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Mint is India's fastest growing business newspaper and website  that began on 1 February 2007 to be a clear minded chronicler of the Indian dream. Available in five cities, Mint is published in an exclusive content partnership between HT Media Ltd, one of India's largest and oldest media group, and News Corp's The Wall Street Journal.

New to this community, we're hoping to understand your views around some key issues that could influence the US Elections.  We will also be seeking your opinion and comments around foreign policy, immigration, South Asia and the elections in India.

We're starting with some broad-based questions:

What will be the key issues that will decide this election? 

How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket? 

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race? 

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency? 

How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election? 
 
Over to you!

Comments

( Comment )
rosicrucian wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 07:11 am (UTC)
How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?

I'm only going to address this question at the moment since I am on limited time, but I think Palin is more damning than anything else on McCain's ticket. The more we see and learn about her, the more worrisome she seems to me. I truly believe that McCain only "picked" her (loose wording here since I don't think McCain had much to do with it) to reconnect with the conservative base that he had little public favor with. Palin is all the things that get the values voters on that side excited. At the same time, she alienates a lot of women voters on both sides because a lot of them feel like she was picked to rally up the Hillary fans.

Ontop of this, her teenage daughter's pregnancy, regardless of whether or not it's a "private issue" shows a distinct reversal of the Reagan ideas that were held so dear about the family. And also seems to give an approving nod to an already dangerous idea for young girls, especially those who don't have a proper sexual education.

I also am extremely worried about her ongoing discussions about Russia and retaliating against them for what they've done in Georgia. Frankly, America as a whole is extremely weary of our current going-nowhere war, so why would you want to hint towards another one possibly on the horizon? That cannot be beneficial to McCain's campaign in the least.

Lastly, I worry about McCain trying to postpone the Vice Presidential debate. The current debate is anyone's guess, but to displace the VP debate to an unknown date (even if it was to be replaced with one of the Presidential ones), how does that not seem somewhat suspicious? I'm wondering if he's worried about her ability to perform under pressure.

I realize my opinions may be unpopular, but this is just a shortlist of the things that worry me about Palin. I've been watching her in particular in this race. I will try to address more later, if I can get around to it.
views_livemint wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 08:10 am (UTC)
@ rosicrucian (how significant is Palin..)
Thanks for your comment, rosicrucian. And please feel free to talk more about the issues that concern you with regard to Palin. One thing we have noticed however, is that public attention on Palin is also very much on non-policy related matters, such as the fact that she likes to eat debatable politically correct food (moose stew in this instance). One of our reporters wrote a blog post on the topic, which you can read more on at http://blogs.livemint.com/blogs/odds_and_ends (Mooseli)
(no subject) - erynn999 - Sep. 26th, 2008 08:22 am (UTC)
rosicrucian wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 08:31 am (UTC)
Re: @ rosicrucian (how significant is Palin..)
I haven't heard about her eating non-pc foods, but we have to make critical decisions based on her public policy vs. private life because unfortunately she's not very experienced. This leaves us with limited areas we can explore. If we go on her "public" foreign policy only, we have to ignore the fact she didn't have one six months ago. This is critical because unlike the other candidates, we get to see a glimpse of what she has brought into office, which is exactly her private life. She fired several people and hired friends and alumni of her former schools into positions they aren't qualified for. She pushes personal vendettas by abusing her political position, etc.

Also, like erynn999 said, she is essentially a Dominionist who promotes a theocracy of some sort. She essentially proved this during her runs in local Alaskan office. She is the one who puts her public life on the front stage, perhaps due to a lack of any other proper substance and policy.

And any time; I love to discuss politics.
tabaqui wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
Re: @ rosicrucian (how significant is Palin..)
What really made me shiver was when she said, basically, that the war in Iraq was 'God's will'. What?

