There was a recent call in to NPR that asked, “how can anyone be yet undecided”----and perhaps those people should be ignored entirely, as they are just not paying attention. Too harsh? Perhaps and maybe a kinder word for people that have not yet made up their minds, is “under informed”. After 18 months of constant campaigning, 3 debates, thousands of articles, television adds, radio adds, robo calls, talk shows, comedy shows, and even a movie about the failure of a sitting president there are still some undecided. For those, I will put in simple, easy terms the reason I think the only sensible vote has to be Barack Obama.
Economy: No doubt about it, the number one issue for almost everybody is the disastrous economy. Over two years ago Barack Obama wrote a letter to Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanake expressing concern over the sub-prime mortgage business, warning of the impact on the economy. With the mentality of “no regulation Bush style” we are now in the worse economic crisis since the Great Depression. John McCain has been one of the chief supporters in Congress of the no regulation policies of the current administration. This is the same candidate that in September said the now famous statement, “the fundamentals of the economy are strong”. McCain has opposed the Bush tax credits but now he supports them, showing that he lacks a lot of consistency.
If you have not heard enough of scare tactics from Bush/Cheney, then McCain may be your man.
Energy: For over 40 years we have heard about energy independence and this year we have seen oil at an all time high of over $140 dollars; and even though the disaster in the economy has recently seen oil drop, the problem of our oil addiction remains. McCain represents the past----“drill baby drill” and Obama is the future with alternative fuels, and the industry that will result from this direction. McCain furiously attacked Obama when he suggested fuel could be conserved by proper inflation of tires. The McCain campaign even went so far to send out tire gauges, mocking Obama’s statement. The American Automobile Association has stated, “under inflated tires can lower gas mileage .4 percent for every 1 pound drop per sq. inch in tire pressure.” The Rubber Manufactures Association, California Highway Patrol, the Auto Club, and Yokohama Tire Co. used these figures to extrapolate 2.8 billion gallons lost to tire under inflation. This figure is larger than projected proposal to drill offshore. There is no doubt that unless this country gets its energy policy straight, many of the present economic conditions will get much worse.
Abortion: Probably the most divisive issue in modern politics and one that we need a strong leader to bring the two sides together. Barack Obama has stated his concern over the number of abortions and he has also said that it is both a moral issue as well as a legal one. McCain, on the other hand, has changed his position from support of R v Wade to one that would support reversal. Obama has received 100% with NARAL.
Taxes: According to politifact.com Obama’s statement of 98% of small business makes less than $250, 000 a year is correct, so that his tax policy would not effect most small business. McCain, on the other hand would give Fortune 500 CEO’S an average of $700,000 in additional tax cuts. This figure comes form politifact.com. McCain and his surrogates have stated over and over about the high corporate rate in America and it is true that the U.S. is only behind Germany and Japan if you look at the statutory rate. But if you look at the “effective marginal tax rates”, that is those that take in consideration depreciation and other write offs, the U.S. falls somewhere in the middle. It is worth mentioning, that the standard of living in both Germany and Japan is higher than the U.S.
Health care: The United States is the ONLY industrial nation that does not provide national health care and neither candidate is offering such. With the economy in the tank, it is doubtful that we will see much change in health care with either administration. In an Obama administration there is a better chance for improvement with health care and perhaps Hillary Clinton would play a role in that critical area.
Trust your gut: There is no guarantee with any candidate of how his or her administration may turn out but the choice is now between the two, and one will be the next president. Barack Obama is the quintessential American story; a child of a mix marriage, raised by a single mother and grandparents, a graduate of Harvard, public service, state service and national. He has been criticized as an elitists, of speaking too well, of going to the Middle East, of not going to the Middle East, too young, and the no experience card. Through out the brutal campaign, first with Clintons, then with the Rove machine, they have not been able to break his poise and dignity. And, on the other side we have the McCain/Palin choice. John McCain, as Obama has said, is an American hero and deserved the respect of the American people----and it has been given. But this is the same McCain that was so desperate he chose for his Vice-President a totally unqualified person. To say anything further about Gov. Palin is unnecessary. It has been said by a dozen Republicans.The country is hungry for someone to step forward and lead. The torture of the last 8 years, after the economic boom under Clinton, has brought us to our knees. We have lost our moral compass, our dignity, and our place in the world, our promise to each other and our acceptance of differences. The country, as well as the world, is crying out for a strong leader and a new direction. The choice is ours.