Are you ready to rumble in U.S. politics?

Published 8:53 am Thursday, September 11, 2008

Now that the Republican and Democratic Monster truck rallies — er, conventions — are over, we have about seven weeks to pick a president. I was thinking that maybe the next few weeks would be a good time to talk about the issues.

I know that immigration, economy, war, health care and education are not that important when compared with flag pins, lipstick, VP baby mommas and a bridge to nowhere, but let’s get real.

The media that recently was attacked by Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin does need to step up, but so do you Sarah Palin, and all of the Democratic and Republican “think for yourselfers” that spoke over the last two weeks.

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What I am talking about is dialogue.

We need dialogue with our next president.

Dialogue is a conversation or an exchange of ideas. We have not had much of that yet. What we have had are the presidential nominees from both parties yelling about what the other party is going to do or not do. We also have had both parties telling us that things are going to change.

Telling, lots of telling.

Telling is not dialogue because we are missing one main part: The United States people. You know, the voters. We need to be included in the dialogue.

I sincerely hope that over the next few weeks we get to hear about plans, not just ideas that will make up a good portion of our next president’s first 100 days.

The American people are a lot brighter than both parties give them credit for. We understand more about what we need, and you need to receive that information.

Dialogue is not just a hot button word of the moment, but what needs to happen all the time.

Now as voters we have an obligation to find out about the issues. We need to read and enlighten ourselves not just to one side of the argument, but to both sides. We need to be able to make an educated decision, not just a red or blue decision.

Too many people have fought and died for our right to vote for us to take it lightly. We need to respect the soldiers that have given the ultimate sacrifice and educate ourselves.

There are a lot of people saying get out and vote, but I will ask you something different: Get out and educate yourselves and then vote.

Are you ready for some football?

Go Packers.

Old quarterback Brett Favre = win as a Jet.

New quarterback Aaron Rodgers = win as a Packer over Vikings (fifth in a row).

I guess it just doesn’t matter who your quarterback is if you have a better team.

Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer is a fan of the Green Bay Packers and, now, the New York Jets, too. His column appears every Thursday.