Why I voted for Obama
Commentary by Jim Walker
Originated: 29 Oct. 2008
Some of you have asked me who I'm voting for President and why. Although my web site obviously points toward Obama, I thought it fair to give you some reasons why I favor Obama over McCain. I hope this helps independents and the undecided to make a decision.
Fortunately my State allowed early voting and as soon as the polls opened, I happily cast my vote for Obama. I did not come to this decision quickly, but it did come easily. After witnessing 30 years of deceitful presidents, and especially the disaster of Bush's presidency, I felt wary of all the presidential candidates. Among the available candidates, my first leanings went toward Dennis Kucinich, with close seconds to Ron Paul, Barack Obama, and John McCain. Fortunately or unfortunately Kucinich and Paul lost out and never even entered the primary elections.
At that point I had not looked that closely at the candidates positions. Now my choices came down to Obama and McCain and I had to make a decision.
The following gives a brief description and comparison between these two candidates and why I chose Obama over McCain. You will soon see why my decision came easily:
Barack Obama had a sterling education. He went to Occidental College for two years, then to Columbia University where he majored in political science and specialized in international relations. In 1988, he entered Harvard Law School, earning top honors. His peers even elected him the editor of the Harvard Law Review. In 1992, Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years.
John McCain graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, fifth from the bottom of his class (894th out of 899). That's it. Not very impressive is it?
Winner: Obama wins here by a large margin. His education of political science and international relations provides him the knowledge needed for a President. Most importantly, Obama has an understanding of the Constitution from an historical and a lawful position. This bears prime importance for a president who must pledge loyalty to the Constitution above all else. McCain, on the other hand, has never expressed an understanding of the Constitution, much less said anything to honor it. McCain also, has (to his own admission) no knowledge of economics.
Barack Obama has a bottom-up, people centered view of politics, rather than a top-down corporation centered view. He understands labor rights and favors workers over corporations. He supports the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that adds penalties for labor violations, and includes fair minimum wages. Obama understands equality issues such as equal pay, women's right to choose, public education, and racial problems. He understands the divisiveness that has occurred over the last eight years. Obama is against unnecessary preemptive war, torture, renditions, and unconstitutional prisons like the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Obama has a workable health care plan, knows about economic issues, and the importance of scientific research. Obama favors regulations for financial institutions and corporations to prevent a future economic collapse.
John McCain has a top-down centered view of politics, putting emphasis on corporations over people. He admits to sharing the political philosophy of George W. Bush. He has had as many as 118 lobbyists working for his campaign. He has announced his support for the inclusion of intelligent design teaching in schools (which violates constitutional separation of church and state). McCain supports overturning Roe vs. Wade and favors a constitutional amendment banning abortions. He is pro-Nafta, pro-GATT, pro-MFN, pro-Fast Track and pro-CAFTA. He never minded companies stealing American jobs for low-labor jobs overseas. He voted "no" on background checks at gun shows. He voted "no" on including prescription drugs under Medicare. He favors privatizing social security, and wants to expand the armed forces. McCain favors little or no regulations for financial institutions and corporations. McCain has admitted that he doesn't know about economics, and uses Phil Gramm as his advisor. Note that Phil Gramm co-authored legislation of the "Enron Loophole" and deregulation of banks which created the conditions for our poor economy and the market crash of 2008.
Winner: Obama wins by a large margin. Obama cares for We the People over corporations (consistent with the U.S. Constitution). He supports freedom of people rather than unregulated and unchecked freedom of companies. Obama understands the dangers of war and intolerance. McCain has a voting record that supports corporations over people, condones preemptive war, and torture (that he used to reject).
Barack Obama picked Joe Biden, a seasoned, experienced politician who has an excellent understanding of foreign policy. Biden has a respectful history in the Senate for over 30 years, and has a history of bipartisanship with with Democrats and Republicans.
John McCain has chosen an inexperienced novice whom he had only met a couple of times before choosing her. Sarah Palin's own words demonstrate that she hasn't the qualifications for Vice President, much less a President. Conservative politicians and pundits generally agree she isn't qualified. Even some of McCain's campaign insiders think of her as a "Rogue", a "Diva," and even a "whack job."
