Monday, November 3, 2008

Take Your Shaheen And Stick It Right Up Your Sununu

I just want it to be over.

No, I still haven’t decided whom I’m voting for president. The decision probably won’t be made until I’m in the voting booth. It will come down to a gut feeling. And whatever my gut tells me, I’ll probably vote for the other guy. Last time I had a gut feeling was in 2000 when I voted for GW Bush. I regretted it very shortly after, when I realized that he is a man of no character. The way you know that he is a man of no character was his willingness to accept the blatant bias of his brother’s staff in Florida in conducting the recount. A man of character would have insisted on taking state officials out of the equation. But the second it came down to Florida Mr. Bush knew he had it locked up. Was he the rightful winner? Probably. But that has nothing to do with the character issue.

There are certain qualities and certain ideas I like from each candidate. There are certain issues I have with each candidate. I am not one of these people who think that one or the other is critical in the survival of our country. Our country will be just fine. For all of our differences, Americans are by and large a resilient people. We have proved that time and time again. The specific person occupying the White House has much less to do with how my life is going than the people whom I elect on a local level.

Nonetheless, here is how I stand on the hotbutton issues with the two major presidential candidates:

Economy: McCain. More regulation is going to solve nothing. What we need to do is tell the banking giants, “Fine. We won’t regulate you anymore. But when you get yourself into these messes, don’t under any circumstances expect the government to bail you out. You want a free market economy, you got it. Good luck.” And then we need to stand by that. In a truly free market economy, the best will rise to the top. And if the best get so big that they get arrogant and take huge risks, then they need to suck it up, accept their losses, and let the next guy move in. It’s the only fair way.

Taxes: Obama. This one is kind of selfish, I’ll admit, because my personal taxes will be lower. But comparing the two tax plans, Obama’s spreads the wealth more. Now, let me be clear: I am completely against socialism, but if we are going to continue to pay taxes, then by definition we are paying into a socialist system. Everyone’s money is being taken by the government to provide services for all. Therefore, the burden should be shared relative to what each can afford. It’s not pretty, but that’s how it is. We all have the same needs, and whether you make $10,000 a year or $20,000,000 a year, bread costs the same. Milk costs the same. Gas costs the same. I don’t think it’s out of line to ask people to get by with a few fewer luxuries beyond the basic necessities of life.

Iraq: Obama. It’s time. We’ve been there long enough. Enough American lives have been lost in this invented war. Mr. No Character wanted to avenge the embarrassment of his daddy, and that’s why we invaded. I’m not saying that our troops haven’t done some good work over there. In fact, I know for a fact they have. But it’s time to support the Iraqis in running their own country, and nothing more.

Gay marriage: Neither. The government needs to recognize every union between two people as a marriage, or they need to recognize no union between two people as marriage. It’s right there in the document that defines our beliefs: “All men are created equal.” Period. End of discussion. If you would like to continue this debate, please do so in the hallowed halls of your religious organizations. Or in Vegas. And then please move on to issues that matter.

Energy: Neither. We need to end all government tax incentives, subsidies, whatever you want to call them to the oil companies and auto manufacturers. We need to invest that money into organizations that are serious about researching and finding alternative energy sources. Come on, people. There’s got to be a better way. Think of all of the technological advances that have taken place in the past 50 years. We’re using electrons in ways that no one would have imagined possible. We’re using radio waves in ways that no one would have thought possible. We’re using human stem cells in ways that no one would have ever thought possible. And yet the combustion engine works pretty much the same way as it did in 1958. Does something seem fishy to you? Because it does to me.

So there’s where I stand on a few of the issues facing the candidates in this election. For me, it’s going to be a gut thing when I step up to the voting booth.

I can say this: I will be very happy when the Senate race between two people that don’t even affect my life, that I’m not even able to vote for or against, is over.

In New Hampshire, Jeanne Shaheen is running against John Sununu for Senate. And since I live so close to New Hampshire, and many New Hampshire residents get Boston television as their local channels, so I’ve been subjected to this campaign. Don’t ask me where either candidate stands on any of the issues. I don’t know. However, if you watch the commercials, you can get a sense of each campaign’s strategy: accuse the other of being a Bush lackey. Good luck.

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