Isn't that exactly what some extremist Muslims are saying about their war with the US or Israel? Isn't that 'jihad'? We do *not* need someone in any office, much less the Vice-Presidential office, who thinks of war as a 'holy crusade'.
mad_maudlin wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 10:05 am (UTC)
Re the "private issue" business--I think Palin is trying to have it both ways here. She came out using her "hockey mom" status as part of her credentials for office (since she has little else to go on), but she wants to cover over the sketchy bits with the veil of "privacy." Doesn't work. Either we judge her by how she's raise her family--and both Bristol and Track seem to have grown up to make some questionable decisions (though Track gets credit for joining the Army)--or she doesn't get to play at being Supermommy and instead has to show some coherency on, uh, anything else.

And let's wee, uh, she tried to ban library books, saddled her town with a multi-million-dollar debt, engaged in revenge firings and cronyism, believes that God wants a Pax Americana at all costs and he made the world in six days....oh, and let's not forget that Vladimir Putin is apparently sitting on the Bering Strait with an army of darkness that only the plucky Alaska National Guard is keeping at bay.

The lady would be entertaining as hell if I didn't have to imagine her hand on a bible after President McCain chokes on a pretzel.
inafoxhole wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 08:03 am (UTC)
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?
This changes daily. If they election were held today, of course, it would be the economy. But before this "crisis" began, the economy was the primary focus mostly in states that had been hit hard by the weak economy. This situation was really far more typical than what we are seeing now. States and regions tend to have their own little cultures, and what is important in Utah is not necessarily important in Ohio. It's only in the kind of crises that dominate the news cycle that you can really get the entire country to care about one thing at the same time... will that last for the next 40 days? That will depend a lot on what happens next.

How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?
Palin has heretofore significant for two segments of the population: 1) the conservative right, who love her, 2) those of us already deeply concerned about the separation of church and state in this country, who are deeply mistrustful. But after last week with McCain's repeated blunders in dealing with the economy, Palin's qualifications are thrust front and center, and I don't think this is a good thing among the independents. I am among those concerned about separation of church and state, so she wasn't getting my vote the moment I found out she thought the world was 6000 years old.

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?
Not among the people that I've talked to, but I haven't talked to my redneck uncle living in South Carolina or his kids recently either.

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?
I think that depends a great deal on who is elected. If McCain is elected, I don't think so. I think McCain will be worse, but essentially, no. If Obama is elected, I think there will be a significant difference. I don't think there will be a rush to war with Iran. I expect Obama to reach out to allies that Bush has previously snubbed. McCain paints himself as a maverick, and if anything thinks a "maverick" is good at cooperation, I think they don't understand the meaning of the word.

How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?
I live in Ohio, and the economy here has been in financial pain since before the last election. I'm not sure a lot of people know the difference, not once their houses have already been foreclosed on, and they are out of work. I also know a lot of people who don't really understand the financial crisis. I think the government and the media has failed us in not communicating exactly what is going on and how we got here, and why everything has to be dealt with NOW. But the discussion of a possible panic by the President and bringing up the Great Depression doesn't help. I'd like to look for my government for reassurance, and instead they are coming across as clumsy. I don't think the next 115 days can pass quickly enough.

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?
Most of the discussion of immigrants that I encounter don't couch the immigrant issue in terms of skilled labor, but rather the unskilled labor and the illegals driving down wages. The discussion of skilled labour that I've encountered is more with companies employing skilled labour overseas. I live in a college town, and I know many people in academia, either as students or faculty, and I don't hear a lot of complaints about foreigners per se, only that their English is relatively poor and they are difficult to understand. I don't hear students or faculty complaining that American jobs were stolen by them.
basilwhite wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 08:29 am (UTC)
From basilwhite
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?
Fear. What we should fear and what we should do about it.

How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?
Palin brings charisma to the Republican party, which they haven't had on the national ticket since Reagan. Unfortunately, she makes McCain look even more old and boring by comparison.

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?

No, but the Democratic primary did. White male Democrats like myself looked at each other and said, "I don't think a gun-toting racist would kill Obama," and therefore granted each other permission to vote for him. I voted for Jesse Jackson in the 1988 primary and immediately had regret that maybe I had a small hand in his potential assassination by a gun-toting racist. I think Obama represents our evolution above fear of the hatred of other people.

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?

Obama would introduce more european-style foreign policy. McCain would introduce more of the same military interventionist foreign policy, although I think he has more sense to play nice with Russia than Bush does. Bush seems deadset on going to war with Russia, for no reason vital to our interests. I guess he discovered another blunder left to make.

