(You knew this post had to be written eventually! How many are surprised it took THIS long??? :))
You would think living on the other side of the world we’d have to try pretty hard to keep up on what’s going on with the American presidential race. WRONG! This is one of the few reasons why I m not unhappy to be out of the US right now. I don’t have to be tortured with the endless political commercials that you all are surely being bombarded with. But even still, I cannot seem to get away from the coverage! Whether it is one of ten family members sending email forwards about one candidate or the other, or watching bits of Fox News or CNN with endless coverage, it just won’t go away! Even The National, Abu Dhabi’s English newspaper, has a section called “US Election Coverage”! Is no one else tired of hearing about it???
It’s not like either option is a particularly good one. Let's not fool oursleves. Neither has any relevant experience, neither have any fundamentally fabulous or innovative ideas. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. But this time around it seems that emotions are more tied into everyone’s choice in their candidate than usual. If you doubt this, tune into The View just ONE day per week and watch those old hags berate poor Elisabeth for a few minutes. Those gals have gotten so passionate and obnoxious that the viewers can’t even understand what is being said. Craziness. I saw some serious screaming on Your World with Neil Cavuto too earlier last week. What is wrong with people? Whatever happened to picking out your candidate based on their views of the things that matter most to you? I am so sick of people making it about race too. It’s either commentators turning a blind eye to race, like we can’t all see that Obama is black, or they make it this HUGE issue. Either America is ready for a black president or it’s not, but I’m sure most Americans who are against Obama are because of his views on the issues, not the color of his skin. On the flip side, people will vote for McCain for the same reasons, not because he has a hot running mate.
What should be more concerning for people is what Heraldo pointed out (no, I’m not a fan either, but I found myself watching his show anyway). He went to a concert aimed at young people to sign more people up to vote. While there he asked people some questions that, arguably, all voters should probably know. There are 50 states… you’d be blown away by how many people got this one wrong. There are 100 senators… a staggering amount guessed numbers in the low teens… what??? Aren’t most of these people fresh out of high school and therefore fresh out of American Government class??? This shouldn’t be so. Shouldn't our voters be informed??? I don’t want our next president being elected by a bunch of stoned 18-year-olds who think Sandra Day O’Conner is the next big rock band.
So basically I think we all need to educate ourselves BEFORE we hit the polls… here is a list of keys issues and where each candidate stands… I feel like I have a duty to inform, in case this is the only “political” blog you read today! :)
Abortion: McCain is pro-life and supports repealing Roe v. Wade. Obama is pro-choice and supports Roe v. Wade
Education: McCain supports school choice and vouchers. Against nationally imposed standards. “Good teachers should earn for than bad lawyers”. Obama supports charters school and private investment in schools. More teacher pay in exchange for accountability. Sex education needed to help children discuss molestation.
Energy & Oil: McCain supports a job creation program with alternate energy and nuclear power. Wants to build 45 new nuclear plants by 2030. Climate change is real and must be addressed. Obama supports more Alaska oil and gas leases, plus a new gas pipeline. Supports nuclear power if it is clean and safe. Supports finding a way to sequester carbon and burn clean coal. Wants to aggressively address accelerating climate change.
Health Care: Supports making individuals responsible for choosing their own health care and a tax credit for families. No mandated universal system, no mandated insurance coverage. Obama supports guaranteed health care for anyone who needs it. “Give more help to those denied a life of dignity and respect.” Subsidies to people who cannot afford care.
Immigration: McCain- Restart comprehensive reform only after securing borders. Wants to certify border is secure, only then allow guest workers. Supports deporting 2 million illegal immigrants who committed crimes. Obama supports looking at different aspects of immigration reform. Encourage every student to learn a second language. “America has nothing to fear from today’s immigrants.” We need to recognize the humanity of immigrants.
Welfare and Poverty: McCain supports anti-poverty responsibility being shared by government and faith-based organizations. Require 40 hours of work per week for welfare recipients. Supports block grants, welfare-to-work, state control. Obama would like to cut poverty in half within 10 years with faith-based help. Wishes to eliminate extreme global poverty.
Ironically, both candidates support embryonic stem cell research and both oppose same-sex marriages.
Ok, now do your own homework, here are a few sites you can go to for more detailed positions on the issues for each of the candidates: