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Blogging from the Des Moines Register Democratic Presidential Debate

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

JOHNSTON, IOWA — The difference between today and yesterday – Democrat and Republican respectively – can be likened to the difference between Led Zeppelin and Chamber music.

It is almost as if the increased media attention, influx of campaigners and heightened security are creating a heat bubble that is melting the ice off Iowa’s trees. The maelstrom and fervor were so intense that even Ray, the driver of our horse-drawn carriage, steered clear of the main entrance… for insurance reasons. It left me wondering about the candidates’ stances on liability insurance – now that I know their positions on health insurance.

The Republican candidates differed in their responses to our Candidate Challenge. The Democratic candidates’ responses contrasts in opinion were more nuanced. Indeed, when it comes to reforming the tax code, amending NAFTA, human rights within our trade agreements, health care and the Iraq War each has only slight differences. All in all, they seem to agree with one another.

And sure enough, we found they all (for the most part) felt a need for change. Senator Obama quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and called this “the fierce urgency of man.”

The vast majority of our presidential candidates sense an American public that is not as polarized as some may think. When it comes to the ‘big’ issues Americans share common core values. We want a better economy, a cleaner environment, healthier lifestyles and our constitutional rights upheld. Senator Edwards said it eloquently: “Every single one of those things [the issues] depends on winning this battle.”

Our argument takes it to the next level. Senators Edwards and Obama should have quoted Thomas Paine as Chris Dodd has done before, and said “voting for representatives is the right that protects all other rights.” If their are logistical barriers that prevent people from voting and voicing their opinions, how can we ever expect our leaders to hear the American consensus on any issue?

Now that we at Why Tuesday? have asked about the way and day we vote, and now that the majority of our presidential candidates have committed to our cause, the next question is this: when can we expect convenient, accessible and reliable voting in America?

2 Responses to “Blogging from the Des Moines Register Democratic Presidential Debate”

  1. Cody Cooper Says:

    Jacob and Barnett are thoughtful, hard-working, and incisively action-oriented, setting a fine example for other young people throughout America to get involved, get out the vote, and throw the rascals out.

    Voter reform (public financing) will, I predict be next on their formidable agenda…Godspeed Boys.

  2. Anjul Says:

    I think that Mr. Zitron is entirely correct in his observations about the relative uniformity of views among the Democratic candidates, although I do think that they were especially tempered in their behavior precisely because they don’t want to “rock the boat” on the eve of the caucuses. This may be a step in the right direction; my worry, however, is that as soon as we conclude the primaries and move on to the general elections, whichever candidates emerge will go right back to good ol’ american mudslinging.

    The question at hand here is: can we achieve consensus when it comes to taking action to improve our voting process? The optimistic side of me says that we certainly can and will; the pessimistic side fears that voting reform will become yet another partisan point of contention and be lost in the shuffle.

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