Avoiding the culture wars, not the economy

Thomas Prieto

Thomas Prieto

Originally, I had planned to write a rather incendiary article called “The Bridge to Nowhere,” criticizing Sarah Palin’s fib about telling Congress “thanks, but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere” and McCain’s recent misleading ads, but then I had an idea. This is exactly what they want us to do.

The McCain campaign has ingeniously revived the “Culture Wars,” a war they know they can win. The Republican Party has used the “Culture Wars” to help them win elections from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. They have skillfully manipulated the Obama campaign and the media to stop focusing on important issues like the economy, and instead focus on childish disputes like the “lipstick on a pig” controversy.

This tactic has worked incredibly well for the McCain campaign. McCain has seen a large spike in the polls and, according to realclearpolitics.com, has decreased Obama’s favorability ratings. Even better yet, the McCain campaign has thrown Barack Obama off-balance. Instead of tackling today’s pressing economic issues, the Obama campaign has been forced to spend its time trying to deflect McCain’s attacks.

Sen. Obama has a large advantage over McCain in the economic debate, due to the fact that he is simply not a Republican. Whether correctly or incorrectly, the loosening of regulations that has characterized Republican economics for decades has been blamed for many of our current economic woes. John McCain also suffers from the fact that he has made numerous gaffes in regards to the economy, from the “I don’t know much about economics” gaffe to the “America’s economy is fundamentally sound” gaffe. Also, who could forget his ex-chief economist’s gaffe that we are a “nation of whiners?”

As Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign proved, “it’s the economy, stupid.” Although this quote is overused, it should provide a lesson to the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign needs to stop worrying about things like the “lipstick on a pig” controversy. Voters are smart enough to see through the spin that is placed on these “controversies.” The Obama campaign needs to focus on making a case as to why their economic policy is the best for America. They must focus on explaining how they will do more for the middle class. It’s time for Sen. Obama to take a page out of the Clinton campaign and remind Republicans that “it’s the economy, stupid.”