As we wait for this year’s US Presidential Election to kick into high gear, we Urchins ponder the topics we are most excited about being discussed in the upcoming televised debates. Here are three of them:
I wrote last Wednesday about the mass public shootings across the US and the incomprehensible level of gun violence in Chicago this year. On Friday, a shooting at the Empire State Building in which two people died and nine were injured became national news. The night before, 19 people were injured by guns in Chicago. In this climate of fear and violence, I am not curious but desperate to hear the potential future presidents of the United States discuss how they will address the issue.
The gun laws of this country are dangerously broken and must be fixed immediately. Chicago was a much safer city during its 28-year-long gun ban, which the US Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 2010, essentially handing a death sentence to many people of the city. What kind of country purposefully makes itself less safe for its citizens? How many mass shootings will be allowed to happen before a change is made? How many people have to be shot and killed in Chicago in the meantime? I expect and anxiously await both answers and solutions.
In the last decade we have seen some of the worst environmental disasters caused by oil and gas production. (Anyone remember Deepwater Horizon?) And after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown, nuclear energy has proven (once again) not to be a safe and viable option. Romney’s energy plan is as expected: drill. Romney wants complete North American energy independence by 2020 – which sounds nice, but involves the Keystone XL pipeline, increased drilling in public lands like the Monterey shelf off the California coast (notably one of the most beautiful spots in CA), and less regulating of oil companies seeking permits. He focuses primarily on coal, gas, and oil. Romney will not provide support for clean energy. Simple as that.
For the record, Obama’s energy policy hasn’t been perfect, but it is certainly a far cry from drill, baby, drill. His energy policy allows for exploration of oil in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. However, Obama supports standards as well as research and development of clean and renewable energy.
Make no doubt about it: whoever wins this election will alter the course of energy development and environmental preservation/degradation worldwide.
Obamacare! Romneycare! Enough with the portmanteaux! While news pundits will continue to go back and forth in politicising healthcare, I want to hear the two candidates explain their plans to me without being interrupted with noisome chatter every 30 seconds. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve heard them: the facts that Sarah reported last week on the world ranks of our national healthcare system are more difficult to swallow than a cure-all pill that costs $32,000. As I grow older, I need not select my future jobs based on insurance benefits. I refuse to. I shouldn’t. Other people do, and they shouldn’t. Getting a disease is bad enough. Not going to the doctor out of financial fear is worse, unnecessary, and wrong.