Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Farm subsidy impressions & future politics

1. Not to be outdone by the basic newspaper round-up,
2. Read extensive coverage at U.S. Farm Policy,
3. And then there's always the conspiracy theories.

The farm subsidy issue is so interesting in that it centers on regional interests, with Bush going against his geographic base. It's no surprise that the senators from states with the most highly affected big ag industries (corn, wheat, cotton, rice) would be the most vocally opposed. But the issue's ability to bulldoze over partisan "principles" is indicative of what I see as a more extensive political realignment that is in the works. Politics inherently involves compromise (credit to Tony Kushner), but after the lesser of the two evils mentality that has been at work in the past two presidential elections, the time is coming when voters may finally expect more, forcing Democrats and Republicans to wake up and smell the issues of the 21st century. How the nation feeds itself can and should be one of these issues, something that has the potential to unite the Whole Foods shopping yuppies with the family farmers with the ever-expanding population of overweight Americans. Making food an issue is up to us.

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