It is the eve of what some are saying is the most important election for a long, long time. Some say since FDR, some say Kennedy, some say Lincoln. We will just have to wait to see what the outcome is of the next President. However, I thought I would walk through a couple of ideas since I am really torn on who to vote for.
The number one priority for me is to put our house in order. That starts first and foremost with balancing the budget and paying off the bills. Some of the most important bills deal with the debt. So where do the candidates stand there? Well, McCain belongs to the party who pays lip service to balancing the budget, small government, and paying off the bills. The Reagan Revolution supposedly did what the Republicans said they were going to do. Although there is quite a bit of argument of whether he just redistributed and made things appear more in the black. Generally speaking Reagan is granted the balancing the budget and paying off some bills. Fast forward a few years and we end up with George W. Bush. The man spoke the talk but has been an outright liar when it comes to the facts. If there is one thing I definitely deplore the man for is saddling me and my posterity with a great degree of debt. The Republicans, if they could have ever been my party, have left me sorely disappointed.
Lets take a look at the other side of the aisle, the Democrats. What has Obama promised in terms of balancing the budget and paying the bills? He compares it to a household budget, that when times are lean you cut the pork and go out to eat a little less. While this is comforting to a degree, we have no real record. The Clinton’s certainly appear to have left us with the spending in the black. If there is any indication on where Obama may go, this is some comfort. However, the Democrats are the ones responsible for the New Deal, The Glorious Revolution, and most of our wars for the past century which are terribly expensive. In light of the past century, the Democrats scare me, but in light of the disastrous budgetary past 8 years, I may be willing to give the Democrats another chance. McCain doesn’t seem to have any beefs about war for the next 100 years and we simply cannot afford that.
While we are discussing the war, let’s talk about it. As most are very aware, I have been adamantly against Afghanistan and Iraq. I voted against both Kerry and Bush in the last election for this very reason. In my mind, it seems we could be scores more effective and prepared if we were to keep our military protecting our shores, manning our borders, and investing in technology for better protection. Why we are off meddling in somebody else’s affairs have certainly concerned me. Some refer to it as policing the world. I refer to it as the biggest bully on the playground. I remember those days. The bully went around picking on everyone, drawing lines in the grass (figuratively speaking), and making sure everyone knew they were the big dog. Well, those are the guys that most either cowered or, as we did, seek to undermine. We hid their lunches. We put bugs in their desks. We got them in trouble. For the most part, that is what I feel like we are doing. We are running around trying to defend ourselves from a multitude of fires. In the end, we are stretched too thin, too worn out, and then our friends go become friends with somebody else and they become the new bully. The whole process starts all over again. Sure, I got my beating a time or two when I was caught. It made it all the more sweet when he ate the sandwich with a jalapeño instead of a pickle inside.
If we fast forward to ‘grown-up games’ we find things are pretty much the same. However, now we use ‘reason’, ‘the purse’, and the ‘military’ to be the bully. Isn’t it ironic that we cannot seem to catch these people and there just becomes more and more of them? The bigger the bully, more there are to undermine. Then you get the feigned friends who hang out with the bully. They only do so because he is the bully. We see this with France, Britain, and other nations. Would they be our friends anymore if we didn’t have the strength and wealth. Probably not.
Here we have McCain willing to draw a bunch more lines in the sand and to defend them to the death. Somehow it feels eerily Animal Farm where instead of crying the name of Napoleon for everything that is wrong, we cry Osama Bin Laden. Slowly we are getting away from Bin Laden to Iran. Bin Laden let way to Hussein. McCain really worries me even though he was apparently ‘correct’ about the surge in Iraq. In my mind we should not have been there, so why a surge does any good is of little consequence. Our country has some serious issues, for the cost of the war in Iraq we could have replaced nearly every stretch of national highway and rebuilt every high school in the country. Bridges collapsing, infrastructure failing, power grids outdated, schools failing, and we claim we don’t have the money? What a sack of bull. Obama seems much less inclined to pursue war in any direction. He seems to gather more favor on my part regarding the war.
Looking back again over history. The Democrats have been the party of war, Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson. The Republicans are the one’s who claimed to clean up the mess. However, both parties have their history of war even though more minor skirmishes. Bush has given a big black eye to the Republican image. More importantly, the Republicans were the party more known for their isolationist ideas. Boy are those days gone! Bush has marched right in there with Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Roosevelt. Lincoln is, of course, company for Bush, but then one can always argue whether that war was necessary as well. Interestingly, we had Mr. Paul arguing for a less extreme approach to the secession of the Southern States (don’t forget, slavery while in the background was not the reason for the war). Is war always the answer? Obama or John? Obama appears more reticent but ultimately, the ideology of the Democrats gives more easily to war (at least used to).
Then it comes to the economy. Just as Clinton kept reminding us and the market has just reinforced. Boy, isn’t it sad when the market does what we are warned about if we keep racking up debt? Yet nobody seems so anxious to point out what is mostly obvious. Pay off your debt, remove your waste, lose the greed, and prepare for the future. Somehow our government doesn’t seem to recognize these values. It will be the downfall of our nation if it continues. We already have saddled on our backs a generation or more of debt. That is if we are diligent in paying off the bills. But somehow we seem to divorce debt, credit spending, and more from the example of the government following the people, or more likely the government following the people. Either way, it has to be fixed now, and once we take care of our extravagence, then the economy will take care of itself. What is more, if we were to put our government in order and we were not paying all this money on interest, what could we do? Do you think any Democrat would turn down spending this money on health care? Do you think any Republican would turn down tax cuts? Do we realize how much money is being spent on interest and debt every year! It is a terrible waste and is probably the greatest weakness of our nation. Rather than throwing money we don’t have at a problem we cannot fully comprehend, how about we take care of our own troubles and let the rest work out on its own? That will win the race.
Tax cuts. We cannot pay off our debts with tax cuts. We cannot pay off our debts with more programs. We cannot pay off our debts without some changes. Who will offer it. Well, neither candidate has offered much for this. More of the same rhetoric for which they are both weak in showing they would actually do.
Health Care. Boy, another way of having it all backwards. How about we let the market forces back into insurance and health care and we would see massive movement. Deregulation of these industries would alter the way we see health care. The extreme abuses, both to the government and to the polity, would be changed dramatically. But then again, will either party do anything here. No. Will either candidate? No. Both are already cuing up the line for expanding health care. While certainly noble, unless we change the basic foundation, nothing will change. Both parties are a draw.
Well, there are the big issues. Does either really distinguish the other? Nope. McCain is Republican and Obama is Democrat. Republicans screwed up their chance running Congress and the Presidency. Democrats screwed up their chance before as well. Honestly speaking, I don’t want either. Therefore, you will find me voting for neither party, neither candidate.
What does that leave me with? The Constitution Party who strongly supports much of what I believe. Chuck Baldwin is their candidate. However, I cannot vote for him in Oklahoma since The Constitution Party is not on the ballot. There is the Libertarian Party, which also seems to agree with what I have written. They also are not on the ballot in Oklahoma. (Which ironically sent my wife a notice that her registration was incomplete after the deadline. She turned it in more than a month before the deadline and they could not notify her before the deadline?? Somebody should take up this issue with voter registration!) So I am at a real loss.
I won’t go into the details concerning Oklahoma politics. I won’t list my issues here. Their biggest problem is the terrible roads! I guess I will just have to write in William Borah or Robert La Follette. Making a decision this election year is like being asked whether I preferred urine or vomit in my shake. Neither please!