But there's an election coming up that, for once, I have come to feel quite strongly about. Which is sort of a shame, because it's the American election, and I'm Canadian. So I don't get a say anyway.
Well, here's my say, for what it's worth.
If Obama becomes president, he has said that the first thing he will do is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. The FOCA would annihilate every single state law limiting or regulating abortion, including the federal ban on partial birth abortion. It would effectively nullify informed consent laws, waiting periods, parental notification or consent laws, and health and safety regulations for abortion clinics. As FOCA will become a constitutional right, medical professionals and institutions that refuse abortions would lose legal protections. Government officials, too, will be left open to lawsuits, as FOCA prohibits any government agency or official from taking any action that would "discriminate against the exercise of" the FOCA-created legal rights, with respect to any "benefits, facilities, services, or information" - which would include something as simple as a pro-life speech given by a public official.
(As a side note, Obama's support of federal hate crime laws to include sexual orientation should also be worrisome to those who may soon find their morals dictated to them by the government.)
I will never understand the legalization of partial birth abortion. However you feel about abortion itself, partial birth abortion is so absolutely horrifying and undeniably wrong that it could not be considered anything less than murder.
Of course, Obama did make his views on children even more clear when he said he didn't want his daughters "punished" with a baby if they make a mistake. I wasn't aware that babies - even unexpected ones - were punishment.
Something else I don't understand - Obama had this to say in his speech to Planned Parenthood:
"In 1966, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America gave its first Margaret Sanger Award to Martin Luther King, Jr. And in his acceptance speech, which was delivered by his strong and wonderful wife Coretta, Dr. King wrote, “Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by non-violent, direct action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her.”
That struggle for equality is not over and now we are at one of those rare moments where we can actually transform our politics in a fundamental way. But it’s going to take people as resolute as Mrs. Sanger and Dr. King..."
It literally shocks me that, given Margaret Sanger's racist eugenic ideology, Obama would hold her up as a forerunner in the struggle for equality. The logic...well, it simply escapes me.
McCain, on the other hand, supports giving legal protection to unborn children, and opposes government funding for abortions. McCain is pro-life with the goal of eliminating the need for abortions in the first place - something that truly gets to the heart of the issue.
But there are many who are not disappointed by the promise of FOCA. So leaving the abortion issue aside, what else would an Obama presidency bring?
Obama opposes allowing parents to homeschool their children with little or no government interference. Obama's education fact sheet includes more daycare ("education from birth"), voluntary (for now) universal preschool, and government workers coming into people's homes to see how the parents are doing ("evidence-based home visiting programs"). A review of his education platform on his website shows a threatening push to place children under the government's banner of care.
McCain, on the other hand, supports the right of a parent to choose among schools for their child, including home education. A review of his education platform on his website shows a strong emphasis on empowering parents to choose and providing freedom of education.
Speaking of parenting freedoms, how about vaccinations? McCain believes in the right for individuals (and in the case of children, parents) to make informed health care decisions, and does not support pre-empting these prerogatives. Obama has said that he is "not for selective vax". Combine a firm position of pro-vaccine on schedule with mandatory UHC insurance for children...yikes.
At the heart of it - McCain trusts you to parent your own kids. Obama thinks he can do a better job than you.
Ronald Reagan said it well:
"I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts."
Economically, Obama opposes the passage of a law requiring a balanced budget. Where is the fiscal responsibility and accountability in this? McCain, on the other hand, supports the passage of such a law.
McCain supports the appointment of judges who are strict constructionists, ones that will not legislate from the bench. Obama opposes this. I find some of Obama's statements on this subject to be particularly frightening. It is relevant to remember that an Obama presidency would last four years - but Supreme Court nominees serve an average of 15 years and can stay as long as they like.
I'm going to stop there for now, as far as Obama/McCain goes, despite the many more issues I have with Obama. I've found the political entries over at Parenting Freedom to be highly revealing, and much more in-depth than my non-political mind tends to go. (I've also rather enjoyed her many Sarah Palin pictures, all with her beautiful family right there beside her.) I'd like to end with a slight shift in focus - third party votes.
I know many people don't like either candidates and dislike the thought of voting for the "lesser evil". Some (hat tip to Lauren) have suggested that we need to think in the long term, sacrificing our votes now in hopes of eventually getting to the point where a third party could mean something. I understand that argument, I truly do, and normally would encourage the idea of voting for a third party.
In this particular election, however, I could not do so. My vote would go firmly to McCain.
As it stands right now, it looks as though the election could go either way - Obama or McCain - and perhaps more likely Obama. It seems (and I could be wrong) that most people who vote third party would look at McCain as the lesser of two evils if they had to choose. If all of those third party votes went to McCain instead, it could mean the difference in who becomes the next president. So while I feel it is admirable to vote for the person you feel most comfortable with - even if it is a third party - this year I would have to vote for McCain. I would so hate to see Obama elected that even if I wasn't 100% comfortable with McCain (and I do disagree with him on some issues), I would forgo the third party vote and vote for McCain instead. Considering the issue of Supreme Court judge appointments - this is a long-term matter.
So for those who support the rights of the unborn, the rights of parents, and the right to believe as you choose and act accordingly, for those who want accountability and a balanced budget, for those who prefer personal freedoms to "big government" - vote for McCain, not a third party. The election is uncertain enough that all of those "throw away" third party votes could make the difference between Obama winning and McCain winning. And to me, Obama is by far the greater evil.