As the election approaches, I find myself once again pondering the inconsistencies of our political philosophy.  The message of this election–like that of most American elections–is all about America remaining “number one”.  But how serious are we really about keeping our country at the top of the list?  (And this, naturally, presumes that we’re still there.)

Conservatives are proud of our powerful and technologically advanced military, with its intelligent soldiers.  They brag on achievements like the Curiosity Mars rover.  “We’re still the best!”  But they despise the idea of giving money to an educational system which could teach people needed technological skills, and they are fine with cutting unnecessary frills like financial aid to college students.

President Obama is portrayed by his opponents as the man who will make America slide down that global list.  But would a President Romney be more helpful?  Not that I’m in favor of excessive debt, but will debt really be the thing which causes our demise?  Or the more appropriate question–will it contribute to our demise more than a lack of investment in science and education will?

So let’s not make rash assumptions about who will keep our country stronger and more powerful.  And this might be a good time to rethink what makes for the best place in the world.  Maybe we don’t *need* to be number one…just decent to our own citizens.

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