Monday, November 03 2008 @ 08:58 PM PST
Contributed by: matt
The word "tomorrow" has always, within my lifetime, been optimistic. I'm not sure if it's due to having grown up knowing that song from Annie or a latent association from 1950's science fiction, but it has a connotation both of wonderment and of potential that is yet to be realized. Even in cases where the glass is half empty, and it's likely to become even less full, there is still the possibility that tomorrow will change everything.
Needless to say, this particular tomorrow has more than the usual gravity and potential for change associated with it.
I have decided what role I'm going to play in our collective tomorrow, and I thought I'd take the opportunity to try to express my positions and the reasoning behind them. I suspect that most of you have already made your decisions, but I still feel that these thoughts are worth expressing.
It should surprise nobody at this point that I'll be voting for Barack Obama for President.
There are several reasons, and on a given day any one may stick out more than the others, but collectively they leave me with no doubt.
First, the reasons to not vote for McCain:
- John McCain's worst enemy in the Senate appears to be himself. Call it what you want, but that he has reversed his position as frequently as he has leads me to believe that he's less than sincere in his advocacy on any particular issue other than the issue of him being elected. There are only two things that have been consistent about McCain's campaigns through the years - they've always been for an open seat, and he's apparently always been willing to change his ideology to stand out from his opponents. In his 1982 House campaign, he billed himself as a Washington insider. In 2000 he was railing against the Washington insiders, and in 2008 he's seems to be walking the fine line between talking about his long experience in Washington but that he's a maverick.
- McCain's choice of Sarah Palin is disastrous for him, and even more so for the country if he is elected. I wouldn't trust her to go back to running Wasilla, much less the United States, so I have no interest in putting her one step away from that office. Why he thought that picking her was a good idea, I may never understand.
- Even if you take McCain's many positions and average them to come up with something marginally consistent, I probably still wouldn't vote for him, because on many issues those averages point in a direction opposite that which I would like to see the country go.
- If none of the above were true, McCain has still managed to piss me off by running the sleaziest election I have ever had the misfortune of witnessing (including both of the ones masterminded by Karl Rove). Any trust I might have had in his inherent good nature has been dashed on the rocks of his campaign strategy.
- I've said it before, and I'll say it again - these two men are applying for a job opening, and we are their employer. Given the duties involved in this particular position, I want a candidate who shows the American people the respect they deserve. We are not a hurdle for them to get past in an effort to further their careers, and that's precisely how I believe Senator McCain views us.
Barack Obama, though his career has been shorter, has been largely consistent with his policy decisions. The fact that those policy decisions tend to align with my own ideology doesn't hurt matters for me. He has earned the respect of his peers, has shown strength, resolve, and patience. He believes in civil rights. He believes in science. He has shown that he has the power to lead people - millions of people.
Here's the thing - if we elect John McCain, the best case is that some policies might get shaken up, but nothing really substantive is going to happen in Washington, and the worst case is that his judgment in office would be just as poor as it has been with his campaign, and we end up a lot worse off. If we elect Barack Obama, the worst case is that things get worse - I'll even allow that it's possible that they'll get a lot worse. In the best case though - he is in a position, with the will, the motivation and the backing from Congress, to actually do amazing things and change the world in a positive way.
I'm voting for Barack Obama because I believe his presidency would give us the best opportunity to do something amazing, and I believe it's worth the risk of failure, especially since the same risk applies with the other guy.