99% of political conversations today go something like this:
“Who are you voting for?”
“Well McCain thinks …..”
McCain’s flaws are not cause to vote for Obama. Obama’s flaws are not cause to vote for McCain. Both are great reasons to vote 3rd party (or not at all) but in no way justify voting for the opposition.
Technically speaking, a negative argument (like the one above) supports not doing an action. A positive argument (like X is the right thing to do because A, B, C) supports doing an action. So if you are going to vote for McCain or Obama (a positive action) you better have a positive justification for doing so.
I’m voting for Obama and this is why:
- Foreign Policy – In general I support speaking with people and working together to find a mutually agreeable solution. Many enemies of the past are not enemies of the present (Germany, Japan, etc.), and there is no reason enemies today cannot be allies tomorrow. Bulling and fear tactics will do little to achieve this end but face to face conversations will. Obama has pledged to meet with many world leaders without forcing them to meet any predetermined criteria. Some call this naive foreign policy, I call it treating others as we expect to be treated. Update: apparently General Petraeus agrees
- No Vote on Iraq War – The +80% of politicians who originally voted for the Iraq war have spent the past 6 years downplaying the importance of that decision. Generally they say “I trusted our leader and gave the president the power he said was necessary at the time.” That’s foolhardy, not patriotic. That’s how dictators are born. That’s how an American President expanded his executive power beyond what any former President had previously enjoyed. That’s what happened in Germany half a century ago. Choosing to go to war with Iraq was the biggest decision America will make in our generation. I believed it was the wrong decision at the time and so did Barack Obama. Unfortunately we were in the minority.
- Economy – Simply put, tax cuts do not jump start an economy. Fact. In times of economic hardship, the general public save, NOT SPEND, money distributed via tax rebates. However, money earned is much more readily spent (for obvious reasons). Fundamentally I do not believe in “Priming the Pump,” and am quite justified in holding that position because it has never once been proven to work in the history of this country. However, as both candidates are advocating some form of this ill-fated Keynesian economic strategy, I support Obama’s plan because it at least makes a little bit of sense (spending money through government programs instead of issuing tax cuts that will be promptly stored in low interest savings accounts). It’s the same cost to tax payers but with Obama’s plan the lower and middle classes will reap greater benefits (which I support even though that does not include me) and there’s actually a fighting chance the spending will positively impact the economy. (Again, this is supported by history, look into some of FDR’s policies during the Great Depression – CCC, WPA, etc.).
- Intelligence – This one isn’t a matter of opinion. Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law school. McCain graduated 894 out of 899 from the US Naval Academy. The contrast between VP candidates is even starker. It’s a simple fact that of the four presidential/vice presidential candidates, the two smartest indiviuals are both on the Obama ticket. One can still discount the importance of academic ability but I think we all know how well things go when there’s a “regular guy” in the White House…
This is why I’m voting for Obama, not against McCain