26 September 2008

A Debate Complaint . . .

Foreign Affairs isn't only war-fighting, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Russia, though you'd get that impression from this debate. Issues that should have been addressed, but weren't:

Would have been nice to get Obama and McCain on record as agreeing or disagreeing about illegal immigration.

Overbearing visa restrictions.
It's too easy for the wrong people to sneak in, and too hard for the right people to visit and move here legally. This has to stop and damages us abroad. Would have been nice for this to be brought up.

Afghanistan would be going better if we would buy up the opium crops (and use it for the production of medical opiods) and support the growers, rather than letting that revenue stream fund Al Qaeda and Taliban efforts.

Free Trade.
Colombia's President is wandering around NYC and DC trying to get firm support for a trade agreement, and the Democratic leadership in Congress is giving him a cold shoulder. That's no way to treat a staunch ally, but for the Dems are on a protectionist kick, and the media refuses to call them on it. Should have come up in this debate.

George W. Bush has been the best friend in the White House Sub-Saharan Africa has ever seen. It would have been nice to see what Obama or McCain intended to do to continue to build on the remarkable progress enabled by Bush's leadership on the issues of water, malaria, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

With the dollar down against the Euro, Europe should be ripe for a flood of cheap American goods supporting tons of US jobs across many industries. EU countries will fight this tooth and nail given that they're socialist, protectionist, and hypocrites by nature (free trade is well and good, as long as it's the USA that's wide open for European goods, not the other way around). I'd like to know how each candidate would fight to open up European markets.

The axis of socialist stupidity within the Americas should have been a topic for debate. Does McCain or Obama support full autonomy for Santa Cruz in Bolivia? What will either of these men do to help the opposition in Venezuela challenge Chavez's dictatorship? With Raul Castro's ever so slightly kinder, gentler, autocracy in Cuba, is it time to normalize relationships there, or should we maintain the status quo?

Competitor? Friend? Rival? Threat? Enigma?

Should we do more to embrace India? What's America's role with India, how should we expand our cooperation with the largest democracy in the world? Should we encourage competition between China and India?

Instead of an endless back and forth about whether or not Iraq was a mistake and whether or not Afghanistan is in trouble, there are many more global challenges facing the next President, and it would have been nice to see a debate that focused on future challenges rather than rehashing the same tired talking points of the past 6 years.


reader_iam said...

Well done, and thank you.

reader_iam said...

Hey, XWL, I think you might already have noticed that I linked your post. If so, you might have read the garbled version (there's flaw in Tumblr in that if you happen to, by accident, hit a particular combo-keystroke, you've posted whether you intended to or not). I've duly noted this and fixed it (which means my initial reaction will stand for itself; I won't now go back and flesh out some related thoughts.

Who says the heavens don't provide! I can't really justify spending time on actual, "post" posts anyway. I'll just consider the initial, accidental "go-live" a message and a favor, and move on[ward], accordingly.