How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?

Everyone hates the bailout idea. Everyone on both sides. The bailout-for-punative-stock-options idea like Sweden's bailout in the 1990s is building momentum in the press, but no word if Congress has noticed.

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?

No. People have jobs. Americans vote for school funding increases by local elections to increase property tax, so people vote to keep their taxes low, the schools don't get any money and Americans grow up stupid. We hire immigrants in the tech sector because it's cheaper than recruiting the handful of Americans who went to a decent school. If Americans want tech jobs they have to pay for schools that provide skills competitive in the tech sector, then hold those schools accountable to standards of learning. Many people hate everything associated with President Bush, but No Child Left Behind might actually provide some long-term reform.

(no subject) - erynn999 - Sep. 26th, 2008 08:36 am (UTC)
poetpaladin wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 09:02 am (UTC)
1. What will be the key issues that will decide this election?

Jobs, homes, credit, and the economy will be THE key issue. Iraq and Afghanistan will be the next two.

2. How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?

Palin is a polarizing figure. Women who were looking to see a qualified candidate are insulted by the selection of Palin. On the other hand, she has energized her base - evangelical Christians and those who think she represents them as super moms. Her recent comment that she has foreign policy experience because Alaska is near Russia and Canada is as ridiculous as me saying I have foreign policy experience because I live a few hours north of Mexico.

3. Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?

Obama has transcended race in a way that Jesse Jackson and Alan Keyes never could. He appeals to everyone as a post-race candidate. For some, he will always be Black. But for most Americans, that isn't the issue.

4. Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?

With McCain, you can expect more bluster, a prolonged stay in Iraq, and possibly a new invasion.

With Obama, I think you already know what the world thinks.

5. How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?

Everyone is seeing Obama and McCain in a new light. Unfortunately, not so good for McCain, because McCain has not the economic grasp or eloquence of Obama. McCain has significantly altered his positions (deregulation/regulation, economy is strong/economy is at risk) in the last week or so. Obama comes across as post-partisan in advocating what's best for Americans, not just what's best for Democrats.

6. Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?

I don't think this is a strong a rallying point. However, the issue will still be important and in this bad economy, may spur real reforms. If real reform were to happen, then H-1B visas will become much more heavily scrutinized, whereas right now, they are used by companies as a cost-cutting measure, to avoid hiring Americans at higher wages.

Edited at 2008-09-26 09:07 am (UTC)
mad_maudlin wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 10:19 am (UTC)
Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?

Fareed Zakaria wrote an article in Newsweek a few months ago that points out how, in some ways, Bush's foreign policy has already undergone significant revision--it's just that he doesn't have the credibility to make anyone believe he's really set aside his stupid and insane first-term policies. But on matters like playing nicely with the UN, trying to engage rogue states in the world system, etc. he's done near or complete one-eighties and both candidates will probably continue those policies under some guise.

So I anticipate more of a style difference than anything else (excepting certain matters, ie the occupation of Iraq). McCain is a return to Bush's blustery first term, when thumbing one's nose at people one dislikes seemed like a reasonable idea, and he'll bring the kind of snap judgement that saddled him with Palin for VP to the table. Obama is more cerebral and his worldview certainly seems more nuanced, but I also think that perhaps foreign heads of state expect him to be more awesome than he really is. (To be fair, a lot of voters do as well.) Both candidates will get a grace period to establish their credibility, but Obama's will definitely be longer.
kwsapphire wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 10:29 am (UTC)
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?
The economy, and the "war on terror". (Or war of terror.) No question.

How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?
Palin appeals to the right-wing religious extremists. Which makes her a very smart choice for McCain, because that group is getting a louder and larger voice all the time. Which, frankly, scares me to death.

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?
I don't feel that there's been a real debate on race. Though it's given some media time to the fact that there are still some really ignorant, racist people out there. Also scary.

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?
If McCain wins, no. If Obama wins, we'll get a slightly more blueish shade of purple, but I see only minor differences in what will change. Obama has admitted he still supports the right of America to violate other countries' sovereignty (been driving that one home in every reply to this community) so he's still a hawk in my book.

