Presidential Election Panel

Professor Smith claims that the role of the national government is at stake in the presidential election. Ever since the American Independence, people have been wary of large national governments. The rise of the Tea Party is an example of extreme conservatism and desire for state rights. However, existing national programs protect civil rights of minority groups, help the economy and extend social service programs. Professor Smith focused on Romney, who is playing on the fear of large central governments. Romney emphasized in the debate that while he supports programs like universal healthcare and green energy (typically national programs), he still promises greater state power. In order for broader appeal, Romney took a more moderate stance.

Director Tracy claims that medical and social care of women is at stake. There is a gender gap between men and women voting patterns, with women significantly helping Obama take the presidency in 2008. Therefore, it is expected that women will play a major part in this election. Both candidates must take women rights in careful consideration. Unlike other issues, women rights encompass civil rights, professional/ legal rights, and reproductive rights. These are not separate issues, as each area affects another. According to Director Tracy, conservatives have not cared for women rights, because they assume “that women lie”. This view of the right wing has mobilized women to vote Democratic.

I found Toorjo Ghosh’s speech very provocative. Similar to Tracy, Professor Ghosh spoke strongly about the dire need of better rights for women and minorities of color. According to Professor Ghosh, incarceration of women and minorities is climbing rapidly. This has caused a ‘military industrial complex’, where prisons are used as an economic force. As with criminal justice, social services has become medicine- oriented. Due to the Affordable Care Act, small social service clinics will be replaced by large hospitals with significant economic power. Therefore, only Americans above a certain economic/ social level will receive sufficient healthcare.

I found it hard to agree with Professor Ghosh’s opinions, only because I do not see how the ACA actively hurts minority groups. ACA was built to help Americans without sufficient healthcare, and that is evident in the extra subsidies and Medicaid expansions for the poor. In order to be convinced, I need to see evidence and statistics. Likewise, I think we need to examine the social conditions of minorities instead of blaming a radical, militarized “Obama regime” for the increasing incarceration rates. While I do not doubt Professor Ghosh’s passion and intellect, I would need him to elaborate on his ideas in a longer talk.

Nonetheless, his ideas provoked me because it directly relates to the ‘medicine- industry complex’ we discussed in class. While we talked about it in context of marketing and how it isolates illness from social forces, I found the coincidence of vocabulary important, as it indirectly links capitalism and the government. Can the ‘military/ medicine industry complex’ ever be dismantled, and if not, can it ever benefit minorities along with businesses?

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