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« Reason

What was this election for, anyway?

By Tyler S. Clark (Contact)


Published May 19, 2009

I understand pragmatism and am a devotee. I understand when decisions have to be made for expediency and for the sake of progress. I have, therefore, viewed Obama's campaign and presidency--as he is taken to task for compromise--with an understanding eye. Some decisions are not what you want them to be, but it's not hard to understand why they were necessary.

But there is a limit to permissiveness, especially when it comes to the core issues behind the last election: America's image around the world, specifically having to do with war, torture and detainees.

I haven't seen changes to our policy with the wars. We're still spending exorbitant sums there and haven't brought anybody home that I can tell. Am I looking for results too quickly?

We're still censoring torture pictures that are going to illuminate the issue and help us have more informed decisions about military contractors and military interrogations. Is only the opposition party ever in favor of transparency?

Finally, the funds for closing Guantanamo have been withdrawn from the proposed budget and military tribunals are being reinstated.

I never thought I'd find myself longing for idealism and orthodoxy. 


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