How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?
I'm so glad to know that people are flooding their representatives' inboxes with angry letters regarding the $700 billion bail-out. People are finally pissed in large numbers. Took long enough. The idea that the people who got greedy and took us for all we're worth are going to get bailed out with our tax dollars? Not a happy camper here.

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?
It's not going to get much attention due to the other issues. I think people think it's an important issue, but in the face of the economic crisis and the proposed "solution" it's just going to take a back seat.
(no subject) - nnaylime - Sep. 26th, 2008 10:42 am (UTC)
woopflying wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 11:53 am (UTC)
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?

The key issues will be decided by the media under control of corporate america but being challenged now by internet freedom, there is hope.
tyskkvinna wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?

Where I live, Michigan, it's been the economy since January. It makes it very hard to see how other issues could take hold over the economy, but I understand the curse of not looking beyond your hometown. For me, it's the economy, equal rights, birth control, and the war. Issues that seem so straight-forward to me I will admit having a hard time understanding the logic of those who disagree with me.

How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?

Very. She has created an amazing stir that is incredibly polarising.

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?

I have not personally heard anything about race from people trying to choose who to vote for. But again- I live in Michigan, and in a really diverse part of Michigan.

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?

It has to. The US today is in desperate need of SOMETHING to make a better impact abroad.

How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?

Michigan has been suffering for quite a while, economically. The state has been the flagship of the "rust belt" and the failing automotive industry. My city has seen thousands of jobs disappear in the past few years - some automotive, but probably not more than 20%. Kids are going to college with the understanding that there aren't jobs waiting for them when they finish! My county has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the state. The economy is the first subject of casual conversation around here, and the problem on Wall Street recently has just worsened it.

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?

I have no idea. Here it is more outsourcing jobs rather than immigrants. I know quite a few people who have been sent to Mexico recently to train the new workers in plants down there, for the jobs they used to have. We have a lot of immigrants here, but they tend to blend right into our already diverse town.
princess2000204 wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?

Economy, Gas, Insurance, Alternative Power sources, Credit, State Level help, and how far away from Bush can we get!

How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?

None what-so ever and I am pretty big in trying to get a woman in the White House. She just doesn't seem like she can do our country any good at the moment.

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?

It doesn't matter either way for me as race doesn't have as big a bearing on the bigger issues that we are being faced with at the moment.

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?

I sure as hell hope so!!!! Bush has done us a great disservice with how he has handled us in the terms of the global community.

How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?

It matters a great deal on how I'll be voting. We are too damn close to going into another depression that I've already looks into moving else where if it does happen. My Grandmother grew-up during that time, I've heard all about it and have become scared shitless about the mere thought.

The fact the 5 of most prominent businesses that effect everyone on a global level have either gone under or are under federal care happened within a week of each other should be a big smack in the face in how our nation is standing. Not to mention I know of too many both small and big businesses that have had to either shut-down completely or file bankruptcy due to financial standings.

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?

If anything, it should be a bigger rallying point as it effects even more to the fact that we've had at least triple the job-losses to both immigrants and layoffs. I haven't been effected personally by this fact by I do know it's going on and am seeing it happen to much for my liking.

On a side note to these questions, my own is how will the new president help us on a state level?

I want to know this as personally, we are starving for help on a financial level as well as for more programs to help a overfilled child services system with too many children and not enough qualified help or money.
narvick wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
The Perils of Palin
How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?
Sarah Palin and her Bridge to Nowhere -with a mind to match!
Tom Nass
5th Marine Division - WWII
nightsinger wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?
The economy, I think, will top the list -- even in the month-and-change that the election is from now. Just because the current crisis is so front-and-center doesn't mean people will stop being worried about it once Congress has figured out what they're doing for Wall Street, etc.

After that, the wars we're currently fronting are getting rather unpopular, and we as a country are getting pretty damn unpopular as well.

How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?
As others have said before me, she is extremely significant. The odds of McCain living through the entirety of his term aren't quite as great as he'd like, which terrifies me about the prospect of him getting elected. What little experience she has paints her pretty clearly as a very dangerous person -- she does not hesitate to use and abuse any power given to her.

