(Author’s Note: This is a political piece. If you read it and feel a need to excoriate me in the name of Liberalism, save your strength. I’ll just delete your comment. However, I’m always happy to allow calm discourse regarding the subject matter as long as it’s not an attack. You’ve been warned.)
Do you remember those old jokes when you were a kid where you were given two really awful choices and you had to decide between the two:
“Would you rather slide down a razor blade into a pool of alcohol?”
“Eat a scab sandwich?”
It didn’t matter which you picked, you were gonna have a bad time of it either way, which was the point of it. That’s kind of the way I’m feeling about this upcoming Presidential election.
Ever since I picked up the phone when I was 10 years old and told the Pollster on the other end of the line that we’re “Republicans,” only to have my father tell me that we were actually, “Registered Democrats,” I’ve been a staunch conservative through and through.
Call it a side-effect of my religion; call it a stubborn resolve NOT to be told how to live my life and spend my money, whatever.
But I gotta tell ya, I don’t understand why the Republican party can’t find a candidate who can deliver a criticism or a punchline with any kind of timing. And why can’t we find a guy who isn’t 70 years old and doesn’t suffer from some weird physical ailment that detracts from his actual message. I mean, my first thought when watching Sen. McCain last night was, “Dear Lord he looks old. And why is he holding his arms like that?”
Now, having back problems, I recognize that certain skeletal issues (like burcitis and arthritis) can severely limit a person’s range of motion and cause one to carry themselves in an odd fashion, so I cut the guy some slack. I mean, if I’d lived in a cage in the jungle for five years, I’d probably walk a little funny too.
But it’s not just the physical aspects of our candidates that kills me; it’s that we can’t seem to get one who can speak extemporaneously and make it sound like it was the result of anything less than forgotten talking points.
I’m no McCain fan, I’ve made that clear. I like Palin, but do I feel she’s Presidential material should McCain fall in the line of duty? I dunno.
Obama’s “we’re going to do this for you” and his, “the government will ensure that” scares the crap out of me, I just have to say, and his experience as a community organizer and then as a Senator that has campaigned for the entirety of his career, doesn’t come off any better than Palin’s “I can see Russia from the Alaskan coast” background.
On healthcare, Obama wants to force people to have healthcare for their kids. Sure, we SHOULD have healthcare for our kids, but the gov’t. is going to fine us for not doing so? That’s up there with telling people they HAVE to wear helmets when they ride a bike. Hey, it’s my head, not yours. If I bust it open, what harm does it do to the greater population?
On the economy, McCain wants to re-valuate people’s homes and then plug them into a loan that they can afford. Breaking that down, if you live in a neighborhood where the median home value is $250,000 and you have someone with a subprime loan in trouble, the gov’t. is going to re-evaluate their home value at today’s market prices, say $170,000 and give them a loan for that. Sure, it helped them pay their mortgage, but it also just dropped home values for everyone else around them. Considering a home is typically a retiree’s greatest asset, how’s that helping those people who are retiring in the next year or so and who will have to start cashing out their depleted 401K accounts? Thanks John!
This election, for me, has come down to the lesser of two evils, it really has. If I look at the big picture and at how much of each candidate’s ideas they’ll be able to pass based on the current makeup of the House and Senate, I have to go with McCain. With Obama in office, and a liberal House and Senate, I’m honestly worried about what he’ll get passed. With McCain, he might get a few things passed in the name of bi-partisanship (which is just a fancy name for “trying to play nice with the bully so he doesn’t take your lunch money), but overall, I think things will generally stay the same.
The lesser of two evils though…man, that smarts!