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The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Opinion: Election is a lose-lose no matter who wins

Kevin GriffinThis year’s election, like nearly all elections, is being touted as a great moment of decision between two distinct worldviews. America is being confronted with numerous problems reaching to the deepest roots of our political system.

But it seems as if the seemingly critical choice over who becomes our president makes little difference to many of the most striking problems in America today.

It is truly startling to think of the number of fundamentally important issues at stake in our country that are not affected by who is elected for president, or even for Congress.

Four years of Obama government and yet little has been done to change the state of affairs in the foreign policy and civil liberties arenas.

Obama has been undeniably hawkish as president, from upping the number of U.S. drone strikes to the well-known assassination of Osama Bin-Laden and increases in military spending.

The president also signed the National Defense Authorization Act earlier this year, an act that could pave the way for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.

His lack of action on the situation at Guantanamo Bay is similarly shameful. One could not imagine a Romney presidency bringing substantial reform in these areas, either.

Even in the realm of economy and money, an area provides the starkest differences between the candidates, the chances for significant improvement are dubious.

Both of our major candidates receive large amounts of money from corporations, and corporations have time and time again made it clear they intend to influence the outcome of this election so that their powerful influence is in no way diminished.

President Obama has been careful to not alienate bankers, and reports from this year indicate that Wall Street’s irresponsibility has not noticeably improved.

The nature of his opponent’s relationships to these same financial institutions goes without saying.

What is of critical importance here is the system in which both of these men must participate in, and which both perpetuate to great degrees.

Money and powerful special interests have extensive hold over the whole of our political system. Congress has been a mess for years, unwilling to compromise on important measures, and it only seems that this trend will increase in the future.

All of this is not to say that identical results will be seen with both candidates. In the short term, things like the state of economy and certain domestic issues will be modified by the candidate.

However, the most penetrating questions – those concerning our economic system and campaign finance, the erosion of civil liberties, and our foreign policy — will not be answered.

And neither of the two men who are now proposing to answer them is in any way fit for the job.

Griffin, a freshman journalism major from Madison, is an opinion writer.

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