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?
Not that I've seen, to be honest. More, it's people in the media speculating how much race matters, than race actually mattering.

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?
If Obama wins, I definitely think it will. I think he'll reform our global image and relationships. McCain, on the other hand, well... I sincerely doubt he'll change much from what Bush has done, except possibly make it worse with his horrible temper.

How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?
Poorly. Very poorly.

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?
Honestly, I hadn't given a serious thought to skilled immigrants in terms of this election until you posed the question. Outsourcing is a much bigger concern -- as long as the jobs themselves are physically in America, I'm not sure we really care very much at this point. There are other things we're worrying about more.
coconut_zebra wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?
I agree with inafoxhole - this changes daily. Foreign policy and the economy are huge factors now, but as soon as something involving abortion, social security, etc. shows up, the public will want to know where they stand and their opinions may change again.

How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?
I think her selection was a mistake. Obama gets criticized for lack of experience, but compared to Palin he's an old pro. I would not be at all comfortable with her in office, and I think the Republican party didn't give American women enough credit when they picked her and hoped to pick up anti-Obama Hilary supporters.

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?
If so, America needs to grow up some more.

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?
I hope so! It's clear that constant military action is not a feasible solution if we want any kind of resolution in the next ten years. Education and economic aid are better options.

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?
Like I said in the first question, it isn't right now but it certainly could be. :)
spittingkitty wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?

To quote Bill Clinton, "It's the economy, stupid". The economy is in crisis and Americans are looking for some sort of savior to lift us from it. I'd be a fool, however, if I didn't say that Christian morals are also going to be a deciding issue thanks to Sarah Palin.

How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?

Extremely. She not only rejuvenated his campaign, she's perks up the ears of the evangelical voter who seems less interested in her leadership skills than how she interprets the bible. Despite having a shady background at best, they've embraced her because she says what they want to hear.

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?

I would like to say, "yes", because it has brought racism back into the public discourse, but I think it has just reminded us how far we haven't come.

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?

If Obama is elected? Yes. McCain? No.

How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?

It is making people who usually tune out to politics start tuning in. Most Americans vote with their aspirations instead of their realities, but this economic crisis is (hopefully) making people think long and hard about how they are directly affected.

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?

I don't know if it's key, but it's certainly in the back of many American minds. People are worried about losing their jobs in a market when there aren't many to be had. However, I don't think immigration is what is making most Americans concerned about job loss. The biggest conversation I'm hearing is about the offshoring of jobs to countries like India.
ferrell wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?

I don't think much has changed as far as key issues go. While they don't seem to be in the news much at the moment, I believe a few key civil rights issues such as abortion and gay rights hold tremendous sway. The economy is on everyone's minds, but I'm seeing very little in the way of public opinion on which party they think will be able to turn things around. While people have a great deal of interest in other issues such as foreign policy and global warming, I don't believe these will play a major role in how people vote this year.

How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?

Incredibly. Palin, while a very questionable choice based on experience and knowledge of issues, has brought the McCain campaign one invaluable asset: attention. Regardless of whether that attention has been positive or negative, commentary on the election has shifted from being overwhelmingly Obama-centric to being fairly balanced between the two parties. How much have we heard about Biden since Palin was named?

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?

Not really.

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?

This is entirely dependant on who is elected. While I would expect some minor changes if McCain were elected, I don't know that I would call them significant. I would expect to see radically different foreign policies in place if Obama were elected.

How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?

While many people are discussing the issue, I've seen almost nothing as far as people changing their opinion on who they are voting for based on the financial crisis. Parties have become such polar opposites in the U.S. that it's nearly impossible for someone to change their opinion based solely on this issue. People who are in financial crisis on a personal level are most likely to change their opinions, but I think there's so little awareness of what the government has (or hasn't) done to create this problem that people simply don't have the information to change their vote based on this issue.

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?

While I think jobs being lost to other countries may play a small role in this election, I don't believe loss of jobs to immigrants (legal or not) is going to have any significant impact on voters this election.

