I’m an independent voter in a swing state (Ohio). Independent meaning I don’t automatically vote for any particular party. For primary election purposes, I am a registered Republican. In the Ohio primary I stayed on the Republican side and voted for John McCain. The GOP was over when Ohio’s turn came around, but I didn’t crossover (as many Republicans did) to vote for Senator Clinton because they thought she was more beatable. Although within their right, I deplore such behavior.
As an independent moderate, I watch the process and continually reflect on my stance and for whom I would vote in November. That’s right – I’m not a rubber-stamp voter.
John McCain is a good, honorable, man. I applaud his military service and his public service. I loudly applaud his stance on pork barrel spending, as well as his maverick side and history of crossing the aisle. Once the race got down to two, I was leaning his way. With that said, I now know that I cannot vote for McCain-Palin in November for the following reasons.
1) Choosing a VP is the first major decision the perspective nominee makes, and (to me) this was a major disappointment. Although some come with the territory, the feeding frenzy regarding her daughter’s pregnancy and general muckraking are unfortunate and unnecessary. On the other hand, her public experience does allow examination of her record. I want to judge her on how she stands as a public servant and what she brings to the table.
Granted, at the convention she delivered a good political speech and energized the base. Considering Senator McCain’s age, I simply expect more of the one who would be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Someday she may be ready, but not yet – and her few interviews have reinforced that point for me. Although the upcoming VP debate may soften my opinion of her, the change won’t be enough.
I’m insulted by the use of “experience” to justify Governor Palin’s selection while mocking the opponents. Although I have my issues with Congress as a whole, I place value on legislative experience and where one serves on the public-service hierarchy. I will not stoop low enough to submit Senator McCain to the same standards because the GOP’s experience argument is for the weak, the shallow, and the partisan.
To top it all off, Senator McCain proclaims Country First; yet Politics First served as the premise of his first decision
2) I commend Senator McCain’s attempts of reaching the moderates; however, this is contradictory to his pandering to the far right. Endorsements from the Limbaugh-Dobson types identifies where the McCain-Palin ticket stands. The fear mongering and inflexible nature of that ideology is not acceptable to a moderate like me. It’s possible that he is using Governor Palin to appease the right so he can work on the center. If so, that’s both commendable and risky – but too risky for me.
3) Senator McCain is in a tough spot: distancing himself from an unpopular president to gain support at the risk of losing some in his party, or attempting a subtle way to keep the party faithful and the expense of possibly gaining others. The current credit crisis has given him a little more room to do so.
Senator McCain honor and being a good soldier are parts of his fabric; so he won’t slam the current White House. Without a doubt, he is unquestionably different in terms of fiscal responsibility, energy, the environment, and serving with dignity. With economic, health care, and foreign policy issues, I haven’t seen enough to convince me that Senator McCain is different enough from President Bush. Believing it is a roll of the dice.
I rewatched Senator McCain’s speech at the 2004 convention. Although his Michael Moore line was very good, his unquestionable praise and support for the current administration is obvious. That’s a direction I cannot support; and I voted for President Bush in 2000! This administration’s failures directly relate to many of our nation’s problems; and I’ve had enough!
4) I believe the Supreme Court is a court for all Americans and an important aspect of our society. An effective court should have diverse views. For instance, Justice Scalia is a view, but not the view. At the other end of the spectrum, Justice Ginsberg is a view, but not the view. To me, having a majority of Scalias is just as bad as a court with a majority of Ginsbergs. Each view is important and should be heard so the court centrists can lead to fair decisions for all. John McCain clearly favors a one-sided court that I cannot support. Then again, his nominee has to pass through the Senate, which is a story in itself.
6) I’ve been looking for additional substance beyond the campaign rhetoric; so I sought additional information from the each candidate’s Web sites, various respected columnists, and independent resources. This campaign is between thin-on-details and the thinner-on-details. Senator McCain is the thinner. He prefers continually using punch lines to excite the partisan masses over reaching out to win my vote.
Agree or disagree, these fundamentals are important to me, therefore reasons why I cannot vote for McCain-Palin in November. But be careful jumping to conclusions.
Since I’m not impressed with the alternative parties, my vote is at this point: Democratic or leaving the ballot blank. The Obama-Biden ticket has work to do during the closing month to get my vote. Because I’ve done it before, I do not have a problem leaving my presidential ballot blank on Election Day. Our system allows such. As a voter, it’s very important to vote my convictions. And please, do not confuse a blank with not voting at all.
If Senator McCain wins, I hope he has a successful presidency. His success and the country’s success are directly related; therefore I wish the same for Senator Obama. You see – once the presidential election is over, I can’t wish the winner harm, hope for their disaster, or immediately jump on the negative bandwagon as many partisan voters. Why not? – Because I know the meaning of and how to demonstrate Country First.