Obama and McCain: Two Flawed Candidates

by on August 14th, 2008

As was the case four years ago, we are being asked to choose between two unsatisfactory candidates for President of the United States. And as I did then, I will be passing on the two major party candidates and voting for the Libertarian nominee — this time, former Georgia Representative Bob Barr. This is a protest vote, of course, as there is absolutely no way I can vote for Barack Obama or John McCain.

There are so many reasons why I oppose Barack Obama’s candidacy that I hardly know where to begin. Obama toes the line of the militant gay lobby. That includes opposing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in favor of allowing gays to openly serve in the military. He also voted against the constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.

He is unapologetically pro-choice. He even opposes a ban on partial-birth abortion. He is in lockstep with the radical environmentalists and is against offshore drilling in most cases, despite his recent offer to compromise. His wealth-redistribution economic schemes are borderline socialist. His demagogic windfall profits tax on the oil companies would accomplish nothing more than increase oil and gas prices even more. He is a tax-and-spend liberal who would raise taxes to fund costly new social programs like universal health care. He even wants to use U.S. taxpayers’ money to fight a new war on poverty — global poverty!

While I commend Obama for his continued support of the war in Afghanistan and his opposition to the Iraq war from the beginning, he caved in to the politics of fear on some other issues. For example, he voted to renew the Patriot Act and switched his vote to ‘yes’ on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). I can only surmise that he was afraid of not appearing “presidential,” whatever that means.

Despite all of Obama’s shortcomings, John McCain has not positioned himself as an acceptable alternative. On the gay issue, McCain is not much better than Obama. Although he claims to oppose gay marriage, he, too, voted against the federal marriage amendment. On abortion, he declares himself to be pro-life and has a voting record that seems to back up his claim. However, his commitment to the life issue is questionable, especially considering his vote in favor of human embryonic stem cell research.

Unlike Obama, McCain was wrong about the war in Iraq and continues to be on the wrong side of that critical issue. He voted in favor of invading Iraq and seems to want to keep U.S. military personnel there indefinitely. One other thing — McCain is obviously depending on the members of the evangelical community (of which I am one) for support. However, I find it discouraging that he rarely mentions his personal religious faith. Is he just timid about it or is he catering to the extreme separation-of-church-and-state crowd?

Much has been said about McCain’s experience advantage over Obama. However, McCain doesn’t have any more executive experience than Obama has. And how people can claim that his military experience qualifies him to be Commander in Chief is beyond me. However, I do give him credit for bucking the neo-con screech owls and opposing all types of torture, including water-boarding.

As far as I’m concerned, their stands on the major issues of the day make Obama and McCain unfit to be President. This election is a bad news/good news situation. The bad news is that one of these flawed candidates is going to be next President of the United States. The good news is that one of them has to lose.

Now, with all of that being said, I am not going to lose any sleep over this campaign. I do not fear the election of one candidate or the other, as many other voters apparently do. No matter which one wins, it will not set off a chain of cataclysmic events and the republic will not fall apart. Obama will not transform the U.S. into an Islamic state, nor will he import communism from Cuba or Venezuela. McCain will not start World War III or usher in some kind of nightmarish recession. Some are even speculating about Obama, or even McCain, possibly being the Antichrist. Those people need to break their bonds of ignorance and superstition and step into the 21st Century.

Terry Mitchell