You see the election 2008 cycle is finally approaching an end. Technically... this process goes well beyond the casting/counting of ballots on November 4th. It goes beyond one party’s conceding the outcome to the opponents in the hours (or even days) after the balloting. It goes beyond the December 24th date which is the deadline for the receipt of the electoral votes. One might even argue that the process is not finalized until the New President and Vice-President are sworn in on January 20th, 2009. This “go around” has been a very long haul for all the candidates and the public at large. It is one for the record books and not all of the records set in this particular race for the White House are good things.
I fear the race for the election 2012 begins as the ballots for election 2008 are being cast, counted, challenged, and debated in the days, weeks, months, and even years to come. In the backrooms, the power elites of both major parties have already set in motion the workings for turning asunder whatever outcome we shall see from this current ordeal. 2008 proved an ordeal for the candidates, their supporters, and the American public at large. Focus on the future by dealing within the here and now1
It has been the longest and most expensive election cycle ever. More candidates threw their hats in the ring and raised/ spent more money than ever before in our history. This was the first time it was a BILLION dollar plus presidential campaign cycle. It marks the first time an African American and a woman ran for the Oval office on the Democratic side. It was the first time the GOP fielded a woman as a running mate. The primaries contests were lengthy, costly, negative, and bitter. Regardless of the outcome... the passions (for and against) the candidates run hot and deep. There will be a significantly disgruntled populace left angered and frustrated whoever “wins” in 2008. The partisan perceived recourse will be to commence 2012 races before the 2008 voting booths are disassembled and put away.
When you look at the problems, crises, and hurdles facing this nation (and the planet as a whole), the victor from this contest is actually the loser! The looming problems facing US/us financially, economically, militarily, diplomatically and environmentally are bigger than any party/administration. There should be some sort of honeymoon acceptance of the successful team, but I fear it will be short lived. Those familiar with my weekly columns know that I believe we (as a people) have been kept in the dark regarding the depth, breadth, and severity of the systemic crises and frauds lurking out there. Hundreds of BILLIONS (really multiple TRILLIONS) have been thrown out as “fixes” to buy the time to defer any honest appraisals of the breakdowns until after the election – then...Katie bar the door!!!
We will experience an acceleration of defaults, bankruptcies, liquidations, failures, and mergers and dissolutions the likes of which have been unseen since the “Great Depression” of the 1930’s. These are global in nature and will require not only a bi-partisan working together; they will require a multi- (supra) national coming together. An international convocation of the world’s economic/ financial powers is already set for later this month to be hosted in the US. It is critical that our President-elect/Veep-elect, their advisors, and transition teams be a central (make that THE dominating) US presence at this gathering. Such an early deferral to a successor administration is unheard of in the annals of politics.
The Bush-Cheney administration and the 110th Congress had their chance. These looming crises are part of their legacy even if the crises go beyond recent prior “elections.” We as a nation (and a planet) cannot wait for a lame duck Presidency and a lame duck Congress to diddle out their remaining tenure over the coming months in a final show of struts and hollow bravado. We need self-sacrificing acts of real statesmanship and leadership that transcend personal egos – giving the next administration (and Congress) a running start!
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
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This story was published on November 3, 2008.