Edited at 2008-09-26 05:49 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - mamagaea - Sep. 26th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
sandykidd wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?

Party lines. It's 'us versus them', no matter on which side voters locate themselves. For moderates it'll come down to discomfort. Moderates will vote for that which they believe will make them the least uncomfortable for the next 4-8 years. That includes all the racism, sexism, ageism, foreign affairs, and economics that will affect them.

How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?

Pretty significant. Nobody gets where she is now without being significant. She may cost McCain the election. Her presence on the ticket may inspire many votes, both among those who would dearly love to see her as VP and among those who would fervently rather she be removed from the political sandbox altogether. I mostly see her as a force for chaos. Her very presence has added so much divisiveness and discord to the election that I fear that the situation may collapse entirely into farce.

I expect that, regardless of who wins, voters in this election will be quarreling about the results until our dying days. It will be something that our distant progeny gets sick of hearing about. This event will take up as much space in their history books as Civil Rights, but for all the wrong reasons.

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?

Not a fresh one, no. And there is no real debate, anyway. People are either more committed to racism or to civil rights and equality. They may argue about it, but nobody wins.

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?

It may. I fear that if McCain/Palin wins the election, then any revisions may not be for the good of all concerned. I fear that if Obama/Biden wins the current mess of foreign affairs will prove so unrecoverable in 4-8 years that we'll have another Republican presidency before we can repair the damage the current one has caused. I feel the best I can hope for is that our friends and enemies abroad don't take their frustrations with our government out on the American populace at large. I certainly haven't been well represented by my President or his foreign policy these past 8 years.

How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?

Some votes were already for sale. The crisis will cause more voters to sell out their votes. Some of us cannot be bought. My family was already struggling financially before the crisis. My family has struggled financially all the way back to the beginning. I expect we will continue to struggle regardless of who is President. We will manage, one way or another.

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?

Yes, but I think it's not as big an issue as it once was. Mainly because I believe people have been distracted from that issue by issues more pressing and noisier.
bastblack wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
Q:
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?

A:
Change (i.e. So many things have gone wrong under Bush, we need to fix it.)

Q:
How significant is Palin on the McCain ticket?

A:
One for the history books in political ploys. Maybe it would have worked if the country was in good shape. But it won't work because this election is dead serious and placing someone unqualified on the ballot is going to backfire in the worst way possible.

Q:
Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?

A:
Yes. It's the older generation's position on race verses the younger generation's position on race.


Q:
Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?

A:
Yes. I think the US will return to it's pre-Bush policies. The days of the "Project for the New American Century" ideologues and their crackpot fantasies, are over. America will return to her roots.


Q:
How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?

A:
Voters are furious. We are on the Titanic and we are being locked below decks as the ship sinks.


Q:
Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?

A:
The economy is the rallying point.
1trackmind wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
I believe the key issues will be the economy, national security and the war on terror, more or less in that order (I think 2 and 3 may be reversed).

I think Sarah Palin's nomination is very significant for the Republican ticket. She clearly has energized the Republican base in a way that McCain never managed on his own. Unfortunately, she also seems to have attracted a number of female voters who don't necessarily agree with her positions but intend to vote for her because she's a woman. (I'm a 28 year old woman and I find that deplorable).

I believe the outcome of the election may force a fresh discussion on race but so far the process itself hasn't inspired any real discussion that I'm aware of. There are people who accuse voters who are not persuaded by Obama of being racist, and there was recently an effigy of Obama that was hung on an Oregon State college campus but even that failed to generate much discussion. I think that we may have seen more discussion if the economy was stronger and if the war weren't such an issue. I think it was more a topic of discussion while the Democrats were still choosing their presidential nominee and it was a topic of discussion just after the DNC and RNC but it's been superseded by events.

Whether US foreign policy will undergo a significant revision depends largely upon the victor. I think Obama is far more likely to make changes in the way that foreign policy is conducted than McCain is.

