My Vote? Who’s Going to fix Food and Fuel Prices?
By Andy Hanacek, Executive Editor
News flash: Hillary Clinton downs a beer and a shot at a northwest Indiana bar during a campaign stop. Is she an alcoholic? What does it mean?
News flash: Barack Obama may have listened, didn’t listen, doesn’t agree, etc., with a former clergyman whom is notoriously controversial in his sermons. Is he racist? What does it mean?
News flash: One senator, not even running for president in 2008, thinks that John McCain is too old to be the president. Is he really old? What does it mean?
Well, I have a real news flash for you: I just paid more than $50 to fill up my gas tank the other day for the first time in my life (and I realize I’m lucky in that regard), and my grocery bills are on the rise — both with no solution on the horizon.
So I want to know, candidates, who is going to solve my problem? It appears that everyone else in America is selfish and wants their issues resolved, so why can’t I be selfish?
Of course, these very issues haunt the meat and poultry industries on a day-to-day basis, so I suspect many of you are asking the same question. Yet, meat and poultry aren’t the only industries facing this dilemma of skyrocketing fuel costs and the pressure to compensate by raising prices or not raising them.
I’ve heard a lot of rhetoric throughout the “Election 2008” coverage, but I have yet to hear an interesting, logical, realistic proposal for solving the United States’ problems in this realm.
It’s almost as though one hand of the media cannot speak to the other. On CNN.com, for example, every day I see stories documenting the fuel price problems and impending food price issues. I see stories talking about the housing market and bailing out people who either were swindled by the banking industry or swindled themselves by trying to keep up with the Joneses and buying beyond their means. I see experts left and right proclaiming we’re headed into a recession, and that the worst is ahead of us.
On the other side are the headlines about Election 2008. Often they highlight ridiculous topics that, in the grand scheme, matter little.
I’m not new to this silliness. In my previous job, I witnessed insane lines of questioning during the NFL’s Super Bowl Media Day. Athletes who were ready to play in the game of their lives and wanted to talk X’s and O’s were forced to answer questions about their clothes, sex lives, pop culture and other useless topics — sometimes by hand puppets. I'm serious. It was a waste of their time and a waste of time for those who wanted substance. The same goes for Election 2008.
Either these two serious paths have not crossed yet, or there is so much extraneous, blathering NOISE out there that I have missed the issue. Where’s Obama’s plan to reduce our dependence upon oil fuel, or Clinton’s plan to help industry keep consumer prices in check without crippling their ledgers, or McCain’s theory on how we can keep the ethanol industry AND the food industry happy in terms of corn production and prices?
So, I’ll make it simple. Until I hear a candidate stand up and give a logical possible solution to these problems, rather than stand up and defend himself or herself against ludicrous questions, it doesn’t matter what party that person is from. I’m done watching until then, and at that point, that candidate will have my vote.
Shortly after that, I suspect, it’ll be time to talk Election 2012. What a joy.