Category Archives: john mccain

my right not to vote

wow. well, i didn’t vote today, in a deliberate decision, although it was something i had thought about and planned on not doing for awhile. i’ve had people (directly or indirectly) try to guilt me and shame me and tell me that i’m doing exactly what the politicians want, and that i’m shirking my civic duty. i’m well aware of what my ancestors and people before me went through so i could have the right to vote. people went through lynchings and being blasted by fire hoses and having to take crazy-ass literacy tests and unrelenting beatings and verbal humiliation; you may or may not believe me, but i do understand the magnitude of their sacrifices. lives were lost and other lives forever changed so i could go to my local polling place today and vote.

however, i would like to think that their lives were lost so that i could also have the right not to vote. this is the first election that i have conscientiously sat out on. i called myself a libertarian for a number of years, faithfully voting for libertarian party candidates at every level since 1996 (with a notable exception for president in 2000. sigh.). however, with each passing year, i grew disenfranchised with the lp, but not because i disagreed with what they believed in. i think they are putting all of their eggs in the wrong baskets. libertarians have been called nothing more than ‘republicans who want to smoke pot’; there has always been this huge push to see marijuana legalized. and i agree completely with that. i don’t see any logical reason why marijuana shouldn’t be legalized and regulated similarly to alcohol. but, most americans don’t see it that way, and if that’s going to be your major focus, you will immediately turn the majority of voters away. focus on less government, more civil liberties, and they could put the tea party out of business. another thing that really bugs me about the lp is what i see as an inordinate amount of attention given towards the lp putting a presidential candidate on the ballot. they could take a lesson from the tea party and work at more of a grass roots level with local candidates. i realize there are many libertarians already holding local offices across the country, but you’re not even hearing about libertarians being serious contenders for seats in the u.s. congress like current tea party candidates are, let alone the presidency.

so i still agree with most issues in the lp platform, but at best i could be described as an independent who thinks partisan politics are for the birds. really, democrats and republicans, the two major acceptable political parties in the country, are two sides of the same coin. tea party republicans notwithstanding, the major differences between the two are their differing views on abortion, and republicans are slightly more conservative fiscally than democrats (but moving more to the left every day). that’s pretty much it.

after much thought and mental exploration, i’ve decided to just stop voting. i hate to use this tired cliché, but the lesser of two evils is still evil. i can’t in good conscience vote for someone i don’t agree with, just so someone even less in line with my beliefs doesn’t get into office. i also firmly believe that to vote would mean that i consent to whatever the election results are, even if ‘my side’ loses. what if ‘my side’ is nearly just as wrong? mccain vs. obama, seriously? i’m supposed to pick a side here? i’m supposed to vote for obama because we share the same skin color? i’m supposed to vote for mccain because he was a prisoner of war for a number of years? in the meantime, what changes for me (and most other americans) in either case? nothing, except for my personal freedoms being eroded little by little, perhaps a little bit slower if mccain had won.

i honestly believe that those who went before me, those who died so i could go and vote today, would understand my deliberate decision not to vote. today i had people tell me that my not voting was playing directly into politicians’ hands, but i think the opposite is true. best case scenario, voting is being allowed to choose who you want to run your life. i say *you* are best at running your own life, and if you truly believe that, you have every right not to vote, and every right to complain about the results.

Advertisements

palin comparison, part two

as my friend david says, let the borking begin…

and sadly, this is what i’m afraid is happening to sarah palin, and more often than not by women. i don’t get why feminists have such venom directed towards palin. even if one doesn’t agree with all of her political stances (i certainly don’t), you have to admire her for getting to the top by her own efforts: she definitely didn’t ride on her husband’s political coattails, unlike a certain junior senator from new york whose name i won’t mention. but, because palin doesn’t believe what apparently a typical feminist is supposed to believe (i.e., she’s anti-abortion, and not only talks the talk, but walks the walk), she’s been derided by the feminist left almost nonstop since mccain made his announcement last friday.

