Jun 3, 2007

The Democrats Debate: What, no Show of Hands Regarding (Dis)Belief in Evolution?!!

I watched most of the Democratic presidential debate and, unless I missed it, there was no show of hands regarding belief in evolution and the scientific method. Sure, there are differences among the candidates, but the way I look at politics is this. I have my own values, priorities, and vision for America, so whomever comes within reasonable proximity gets my support & my vote.

I also accept the scientific method, in that I try to learn as much as possible about a credible candidate and then draw my conclusions. Not the other way around. Who does the latter? Sadly, too many people, who pick a team, an ideology, a party, anything that feels good, and then stick with it often despite the available evidence. Anyway, I believe it's healthy to be skeptical and keep an open mind.
Here are some of my observations. Unless Al Gore decides to get into the race, it's between HR Clinton, Obama and Edwards. The rest of the field aren't going anywhere based on what they've shown us this far. Some 60 % of Democratic voters express satisfaction about the choices they have this, whereas 60% of Repubs don't!

The top three Dems look more and more presidential, and, if it's not happening already, soon they all will be polling ahead of their GOP counterparts. Of course, [I can't emphasize this enough], it is very early in the process, yet, it's worthwhile to pay attention to trends, and to events that will influence the actual voting 6-7 months from today.

The Iraq war features prominently in the debates and with the exception of Ron Paul (a very long shot in the GOP contest) all the Republicans want our troops to stay in Iraq--some, like Sen. McCain, for the next 50 years! The Dems, to various degrees, want to bring the troops back, though not everyone is very clear on how they'll do that. It will most likely be a Dem as the next US president who'll have the task of disengaging our country from the mess-o-potamia. Iraq is not Korea, nor post-WW2 Japan & Germany. We're not accomplishing anything by sticking around [even in the most expensive embassy complex in the world] while being attacked by all sides in Iraq.

The opportunity to bring stability in that country and hopefully to the greater region has passed. The incompetent regime we ourselves put in the White House failed to understand that a war is often judged not by what happens in the battlefield but by how the peace is handled. From the moment the US failed to establish a monopoly of violence in Iraq, the game was lost. This conflict has produced a couple winners: Iran, and the terrorists! The terrorists found a laboratory to hone their skills and promote their hateful propaganda while killing Americans. [see them here]

Health care is another issue the Dems seem to be willing to tackle. I'm in favor of a single-payer, universal health care system--like extending Medicare to all--because I can't accept if you don't have money you deserve to suffer and die in a very wealthy country. Again, it's a matter of priorities, so we should ask ourselves what constitutes a right and a privilege. In which category should health care & education be put?

I appreciate reason, and I see more reasonable discussions in the Democratic camp this year. Nowhere I see a show of hands whether evolution is a fact! As if the law of gravity doesn't exist if some people don't believe in it! Or, that we should round up all those millions of people who've been working in the US [and providing valuable services at low wages thus benefiting American business and individuals] without proper work documents and expel them!

Politics is relevant. Compare and contrast. It's about choices among candidates who either provide leadership [those who have the courage to do so] or simply express the public sentiment. I'm a progressive political animal but I also understand that I'm not in the majority when it comes to many issues. Therefore, I've learned to accept a progressive movement on an important issue instead of a stasis. My political choices reflect this thinking.