The classic passionate clasp to the Bush bosom shot---a personal favorite because let's be honest: a picture is worth a thousand words.
While we're being honest about images and words, let's also be honest about why you might be voting for McCain. if you plan to, it's because you are: pro-life and want Roe v. Wade overturned; against equal pay for women; want federal funding cut for scientific research; prefer to keep troops in the Middle East, possibly for a 100 years; don't mind domestic neglect and rapidly increasing deficits (largely owed to China); are opposed to children's health insurance; don't feel any need for rights, privacy or the guarantees of the Constitution (or the Geneva Convention); and like the way the US is currently and prefer a leader who will run it in the same vein as Bush does.
You aren't voting for McCain because, well...you might vote Democrat but you don't think Obama has enough experience so McCain it is. You aren't voting for McCain because you think he's a moderate.
And if either of these is the case, as I hear from so many people? Give me a call. I've got some ocean front property in Arizona for you. I'll send you my PayPal address.
The truth is that McCain is not a moderate and he's not going to run this country much differently than it is being run right now.
If that's fine by you, then I get it (sort of). I get why you are voting Republican. You are one, and you back those principles.
If you are borderline or Independent, and have formed an opinion based on others' opinions---such as talking heads---I encourage you to start doing your own research and thinking very critically about what everyone is saying...including me.
Obama has what it takes and McCain is nothing like a moderate. Calling myself a princess doesn't make me one any more than McCain and others calling him a moderate makes him one. I base my opinion on his actions---his voting record. Therein lies the truth.
Let's break it down...
1. Obama lacks experience
It's true that Obama is younger than McCain and hasn't served as long in the legislature, but that actually is a pro in my mind. I find it's a few and far between person who remains immune to the sway of the Beltway.
I'm impressed by Obama's fundraising principles. When I donated money I had to swear (literally, in a legal agreement) I was doing it on my own, on my own behalf and within the terms of the clearly stated donation policy, "Obama for America does not accept contributions from currently registered federal lobbyists, registered foreign agents, political action committees, or minors under the age of 16."
Senator Obama is riding this wave of grassroots.
His campaign---with its 50-state staffed offices, outreach to people in person and through the Internet as well as through the media, and so forth---and his experience demonstrate that he is dedicated to serving the people, based on what they want, not the patronizing "what he thinks is best for us."
He's intelligent, and his career has risen meteorically fast because he has what it takes.
Go read about his experience and goals.
2. McCain is a moderate and will bring the US more to the middle
Consider the top issues and McCain's voting record:
Let's just start with the big one. In short, every single time a vote has come up to undermine Roe v. Wade, McCain takes the chance to do so. He has habitually voted to limit and restrict choice and clearly plans to take any steps he can to overturn Roe v. Wade. In fact, about a year ago he went on record as saying so.
Check his voting record here. This is a straightforward site that simply states a politician's votes on particular issues, broken down by topic. It also includes quotes and dates.
McCain himself said that economics is not his strong suit. In fact, at the beginning of this year he said he needed some education about the economy. Although he retracted that, his subsequent statements have shown that money and budgets are not his forte. He and his wife could hold nearly a quarter of a million in credit card debt.
He has stated that he believes the recession is a figment of our imagination, despite a twenty year high for unemployment, and astronomically rising consumer goods prices, including essentials such as gas and groceries.
He consistently votes against minimum wage hikes.
Additionally, he abstained from voting for or against the recent economic stimulus package and believes that "trickle down economics"---including more tax breaks for the wealthy---are the best solution to the current economic woes. He put his actions to his words when he recently voted to extend tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. This adversely affects:
- the budget deficit---even though he has said that a balanced budget is a priority
- worsens the country's economic strength---which he has said is directly linked to our military's chance of success
- and benefits the top 1% income bracket people
If I were to summarize McCain's economic policy it would be: more and less, and not in the good way.
When you read McCain's economy policy, it's clearly a plan of less income and more spending, which I find richly ironic since that is traditionally the accusation leveled towards Democrats. The difference is that the spending is at least going to the people through Democratic plans and programs. In short, he supports more cuts and breaks for the wealthiest people and companies, more spending on the war, more production of natural resources (rather than more efficient use of what we have now), and more deficit. His plan to help those who fall below the top income earners is trust that the wealth will "trickle down."
