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Monday, August 15, 2005 

Monolith Issues of '08 Hinted at Today

Even though 2008 is still in the foggy distance, events today give us “red herrings” on what may likely be key issues in the upcoming Presidential contest.

The war in Iraq, economic boom, economic uncertainty, gas pump woes, and illegal immigration are catching the head lines right now; but how will they impact campaign platforms and Presidential promises?

“Mainstream” America (a term grossly overused) does not usually consider the greater good or “global” issues when considering a candidate. Red card and blue card voters will vote their party line regardless of the issues, but the rest of us (thankfully), in the greater majority of the voter base, will actually be interested in the ideas presented to us by the political hopefuls.

The issues will vary between the Primaries and the actual Presidential Race as candidates vie for position first in within their Party, and second with the American people. If we had to look into the crystal ball now, what would be the top five issues that will decide who the masses sway towards? I present this list from my limited prospective:

1. Oil Supplies and Gas Prices – While people always wring their hands over “dependence on Mid-East oil,” what they really see, and really care about are gas pump prices. Inflation adjusted prices have still managed to stay below record highs seen in March of 1981 (adjusted record of $3.12), but people are seeing the effect in their pocket books. With alternative fuels being a long term issue, voters will want short term fixes to the groans of car’s on empty.
2. Economic Stability – During the Clinton years, domestic economy surged. In the first years of Bush’s term (9/11 playing a big part), recession reared it head. Coupled with large exposure corporate scandals, a dark cloud came over people’s impression of the American economy. Although the last 2 years have shown impressive economic development, the clouds of doubt remain. Our economy has a tendency to swing back and forth between “boom” and “recession”. Stabilizing the economy will be a key issue. Slow steady growth is better for everyone instead surging and receding.
3. National Security – The Iraqi war has worn down peoples will to support aggressive foreign policy, but protecting our people, and our interests around the world will always be important. Even more so with the idea of global terrorism and the specter of a powerful communist China moving onto the world’s stage. No candidate will be able to down size the military anytime soon without loosing a massive amount of voter support.
4. New Deal Reform – People are beginning to realize the importance of reform in the areas of Social Security, welfare, Medicaid, etc… Although many disagree with the Bush plan for Social Security reform, Pandora’s Box has been opened, and voters will not sit ideally by and keep futile hope that Social Security can maintain itself.
5. Faith and Values – No matter how many atheists you hear about trying to remove “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance; religion and the importance of acknowledging it in our laws and society will continuously be a quiet mainstay of Mainstream America. People know, and want to maintain that our country was established on the basis of Judeo-Christian values. The recent struggle to remove all religious references from our governmental operations has only heightened this issue.

Most people know the strong points for each Party on the issues mentioned above. I will attempt to detail each Parties weak points that we, as voters, should begin seeing political maneuvering on.


1. Association with Oil companies has made
them extremely weak on this issue. No one will trust that Republicans will
actually attempt to reduce oil costs.
2. While the tax cuts instituted by Bush have helped the economy grow,
the deficit maintains to be a weight holding the American economy back.
The reasoning is, while Republicans have cut taxes, they have increased
spending… bad combination.
3. Illegal Immigration. This one factor has the majority of blame on the
shoulders of business interests (usually closely affiliated with the Right).
Unless Republicans begin taking this issue seriously, they will loose their
National Security creditability.

4. From Social Security to Tort Reform, Bush has talked a lot, and produced very little.
This will be a serious issue for a Republican candidate to overcome.
5. Mainstream America agrees that we should not abolish religion acknowledgement from our Government, but they do not agree with the increased integration of the two proposed by proponents on the far right.


1. Vegetable oil fueled busses and “buy a Hybrid like me”
activism does nothing for the short term. Environmentalists are fighting
the building and construction of new refineries and alternative energy (nuclear)
sources. This leaves them with no short term plan to help consumer’s pump
2. Democrats will face a serious problem selling tax increases after the
last run of lower taxes. People will not agree that their taxes need to be
increased to account for increased spending. A usual tactic of Democrats
will be seen as a serious flaw in the Left’s economic plans.
3. Democrats will need to change their stance (usually related closely to the anti-military
crowd). A draw-back in our current military forces and/or our military
weaponry will not be accepted easily by the American Mainstream.
4. Democrats haven’t actually produced a comprehensive plan that doesn’t involve socializing
our medical system or solve the failing Social Security.

5. Democrats will not be able, with high visibility religion is getting right now, to quietly ignore that factions of their party are trying to abolish all religious acknowledgement by our Government