Voters are incredibly angry at the Wall Street bailout but I think it's because many of them don't really understand what it's at stake. I'm a social and economic liberal so generally speaking I'm not a fan of just handing corporations money. On the other hand, I am very much in favor of government regulation of business and I think this is an opportunity to restore some of the regulations that were stripped away in previous years. Additionally, I think there's a perception that the only people hurt by the failing of Fannie, Freddie et al are people who made risky investments. I think people fail to realize that even investments that were traditionally considered very safe and conservative have been devastated so it's not just people who deliberately and knowingly took huge risks that have been wiped out (or at least suffered significant losses).

I haven't heard much talk about the fact that retirees and people who are close to retirement are in very serious trouble now. I'm not yet 30, I'll have plenty of time to rebuild a portfolio before I retire. My parents, however, are much closer to retirement and even though they've switched to more conservative investments as they approach retirement age they've both suffered heavy losses and they don't have nearly enough time left in their working lives to make up the damage that has been done.

I don't think job loss to illegal immigrants or outsourcing is nearly as big a factor in the current election cycle as it was in 2004. The financial mess we're in now really isn't related to that, and the current crisis is what people are focusing on.

I would like to think it would make those who wanted to privatize Social Security pause and realize how risky that truly would be but I'm not holding my breath.
only1opinion wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC)
What will be the key issues that will decide this election?
This is a good question. I would like to think that the economy will be the most significant issue in the minds of our voters... as this is, in my opinion, the most relevant to the American people at this time. Unfortunately, I still hear a lot more about which candidate is doing what in relation to the troops in Iraq. While I have no doubt that the American people are somewhat divided on th Iraq issue, I firmly believe they should spend as much time, if not more, considering the state of our economy. It is possible, however, that the economy is too scary for many people.

Has this election forced a fresh debate on race?
When the Democrats first announced Hilary and Obama, I thought I'd hear more about race and gender. I was surprised, however, that I heard more about sex than race. I heard more women saying they were voting for Hilary in the primary "because it's about time we had a woman in the white house" than I heard for or against Obama due to race. Since Obama won th primaries, I've heard little in relation to race, thankfully.

That being said, I only encounter a miniscule population of the country. I am sure that the debate is out there somewhere. I would like to think that race relations doesn't play a part for or against any candidate, but the reality is that, at least for some people, it will have a say at the polls. Hopefully, people are enlightened enough to put such bias aside and chose the candidate they believe truely represents their interests.

Will US foreign policy undergo a significant revision in the new presidency?

That's a tough one. If the American people were each polled individually, and the decision was made based on that alone, the answer would be yes. However, it will depend on who takes office. McCain will make some changes; but will they be significant? Probably not. If Obama is elected, however, we'll likely see significant changes. He will strengthen relationships with allies and take a more diplomatic approach when dealing with those not on our ally list.

How is the financial crisis on Wall Street and worsening economic pain going down with the voters?

Probably the same way that it would if this was not an election year, but with more options to choose from in dealing with it. There's fear, especially in communities where most people already live paycheck to paycheck. The people close to retirement are even more worried about their futures. An economic crisis is scary, even when there isn't an election coming up.

The election, however, might be helping to curb some of that fear. The crisis is making some of the people I know pay more attention to the economic issues that they were a year ago. While it seemed that Iraq may have been in the front of people's minds when choosing a candidate, that issue is now sharing space with economics.

As to the bailout... I think many people are trying to just trust the government to do what needs to be done. It's kind of a , "It's your job to understand these things, so we'll let you do it," attitude that I hear when people are discussing it. I do that with my hairdresser, but I'm not sure that's the best approach when dealing with the overall economy of the US. I'm aamazedd by the number of people that don't really understand what's going on and aren't trying to really understand it now.

Like in 2004, is the issue of job losses to immigrants (particularly the skilled personnel) a key rallying point in this election?

No. In relation to immigrants, people are more concerned with unskilled labor and lowering wages. As to job losses, people generally worry about the jobs being taken out of the US. These jobs aren't available to anyone here, anymore and this poses a larger threat in the minds of the American people.

I'm in Michigan and our unemployment rate is horrible. Skilled and unskilled laborers alike are having issues finding jobs. The need for more businesses here, and more money in the local economy, is much more pressing than whether the jobs go to immigrants in the area. Money into the local businesses is money into the businesses, no matter who's doing the spending.
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