People in America are paying a great deal of attention to this year's presidential race. Perhaps it's because more people then ever realize that it DOES matter who the president is. The pundits claim that Democrats have an advantage is this election cycle. This may be true, although I've always felt this country leaned conservative. Nonetheless it is important to get a Democrat back into the White House. I don't really care which one, whichever one can win and govern with the largest amount of support. Barack Obama seems the most likely. I certainly like him the most, although I like Edwards as well. Hillary is hard to like, even though I believe she is smart and understands the issues very well. It would be the most fun to watch Obama as the next president. Idealists would say that shouldn't be a consideration, but let's be real about it. For a lot of Americans, undecideds and independents, it does come down to personality, not policy.
So Why do we need a Democrat, any Democrat?
Because Democrats make practical, pragmatic decisions based on evidence after carefully considering the different sides of an argument. They are not perfect, they are politicians, but they are far more likely to think objectively and responsibly about any issue. Plus their base tends to be more educated and progressive, whereas the Republican base tends to be more extreme and unreasonable.
Not that all Republicans are bad. A lot of Republican voters are good people, as are a few of their politicians. Republican policies are generally terrible (Fair Tax, Neo-con foreign policy, school vouchers, Marriage Ammendments, Trade Policies, etc). Republicans tend to support or oppose policy ideas based on ideology, instead of looking at facts and thinking practically. The two best examples of this are the Neo-conservative Foreign Policy and Free-market Fundamentalism.
I am most interested in Political Economics and the debate between the Right and Left in this country. This debate is probably under the radar of most Americans, even though the outcome effects the economy and therefor all our lives in innumerable ways. Almost all issues tie back to economics, such as health care, education, energy, trade policies, Social Security and Medicare, the Iraq War, defense spending, NASA, and many many more. Understanding that the federal government can interact in a positive way with markets is core of the Left's economic argument. Smart regulation combined with smart investments are the basis of this argument. Whereas the Right wants to de-regulate all markets and stop government investment. The argument goes much deeper into taxes, wealth distrubution, and the proper role of government. More about this later.