i have heard and read the most ridiculous statements about why palin is a horrible choice for veep, from the played out lack of experience argument to her ‘inability to control her personal life’ (how do her daughter’s actions translate to a lack of personal control?) meaning she would be horrible at controlling american’s lives. (the last is a paraphrase of a comment i read at the end of an article about palin; i apologize for not having made a note of the website where i read this. however, my point here is, is this why we elect a president/vice-president – in order to control our lives? if this is this case, then obama is your candidate.) however, a major area of focus against palin has been her stance on abortion, which will be my focus in the remainder of this particular posting.

one prominent argument i’m finding against mccain-palin is the fear that roe vs. wade will be overturned and all abortion will be instantaneously illegal. however, should that happen (which i doubt will actually occur), abortion will not be any less legal than it is now. it would simply mean that the matter would be turned over to the individual states, for each one to decide as it wishes. no matter how strongly mccain-palin (or anyone else) longs for roe vs. wade to be overturned, wishing real hard isn’t going to make it happen, and it seems to me at this point in our history, it has come down to little more than wishing.

furthermore, i would think that pro-choice feminists would allow and support palin’s ‘choice’ to give birth to and raise a downs’ syndrome child, as well as her daughter’s choice to begin her new family. however, it’s as though you’re only a true feminist as long as you’re pro-choice (meaning pro-abortion), and that the only valid choice in palin’s situation(s) would have been to terminate both pregnancies. because the choice to keep both babies is one that they would not make personally in a similar situation, it becomes an illegitimate choice (no pun intended) in the eyes of the feminist left. however, because of palin’s pro-life beliefs and her living out those beliefs, this actually makes her a bad mother, according to the feminist left, because she’s not staying at home keeping an eye on her teenage daughter while taking care of her developmentally disabled baby. yet a man with a similar family situation would not receive nearly the negative scrutiny that she has.

i have this very real fear that palin will be borked out of this opportunity, because of the way she’s being treated by the media. thankfully obama has the grace and decency to declare that candidates’ children should be off limits, but there is very little graceful or decent about the way that the media is all over this. i believe that on her own, palin is more than capable of handling what the media is dishing out. however, it may be a bit much for her family, especially as the media will most likely continually hound bristol and her fiancé and growing baby, as well as the running commentary as they (meaning we) watch trig grow up. she may try to declare her family off-limits, but the media will probably not have it, and she may therefore want to just protect everyone’s privacy and walk away from this offer of a lifetime. i certainly hope not, because whatever one may think of mccain, he has injected new life not only into his own campaign, but possibly into the country, by bringing in this outsider from the alaskan frontier. i may not have everything in common with her and may even disagree with her somewhat. however, it seems to me that while obama talks about change (and picks joe biden, a 36-year washington veteran – how’s that for change?), mccain has actually done something to bring it about by his choice of sarah palin. she may not have the experience at this present moment to be vice-president/a heartbeat away from president, but i have little doubt that she will quickly come up to speed.

**************
one of the signs of the apocalypse: i actually (mostly) agree with pat buchanan about something…

palin comparison

um, so, i need to explain that last blog entry i wrote, or maybe i need to delete it or something… i have often thought about myself that i’m too liberal to be conservative and too conservative to be liberal, and maybe this new entry will at least illustrate that point, if not explain it. i wrote that last piece early friday morning, immediately after the conversation referenced within and before john mccain made the announcement of alaska governor sarah palin as his choice for vice-president. i’m still not saying i’m voting for anyone (other than a potential write-in for jrb), but her presence on the republican ticket significantly increases the likelihood that i will vote for a major party candidate (mccain). it does of course depends on how she handles herself in the next few weeks, but what i’ve seen of her initially i’ve been quite impressed by. i may not agree with her on the various positions she holds, but at the same time, i have a lot more in common with her than i do with hillary, even if i’m not married with children nor a business owner.