Current wisdom acknowledges (finally) that we're all just people and deserve equal opportunity and fair wages. In fact, a basic tenet of Republicanism is that everyone has the chance and those who work hard are rewarded with success (by which we mean money, really, if we're honest).
There are millions of challenges to that theory. I like to call them the middle, working and poverty classes.
The bottom line is that there is not equal opportunity or pay, and people still experience discrimination.
And what has McCain done---or not---to help level the playing field when that is the appropriate action to take?
Check this list. Check the ACLU's rating of McCain as anti-civil liberties, based on his voting record. At this time, McCain resides below the bottom quarter at 22%, compared to Obama, who is riding high at 86%, indicating a fair mind and drive to help people be treated as...people, not a color of skin, sexual orientation, race, religion, or sex. (If you click nothing else in this article, please do follow the links on the percentages. It's a quick look at the candidates and what you can expect from either. You can find out more by clicking here to go to the ACLU Congressional Score Card.)
It also means that Obama supports protecting Americans and their privacy and rights, which McCain does not. He has supported and voted for things that intrude upon those, such as voting Yes to loosen restrictions on cell phone tapping.
And as for Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered (LGBT) issues, although McCain voted against DOMA, that was a fairly safe move, leaving it to the states...especially since too many have passed anti-gay marriage legislation. He's no friend to the LGBT community (especially since he doesn't even know what LGBT stands for): he voted against adding "sexual orientation" to the hate crime list, and voted to prohibit same sex marriage. He also voted no on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation, and he supports "don't ask, don't tell."
Further, he's no friend to women. He did agree to set aside 10% of highway funds for minorities and women and did help to prevent an end to special funding for minority and women-owned businesses, but we all know by now about his record with the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007 (as in, huh? what vote? women don't need that.). It offended me deeply, McCain, to know you think I simply lack education and experience, and don't need the ability to pursue recourse when paid unfairly. I hope all the resumes women are sending to you revealing their many years of work and superior education, frequently at Ivy League universities, helped persuade you that women are actually extremely qualified. So you need to find a new patsy---possibly unfair wages.
Additionally, I'm very concerned about a man who thinks the confederate flag is fine to fly at public buildings. He may not agree that the First Amendment protects hate crimes and groups or support laws for English only language and culture, but he does support the tough immigration changes often euphemistically called "securing our border."
And where is his opposition to imprisoning children at the T Don Hutto detention facility in Texas? (Please, click here and go read.) Oh right: securing the borders and keeping the US safe.
To be fair, I will give him props for the Anti-Torture Amendment and the federal shield law. I will also give him props on his historical support of Native American causes and issues.
It's just too bad that this year---the election year---is the very year McCain decided to utterly undo that good karma.
In short, McCain seems to say tough luck to:
- protection from unwarranted or unreasonable search and seizure (a big middle finger to the Constituition)
- reasonable restriction of intelligence gathering (FISA)
- the Geneva Convention (sure, torture 'em, what the hey)
- minorities and immigrants
- anyone who is not a white heterosexual male willing to let the government hang him out to dry while spying on him.
My largest concern with McCain in charge when it comes to education is that education will flounder worse than it is now. Based on his policies, voting record and issues stance I can see he prefers to leave it almost exclusively in local hands. I agree with that, to a degree, but the total hands-off approach also means a lack of equality and lack of federal resources.
From what he says I see a McCain led country with an even bigger education issue than we have now: continued No Child Left Behind, with less federal money, and chaos as parents move all children into one desirable school and abandon others.
I support a more proactive rather than reactive solution to the education problem, and admit that this is going to take money.
I also disagree that creationism should be taught in schools, which McCain tacitly endorses on a district by district choice basis. Religious schools and churches are welcome to teach that, but that is a faith and religious based idea, and should not be included in public education.
On the surface, McCain sounds okay on this issue. For example, at the beginning of this year he voted to tighten emission standards. I haven't heard him running about maintaining that the earth is flat, err, I mean that pollution and global warming aren't real problems. He backs a cap-and-trade plan, much as the Democrats do.
Or so he says.
But will he be able to maintain that?
This is another one of those issues where McCain talks the talk, but fails to walk the walk.
