John McCain’s speech tonight was very strong. I’m particularly glad that he chose to take the high road and refrained from mocking or disparaging his opponent. He called for American’s to unite, to get involved, and to stand up and make history. His record of service is remarkable and above reproach. As a man of character, and as a leader of men and women, McCain has proven fit for the task. His fearless rebuke of the actions of his own party showed real guts and I do believe that he is a man who is beholden to no special interests, and is not afraid to say what he feels is right… even when it is unpopular amongst even his own constituents.
But that is where I stop short of endorsing the “Maverick” of Washington. I simply do not agree with his conception of right on too many issues. I was particularly disappointed in his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Not because she is a woman, and not because she is short on experience. Governor Palin simply stands for the majority of the Republican party’s ideals that are incompatible with my world view. And that was what truly disappointed me about John McCain in recent weeks – he made a political move that was counter to his life’s work – he went with a candidate that would ensure his success within his own party, and that is a first for John McCain as far as I can remember.
In the end, I will not be devastated if John McCain is the next president of the United States. He is a good man of strong character. But I will constantly have to worry about the prospects of foreign wars justified in the name of religion, unchecked capitalist greed and the consequences that notion brings for the poor and the working class, and the rise of a gun toting cowboy culture that too often identifies itself as the righteous vigilante. Drilling in Alaska for oil is a band aid… it cannot decrease our independence on foreign oil, and there are enough wealthy elites in Washington with ties to Big Oil that will use it as an excuse to put off developing true alternatives to our energy needs.
I have concerns with some of Senator Obama’s policies and convictions as well, but I can’t help but feel that I would sleep better at night knowing that there is a leader in the White House that understands that the plight of the poor cannot be solved by padding the pockets of the rich. Trickle down economics are a fallacy of rhetoric. The poor cannot “help themselves”, or make their own decisions when the system is inherently wired against them, leaving them with what is ultimately very little power to make decisions that will truly ameliorate their condition.