Saturday, May 17, 2008

Who to vote for?

To be honest, I can’t really say who I’m going to vote for in November. Like most Americans, I find myself tired of the Bush administration. To tired, I can add disappointed as I voted for the guy. But I agree that it’s time for a change. The question is, to what?

I got curious about Barack Obama. So I read some of his book (I actually couldn’t read it all as I got a little tired of it –but that’s not his fault, he just hasn’t really done enough yet in his life to really fill a book). Some of the stuff I like. As a republican I guess I’m not supposed to like things like a call for the government to stop meddling in people’s lives. Gay marriage and abortion are hot button issues and abortion is always a tragedy – or at a minimum the result of a tragedy. My rather distorted right wing view may see gay marriage as a sin. But there are other sins, some far worse, that people are getting away with every day.

In principle, I think universal healthcare is a good idea. Everyone should have health insurance. What gives me heartburn is that I can’t really think of a single government program that actually works. Healthcare is a big, complex thing. Do I think the government can actually do a better job? Well, no. Not that I think John McCain has a great idea either. I’m a little worried – but not drastically – that we may be out of great ideas. I haven’t heard one for a while.

So none of these things trouble me. There is something that troubles me though. I don’t think it’s a great idea to let everyone out of Guantanamo. Now, Barrack doesn’t suggest that we would just open the gates and let everyone go home. He wants to bring them all here and put them on trial. The problem is that we’ve actually already done that a couple of times. One guy’s doing pretty well – repatriated to Afghanistan and happy. Another guy walked into a nightclub or a school or a bus or something like that and blew himself up along with a bunch of other folks who were just trying to live their lives. They’d be alive if he was still in Guantanamo. Do I think all of those guys belong there? Probably not. There’s no easy answer. That’s how things are sometimes. So I’m not so sure about that.

I actually like the idea of talking to people. I think we should talk to Ahmadinejad. The trick is, he can’t do anything. Contrary to what most Americans understand, he doesn’t have anything to do with actually running Iran. That’s the Ayatollah’s job. The army reports to him. No one, including Ahmadinejad, does anything without asking him first. Iran’s not as bad as most American’s think it is either. It’s just also not that great. But talking can’t hurt. So I think that’s a good idea. Let’s talk to the Ayatollah too.

I also like the way he talks about America. I think America is great. I think it’s just been told so much that it’s not that it’s decided that maybe it’s not. It is though. America is a great country. The first in the history of the world that has used its military might to try to help people. We’ve made some mistakes along the way, but give us a break. There is no precedent for chasing the bad guys out of a country and not just taking over ourselves. It worked in WWII, but that might have been a fluke. Who knows. I think we should keep it up though. Saddam Hussein sucked and if the Iraqi people can figure out a way to get to peace – even if it takes 10 years – that might give another country, a Myanmar, a Somalia, or some other rotten place, hope. I’m not sure that’s his plan – to let it take the time it needs, but I’m not sure it’s not either. So that one’s a draw.

No president can fix the economy. That’s not actually the president’s job. Congress could help there but they won’t until after the election. The fact is they don’t really know what to do. That’s ok though, because America is a very big country and it has a lot of ways to deal with what we’re facing. So I’m not going to pick a president based on what they can do about the economy.

Like I said, I don’t know who I’m going to vote for. Both boxes will be there. I need to figure out some stuff about that McCain guy. When I do I’ll write it down here too. The good and the bad. Just like this. Unless I decide he’s actually great. My hopes aren’t real high on that. So we’ll see.

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