The 2008 Presidential election offers a great chance to see where the country is headed.
This writer thinks there are nine  areas where the American idea is actively under attack.
First, I'll list and explain each of the nine areas.
Then, I'll make a comparison of the campaign platform of many of the major presidential candidates to the nine areas. The comparison will be based on the candidate's published positions of each website.
Perhaps some candidates will change their platforms as a result. Who knows?
Here is the list of nine areas:
1. Political corruption - the government of the USA is corrupt. The legislative system require that candidates raise money from rich interests to be elected; then the elected legislators grant favors to their campaign contributors. [You can track corruption and fix it here: http://www.cleanupwashington.org]
The American idea suffers when only money interests receive favorable laws.
2. Military/Indistrial Complex - Contractors receive money from providing products and services to the armed forces. With that money they influence policy to encourage wars. [Track corruption at Soldiers For The Truth: http://www.sftt.org.......fix it here at the National Legal and Policy Center: http://www.nlpc.org]
Our military is corrupted when wars are started or encouraged by companies who profit from a war - that is not an American idea.
3. Energy - Oil interests damage the national security by promoting our dependence on oil.
A new bill was proposed recently in the House of Representatives to fund searches for oil alternatives. This is a good idea.
Here's another: let's treat oil like a public utility. After all, everyone needs it, just like water and electricity. So let's create a national oil commission that will plan for energy alternatives and regulate the price of oil so that oil companies can earn a reasonable rate of return but not any excessive profits.
Failure to deal with our energy problem will damage our future.
4. Labor and Consumer Unions - Corruption favors business interests over workers and consumers. It is time to restore a more equal balance between labor and business and consumers. [Track efforts against unions: http://www.americanrightsatwork.org/antiunionnetwork/.........track consumer problems here: http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Consumer_Safety.shtml..........Fix with new laws here: http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/mlrhome.htm]
Continued weakening of labor and consumer power will damage the working family, the backbone of America.
5. Income and wealth Disparity - we are becoming a two tier country; the middle class is becoming weaker.
Our idea has been that Americans are mostly middle class. That idea is in trouble.
Track and fix here: http://www.workertimes.com/news/disparity.html
6. Elections - The foundation of the American idea is that voters can change the government if it is unresponsive. But, if the voting process is manipulated for partisan purposes, the American ideal is gone.
Track computer Fraud here: http://www.votefraud.org/............General voting problems: http://www.commondreams.org/newswire.htm........Volunteer here: http://www.onebrick.org
7. Judicial Indepedence - Judges must be above politics to protect our values.
Track pressures on judges: http://www.afj.org.........Solutions here: http://www.legislationline.org
8. Trade Deficits - trade deficts reflect an economic imbalance that will eventually damage the American way of life.
Track: http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/indicators_intlpict_archive..........Solution: http://www.mkeever.com/essay.html
9. Usury - Banks contribute to destroying the middls class with usurious interest rates. We need a national law.
Compare credit cards here: http://www.indexcreditcards.com....and here http://www.bankrate.com....... track usury in your state here: http://www.usurylaw.com/
That's the list.