I'm not a politically-minded person. I have my issues and they figure heavily into how I vote. That's pretty much how I've always been. There are those people who can effortlessly keep track of candidates' voting records, their attendance at the Capitol, and their - sometimes waffling - opinions in all things. I can't. I'm not that left-brained. I'm certainly left-leaning, though.
The current political choice in front of me makes me want to scream in abject frustration. I really don't care for any of my choices, and, like Oliver Twist, want to line up a the ballot asking plaintively "Please, sir, may I have some more?" I'm just not enamored of any of them.
Here is what I want in a candidate - someone who is honest and genuine; someone that I consider to be more intelligent than I am; someone with some governmental experience; someone who supports teachers and education; someone who acts with the best interests of America's children in mind; someone who won't tell me what I can or can't do with my own body; someone who will keep my nation from being attacked, and also won't go attacking other nations without direct provocation; someone with a viable plan to pull us out of the recession that Republicans swear we're not in; someone who won't cave to the interests of Big Business and the Wealthy while the middle class and the poor suffer; and someone who will protect our natural resources and wildlife, preserving the beauty in every sector of the vastly differing landscape of this enormous country. Did you follow all of that? I want a lot, I know.
McCain, someone I feel great respect for as a person and a true American Hero, is not who I want governing my country. He's spent nearly 27 years inside the Washington Beltway, yet still wants to call himself a Maverick. Eighty-eight percent
of his votes have been in agreement with the current administration. He's voted for the No Child Left Behind testing program, yet has also voted to undercut the proposed funding for this program. He has voted against funding teacher training and other programs aimed at bettering instruction for our children. In a move that blew my mind, he also voted against funding the Head Start program, one that benefits poor children nation-wide. That move, to me, seems at odds with his staunchly pro-life voting record. I would think that someone who cared so much about unborn children would care equally about them once they're born. I guess not, since he also voted against legislation that would expand funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Plan. He did, however, vote for legislation that would ensure an unborn fetus for medical care, but NOT THE MOTHER of that fetus. Apparently, to McCain, once you're born, you're on your own.McCain's Anti-Choice voting record is extensive
. Not only does he oppose a woman's right to choose, he has voted against legislation that would provide information on contraception, in favor of abstinence only programs. He has stated his opposition to Roe v. Wade
numerous times, and has voted against legislation aimed at keeping Family Planning Clinics in operation.* He cosponsored the Federal Abortion Ban, a bill aimed at criminalizing some abortion services without regard to the health of the mother. Read the information for yourself. It's a matter of public record, and it's waaaaay to lengthy for me to go into here.
McCain's military service was distinguished and his conduct admirable. Just looking at the list of some
of the medals on his uniform will tell you that - Purple Heart, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross. They don't hand those babies out in a box of crackerjacks, let me tell you. I'll grant you, he might know what he's talking about when it comes to keeping our nation safe. I can't help that I've opposed the Iraq war since it was being discussed in the news as a possibility. I can't help, also, being lukewarm toward a candidate that voted time and time again against setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.
As for the budget plan, two different sets of experts have reviewed both McCain's and Obama's plans, and have pronounced them both inadequate. However, they said that McCain's plan would be more costly to the middle class
- hey, that's me! McCain also declared that anyone making $5 million or less to be middle class. Five million? Really? Damn! I know that inflation's a bitch, but come on! That's just a warped perspective, fiscally speaking. I can't see how that kind of thinking's going to pull us out of this putative recession. And just how many houses do
you own, Senator McCain? Seven? Wow.
And now for something positive: McCain has an outstanding record on environmental issues. He has voted consistently to protect and preserve our natural resources. His running mate, however... well, that's a different rant for a different day.
All in all, John McCain is the kind of man that I'd love to sit down with over a cup of coffee. However, I wouldn't want him in charge of my body or my bank account. Luckily, I'm not deciding to marry the man - I'm deciding not
to vote for him, instead.
****For those of you thinking that Family Planning Clinic is a euphemism for Abortion Clinic, you're incorrect. I went to a Family Planning Clinic for years when I was in college and grad school, because the cost of going to a proper gynecologist without extensive health insurance is outrageous, as are the prescription costs of the pill. Without those clinics, I'd have had to rely on condoms or abstinence, which, given the fact that I was married for 4 of those 6 years, is unrealistic. I got regular check-ups, pap smears, and birth control, and that's it.