The dichotomy I observe between the two candidates is ultimately between the concepts of WAR and PEACE. One thinks that a STRONG military (or illusion of it without a mandatory draft) is the best way to solve the word’s problems and the other thinks that there can be a peaceful, multilateral solution. One thinks that the “free market”, dominated by private corporations with the ultimate reward of a magnanimous profit (for a select few) is the only way to achieve a stable society. The other thinks that dialogue, negotiation and a distribution of wealth is possible and the best way to resolve our country’s problems. These are the basic concepts that tend go beyond the realm of ordinary people who do not care about the real reasons we go to war or remain “at peace” with nations. Most of us are too busy paying our credit card bills and don’t have much at stake except our rising interest rates. That’s at shame. I won’t get into the politics of war or peace right now or how it disgusts me to realize how we have become a nation of narcissists. I only must say that the more we spend on war, the less we will have to spend on healthcare. In our country, and in our political system, the President sets his agenda in the “State of the Union” speech. That’s how it works. Whoever is elected will set the tone and spending priorities for the next four years. One of our candidates thinks military spending is the best way to achieve peace and create a better, safer society. The other candidate believes that dialogue, negotiation for peace and better healthcare for U.S. citizens will lead to a more viable solution and a better, safer society and world. Whoever is elected will direct our budget to those priorities. We can’t afford both. It’s doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. It only takes a few minutes to pay attention to the issues. In simple terms, war is expensive. It is also very lucrative to the industries that fund war. Healthcare is also very lucrative. The pharmaceutical industry, private insurance industry and AMA (American Medical Association) invest large amounts of “resources” (campaign contributions) to influence legislation that will benefit their interests.

“War”, whether it be between the U.S. and another country or between the U.S. industries and the citizens who they rely on for profit is GOOD BUSINESS. But will we ever resolve our problems or be at peace with our adversaries without the commitment and resolve of all of us? Are we too busy and self absorbed to care, vote, read, write or voice our opinions?

It seems that we’ve gotten used to war. War has been an acceptable means of resolving problems. There is no real sacrifice for most Americans. We don’t have a draft, so it’s relatively easy to “support our troops”. But, where is the discussion about HIV/AiDS between the candidates? I’ve heard that there is finally going to be a public debate between the two candidates in August.

I regret to admit that I sincerely believe that there won’t be too much time spent on the issues or policies of HIV/AIDS. I hope there is. I hope they will discuss the past eight years of flat funding, the increase of infections and the complete failure of “abstinence” programs. I anticipate that most of the debate will be spent talking about “war”. I want our leaders to finally talk about making healthcare affordable to all Americans, “peace” for our country and the world and how we can achieve it.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God”. Have any of these war mongers and profiteers really read the bible as they profess to have done?" I have serious doubts that they --- or our country --- really cares about anything else but war and its funding. I hope to God I’m wrong.