So far I’ve found this Democrats For McCain site (it looks well put together — your answers may be there) and this information on PUMA [Party Unity My Ass]. Witty name but the commentry has been little more than mud slinging without much substance on either side of the argument, in my opinion. Oh, and one more to take a gander at — written in January by the managing editor of the Moderate Voice. You can’t really discount the influence that Joe Liebermann would have had either.
Anyway, feel free to praise Obama all you want here. I’m all for an open forum and actually, I find little to recommend either party at the moment. There is no doubt that a change is needed from the Bush regime and I have a lot of respect for McCain so I am swayed in that direction. I do believe that he has the character and experience to lead the country and I do think that it would be a very distinct change from Bush. I haven’t yet formed an opinion of Sarah Palin, as last week was the first I had heard of her. I even gave Obama longer than that before I formed an opinion (also a relative nobody to me before the campaigns began). I have to say, I had a much higher opinion of Obama through the first rounds of campaigning and as a centrist it is easy for me to go either way as far as the partys are concerned, because I tend towards the liberal in certain aspects but the conservative in others. I began to be disturbed when coverage of Jeremiah Wright was broadcast. I find him very alarming (as I do all the preachers out there who claim that God’s wrath has been brought to bear upon the USA, Democrat or Republican). What worried me was not that Obama was associated with a clear loon, but his reaction to the broadcasts, or more the lack of one for too long. I don’t expect for one second that he agrees with his one-time pastor but I can’t help but question the judgment of a man who would continue to attend services preached by this crackpot for 20 years! I would have liked to hear more of an explanation. I just remember thinking –“say something!”
What about Afghanistan by the way? While we are all concentrating on whether the troops should be withdrawn and brought home from Iraq — is anyone asking Obama if he still thinks that more troops are needed there? He certainly seemed to think so before. It is so obvious that we should never have drawn down there in the first place. What a mess Afhanistan is in — USA assisted mess of over several decades not just 2 terms.
Oh, also, take a look at some of the more successful strategies and foreign policies that are in progress — the current China policy is a great example. Anyway — I’ll pick up more in later posts about foreign policy, the things that have changed in the last couple of years that are good things, things that we can’t ignore, and why I think that McCain would make more headway in this respect than Obama.
With regards to my comments on defense — Obama wants to go too far. In his speech that I have embedded at the end of the post he states a laundry list of things he will be ending, changing and not instituting and declares that his “sole priority for defense spending” would be “protecting the American people”. How exactly?
On the subject of Iraq: It is clear that the loss of life in Iraq has been too great. I have lost friends and have many friends who have been wounded, dismembered and disfigured and it is not something that anyone associated with the military takes lightly either. It is, though, the loss of life that has prompted such empassioned reactions to remaining in the country, I believe. We never hear anyone bitching or protesting about the money spent on Kosovo or Bosnia and the amount of time we’ve spent there. We never hear about the bad policy decisions we made in regards to their war and our part in subsequent IFOR, SFOR and KFOR deployments. We don’t hear about all the work that was done and money that was spent to bring pro-western government to power in Bosnia or the American/British support of Biljiana Plavsic, now serving 11 years handed down by the Hague for war crimes in her country. I believe that it is because insurgencies and backlash there did not deal us such a harsh blow.
I recently heard someone say that it all comes down to whether you choose to believe that all people are basically good or all people are basically bad. She stated that our foreign and defense policies are based on the latter. This is such a narrow and uninformed opinion that I was stunned to hear it come from someone so well educated. However much she considers herself a middle-aged hippie, this statement belies a cynicism way deeper than the one she purports to be revealing. Good national security has nothing to do with whether you believe people are intinsically good or not. It is a reflection of the very sad truth that the minority of bad people in the world have disproportionate strength and through a misguided philosophy and general disregard for the lives of the many good they wreak a havoc that is real and treacherous.
As for Mrs. Palin’s opinions on abortion and evolution — one can hardly condemn a person who claims Christianity for having a hardline Christian opinion. It is hardly a surprise is it? If you came to me and told me that she claims Christianity without following any Christian principles, or in fact was living completely contrary to the values she claims publicly, maybe I would worry about her character or principles then. I can see how you would question a Democrat for siding with her, of course. I’m sure that one of the reasons that McCain brought her in was to conservative-up the ticket. Strategically it was necessary. However, having pro-life Republicans in the government is nothing new. I truly don’t believe that there is a concrete threat to the laws that govern us today in respect of choice in this country, whoever gets in. Maybe your fellow Democrats feel the same?
I am continuing to read everything I can about the candidates and, despite not having a vote yet, I will be comfortable come election time with a decision about who I would want to lead the country. It will not be based on great oration skills or masterful rhetorical devices, though I recognize that it is hard to get beyond them when they provoke such emotional responses (as they are intended to). One thing I am sure about is that ignoring any and all policies that we currently have with a view to unilateral change, without truly examining where we are at in 2008 is dangerous. People making decisions in a vacuum, based on previous follies or because of a dislike for an individual is pure idiocy. We have already seen the result when Bush did this coming into office after Clinton. It is a disaster.
I do want to point out that I think Obama is an intelligent man, he is a great orator and I do think that he has some ideas for the country that are beneficial. I am not enamoured with his voting record (there seem to be a substantial number of NV — that worries me even more than voting contrary to my own beliefs). I will continue to listen to both candidates to see if I HEAR anything usefl amid the rhetoric.
A final note: In studying Thomas Jefferson (the man) and The Declaration of Independence (his voice) recently, I have grown even more cautious and more skeptical about politics. Jefferson was, undoubtedly, a brilliant man. He penned the most significant document in USA history. The Declaration is masterful and it changed the course of the USA forever. The man, however, was an enigma. How is it that a man who was educated, intelligent and devoted to equality and to the liberty of Americans; a man who started to protest against slavery; a man who was appalled by aristocracy and the excesses of the wealthy; a man who was a supporter of revolutions in America and Europe could then continue to live in the lap of luxury, be seduced by the aristoratic life in France and continue to hold hundreds of slaves when so many of his contemporaries were setting them free? Jefferson even wrote of his slaves in his journals that he believed that black people were less intelligent than white people! It just goes to show that all is not always as it seems on the surface. Politicians are great persuaders; it is their job. Those who are great with words, whether they are written or spoken don’t necessarily have all the answers; and intelligence isn’t a guarantee of common sense. When it boils right down to it — strip a politician and you will find a human being.