Winner: Obama's choice wins here by a mile. Biden clearly has the qualifications for VP while Palin doesn't. McCain's VP choice shows that he didn't think it through, or even do enough vetting for Sarah Palin. It appears McCain chose her (or his campaign advisors did) in an attempt to get a political gain from the religious right. It may have gotten him the racists and religious extremist votes, but at the expense of the majority of mainstream conservatives.
Barack Obama is 47 years old and is in good health.
John McCain is 73 years old and has a history of melanoma skin cancer (the deadliest kind). He would be the oldest president ever elected, and if he died during his presidency (a very real possibility), Sarah Palin would become President.
Winner: Clearly Obama wins here. Who wants the possibility that Sarah (a whack job) could become our President?
Barack Obama has a steady, calm, and presidential look about him. He chooses his words carefully and appears thoughtful. He never shows untoward anger. His sense of humor illuminates his humility. People get his jokes and he never offends.
John McCain, many times, appears temperamental and jumpy. He has a history of anger and even admits his anger is easily triggered. He gets confused about what he is talking about sometimes (perhaps due to the beginnings of senility). His sense of humor leans toward the crude and raw (and not funny). Many of his past jokes have offended women, men, and even countries. Examples: He once publicly called his wife, Cindy, a cunt, and sung a Beach Boys song using the words, "Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran." Needless to say, this is not a good quality for a President.
Winner: Barack Obama. I want a president that behaves and looks presidential.
Barack Obama has an understanding of the economy that puts emphasis on non-fossil fuel clean energy which would create jobs and make us less dependent on foreign sources. This would stimulate the economy, reduce debt rather than depending on credit. His tax plan levels the field and provides tax relief for the middle class, while those who earn a net over $250,000 would pay a little more. His position on human rights should help eliminate racial divisions. Obama understands the dangers of Bush's imperial foreign policy mistakes that created distrust around the world and plans on smoothing out relations throughout the world.
John McCain has virtually the same economic and military position and philosophy as George W. Bush. McCain shows no reason why things would change for the better. Like Bush, McCain's tax plan will favor the rich and large corporations (even more than Bush). Like Bush, McCain favors staying in Iraq even it it lasts 100 years. His uncouth joke about bombing Iran gives an indication that he shows no seriousness of solving foreign policy problems, and it could indicate his intent for creating more wars. McCain, wants oil companies to drill off American shores, which would only add to the problem of carbon emissions and would delay carbon-free solutions. His claim that reducing taxes for corporations will create jobs goes against this very same policy that has resulted in a loss of jobs (as well as jobs going overseas).
Winner: Barack Obama, obviously. Who wants the same-old-same-old, or a change for the worse?
Barack Obama has conducted a grass-roots people-centered campaign. He refused to take lobbyist money; most of his campaign money came from small donations from people across the United States. His election ads focused on issues rather than mean-spirited attacks against his opponent, and when he did attack McCain, it was only on his issues, never on his character. His speeches put emphasis on people's problems and the economy (consistent with his voting record) and he rarely uses the word "I". His well run campaign also shows his ability of organization which bears importance for a president.
John McCain has conducted a typical mean-spirited Republican style campaign. Corporate lobbyists run his campaign and corporations are his main money source. His election ads and robocalls focused entirely on slandering Obama. For his attack ads, McCain hired the very same Bush people that attacked him during the 2000 election. In his speeches he rarely mentions the middle class but likes to put emphases on small businesses (which his uses as a euphemism for large business). He often uses the word "I" and makes promises that contradict his voting record. McCain and Palin's speeches have produced division and hate toward his opponent, which has spurred death threats against Obama. His campaign appears disorganized, with the McCain and Palin camps bickering with each other. This does not bear well for a future president.
Winner: Obama wins here. He has run a cleaner campaign, his remarks generally agree with his past voting record and spoke more about American problems and solutions than McCain. McCain, on the other hand, has run a demonstratably nasty campaign aimed at slandering Obama even though in the beginning he said he wouldn't. His political claims, many times, goes against his voting record. He has proven himself a liar.
While I do not agree with every point from Obama's political positions (not mentioned here), the major thrust of his aim goes toward restoring the trust of the presidency for the American people; he understands and honors the Constitution and appears to have an honest desire to unite people of differing views. His economic plan, according to most economists, will work better than McCain's, and he has the will to end unnecessary wars (which will transfer war money to help Americans). Moreover, his voting record agrees with his claims.
