The NYTimes today has an interesting collection of what drop-out candidates would be talking about if they were still in the race
. The contributors are Biden, Brownback, Dodd, Thompson, Richardson, Hunter, Kucinich, and Tancredo.
The interesting thing is the disparity between what the Democrats talk about and what the Republicans talk about. According to the Democrats our priorities should be: securing Afghanistan and its border with Pakistan
, fixing crumbling infrastructure
, enacting comprehensive mortgage reform
, and helping to stave off the foreclosure crisis
. According to the Republicans our priorities should be: fixing eroding "family values"
, FDA and health care reform and increased medical research grants
, bringing back manufacturing jobs
, and border security
With the exception of Thompson's piece, the Republican positions are either idiotic or delusional: you can't legislate "family values", no matter how hard you try; our economy has to transition into something besides manufacturing, the days of high-school grads powering our economy though their strength are way gone; and border security is little more than xenophobic frenzy, immigrants (legal or illegal) aren't nearly as dangerous as most think, from what I've read they're more likely beneficial.
The Democrats at least have worthwhile proposals that would benefit people, even though I have doubts about Kucinich's foreclosure plans, I'm not sure a government bail-out is possible or wise, but at least he wants to help
I think the most useful one to add to the discussion is the infrastructure piece, we really do need to re-think our commitment to our infrastructure. If we keep on the path we're on we might have some serious trouble down the road.
But all of these pieces are valuable, if only as a snapshot of what people are thinking right now.