For example, McCain supported subsidies for nuclear power, but stated that wind and solar didn't need support.
As Arianna Huffington wrote:
The old John McCain talked about trying to do something about global warming and encourage renewable energy. The new John McCain didn’t show up for a vote last week on a bill that included tax incentives for clean energy, even though he was in D.C. And then his staff misled environmentalists who called to protest by telling them that he had voted for it.
f. Health care
In short, if you want a plan that ensures health care, McCain is not your man. He voted against SCHIP. And once again, he falls back on antique economic theories, this time: competition. He thinks that putting it all in the hands of people and increasing competition means we'll get better care.
Speaking as a resident of the state of Texas with deregulated utilities and insurance that decrease my service and increase my rates every other month? I can unequivocally say this is ridiculous and will not work.
I mean, how's it working for us now? Yeah, not so much. Read his plan. I have a Health Savings Account. I have it because my insurance sucks. I have it as a net, to cover my rear end. For me it's a last resort measure, not a solution. I shouldn't need to save up and pay in full. I use it because with it, I can be sure I'll never have to spend more than $4000 a year on health care, in theory. Somehow, the last two years I've managed to spend basically $3999 each year, according to the insurance company, who spends the last five months of the year excluding all of our health care from counting as "covered." Give over, McCain. Profit-based health care puts money over people in the priority list.
This isn't a complete list of every single issue, however, these are my top issues---as they are for many people---and clearly indicate that really, although McCain may have once appeared moderate, he really, truly isn't. I think there are two reasons why:
- The GOP has shifted so far right that anyone who appears semi-rational sometimes seems moderate by comparison.
- Axelrod is right: McCain made a Faustian bargain in order to secure the GOP nomination.
But the bottom line is that he's not moderate, and he needs that label stripped from him. What he seems to be is either a flip flopper--and according to the GOP that should be the kiss of death---or disingenuous, by taking differing positions on issues in order to distinguish himself from his opposition in order to get elected. Against Bush, he was moderate. Against Obama, he is classic modern Republican conservative...just like Bush, remarkably now toeing the same line.
So once, he may have seemed a bit moderate. But now? Not so much...in fact, not at all.
Therefore, if you say you are voting for him because he's moderate, I hope you see you've been misled. Don't worry...you've still got time to change your vote.
Follow my links, Google McCain+moderate and read the many articles trouncing that idea, and keep Arianna Huffington's words in mind:
. . .I can no longer stand idly by and watch the media and independent voters continue to throw themselves at the feet of John McCain.
The John McCain they fell in love with in 2000 -- the straight-shooting, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may maverick - is no more. He's been replaced by a born-again Bushite willing to say or do anything to win the affection of his newfound object of desire, the radical right.
And we've got the money shot of his betrayal on tape: McCain singing the praises of Karl Rove, calling him "one of the smartest political minds in America," and saying, "I'd be glad to get his advice."
So, please, stop pretending that McCain is still the dashing rebel that made knees buckle back in the day -- and stop referring to him, as the New York Times did this weekend, as "moderate" and a "centrist."
I don't want more of the same. And that's what McCain offers, not some balanced, fair, middle of the road improvement. The Republican approach doesn't work for me, not even some approach they like to pretend is moderate.
Because at the end of the day, I'm not that naive. I'll check out each and every assertion a politician makes before I cast my ballot. I'll look at it closely, and I'll also step back and look at the total picture and long-range, long-term view it presents.
Reading. Researching. Checking up. This is exactly how I know McCain is not actually a moderate and it is exactly how I know that Obama does have specific plans (not just "pie in the sky" words) to achieve his goals for the U.S. and also has the experience it takes for this job.
Click links. Go read. Find out for yourself. Don't just take any word or opinion for your own.
Because really, if you plan to vote for McCain, it's not going to bring the U.S. anywhere in the center.
Other good articles to read that gave me good information, too:
Gerald McEntee's "McCain is not a moderate"
Seth Michaels' "A Look at John McCain and a Bye, Bye to Rudy"
Dick Morris & Eileen McGann's "Obama's Real Experience: His Campaign"
Julie Pippert admits to being left of center but says at least that's being honest and indicative of true self-awareness and self-knowledge versus deliberately misleading either herself or others. She reveals more of this at Using My Words and Moms Speak Up.