what i’m finding interesting are the reactions of the democrats, in particular the argument that she has no experience. yet her résumé blows barack obama away, let alone the other two at the top of their respective tickets. she has executive experience being mayor and governor, which, no matter the size of the entities she has worked for, are to some extent microcosms of the federal government. and yes, alaska’s population is only slightly more than that of the county i live in (jackson county, missouri), but what is the population of joe biden’s home state of delaware? and, more importantly, does he have any experience governing there? from my vantage point, being a united states senator consists of little more than pushing papers and voting and trying to get fellow senators to vote your way. there’s a big difference in voting on policy and implementing policy, and, from my point of view, palin has a huge advantage over biden (let alone obama) in implementing policy.

as for the foreign policy experience question, well it does seem on paper that biden would have the advantage there. yet, as governor of alaska, palin has had to deal with russia on oil drilling rights issues, the same saber-rattling russia that just invaded georgia. and this is some speculation on my part, but being bordered by canada to the east and south, i’m sure she has had some dealings with them. before obama’s great middle eastern/european adventure early this summer, what was the extent of his foreign policy experience? i would certainly trust palin more as commander in chief (which she is of alaska’s national guard) to stand up to various aggressors in the world than obama. i do believe that there is a time for talk, but there is also a time for action and talking later, and from what little i know of her, i believe she would take appropriate action as necessary.

there is of course the argument that mccain chose her only because she’s a conservative and because of her anatomy. maybe, maybe not. but i think that even if she were a man, and her résumé was similar (let’s overlook the miss alaska competition :), i would at least give this person some serious consideration. by this same token, looking at obama, i honestly believe that if he were white and holding the same positions that he currently espouses (overlooking the black liberation theology thing), he would have gotten as many votes in the primaries as did his running mate (who, i might add, thinks obama is awfully articulate for a black guy). so i guess we do have obama to thank for hillary not being the one to break the glass ceiling.

i agree that there is much to be learned about her, which i have no doubt will happen over the next few weeks. however, at the moment i have nearly the same feelings about her that i do about condoleezza rice (who i have a crush on, despite her allegiance to bush). i love the diversity of palin’s history, from her being a lifelong member of the national rifle association (i have nothing against guns, *with* proper training and licensing), to her being a miss alaska runner-up, to her working as a professional fisherwoman, to her taking on the republican establishment in her own state. and the fact that she is a mother of five currently dealing with challenges faced by many parents, as well as being married to a union member who works in the oil industry – this all makes her seem down to earth, like she understands the issues of the average working person here in flyover country and will take those issues into account as she governs. and if, god forbid, something should happen to mccain while in office, i have little doubt that she would be up for the challenge. at any rate, i can’t say that this changes my voting plans any, but it’s making me think about it. and, if i do ultimately vote for mccain because palin’s on the ticket, it’s really not a vote for him; it’s definitely a vote for palin.

going to hell in a bucket, regardless…

this is one of the few times over the past couple of years that i’ve wished i had a television. i have no intention of voting for anyone, but still have quite an interest in the political conventions. i know i can watch clips of the different speeches online, but it’s not the same. i want to watch mrs. clinton talk live about john mccain is her friend and colleague, but who will ‘rape your grandmother and sell your first-born son into slavery and put arsenic directly in our drinking water’ if he gets into the white house. of course, such rhetoric will probably also be commonplace next week in st. paul, when we get to hear about obama bringing his muslim family over from kenya to have the run of the newly renamed black house.

okay, so i exaggerate a bit, on both sides. however, honestly, at this point, it seems to me it’s just the two sides trying to convince us that the opposing side is taking america to hell in a handbasket. and, at this point, i believe each side is right. things will keep going the way they are going, no matter who wins the general election this fall. nothing is going to change, and we shouldn’t even be relying on a new person occupying the white house to determine what that change might be, in the first place. without some major shift in consciousness, we are going to hell in a bucket. to paraphrase from a grateful dead song, i hope we’re enjoying the ride while we can.

a new long national nightmare

i love the title of this article at the onion.com, ‘obama, clinton, mccain join forces to form nightmare ticket’, because if we think things are bad as they currently stand, imagine the three of them united. it would truly be the beginning of a new long national nightmare.