McCain V. Obama

I am not an expert in politics. Last nights debate reminded me of how little I know about the political process. It is on this note that I am writing down and sharing my thoughts about the presidential candidates and their policies or stances on critical issues.

Health Care

McCain - By offering a tax gift of $5,000 to each family, McCain did not recognize that not everyone has access to health insurance and thus the $5,000 will not go far. In order to get my vote, McCain needs to recognize that some of the people who need the care the most do not have access to health insurance: people who do not work for employers who offer group insurance and those who have illnesses or diseases that were "pre-existing" and thus not insurable.

Obama - This candidate recognizes that not everyone has access to health insurance, that health care is expensive, and that the quality of health care varies depending upon where you live and who you are. The problem is that universal health care has been proposed since before the passing of the (I think) Social Security Act and that one reason it has not passed is because people cannot agree about what the terms of this universal health care will be. Thus on this issue, Obama wins my vote, because I do not think he will be able to get universal health care for our country, but his attention to health care issues will improve our current situation.

Here, both Obama and a Republican congress wins my vote.

International Relations

McCain - A trained military man, his mind is wired to think strategically in ways related to military action. As a result of his years of experience in the Senate and in the military, he seems to have a good grasp of how the political and military world actually functions. He realizes that not every leader thinks in the same way that U.S. Americans think world leaders should think and act. He is not overly optimistic or pessimistic.

Obama - He has a much broader perspective of the world than McCain. As a lawyer and professor he values the power and influence of words and as a result thinks strategically in terms of verbal negotiations. I appreciate the fact that according to his words, he does not see cutting off of communication and resources as a viable means of international policy. Yet at the same time, he wants to cut off resources to places like Pakistan? I don't think his visionary words and his proposed actions match.

Thus, on this issue, I am divided about who to vote for.

Iraq

McCain - Although I am opposed to violence, I trust that McCain really understands what is happening in Iraq and is our best candidate for resolving that conflict on positive terms. I appreciate that he both recognizes our mistakes and recognizes that we can't let our past mistakes inhibit us from doing what is right in the future.

Obama - It would be really nice if he stopped looking to and dwelling on the mistakes of the past and instead addressed the needs of the present. Designing an exit strategy that is calendar based is ridiculous! Life just doesn't work that way. I hope that I eventually have to regret this statement and that in his becoming President, he is able to create a calendar that works. But, I am concerned about his approach of looking backward into the situation. I do though really appreciate his asking the question that has always bugged me, which in my words is "How did that switch from focus on Afghanistan to focus on Iraq happen?" Yet at the same time, he says it is bad that the U.S. has divided interest between Iraq and Afghanistan, while he goes and proposes that we add a third front in Pakistan. It seems that Obama usually doesn't make extremely decisive comments, but when it came to Pakistan he did. Why is this?

Here, McCain wins my vote.

Economy

McCain - I am glad that McCain made the political move to "stop" campaigning in order to draw attention to the Housing Bill and crisis. Where the media turns their attention becomes the squeaking wheel. I think this move by McCain has made the housing crisis into an urgent need and sped up an invisible timeline. I also like his perspective on budgets and earmarks. I think it will be good in the long run for a President who can both take risks and be a tight-wad.

Obama - I'm not quite sure how his plan works. Yet at the same time I do not understand how Democrats propose to decrease taxes and increase public services.

One vote for McCain.

Abortion/Life

I know this topic was not addressed in yesterdays debate, but I want to bring it up, because it is something that influences my vote. Yet, I am not a one issue voter.

McCain - I think that McCain has in his time in the Senate sent mixed messages about how he stands on the issue of abortion. But, it is good though that he stands against partial-birth abortion and I think that McCain is someone who will keep his word, so if he says that he will be pro-life and he has Palin has his running mate, he will be pro-life.

Obama - If Obama was pro-choice, but did not make being pro-choice part of his platform, I would put more emphasis on his stance on other issues. But, because he is loud about the fact that he is pro-choice, I am concerned. Does he not realize how many African-American children are aborted each year? Does he not realize the impact that abortion has on lower-income families? How does he understand the meaning of life and personhood?

McCain, obviously wins my vote.

Overall Presence

McCain - In the debates, even though McCain made strong claims about his abilities, I thought he seemed humble. Overall though, I do not like his association with the word "Maverick," because I associate that term with "unnecessary risk" and "rebellion." The chant at the end of the Republican Convention of "Fight" made me think of kids on a playground.

Obama - In the debate, I found Obama's facial expressions confusing and I wondered who he kept looking at and pointing to in the audience. Overall though, I like how Obama seems to have an understanding of the needs of both the poor and the rich, the racial majority and the racial minority. He seems to have a more global and diplomatic perspective. He knows how to use words to unite.

Obama is ahead of McCain.

Overall:

McCain -3
Obama - 1.5

Comments

Nette said…
I found you through Franglais and want to address your Obama Economy question. He is only cutting taxes for people who make less than $250,000 (most of America) and raising taxes for those above %500,000 I think. Anyway, his plan makes the tax system more equal instead of protecting the wealthy - very wealthy. That is where the extra money comes in.

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