Essays on American politics and foreign policy

By Donald E. Nuechterlein

Donald Nuechterlein is a political scientist and writer who resides near Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of numerous books on American politics and foreign policy, including

  • Defiant Superpower: The New American Hegemony, 2005
  • America Recommitted: A Superpower Assesses its Role in a Turbulent World, 2000
  • A Cold War Odyssey, 1997


Donald Nuechterlein


MARCH 2008

John McCain's "straight talk express" a year ago earned him accolades for his courageous stands on major issues such as the Iraq war, illegal immigration, and campaign finance reform.. Many Republicans criticized him for cooperating with Democrats on the immigration issue.

This year voters are in need of more straight talk on crucial issues that challenge our nation. Here are six realities that urgently need serious public attention.

It is essential, in my view, that Americans be told the hard truth about our country's serious financial situation. Otherwise, voters will persist in thinking that no hard choices need to be made on national security priorities, pressing domestic needs, and increased taxes to pay for both. A sharp drop in the dollar, the growing specter of inflation, and the potential for a prolonged credit crisis urgently require that candidates give the public a strong dose of medicine about the stark realities facing this country.

John McCain could precipitate the debate by telling voters they can't have both "guns and butter," and pledge an overhall of the Social Security and Medicare systems in order to pay for continued strong defense. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should tell voters that everyone will have to pay higher taxes to enjoy universal health care and social security benefits. Adding to federal budget deficits is no longer an option.

Will this candid debate occur in an election year? We should insist on it.

File last modified on Monday, 14-MAR-2008 12:01 AM EST

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