were demanding, pleading for positive results. What scares me today is that people seem willing to accept out situation.
That's my point. I don't see our new potential leaders talking about this stuff. And too many of the talking head pundits or the columnists or the talk show hosts – I have to make exceptions for Thom Hartman, Ed Shultz and Rachel Maddow – are talking about these issues. It's easier and a lot more fun to stir the pot with dogma.
At this point I truly believe the country will be sinking further with any of these people in the White House unless the winner grows a spine after the election.
© 2008 by Gordon Michael Dobbs