Holy crap, the elections are almost here. How did that happen?
I've been full of random thoughts that I wanted to throw out on LJ for consumption, but I always figured I'd do it later. I guess now IS later. I think I'll skip the random thoughts part for now and go straight into my dillema.
I had such high hopes at the start of the election. I liked both major candidates. They were among the best of the top end of field, and both represented a break from the party establishment.
But now, after watching the debates and the speeches, I'm throughly disappointed in both of them. Instead of wanting to vote for them both, I don't want to vote for either.
I know they both have to appeal to their voter base, but the blandness of their campaigns, the lack of new ideas, the arguing over past votes instead of focusing on the pressing issues, the constant harping on things that really have no basis on the campaign (Bill Ayers, Palin's buying new clothes to campaign in, etc etc) have all worn me down, to the point that I'm filled with loathing at the thought of pulling a lever for either one.
Breaking it down, I think McCain would make the more competent President over all. He's got an excellent track record on many issues, (especially on government spending) and even when I disagreed with him, I respected him. Obama really is too inexperienced for the job. But then McCain picked Palin, who not only is even less experienced then Obama, but holds political positions that scare me. It's not unreasonable to worry about him dying in office, and we don't need 4 more years of W. with lipstick.
I'm not very fond of Biden either. He's a better choice, and his foreign policy experience is a huge plus for Obama... but one of my favorite things about Obama is his tech platform, and Biden is HORRIBLE on that issue.
On the issues over all, I find myself agreeing with Obama far more then with McCain. Off the top of my head, I think McCain would be the better choice to run the wars we're in, and I like his energy policy somewhat more. He'll probably be better on Israel. I don't like gun control, and while I'm pro-Unions, the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" is a horrible idea.
But on most issues, I'm with Obama. I like his tax plan better, he has an actual technology platform, he's pro Net Neutrality, he'll improve our standing in the world, he's a social liberal, and so on and so forth. I also think we need a Democrat picking the next few Supreme Court justices to bring some balance back to the bench.
But I don't feel that comfortable with a Democratic President and a heavily Democratic Congress. I like the idea mostly out of Schadenfruede - after the mess the Republicans and the neo-cons made of this country for the 6 years they held full power, they deserve to lose power and lose heavily. (Though I feel sorry for McCain on that - he's never been part of the neo-con wing, or friends with Bush, but if he loses, he's going to lose because of them. I would have happily voted for him in 2000 over Bush or Gore, and the nation would be in far better shape for it. If only he was running the 2000 campaign now.) But I can't stand the current Democratic heads of the House and Senate - they're both incompetent and wrong headed on so many things. (I like Obama far far more then I like Reed or Pelosi.)
A large Democratic majority with a Democratic president will have the ability to push a lot of their ideas through. I worry, though, that instead of focusing on the ideas of the Democratic party that I like, they'll be busy passing the parts of the Democratic platform that I dislike, leaving us with all the badness 6 years of Republican dominance gave us, combined with the worst parts of Democratic governance.
And I don't think they'll reduce federal power, restore the rights the Bush administration has been trying to strip from us for 7 years, and bring back freedom to this country. I fear they'll wind up making this even more of a nanny government instead. Instead of getting rid of the Patriot act, they'll expand it; instead of legalizing marijuana, they'll ban cigarettes. Instead of having more liberty, we'll move another notch closer to fascism.
And even if the Democrats act perfectly for the next 4 years, I doubt we'll be recovered from the damage the Bush Administration has done to this country. Things will still be rough, and voters will respond by voting the Democrats out - it'll be bad for the party in the long run.
McCain, on the other hand, is actually pretty good at bipartisanship (especially compared to the rest of the Republican party under the Bushes) and with a Democratic congress could counter each others excesses.
Normally, I'd vote for a 3rd party candidate, if for no other reason then that this country desperately needs to break free of a two-party system.
But I don't like any of the third part candidates this year either!
The Libertarians are usually my 3rd party choice, but their nominee this year is a right-wing nutcase for Georgia.
The Green Party's nominee is a left-wing nutcase from Georgia.
The Constitution Party is just nuts in general.
And Ralph Nader should go back to consumer advocacy, where he can actually do a lot of good for this country.
So, in the end, I'm left with no one I particularly want to vote for. At least I can console myself that no matter who gets elected, they'll be a million times better then the moron who's run the country into the ground over the last 8 years, or either of his opponents in the last two elections.
In the mean time, I find myself wishing Bloomberg had run for President. He seems to be exactly the kind of person we need in office right now, and with the current financial mess and the poor campaigns being run, he'd have a real shot at winning. Instead, he's busy staining his legacy by making an end run around the voter will on term limits... but that's a different topic for a different post on a different election.
Please feel free to argue with me or others here, (as long as you still love each other afterwards!) and please feel free to try and convince me who I should vote for. Remember that this post is mostly off the top of my head, and may be edited every time I look at it for the next few hours...
(BTW, if anyone knows of any good Election Result parties, please let me know of them. This is the sort of thing I prefer to watch and discuss with others while they happen...)