Talking America – The View from Inside

The BBC “Talking America” bus has reached Nashville, Tennessee – and later on Sunday we’ll be holding the second in our series of debates looking at the issues affecting Americans ahead of the election. Co-hosted by the BBC’s Allan Little and Nashville Public Radio’s Jacqueline Fellows, an audience will be asking questions of a distinguished panel of guests. We want you to ask questions too, from wherever you might be.  We’ll mainly be discussing domestic policy – the economy of course tops the list. We’ll also be taking a close look at what role race might play with voters. But what’s top of your list – when John McCain or Barack Obama take office next January, what should be their top priority? Let us know, and we’ll put your questions to our panel.On the panel – Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Gray Sasser; former Tennessee Republican chair Beth Harwell; Carol Swain, professor of political science at Vanderbilt University; and Bill Ivey, Director of the Curb Center at Vanderbilt, who’s advising Barack Obama on his arts policy.

let us know your your thoughts.. and you can listen to the debate later here.

Piers, debate producer, Nashville, Tennessee.

26 Responses to “Talking America – The View from Inside”

  1. 1 Julie P
    October 5, 2008 at 01:54

    First things first, I hope that you do not experience having trouble finding gas.

  2. 2 Kelsie in Houston
    October 5, 2008 at 01:59

    Ok…@Mr Bill Ivey:
    Sir: What can the American artistic community expect from an Obama administration, and what policies will you advocate to Mr Obama regarding government support for the arts? I am also curious as to what stance you adopt with regards to artistic funding as a means of public service, as is the case in such areas of the world as the United Kingdom. Will the arts, under an Obama administration, receive equal billing alongside more purely academic pursuits in our nation’s schools?

  3. October 5, 2008 at 02:10

    What do the audience think of the new lies and swift-boat attacks that have started in the presidential election? Do they and you think that Sarah Palin has finally lost her marbles by saying Barack Obama is pallying with terrorists? What do they think about John McCain advocating and putting his stamp on these messages?

  4. 4 Julie P
    October 5, 2008 at 02:26

    Does the audience think the McCain campaign has gotten desperate since they started falling very behind in the national poll and electoral college poll to the point where they are pulling out of Michigan and giving it to Obama?

  5. 5 Roberto
    October 5, 2008 at 02:39

    RE “”But what’s top of your list””

    ——– I’d like them to address the phenomenon of Sarah Palin.

    The veep debate drew 18 million more viewers than the ground breaking debate between what could be the oldest president and the first black president.

    Doubt many tuned in to view Joe Biden, so the question is what do 18 million additional potenttal voters mean to the election? I don’t know the answer and suspect the pollsters are loathe to admit they have no clue.

    Also like to see the issue of what looks to be a fractionally differentiated and hotly contested voter results being statistically invalid due to the much greater margin of error in the voting process.

  6. 6 parth guragain,nepal
    October 5, 2008 at 04:51

    this american election is watched by millions of people all aroud the world.selection of barrack obama have energized millions of underprevilised section of society all over world.racisism is a very ugly parisite that have eaten our society.if barrack get elected it will give hope to millions of voiceless people.accoring to hindu mithology humans are divided into four races.that is brahaman(LEARNED,RELIGIOUS PEOPLE),cheetris(warriors),vaisayas(tradesmen),sudras(untouchables).FIRST it was age of brahamans ie is religious people n.during these age religion was developing.then age of chetteris have come warriors came into power great warriors came to rise during these periods.then came the time of traders ie government started giving more priroties to commerce of country.with the selection of barrack i think that age of sudras(untouchables)have come.i don’t believe in caste system but what i think that caste system have shown its self in world histiry .what i think that if barrak get elected it will spead message of equality all over the world .barrack is not only a presidential hopeful but also a kind of symbol all around the world while explaining the issue of caste i have used untouchables.but i don’t believe in untouchability and race.so what i want to say that circle will be completed if barrack get elected.

  7. 7 Syed Hasan Turab
    October 5, 2008 at 06:38

    The way US politicians are scared to talk about economy, same way former USSR leade’s were scared to talk about Economy & Great Birtain couldn’t maintain his big time Kingdom after WW’s.
    Just illustration of Sweaden may not justify bailout bill as this bill provide no guarantee & warranity to the Citizen’s, how long Japan, Germany, Kuwait & Iraq will support US Defence Budjet as anti US & Pakistan forces are very active in war against terror.
    Russia is not ready to stop “CHAHNIAC” migration to face the US, NATO & Pakistan Army, so do the Kosovo even India keep on opening consolate’s at Pakistan’s border line on the other hand US Congress is approving plain water Atomic cooperation to India,
    All this sound like a big slump as all these terrorists have Anti Tank Misile’s & much more latest weapon’s, this is why never ending resistance is on the peack, which dosent favour to USA, any way Pakistan is faceing all this with a 1,200 soldier’s sacrifice.
    Our congress & politician’s suppose to open there mouth on these real threat to US Economy that how they will bail out USA from Terror Threat which is the mother of World’s Economic failour specially USA & EU, though Pakistan is faceing same crises too but they have Agro base Economy which take little longer to colopse.

