After The Debate
By Jerome Grossman
At the third debate, John McCain accused Barack Obama of promoting "single-payer" national health insurance, a system that puts every American on the equivalent of Medicare, the efficient low cost system that keeps retirees alive. Barack's response was a grin and "who me?" Then he and McCain outlined their complex health insurance plans that few could understand in detail, plans that would cross a rabbi's eyes.
Neither candidate told us how to revive the crashing economy, joining the professional economists and Nobel Laureates who are also lost. Both candidates support the quick rescue of banks and bankers from their derivative mistakes, but are slow to restore the purchasing power of the American masses by building roads, schools, hospitals etc.
They agree that America is spending beyond its means resulting in enormous deficits. Yet they support expensive military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the largest military establishment in the world including 737 US military bases in 130 countries.
The winner of the debate was the most handsome, the most likable, the most articulate, the smoothest and the youngest performer who overcame an irascible old man, the representative of a collapsing political party facing abject domestic and foreign failure. Obama could have clarified the differences between the parties by asking McCain a simple question: “Is this a good time to talk to you about your plan to privatize Social Security?” But the debate revealed no solutions to the overwhelming problems. If they arrive at all they will come after the Obama inauguration, after the celebration, in the glorious first 100 days - we hope.
And hope will be needed, for the future is a mystery. As pundit David Broder wrote in the Washington Post. “Something strange is happening in this strangest of all presidential contests. The longer it goes on, the less we know about what either of these men would do if he were in the Oval Office next year.”
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