All about ideas…

So, the election is a week away…

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and I keep coming back to the same thing. Who has the better ideas?

I’ve been watching political campaigns for 50 years, and this one seems to be the longest, most vitriolic in my memory. So much has been said that is not true. The problem with all the untruths is that they separate us from one another. Instead of creating unity, they divide.

At a time of financial and international peril, we need a unified country. Not one torn apart by false claims, fear, and ethnic hatreds. We are one society. One country.

When FDR took office in 1930, the stock market had crashed, bank runs were commonplace, unemployment was escalating towards its final 25%, people were losing their homes, families were falling apart, and everyone was afraid. But FDR calmed people. He gave them hope. “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” He brought the nation together with his leadership.

That leadership is what we need today.

I’ve always been a Democrat, since listening on the radio to John Kennedy debate Richard Nixon in 1958. So, I know I’m prejudiced. Regardless, I believe that Obama is the right person at this time.

I have never been someone who looked at skin color as the measure of a person. Being an Air Force brat living in the deep South before Civil Rights and having a deep faith in the words of Jesus, I learned to overlook skin color. Maybe because I saw so much hatred based solely on skin color by so-called religious people, even though they were taught a different philosophy in church. The color blind philosophy of Jesus.

Whether Obama’s skin color is black or white makes no difference to me. What I look at is his policies. Do they make economic sense? Are they better for the country than the policies of the last decade? Will they lead us out of the recession faster and provide a growing economy? Will they stimulate a growing manufacturing base that will increase our exports and, thus, reduce our trade deficit? Will the tax policies provide stimulate the middle class and reduce the bubbles which have plagued our economy for the last thirty years? Will the tax policies help small to mid-sized businesses, encourage technological innovation, and increase quality, good paying employment? Will new regulations in our financial markets be thought out and measured? Will international policies restore our national reputation? Will those policies seek to engage the international community in common goodwill and diplomacy? Will those policies seek to bring countries together in unity for the common good, yet be iron fisted enough to strike when necessary? Is this person, by nature, active or reactive? Does he or she react to events or foresee consequences enough to actively seek to prevent negative events?

In short, what kind of mind has this person who seeks to be President of the United States? What are the mindsets of any of the people running for Congress? Now is not the time for weak minds or feeble, worn out ideas. Now is the time for the best and the brightest.

People with new ideas, an understanding of history, and the ability to assess risk in order to minimize potential future problems.

There is no doubt that the policies of the last decade must change. It has been a decade where economic growth has come solely from Wall Street gambling. Not from internal manufacturing and technology growth. Not from research and development growth. Not from the growth of the middle class. Not from our ability to create products and export them. But from non-secure gambling in the form of derivatives and collateralized debt obligations.

These are the changes which must occur within our Country. We must have a thriving manufacturing and technology base to provide the incomes to the middle class to spur even more and better technologies. We must have a foreign policy that seeks diplomatic cooperation and fairness to grow our economy, provide stability, and decrease worldwide violence. Every aspect of our foreign policy affects our economy and our economic stability. Every aspect of our economy affects foreign economies and economic stability.

We live in a truly interconnected world, and we need leaders who understand that interconnectedness. That is why we need the best and the brightest now.

Parochialism no longer works in this world. We are not an isolated country as the recent worldwide credit meltdown has shown us. The economic world is far too integrated for the U.S. to act in isolation. As a result, our public policies must also understand that integration and be proactive in policy decisions to protect not just the American citizen but the citizens of the world with which we deal.

Only the best and brightest can bring about the changes we need to succeed in the coming century. Now is not the time to be hiring someone whom you’d like to invite to a backyard barbeque or with whom you’d like to have a beer.

It is not the time for middling intelligence or lack of intellectual curiosity. It is not the time to hire someone based on a single interest or idea when our entire economy is at stake. It is not the time to hire someone just wants the office for self-gratification rather than seeking it to make the Country better and more whole and more unified. It is not the time for old ideas that no longer function in this modern interconnected world.

Now is the time for someone of superior intelligence who can listen to opposing arguments, ask probing questions, and arrive at solid, workable solutions. Government is only as good as the people whom we hire. We need to hire the best and brightest at this time in this century to ensure our future and the futures of our children and grandchildren.

We need to hire people of vision and the intellectual gravitas to turn that vision into reality.

Written by Valerie Curl

October 28, 2008 at 4:23 AM

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