People are posting all over why they are voting for the candidate they are.  Mike Doel gives the reason for HIS post as a sort of reminder to his future self on why he is voting for Obama.  That makes sense and inspired this update from me.  

I’m voting for McCain.  On the various issues, Obama and McCain are not that far apart.  McCain is questionable as a Republican appearing conservative only when compared to Obama’s far left voting record and vocal supporters.  

There is a lot of healing and political bridge building this country needs to undergo and McCain, closer to the middle of the 2 extreme ideologies, is better positioned to serve as catalyst. I’ve seen too much blame finding and finger pointing in Obama’s campaign to believe they are interested in pulling the country together.  We need to start with the foundation that the last several years has given us a president and congress with the worse approval ratings ever.  That represents both parties.  Partisan politics needs to be put aside.  

Government spending needs to be controlled.  Just as citizens are suddenly waking up and realizing that they really do need to be responsible for their bad decisions and debt, so does the government need to be held responsible for living outside it’s means.  The economy is critical.  This isn’t McCain’s background, but neither is it Obama’s.  Either candidate will surround himself with strong advisers and both have shown they’ll bring in experts from the field with practical experience. The difference comes down to their interpretation of the American dream.  Obama seems to feel everyone is entitled to financial success and frequently discusses redistributing wealth through taxation.  Obama says that 95% of Americans won’t see a tax increase and will probably see a tax decrease.  The problem he ignores is that only about 50% of Americans actually pay taxes.  The rest either pay nothing or get their money back in refunds.  The people who fall into this category are the low/middle class.  So, he’ll give them larger refunds to compensate for the social security tax coming out of their salaries.  Now, we have the income tax paying for social security for 50% of the population and not covering government spending.  That’s why he needs to raise taxes for the “larger” small businesses and most successful Americans.  His plan will create a welfare state where half the population is dependent on the other half.  McCain believes that people be given equal opportunity to work hard and build wealth and through this jobs are created and the economy improves.  Are there problems with his plan?  Sure.  I look at it this way, however.  If I got myself in so much debt that I was spending more than I made, I would stop all of my spending, build a budget that included paying off my debt that allowed me to live within my means.  It would also account for taking care of my children and their education.  McCain is ready to do this at the government level.  Obama isn’t.

As far as healthcare goes, neither candidate has put forth a sustainable plan that really will make a difference.  It’s a wash.

Energy independence will be critical for us and both McCain and Obama agree.  Again, it’s on execution that they differ.  Obama wants to be Kennedy and invest trillions into government programs to create alternative energy sources.  While Kennedy did get to the moon, he started with a better economic footing and still wasted huge amounts in government contracts.  Obama is also disingenuous on his talk of nuclear and domestic/offshore drilling.  He wants to leap frog right into alternative energy with no plan on how to migrate there.  Anyone in IT knows it’s easy to design a new system, but the work comes in how you sustain your current users and migrate them to the new platform.  McCain is strong on the sustain and migrate plan, but, I agree, is weak on the longterm.  He needs to strengthen his funding for alternative sources, but understands where the investments need to go to (domestic/offshore drilling, nuclear and clean coal for oil independence; nuclear, air, wind, solar, others for alternative fuel moving forward).  McCain wants to setup multi-million $ prizes for corporations/individuals who come up with viable alternative energy solutions.  I think this is good, will motivate Americans and draws on the competition that makes this country great, but it’s no where near enough.

Finally, and probably ultimately, it comes down to what I view as the judgment of the person running.  First, let’s get a few things out of the way.  Politicians lie. They all do. You can describe it as playing with the truth, but any distortion of the truth is a lie in my view. Campaigns do it and so do the politicians they back.  If you don’t believe your candidate does, you are naive.  So, that brings me back to the people.  If you can’t believe what they tell you or really pay much attention to their voting record (a bill for medical support of late term failed abortions could contain something tacked on completely unrelated or be filled with other pork spending), you have to go by who they surround themselves with.  I don’t believe Obama is a domestic terrorist, racist or slum lord, but he tends to surround himself with these people and only after being asked about them does he distance himself.  A politician will meet all kinds of people.  A person aspiring for the presidency (which he has for much longer then 2 years) should be more sensitive to who is around him.  Obama doesn’t seem to care.  That shows poor judgment to me.  Who he has done business with in the past, who he has associated with, who he has worshiped with is indicative on who he will associate with in the future and allow to come close and influence him.  That’s his business.  But if he’s president, that’s my business, too.

Now, because Doug wants to rile me up and I’m argumentative by nature, I have a few comments on Mike’s reasons for voting for Obama:

1) Obama will invest more in renewable energy – I don’t disagree.  Obama will throw lots and lots of money at renewable energy w/o cutting anything out of fear of taking away some special interest’s cash cow throwing us into even more astronomical debt.  It’s a gambit that MIGHT work, but there’s no way to prove my case until after the fact.

2) He wants to teach the Republican Party a lesson and punish them for poor decisions/leadership.  I don’t think picking a candidate that represents a party as guilty of poor decisions/leadership will teach anyone a lesson.  I haven’t really sat down to classify my political party affiliation and probably won’t.  There are issues I identify with various parties on.  What Mike is forgetting is that these parties represent Americans.  The politicians won’t understand, care about his point or learn from his “lesson”.

But, as he says, I don’t believe I will sway your vote or opinion.  As I’ve said quite a few times on Twitter lately, he and I will have to agree to disagree.  I respect everyone’s right to their opinion.  I won’t tell you to vote for McCain because of my beliefs.  I will only ask you to go out, do your own research.  Check factcheck.org and other such sites. Read the propaganda from each candidate.  While they are riddled with lies, there is truth on both sides.  Don’t blindly believe what your campaign is telling you, their talking points or the mass media.  There is truth out there, but no one is going to give it to you.  You have to find it.  Also, talk about your opinions and candidates.  Not just with people who are voting the same as you, but with people on the other side.  Debate with them.  If your beliefs can’t hold up to a debate with your neighbor, blog post, twitter discussion, maybe you need to change them?  Remember that the world is not black and white, but many shades of gray.  Like I told my son this week, both Obama and McCain are good men.  They ultimately want what’s best for our nation. It’s our responsibility as citizens to decide which has the background, fortitude and well-meaning to help us. 

So, I’m simply going to ask you to go vote.  Vote with your heart and with your head.

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