As this issue goes to press, people across the country are streaming to the polls in record numbers, voting in an election that newscasters say represents a monumental milestone in American history. For the first time in history, an African-American has not only been chosen in the primary vote as a major party candidate, but at this time on Election Day, hes predicted to win the U.S. Presidency. Its a testament to the character of voters here and nationally that race has not played much of a factor in the election. Consider that less than 50 years ago, African-Americans were barred from voting in many of the southern states of our nation. Instead of judging Barack Obama by his color or by the origin of his middle name, voters are assessing his abilities, his even-keeled demeanor, his considerable intellect, his ability to inspire and motivate, and most of all, his sound judgement. Many in this conservative region, however, disagree with his political principles. They assume he will redistribute wealth, raising taxes while boosting burdensome government spending. He has pledged he wont raise taxes, but promises to reduce them for people earning $250,000 and less and virtually all of us in the North Country fit into that category. Lets hope he lives up to his promises, if he indeed is the winner. While we imagine what an Obama administration might bring, lets consider what the small government Republicans handed us in recent administrations. Although President Ronald Reagan touted small, limited government, it was under his administration that taxpayers endured the largest budget deficits in history. A nd we all know that budget deficits act like an invisible tax, passing debt forward, eroding our spending power. Then it was under the Democratic regime of Bill Clinton yes, with the cooperation of Republican legislators that we had a budget surplus, which fueled economic growth and prosperity, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. But under President George W. Bush, we again face staggering deficits, plus two major stock market crashes, the mortgage meltdown and the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression. It was the lack of oversight of financial contracts and instruments a hands-off free-market policy of the Bush years that precipitated the financial and housing implosion thats devastated American citizens assets and retirement savings. Also, its a crime that our hard-earned tax money and savings are now being spent for the Wall Street bailout of at least $700 billion. Who knows what the final bill will be. Additionally, consider that investigative reporters have dug into the expensive governmental AIG rescue, and discovered that it substantially benefits the pensions and stock holdings of friends and associates of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Apparently thats how business is conducted in Washington under a Republican administration. The war in Iraq has cost about $568 billion as of Tuesday a staggering sum considering our needs at home in the U.S. The war has bloated the deficit and fueled high taxes. Yes, I still believe in restrained government spending as the Republicans have touted, but not accomplished, in recent years. But considering the disastrous record of the Bush administration and how his rich cronies have benefited while the middle class has suffered, its time for a change. We need a major shift in national politics, to follow through on principles rather than spout well-worn jargon. Lets hope the Democrats, if they win, deliver on their promises in the best interest of all Americans. If McCain wins, lets hope hes a true maverick, and doesnt just meld into the incompetent and corrupt prevailing regime in Washington D.C. Thom Randall is editor of The Adirondack Journal. He can be reached Thom@denpubs.com.