What boggles my mind is why in the world would anyone (except the rich, the extreme religious right, or uneducated), vote for McCain over Obama? Do they blindly believe the slander posed by the McCain campaign?
Do they actually buy that Obama pals around with terrorists? McCain and Palin tried to link him to William Ayers, a very tenuous link at that. The only connection connecting Ayers with Obama is that they were once both on the same board of an anti-poverty group, the Woods Fund of Chicago, funded by conservatives no less! Oooh, I'm so scared. Hardly a motive for terrorism. Moreover, Obama was eight years old when Ayers was a member of the Weatherman organization. Give me a break. If meeting a former terrorist makes one a terrorist, then both McCain and Palin are much closer to palling around with terrorists. Did you know that McCain personally funded a guerrilla group (the Contras) that engaged in terrorist attacks, and expressed how proud he was of an ex-felon who urged shooting police in the head (G. Gordon Liddy)? Palin is married to a terrorist, Todd, a former member of the AIP (Alaskan Independence Party) that openly calls for the secession of Alaska and who's founder stated, "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions." That's not just terrorism, but treason and about as anti-American as one can get.
And do people actually buy McCain's attempt to paint Obama as a socialist. or even a Marxist? I mean, come on people, think! If McCain and Palin really believed this, then why-oh-why didn't they bring this up before? A sudden realization? An epiphany from god just two weeks before the election?
Look, if McCain believed that a "redistribution of wealth" means the same thing as socialism, then what about McCain's own redistribution of wealth from the middle-class to the rich? Or how about Palin's first act as a governor to tax Alaska's oil industry profits to be redistributed to every resident who lived in Alaska (at the expense of us who live in the lower 48)? If Obama is a socialist, then so is McCain and Palin.
Clearly McCain and Palin's attack of socialism against Obama is a desperate story to create fear for people who will believe anything coming from the Republican camp. "Socialism" is simply a scare word, an obvious political trick. The story has no legs and even the conservative pundits don't believe it.
And you might wonder why Obama didn't attack McCain on his terrorist connections or his socialism-for-the-rich policies. Doesn't that show that Obama has more honor than McCain?
And what's so bad about socialism anyway? Don't people realize that social security, public schools, fire and police departments, public libraries, roads and bridges, and many more projects are, in fact, aspects of socialism? Folks, no society can exist without some socialism. The very fact that we live in a society means we incorporate socialism (that's where the word comes from). What no one wants, including Obama, is pure socialism. Obama's plans for companies to create new energy sources, and giving tax benefits for corporations to keep jobs in America, ought to dispel any notion of this. Shame on anyone who has not thought this through.
But what best describes McCain's corporation-first approach? Fascism. That's right. It came from Mussolini who defined the fascist ideology. He called it Corporatism, which is exactly what Republican policy has become. Corporate lobbyists influencing government. It's welfare for the corporations, a form of reversed socialism. Privatize the profits, socialize the loses. And who pays the loses? Us. We the People. And how many American voters like the fascist-like policies of spying on American citizens, torture, and renditions? Aren't the American people sick and tired of that?
But do you see Obama slandering McCain with claims of fascism? No. But I'm not Obama. And even if Obama was a socialist (which he isn't), wouldn't you, if you were forced to choose, rather have socialism over fascism? Think about that for a minute.
Lastly, if anyone earns a net profit less than $250,000 a year (or if you are a religious extremist, or racist), you have no reason to vote for McCain. Why? Because a vote for him would be a vote against your own self interests.
So now do you see why it was such an easy decision? I trust you too will do the right thing and vote for Obama.
Wikipedia on Barack Obama
Barack Obama on the issues
Obama promises 'bottom-up' economic growth
Obama grassroots effort called biggest yet
Barack Obama Is No Socialist
Barack Obama "in excellent health," his doctor says
Wikipedia on John McCain
John McCain on the issues
McCain Admits Sharing 'Common Philosophy' With Bush
John McCain finished fifth from the bottom of his class
McCain's skin cancers were the deadliest kind
John McCain positions and controversies
McCain temper boiled over in '92 tirade, called wife a 'cunt'
McCain calls Obama a Socialist, but McCain voted for the Bail Out and wants to spend government money on the mortgage crisis
It's the Corporate State, Stupid
Aides Say Palin a "Whack Job", "Diva", "Rogue"
Foreclosure Phil (Phil Gramm)