For an election in which so much is at stake, the New York Review of Books asked some of their contributors for their views.

Joan Didion's piece had this to say:

We could forget the 70 percent of American eighth graders who do not now and never will read at eighth-grade levels, meaning they will never qualify to hold one of those jobs we no longer have. We could forget that we ourselves induced the coma, by indulging the government in its fantasy of absolute power, wielded absolutely. So general is this fantasy by now that we approach this election with no clear idea where bottom is: what damage has been done, what alliances have been formed and broken, what concealed reefs lie ahead. Whoever we elect president is about to find some of that out.
I have wondered over the last 4+ years who will want to take up the mess that the Bush administration leaves behind and how he will deal with it. Obama has given us much to hope for and is undoubtedly the better of the two choices we have in front of us... but only time will tell whether Obama and his administration can save us from the sharks that are doing the rounds around us and the concealed reefs that lie ahead. (Ok.. I extended the metaphor in rather ungainly fashion here! That's why I am not a writer, you see!)

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