A friend sent me the following in response to yesterday’s post. Words never mentioned on the campaign trail:
- "the poor"
- "climate change"
- "gun control"
- "reforming financial markets"
I was stunned. These are four of the most critical issues we face. They all have enduring consequences, and the first two go a long way to defining what kind of a country we will be – for how we treat each other, particularly the poor, and how we treat the earth are two sides of a single coin of humanity and survival.
It is not especially surprising that Mitt Romney isn’t talking about these things. Concern for the poor is not a striking trait of the modern GOP. Climate change is a hoax. The Second Amendment is sacrosanct. And the financial markets need liberation not reform.
But Barack Obama could build a campaign around these issues. The poor are a constituency that needs empowerment. Climate change already affects all we do. With Jared Loughner pleading guilty to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting spree and recent bloodbaths in Wisconsin and Colorado, it seems a good time to discuss America’s obsession with guns. And the accusation that Standard Chartered laundered billions for the Iranians is but the latest in a never-ending story of arrogance, corruption and greed in the marketplace.
There are other words that aren’t mentioned much either: entitlement reform, Palestine, community.
In what many call “the most important election in our lifetime,” the candidates seem determined to talk about nothing important at all.