I will not pretend to know every detail necessary to making a completely informed decision about who to vote for in this year's race. Frankly, the candidates tend to do a good job of making sure that the election is NOT about issues, despite what they say. They play to emotion and tweak our personal buttons. Its what politicians do.
However, I have done enough research to know certain facts that have made McCain the clear choice for my vote this year. Here are some of the more important elements that went into my decision.
1. Experience: If experience were the only component in my decision, I'd vote for Biden, not McCain or Obama. But McCain is not running against Biden. He is running against Obama. And in a head-to-head comparison between the two presidential candidate, Obama doesn't stand a chance. McCain has military experience, congressional experience, party leadership experience, bi-partisan experience and leadership experience. Obama falls desperately short on most all of those elements.
With regards to the VP candidates, I am not afraid to put them both on the same level, though from differing backgrounds. Biden is thoroughly experienced legislatively, as a party leader and general leader. But Palin has executive, buck-stops-here, experience. And it does not mean little to me that Palin is, thusfar, uncorrupted by Washington.
2. Change: Change is the key word of both candidates. When first looking into this, at first, I was trying to determine who really stood for change. After researching both candidates I have concluded they both want to change things. So, the question changed from who really stands for change to what change do they want to infuse into Washington?
This is where the candidates diverged. Both candidates talk about ending earmarks, and dealing with corruption, and ending partisan politics. But which candidate really means these things.
Whereas McCain has voted against earmarks on all of the last 35 bills which contained earmarks, Obama voted against only 2 of them.
Whereas McCain stood up to his own party on many occasions, Obama has never voted against his own party.
Whereas McCain warned the President and the Senate about the dangers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Obama somehow blames McCain (solely because he is a Republican and Obama wished to blame Bush for this problem and McCain by association). Yet Obama, being a Senator, LIKE McCain, did nothing to solve the problem two years ago.
McCain put his desires to be President at serious risk by bucking the popular vote and supporting the surge in troops in Iraq. Obama would have rather just gotten out. WHY? The only reasons I can think of for doing that is either because he was against in the first place and he just doesn't see the disaster of not finishing the job, no matter how justified he was for not wanting the war in the first place. Or he was just trying to lure in the extreme leftists voting base for the presidential run he was going to make.
When it was becoming clear a week or two ago that the Feds were going to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Obama said that Washington has for too long "ignored the warning signs in the housing and financial markets." And exactly WHO had warned Washington...MCCAIN. And who did NOT heed that warning? Bush and Congress...which INCLUDES OBAMA.
Whereas both McCain and Obama say they want to cross party lines to achieve bipartisan change, only McCain has a track record of doing that as a Senator.
Whereas Obama has virtually NEVER voted against his party line in the Senate, John McCain has voted against party lines nearly a third of time.
Whereas both say they want to end wasteful spending, only McCain has never placed earmarks on any legislation and Obama has porked nearly $1 billion in earmarks. In addition, Obama DID stop adding earmarks to legislation a year ago, coincidently about the time he began his Real Change presidential campaign.
Obama's view of change, after thorough review, means little more than he wants to change the White House from Republican to Democrat. That seems to be what he wants to change. And in so doing, he wants to change the policies eminating from the White House from Bush policies to liberal policies. This, of course, led to the question of what liberal policies he stands for.
McCain, on the other hand, seems to infer, by his push for change, that he wants to end corruption in Washington, end partisanship, and change the way decisions are made on a Federal level...exactly what he says he wants to do.
McCain has risked his life for his country. He has risked his political career for what he believes. I believe he will do what he says he wants to do as President. Obama has given me great cause for concern that he says one thing and will do something very different in office.
Finally, I am astounded that ANYONE who sees the crisis this country is in would even consider electing someone so terriby inexperienced.