Friday, September 19, 2008

It's the Economy Stupid

The mantra of the 1992 election was "It's the Economy Stupid." Bill Clinton took down an incumbent US president because that president, though he had presided over the successful conclusion of the first Gulf War, seemed out of touch on economic issues. Go buy socks he told us -- kind of like his son told us after 9-11 that everything would be fine if we just go out and buy things.

Not long ago it was the Iraq War and national security that sat at the top of the agenda. People in 2004 voted for GW Bush in large part because he suggested to people (and many believed) that a vote for John Kerry would make the US unsafe from terrorism -- what people forgot was that the issues were much bigger than just terrorism (and it's quite questionable that GW made us safer). But this last week put the economy front and center again. Now neither candidate can do anything substantive about the economy at this moment -- neither has any real power to do so. All we can do is look back at what they've done before, what they've said before, and what plans they've laid out to move the country forward.

But what seems quite apparent is that while there is a small pocket of voters who will try to make this about "traditional values," that is banning abortion and reducing the rights of gays and lesbians, while allowing religion to get a better foothold in government, those issues likely will not, nor should they be the driving force in this election. This is a perspective set out in a recent LA Times editorial.

Indeed, from a biblical perspective, I would think that the principles of Matthew 25, which call for compassion and care for the poor among us would have priority. While I'm not exactly thrilled watching the government bail out investment banks and Wall Street firms, we need o remember that in this day and age most of us -- through our retirement plans and more -- are impacted by what happens on Wall Street. But, it is time for more accountability and oversight. It's not so much that we need lots of regulations, but that we need smart ones that will end the practices of CEOs making huge salaries at the expense of their workers, and when corporate officers are given huge bonuses upon leaving their firms in a shambles.

Now, it's my opinion that Barack Obama is better prepared in temperament and belief systems to accomplish this task, but each of us must make that decision for ourselves.

1 comment:

Brad Hart said...

Hi Pastor Bob!

I thought you might enjoy this clip of Palin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieuA7nAOBXQ

Brad