Mindful of the weight of our responsibility, and the power we hold to sway public opinion, the editorial staff of the Daily Cannibal has debated with conscientious thoroughness and in exhausting detail the question of which Presidential candidate to endorse.

Many factors weighed on our decision.  Frankly, we are surprised at how few of the things we found important seem to play any role in the thinking of the electorate. But that’s our job — to cut through the misdirection and hand-waving of those who would distract us, and bring daylight to the issues that will actually affect our lives.  And, in our opinion, these are:

The Economy.  Most people in this country still struggle to make a living.  The next president should take all possible steps to stimulate the economy through massive injections of credit to the banking system.  Those who warn that such a measure would further imperil our future miss the point:  there will be no future if we drown in the here and now.

Energy.  Energy prices remain at unacceptable highs.  The next president must provide strong incentives for alternative energy development, while remaining steadfast, for the sake of our climate and our environment, in opposition to those who would rape our landscape and poison our biosphere for their own profit.  Direct subsidy of promising innovative ventures are essential, both for the technologies they develop and the hundreds of thousands of new jobs they promise.

Foreign Affairs.  The US must adopt a more cooperative, more inclusive, less unilateral approach to its conduct in international matters.  Nowhere is this more important than in the Middle East, where we clearly will benefit from a less aggressive stance, improving both our credibility as a useful partner and the respect we earn through our compassion, understanding and acceptance of the law and custom of other cultures.

Health Care.  Progress towards the establishment and implementable of a universal health care mandate is more important than anything else, for obvious reasons.  Concerns about affordability, fairness, practicality and other straw men thrown up by its opponents must take a back seat to taking the first essential steps towards assuring that every American (and yes, those whose citizenship may be in question, or whose presence may be less than legal, as these people still need doctors when they are sick) has access to a reasonable level of care.  Those who would misdirect this discussion and focus instead on controlling the very high existing costs of health care are perhaps well-intentioned, but absolutely nothing must obstruct a universal health care initiative.

The Environment.  The next president must empower the EPA to take all necessary steps to protect our nation — and, by example and moral suasion, the world — from the dreadful damage that careless and wasteful policies and programs that industry and the less enlightened among our citizenry inflict on our future.  Climate change should be acknowledged and addressed through both large measures and small.  Energy policy, as noted, is the primary factor among large initiatives — the less carbon we emit, the less our globe will suffer.  Small measures are important, too.  Light bulbs would be a good place to start.

Education.   Equal only to healthcare and the environment in its longer-term impact on our future, education in this nation has suffered from a short-sighted focus on cost-cutting, standardized testing, social ignorance, a catastrophic approach to funding higher education and a reliance on outmoded curricula.  The next president must take strong steps to assure that government spending on education, which has increased 2500% in real dollar terms since 1980 (more than 30 years ago!) continues to guarantee us that the children of today will be well-prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

We are aware that many of these ideas may generate opposition from those who think only of themselves.  Those who shy from shouldering their fair share of society’s obligations.  Those who can see no further than their own front yards.

Others may find them too radical, too new, too bold.  But fresh challenges require fresh thinking and fresh approaches   As novel as the ideas we have presented may seem, we are confident that Americans, with their admirable sense of adventure and their openness to innovation, can embrace them.  To those who fear the challenges of change, we say that change is what these times call for.  What these times demand.  What will free us from the discredited policies and practices of the past  and lead us into a bright new future.

For these reasons, The Daily Cannibal endorses Barack Obama for president.  We can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of previous administrations.  We need a fresh start.  Vote for change.  Vote to get our country moving forward again.  Vote to restore America to her rightful place as a beacon of freedom, of choice, of individual effort and common cause, and, most important, as a place that knows when someone is blowing smoke up its ass.