Position papers for the next president
A series of editorials on the issues facing the next president as a lead-up to The Times' endorsement for the White House.
October 18, 2008
Even among those who disagree on every other aspect of this election -- from those who find Barack Obama dangerously inexperienced to those who see John McCain as frighteningly irresponsible, from those who can't stand Joe Biden's grin to those who can't abide Sarah Palin's wink -- there is a common hope. Partisans of all types can realistically imagine that the next administration will improve this nation's standing in the world, if only because the last eight years have seen it decline to a degree unknown in modern times. From the bottom, there's nowhere to go but up.
October 17, 2008
The struggle for equality has defined the United States from its earliest days, when its declarations of liberty clashed with its embrace of real-world inequities. More than two centuries later, we continue to debate the full meaning of equality in American life.
October 16, 2008
With crises as riveting as failing banks, rising layoffs and mordant mortgages, the electorate is paying less attention to how Americans will obtain health insurance and a good education. That's understandable in these days of urgency. But in the long term, there is no thriving economy without a healthy, educated population, and the United States is losing ground on both of these fronts. The worsening employment situation will reduce even further the number of Americans with health insurance; over the last 20 years, the percentage of the nation's workers covered by employer-based plans has fallen by more than 10 points.
October 15, 2008
Before most people had ever heard of commercial paper, they knew that high oil prices were squeezing both their wallets and the nation's economy, and the presidential candidates spent more time talking about gas tanks than banks. The financial meltdown of recent weeks hasn't just overshadowed the energy crisis, it has eased it in the short term -- gasoline prices have fallen because oil traders fear that demand will shrink in a global recession. Yet meeting our energy challenges will remain among the most important concerns of the next president.
October 14, 2008
It is America's great fortune that it fell to Abraham Lincoln to articulate the nation's need for healing after the Civil War. Lincoln gave us our exemplar of principled conciliation, most movingly and memorably expressed in his second inaugural address, properly regarded as among the most important speeches in our history. "Let us strive on to finish the work we are in," Lincoln implored, "to bind up the nation's wounds."
October 12, 2008
Among the most ignoble legacies of the George W. Bush administration will be the detention center for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Administration officials drunk on executive power, disdainful of due process and indifferent to international opinion established -- in a territory they wrongly thought was beyond the reach of law -- a prison camp whose inmates comprised both dangerous terrorists and bystanders caught up in the post-9/11 dragnet in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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