The vice presidential debate was a lot like the first presidential debate, except President Barack Obama was actually respectful of his opponent. Tonight highlighted a clear contrast in style, between the calm Congressman Paul Ryan and the rude Vice President Joe Biden. The interruptions were also without objection by the moderator, who showed a clear lack of control over the flow of the debate and a total disinterest in maintaining order throughout the event. But just like with the presidential debate, substance and policy were more in agreement than many would be willing to admit.
One point was highlighted tonight much more than in the presidential debate: It is the spending problems of both sides. Both political parties have their sacred cows, where spending is absolutely essential to maintain the balance of society and that even thinking about touching that number with negative thoughts could endanger the existence of America.
Democrats have the welfare budget, which many refuse to seriously cut because it will endanger Americans who require it. Now, there’s no denying that some people do require services for whatever reason, but it would also be ludicrous to deny that there are people who abuse the system and do not deserve the benefits. The latter people need to be weeded out of the system, because they give those with legitimate needs a bad name and can even prevent them from receiving the benefits required. Like with anything, it’s a bureaucratic mess and the true needs are undermined.
Republicans have the military budget, which many refuse to touch because it will compromise the security of the people. It would be naive to deny that there is a requirement of a significant military budget, to properly fund those who honorably serve our nation overseas and to fund our defense at home. There are still opportunities for saving money by cutting wasteful spending without compromising our military operations and security, contrary to what the rhetoric suggests. Just as it is with the welfare, the defense budget is a mess and needs to be assessed.
To his credit, Vice President Biden was correct when he suggested that Middle Eastern nations should be more dependent upon themselves, and not the United States military. Our military is not a peacekeeping force or nation-building corporation. It’s mission is to protect the United States. But unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s actions contradict the words of the Vice President and like their predecessor, they have refused to let Middle Eastern nations tend to their own. The U.S. Government aided the Libyan rebels and continued to maintain a presence in Libya, an occupation that resulted in an attack that costed American lives a month ago, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
There is a serious refusal on the part of both candidates to understand what is going on. It is doubtful that either have listened to what C.I.A. veteran and former Bin Laden Unit chief Michael Scheuer has been writing out for several years now. The only intelligence our country seems to be listening to is that which justifies another war, with case in point is the phantom weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In this respect, both major tickets are incapable of leading America to a secure future.
Disconnection in modern politics is nothing new, however. Vice President Biden repeatedly echoed his claim that he is a defender of mainstreet, claiming he doesn’t have different policies for Wall Street and mainstreet. Most people are still waiting on the big bailouts, though, as big government has been the infinite lifeline for all the banks and corporations supposedly “too big to fail”, at the expense of the hard working taxpayers. If anything in America, the people are “too big to fail”, because without them, these bailouts would not exist and our corporatist government would be unable to satisfy their lobbying special interests.
Both parties are virtually on agreement on important matters. They endorse economic isolationism abroad, by pushing sanctions and other points that contradict capitalism. Bigger government is never a pressing issue for Republicans or Democrats, with both of them often arguing who is going to better feed its growth rather than prevent its expansion. The great illusion in American politics is that there is a major difference, but it’s a case that has yet to be proven. Minor differences, absolutely, but American politics itself suffers from a lack of choice variety. Tonight proved that point.