  8. October 5, 2008 at 09:14

    Syed / Parth – thanks for your comments but if I or Allan asked questions this long we’d get the sack! let’s keep your questions brief then by all means post back here when you’ve heard the panel answer them. if you make your questions 150 words long tyhe chance of them getting on air are minimal. cheers, Ros

  9. 9 1430a
    October 5, 2008 at 10:08

    Hello Ros,

    Well just have a few things to ask:

    1) Do you(whoever answers)think that the future job seekers will be disappointed in America?
    2)Do you think America can ever recover from this ‘Economic Crisis’?
    3)Who do you think can solve this problem(Economic crisis) ‘better’:Obama or McCain?

    Thank you

    P.S :I you think i can ask more questions please tell me,I will be honored.

  10. 10 Clarence Catoe
    October 5, 2008 at 10:43

    What specific policies have the presidential candidates proposed to pull the US out of a recession and stimulate future growth?

  11. 11 parth guragain,nepal
    October 5, 2008 at 13:40

    what effect or signifance it will have on the thinking of people in usa or around the world who are racial.will this election bring racial issue to debate all around the world .if barrack get elected what message it will give to black american who have been humilated in usa due to their race only.

  12. 12 Dr.A.K.Tewari
    October 5, 2008 at 16:39

    Is the present economic crisis is enough to shake the determination of USA to won the on going war against terrorism? The retreat without accomplishing the mission will push American economy in a black-hole from where it would be almost impossible to emerge.The eletorate has to decide the next govt. on this crucial issue and not on norrow racial or rich and poor issue.The comming election is going to be based on the supreem sacrifice of about 5000 elite soldier who shed their blood to root out terror from the entire world and to ensure the security of USA in particular.

  13. 13 Bruce Sickles
    October 5, 2008 at 16:46

    I am appalled at the lack of jurisprudence exhibited in recent legislative actions. My conclusion is that the recent bailout was passed just to prop up the banking system until Bush’s reign of fear mongering is over. Now comes the news that this bailout will ot really do anything until consumer confidence is restored ( which most of us already knew). My question is what are we going to do to stimulate my economic future? A good example might come from Philidalphia where foreclosures are not allowed without oversight.

  14. 14 Bruce Sickles
    October 5, 2008 at 17:09

    I hope I am not occupying to much space here but, I would like to expand on my earlier question. I am a truck driver. We carry approximately $80,000 in debt including a mortgage. I am afraid I might lose my home. I will not be using credit for anything. I am scrambling to do everything I can to eleminate all my debt. I would hope there are many other people doing the same thing. I don;t want credit. I feel the only way we will survive this downturn is to rely on sound use of resources on hand. More credit will make the probllem worse. So I ask again, “what are we going to do to stimulate my economic future?”

  15. October 5, 2008 at 18:50

    What timely checks and balances will the next administration institute to prevent economic, energy, foreign policy and security failures in future?

  16. 16 Paul Harbin - Waco, Tx.
    October 5, 2008 at 20:13

    I am so unbelievably angry right now. I submitted my voters registration first through an election official at McLennan Community College in Waco, Tx. I did this in August, I got a rejection letter the second week of September saying it was missing either my Texas ID. number, or last 4 of my S.S.N. I returned a new form, without question, not missing any information … in September. I got another rejection letter again today, saying it was missing either or ID. numbers.

    “If the box is checked NEW voter, reject it and send them a letter. We know who they are going to vote for. We will steal this election.”

    I mean really, what the HE double freakin hockey sticks. The mail in deadline was October 3rd. Is anyone aware if one can go directly to a registar office to register? I feel violated.

  17. 17 Julie P
    October 5, 2008 at 21:01

    @Paul in Texas,

    Here are the county registrar officials.


  18. October 6, 2008 at 04:04

    I was talking with a friend who chanted the conservative mantra, “Democrats just want to raise taxes and force business to leave America.”

    I told him a joke and asked him a question I ask whenever I hear this hogwash.

    A rather overweight chap walks into a pizza shop and says, “I would like to order a large pizza and a side of breadsticks.” The kid behind the counter squeaks, “Would you like that cut into 12 or 16 slices.” The fat man says, “Make it 12, I am on a diet.”

    The question I have is would you rather pay more in taxes or would you rather everything cost more in order for us to cover our expenditures?

  19. 19 Paul Harbin - Waco, Tx.
    October 6, 2008 at 06:51

    So, I’ve done some talking, and I posted on a local news papers blog. Seems there are stories going around about mail in registration rejections. Soon as I got the letter the second time, I made two calls, wrote three emails, and have made several posts. I heard it from two of my neighbors, and at least one of the people the replied to my thread on the local paper forum has said it’s happened to them. My right to vote will not be denied … while I have breath in my body. What angers me more so … is that there will be people who get hit by this bull dung after it’s too late. What a sham, swindle, mockery … simply unbelievable.

