Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Debating Low Bar vs. High Aims

Election Day 2008 is only 34 days ahead. I am starting this blog as a tribute to the US system. US system as a whole – political, commercial, civil – you name it! America never ceases to amaze me. The constitution written by visionary men over 220 years ago is still vibrant, functioning and relevant. The innovative culture that this “land of opportunities” embraced is a big part of America’s success. America was lucky to have all those patriots guide the course of history after its independence. A lot of emerging democracies would be lucky to have a handful of people like those.

In any case, I am writing this blog to express my own opinions about the upcoming presidential election and beyond. On November 4, 2008, Americans will select the 44th President of the United States. I comment on various aspects of the next presidency for the next four (or more) years. Given the current times, the new president will face very important challenges. And how he handles those challenges will go a long way in defining America’s future.

I’ve been following the debates. What baffles me is this whole notion of “lowering expectations.” The Vice Presidential debate is tomorrow. All talk is about how Governor Palin has set such a low bar; as if all she has to do is speak a few coherent sentences and the debate goes her way! And if Senator Biden has sufficient control over his mouth, he’ll do fine.

But wait, isn’t that notion of lowering expectations directly contradictory to the core American value of aiming high and achieving your dreams? America is supposed to be the land of innovation where anything is possible. And when it comes to selecting people to lead this great land, the underlying concept seems to be “aim low and do just better than that.” That’s not America. If that’s not what we teach our children, how come the leaders get away with that pathetic notion?

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