I don’t do politics very often but once in a while I have to give in to the urge to get down into the mud pit. As we get closer to November the campaign gets harder to ignore and more annoying. I think both of the candidates have been behaving themselves in as civilized a manner as can be expected in a presidential campaign. Still, this is politics. It’s inevitable that there will be cheap shots, exaggerations and misleading statements on both sides – and even more from supporters.
I’m not going to try to change anyone’s mind – well, at least I’m not expecting to change anyone’s mind so I’m not going to put a lot of effort into trying to convince you that you should agree with me. I’m just telling you what I think. That’s all. And what I think is that the Mythbusters should be president and vice president. Just kidding, of course. I’m planning to vote for Obama.
Obama supporters are often accused of being starry-eyed acolytes of a secular messiah. Sure, that might be an accurate description of some but certainly not the majority anymore than the majority of Republicans are radical fundies who want to turn the US into a theocracy. (They aren’t, are they?) Enthusiasm is not necessarily a sign of blind hero worship. Enthusiasm is a good thing. We need enthusiasm. Only sour old cynics hate and mistrust enthusiasm. Of course, a little cynicism is healthy but too much cynicism is like too much salt and I think someone loosened the top on America’s salt shaker several years ago.
But McCain supporters don’t see it that way of course. They think, how dare anyone be enthusiastic about that guy?! They must be idiots. They’re naive, being taken in by a big show. He’s a communist. He’s not even a “real American.” [rude noise] I won’t even get into all the ridiculous rumors and deliberate smears. If you believe some of that stuff you probably wouldn’t trust Snopes either so it’s pointless to tell you to go read it.
If you plan to vote for McCain, fine. That’s your right. But respect the rights and the intelligence of the people who disagree with you and give the people who are undecided a chance to make up their minds based on facts and issues not false rumors and exaggerations.
I don’t disagree with McCain on everything and I don’t agree with Obama on everything. We all have to weigh the issues that are important to us and make a judgement on how honest we believe the candidates are being and make our decision based on incomplete information. In a way that sort of makes us all idiots no matter who we vote for. Fortunately, the American system always saves us from ourselves. No matter who is president his powers are limited and we will not be stuck with him for fifty years as in some other countries.
Here are a couple of my most important issues: 1. The Supreme Court – I absolutely do not want another Republican to get the chance to nominate any more supreme court judges anytime soon – say, for the next eight years. 2. The Economy – I don’t think any president can totally fix the economy. The president is not the thousands of investors pushing the stock market this way and that and he is not the millions of consumers making purchases based on both needs and feelings. But the president’s actions can have a big influence and I simply do not trust McCain to do the right things for the economy. McCain is very wealthy, always has been wealthy and will take care of his wealthy friends first, all the while sincerely believing that what’s good for the wealthy is good for all Americans. I have nothing against the wealthy; I’d like to be one of them myself but they really don’t understand how life is for the rest of us.
Those are not the only issues I have in mind, just two of the big ones. There are many sites where you can compare the candidates position on the issues. (example: here, here, here, here) You can read those for yourself and decide. Often the candidates’ actual positions are hardly anything like what the other side says they are.
I started this over a week ago and then didn’t even look at it for several days. I had things to say about the Saddleback Church Forum but that’s old news now and this is getting too long anyway. I read the transcript and watched some of it on Youtube. Briefly, I think both candidates were basically honest about their positions on various issues but both also slanted their answers to appeal to the conservative audience. McCain, being a more experienced politician, did a better job of slanting. He told the audience what they wanted to hear in the way that they wanted to hear it and therefore came off as “plain spoken” but to me he just sounded like a slick politician.
The big news this week is the Convention. I haven’t been watching much of it. I watched Senator Clinton’s speech (excellent!) and part of the roll call vote. (silly) Is it just me or do political conventions remind anyone else of high school pep rallies? I actually would like to watch more of it but other people at my house probably do not and I’m not sure I want to sit through all the silliness and the seemingly endless blathering of the commentators while waiting for the speeches I want to hear. There’s always Youtube.