Thursday, January 17, 2008

Presidential Planning

Instead of prematurely planning their legacy, the candidates for President of the United States should be planning for 4 years of difficult work. What should really concern anyone who desires to be President, are the issues they must be willing to deal with in the next 4-8 years. Social issues inside the country continue to fester. The economy will not be friendly. Foreign nations like Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and Palestine will not be easy to confront. Other foreign nations will provide an opportunity for new friendships, if handled appropriately.

The country continues to struggle to define abortion, marriage, and what is acceptable in the public sector. Some people would allow abortion even beyond delivery while others would like to ban it outright. Some states have already passed amendments to disallow homosexual marriage where others would allow it. Some cities would choose to allow open sexual activity while most others would prosecute this as sexual deviancy. With increased mobility and the expanded public domain, by use of the internet, these issues will test the separation of powers between local, state, and federal government.

The economy will be the most pressing issue for the next President. We have seen the top 2 financial institutions in America take significant write-downs on earnings in the last few months. The largest sub-prime lender in America had to sell itself at a discount to avoid bankruptcy and dissolution. Thankfully, another financial company was willing to absorb their portfolio, instead of dropping a huge debt on the already over-taxed government. Wholesale prices have risen dramatically, which is no surprise since the price of oil has also been climbing. In addition to the increased cost to the transportation process, it also increases costs for power production. This comes at a time when there is already talk of energy shortages and forced conversion to less efficient 'green' energy.

We are making progress in the Middle East like we have not seen in centuries. This is due to American willingness to sacrifice in the short term to produce long-term gains in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is vital that we do not allow the price that has already been paid to be discounted or discarded. The next President to understand this, and to continue to advance the cause of freedom throughout the Middle East. The advancement of liberty is critical for reinforcing those in Iran who are already seeking these same freedoms but face overcoming oppressive traditions. America must also continue to show a strong and brave face, along with an open hand of conciliation, to countries that make aggressive overtures toward the United States. At the same time, there are opportunities for expanded peace and freedoms in regions of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and South America. This will require diligent diplomacy.

This is a time where we can see clear challenges ahead. It is not a time for choosing your racehorse based on their colorings, gender, or adornment. The best bet is on the entrant with the proven track record and the stamina to complete the race.