    So, apparently … not only are we afraid of economic failure, but we are afraid of Barack Obama too. I have never felt so disgusted in my life. You know … I spent eleven months in a combat zone to “defend” the freedoms of this country, who is not defending my freedom, but seemingly … actively trying to hinder my right to vote. I do not care what kind of flaming idiot someone might be, or how crazy something they believe in might be … if they aren’t “hurting” anyone in the process it’s their right, no matter how ignorant or foolish I think it to be, it’s their choice … I would gladly defend that right too …

    Who in Abaddon is defending mine?
    Who is denying it?

    Have never been angered about “the system” in my life, till now. I don’t even have a feint clue on how to describe it either. I have gone from suspicious to convinced. Simply unbelievable.

  20. 20 Paul Harbin - Waco, Tx.
    October 6, 2008 at 07:42

    Here are my questions,

    Have you heard of people complaining about voter registration rejection, by mail? If so, whom is looking into the matter? What should be done?

    Is the bail-out bill just not prolonging the outcome of the real economic crisis? “Car makers can’t get money to make cars, pay payroll.” Is the real problem not, nobody is buying them like they used to? We haven’t fixed anything with this bill, if not made it worse. False confidence is far worse than a lack there of.

    Is anyone planning to address the real credit crunch? You know the fact that, everything one does should not be done with credit. “You mean, I cannot just charge forever?” And lets not forget those risky business ideals of, these people really cannot afford this, but if we give them the credit, they will have to pay us … right?

    Would this make a good CNN poll?

    Have you experienced voter registration difficulties, to include multiple rejections by mail?

    I apologize for semi-abusing this forum topic to voice my voter registration experience, and will refrain from further posts on the matter.

  21. October 6, 2008 at 08:00

    I think Americans should reduces their aids spending towoard an X countries which have no praise even for what they have been given but used rhetric instead against Americans people.

  22. 22 Bryan
    October 6, 2008 at 10:52

    Paul Harbin – Waco, Tx. October 5, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    That is outrageous and anyone would be seething at such treatment. The worst of it is that it seems they gave you no alternative method to register. Surely this sort of thing can call the whole election into question? I hope that you will be able to resolve the situation soon and claim your right to vote.

    I posted an example of problems with voter IDs in South Africa here:


    Re Alan Little and the BBC bus, I heard someone on the show mention that there were few, if any, Palin supporters in the audience. Is that really the case in Nashville or was that audience less than representative of the population?

    Panel seemed a little weighted towards the Democrats as well.

  23. 23 Julie P
    October 6, 2008 at 13:26

    @Paul in Texas,

    The Texas Secretary of State is the person who handles voter registration.

  24. 24 Paul Harbin - Waco, Tx.
    October 6, 2008 at 19:59

    I got my registration sorted. I also now have both of the scanned files of my registration cards(with the seal of the registars office). I was rejected twice. I also have the letters I received to notify me of the matter and the reason regarding the rejections. I will be scanning them in at some point to day and providing a link that anyone interested in what constitutes a rejection may view. While at the office, the person which assisted me was dumbfounded. Looking at the scanned file on her system, she could offer no conformation of the letter of rejection.
    “I don’t understand how this happened.”

    This matter has sparked my interest. Today, after leaving the registars office, I stopped by an Obama supported voter’s registration stand and shared the story, and showed them the printed scans. Needless to say, I easily found the avenues to the support, which I might need, to satisfy my further inquiry into the matter. I found sound legal advise as to what I can do and cannot do in the realm of public record. I will be making an inquiry into the number of new voter registration requests, and the number of new voter registration request rejections. Once I get these numbers, I will then determine if I need to further pursue the matter be looking over the rejections and the reason provided as to why. A lawyer was more than happy to give council on the matter, offering me sound advice, and giving me legal legs to stand on … to which I might not easily be shunned away. I hope that I am an odd statistic and not a trend.

    If anyone finds an interest as to what I find, please, let me know.

  25. 25 Bryan
    October 7, 2008 at 01:13

    Paul Harbin – Waco, Tx. October 6, 2008 at 7:59 pm,

    I’m not American but I’m really interested in this story. I’m sure others are as well. I hope you will be able to pursue it until you get the answers as to why and how this happened and will let people know the results here and anywhere else.

  26. 26 Maurice
    October 7, 2008 at 07:58

    A President Obama or McCain have little power to effect significant changes for the betterment of our country. We face serious and significant systemic problems which only the American people can change. Unfortunately, we Americans seem unable/unwilling to rise to the task absent a 911 or Pearl Harbor incident. Sara Palin’s selection and popularity is a case in point. It does not take a rocket scientist to recognize the fact that this lady lacks the experience and intellectual capacity for such a critical position.

    Senator McCain lost my respect and my vote with her selection. He narrow my consideration of the remaining candidates, even third party ones.

    We Americans continue to look to politicians for answers instead of to ourselves. Its so much easier to blame politicians. When in fact we almost always get the politicians we deserve. The fact that the current American president was elected at all, let alone twice, is a damned indictment of each and every American citizen. Perhaps we need Palin to become President as a form of shock therapy. For we have certainly failed the ideals upon which this country was founded.

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