November 03, 2004

Starting Tomorrow

Today the entire world watches nervously while voters fill the ballot boxes of America. Few intelligent people — of whatever political stripes — disagree that this is one of the most important elections in the history of the American Republic. Given the power, wealth and cultural importance of the United States, our next president’s choices will directly and significantly impact the lives of every person on our planet. This election, in short, is a very big deal.

We are not a partisan site — not because we don’t have a variety of strongly held political views, but because we’re trying here to be part of creating a different kind of conversation about the future: a conversation more about solutions than problems, more about collaboration than conflict, more about tools than talking points, more about the tomorrow’s planet than today’s politics.

Because when it comes to solving the real problems facing this planet, neither party in American politics can claim the high ground, or even, to put it bluntly, much grounding in reality at all. In this first presidential election of the 21st Century, a realistic understanding of the problems we face as a planet and the role the U.S. could and should play in solving them should have been a matter of daily debate. Instead, we’ve gotten saber-rattling and name-calling. But pandering to the worst inclinations of the American electorate doesn’t make any of us safer or the world more stable. This year, the entire political establishment has failed grotesquely to speak plainly about the objective realities of the world.

We can do better. We must do better. Regardless of who is elected president today, we must now begin to forge a reality-based plan for the planet.

In that spirit, we’d like to offer some observations about the kind of questions to which we must begin to find answers. Perhaps we can all mull them over as we watch the returns tonight.

[read the rest at Worldchanging]