Monday, January 14, 2008

Let's get political.

Do you ever think about politics? I find you must live under a rock if you haven't heard of all the presidential primary drama. I find myself consumed by it most every day. And since this little bliggity of mine is supposed to be a way to express my opinions, I thought I might do so at this juncture (in bullet form, nonetheless...)

  • I find it highly encouraging that we have both a woman and a black man representing the Democratic party as front runners for our choice of presidential candidate. I think this is a great hope that perhaps we can move past color and gender lines and actually pick a candidate who represents our ideal(s) for who should run our country. I do not, however, feel that Hillary Clinton should be criticized for her choice of outfit, her hair color or cut, or anything that emphasizes that the media and people alike are not looking at the issues and what she stands for. I feel that, since she is a woman, she is held to a different light than the other candidates, which I feel is mostly ridiculous. She is a grown woman, has raised her child, and is now a senator from NY. Let's focus on the issues at hand here. A war, perhaps? The economy? I also do not feel that since Senator Obama is black, that we should not be able to criticize or talk his interpretation of issues. I find the media emphasizing much more that a black man is running for president than what he actually stands for and the platform on which he is running (Change? I get it...what else?) Let's dig up some inconsistencies in his policies and let's have a real debate about who is the better candidate. Also, I do not agree that all African American people will vote for Obama, or that all women will vote for Hillary. Let's get over these stereotypes and let's get down to issues, shall we?
  • Moving on, what are your big issues? I think I have probably made the point here that I am a scientist, so some of the issues I am particularly interested in are education, scientific funding, and the future of stem cell research. As a grad student who will emerge into the job market during the next presidency, I want a president who strongly supports science funding and education. Basic research institutions are slowly dying (I wrote about it in "A Crisis at Hand" 05-08-07) and we need funding, bottom line. We are not emphasizing education in science and technology enough, and as a consequence are experiencing a "brain drain", if you will, where smart people are going to other countLinkries to study / do science. I like Hillary's policy on science best at this juncture, since I feel she has actually asked scientists' opinions about science policy, which I give a bit thumbs up to. If you are interested in how the candidates stack up, here is a great article in Science Magazine on all the candidates' policies on science. If you can't read it because of subscription issues, just leave me your email and I will email it to you.
  • Another big issue of mine is the economy. Ever wonder why none of your 20-30-something friends don't own houses when most of our parents did at our age? It's because the economy is going to shite and there should be something done (other than increase our trade deficit. Another interesting article to read was recently published in Vanity Fair and I am linking it here. It's not boring - it is actually one of the only econ articles which has made sense to me in recent years. Read it. It's very eye-opening.
  • I am also concerned about immigration. I think this building of a fence along the US/MX border is ludicrous and I see no reason for our government to be paying for that. I would like to see a candidate with a policy that allows those who are currently in the US to stay in the US (and not have to pay thousands of dollars to gain citizenship) and to have a more practical immigration policy which allows people to come visit our country without jumping through ridiculous hoops.
  • Of course, I am also interested in health care, womens rights, minority rights, ending poverty (and that's just the domestic stuff...) as well as getting us out of Iraq and Afghanistan without the countries themselves imploding. I am also looking for a candidate who will open discourse with historic "enemies", strengthen our bonds with our current "friends" and who will reach out to developing nations, such as India, China, and South America to try to make this world a better place. Oh, yeah, and end global warming too.
Sound like too big a request? I don't think so. But I do think it will take more than 4 years to reverse the quagmire the current administration has gotten us into. So, what matters to you? What are your buzzwords? What are your hotbutton issues?

1 comment:

Randi said...

For some reason, I can not bring myself to be interested in politics. I want to. I try... I just can't do it. I'm glad I have you giving me the breakdown.