Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My 2 issues

The more I think about it, the more two specific issues percolate to the surface:

1.       True energy independence

I know this is a little silly because there’s no such thing as true energy independence, but there is such a thing as not being a slave to energy generation.  If I’m going to have to put my keys down and ride my bike to work in August—baby in tow on the way to the day care—I don’t consider that energy independence.  If I’m just trading gas at the pump for gas at the power station that still pumps garbage into the air that I dare to breathe on a daily basis, then I don’t consider that energy independence.  I think cheap, plentiful power generated for mass consumption is essential for economic growth and future stability.  In fact, for developing countries power generation is as much a key to growth and development as education.  Often time power generation is a leading indicator of improved economic conditions and education level lags behind because a man can learn on the job, but can’t generate power on the job (unless he’s an electrician).  I don’t think the solution is one faceted.  I think all options should be on the table including, but not limited to, alternative power generation (wind, bio, solar), “smart home” power generation (turbines, tidal, etc), and mass produced, large, centralized power generation not tied to combustible fossil fuels whether it’s nuclear or microwave or some other form of power we haven’t even conceived of yet.  I’m pretty happy about the decision to drop the executive ban on offshore drilling, but at the same time I’m a little worried that if congress follows suit the price of oil will drop TOO much and the alternatives will no longer be viable alternatives.  I’m less worried about that than I am of $10 gas, though.  $5 gas I can live with, much more than that and I think we’re entering dangerous territory.  Simply put, I don’t mind living a simpler lifestyle, but I don’t want to be forced to live
2.   Executive independence

The last 6 years of Bill Clinton’s Presidency were among the best years of any Presidency in the history of the office.  Yes, he made some HUGE mistakes, but all Presidents make those.  Plus congress was mostly made to look foolish during those last 2 years, though the Senate mostly did its job.  His first 2 years, however, were absolutely atrocious.  Why?  He regularly demonstrated himself to be a pawn of a democratic congress.  Same with the current President.  His best period in office was not with a friendly congress, but when the congress has been hostile (or at least less friendly).  Presidents seem to get more, better work done with a congress from the opposite party.  For that reason I am VERY reluctant to vote for the horse that controls the congress (no pun intended).


All that said, I’m willing to be convinced.  McCain has not convinced me.  Obama hasn’t convinced me.  I’d hate to go into November yet again with the intent to select the candidate who hasn’t convinced me the least (I think I was so disgusted in 2004 I voted libertarian or green, 2 halves of the same worthless coin).  I really would like to vote, for the first time in over a decade, FOR a candidate.  As best as I can tell, Obama has the best chance to convince me to vote FOR him, if he’s for real and not just a bunch of rhetoric.  McCain, on the other hand, has actually DONE a lot of the things Obama talks about doing.


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