Following up to Robin's blog post: The Missing Question
Fellow Bread blogger Robin Stephenson and I had the same idea to write a blog post about the missing question at the first presidential debate. So here are my two cents.
I am among the 108,000 people who signed a petition to have moderator Jim Lehrer include a question about global poverty in the debate between presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain on Sept. 26. I was disappointed, but hardly surprised, that the question was not asked. It seems that global poverty is frequently swept under the rug during the political discourse. And I've written about this before in the Bread blog.
It's taken the ONE Vote 08 campaign, where thousands of volunteers show up at rallies to ask questions, for the presidential candidates to give the issue at least some lip service. Often candidates are quick to recognize ONE Campaign t-shirts and praise the young (and not-so young) people for their dedication to ending global poverty and disease. But it often seems to stop there.
It's not that the presidential and congressional candidates are not concerned about poverty-focused development assistance and world hunger and poverty. They're just not making an effort to bring it to the top of the agenda. It's been left up to us to push for them to try to ensure that these issues at least get some attention alongside matters related to Iraq, Iran, Israel, Russia, Georgia and China.
There are other debates coming, and hopefully the question will be asked. As Robin points out in her blog post, our next opportunity is the Oct. 7 debate moderated by Tom Brokaw.
And we're doing the same thing with the congressional races. Hundreds of Bread for the World members around the country are also bringing the question about hunger to congressional candidates through the BEAT 08 campaign.
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