I keep hearing supporters of Obama and Clinton say that if their candidate does not win the primary, that they will vote for John McCain in the fall. I have been harboring similar thoughts in recent weeks, but no more. Let me say unequivocally: this vote would be a profound mistake for the nation.
The focus should be on the issues that matter: the war in Iraq, and the economy.
We now have lost 4,000 Americans in a war that should never have been engaged in the first place. John McCain’s party (who aren’t happy about him as their nominee) try to paint Democrats as weak by arguing that they are against a successful surge. Don’t forget that the surge is merely a tactic, not a strategy for winning the war in Iraq. Of course sending more troops to kill Iraqis will tamp down on violence. They are the best trained in the world. However, the strategy itself is fatally flawed. John McCain supports this strategy without much hesitation. We would support him to this nation’s detriment.
This is why Democrats must come together in the fall. Voting for John McCain is to ratify this flawed strategic thinking. A vote for him means prolonging our presence in Iraq, seeing the number of American deaths swell past 4,000, allowing the Iraqi government to continue avoiding responsibility for their own governance, and seeing billions of American dollars sent to Iraq, when the money is clearly needed at home during these rough economic times.
In other words, a vote for McCain is a vote for war, and a vote to keep the American economy in its current dire straights. He wants to keep us there for years, while cutting taxes, and spending more than we are committing to Iraq now. No wonder why he said he doesn’t really understand the economy. These positions make no economic or rational sense. Any objective economist would argue against tax cuts (which drain the government of revenue) when the economy is slowing down, and the country is fighting two wars.
Clinton and Obama are similar on almost every position. We are in a battle over personalities and each candidate’s personal narrative. This all matters somewhat, but at the end of the day, what matters are the policies that the President executes. People credit Clinton for his economic policies, but had they failed, Democrats would not have rallied to him during the impeachment stage of his Presidency.
Democrats should back off from the obsession of nitpicking over each personality difference. When 20% of Clinton voters say they can’t vote for Obama, and the same for Obama voters, this shows a very short-sighted view of the election.
I don’t care about Jeremiah Wright or Geraldine Ferraro. They both said bad things, fine. Let’s move on and not allow John McCain the chance to engage in Bush’s third term. I will support whichever Democrat wins the nomination. I highly encourage all Democrats to take this view. Vote substance over personality.