The Disappearance of the Domestic Agenda

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on August 17, 2008

A lot of people thought this year’s presidential election might concentrate on domestic issues and begin a new conversation about some the dramatic issues that have taken hold in American life.  But as we inch closer to election day there has been basically no discussion about domestic issues, policies or problems. 

That lack of attention has caught the ire of New York Times writer Bob Herbert who wrote a pointed article today about the absence of a domestic discussion.

“…What we haven’t had is a deep exploration of problems here at home that are threatening the very vibrancy of the nation, including: the dismal employment picture (there are many more Americans out of work than the official statistics show); the terrible toll that the housing and mortgage crisis is taking on families from one coast to the other; the tens of millions of Americans who are without health insurance coverage; the stunning high school dropout numbers; and a demoralizing problem with violent crime in several parts of the country…”

Herbert is absolutely right and his discussion about the aging infrastructure is also right on.  The collapsing of I-35 West in Minneapolis last year revealed a massive problem not only in Minnesota but across the country with our dangerous and creaky infrastructure.  The tragedy last July forced states and cities to take a real look at how unstable our infrastracture was and found that many of their bridges and overpasses were also structurally deficient, the same grade as I-35 West. 

Herbert mentioned the lack of sexiness of transportation and infrastructure but it is those issues that are the nuts and bolts of an American recovery and until America realizes that those are the real policy concerns and that they in their own way are more sexier than Paris Hilton.


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