November 3rd, 2008
It’s the day before the US presidential election. I’m going to be voting for Barack Obama.
I appreciate Mr. McCain’s genuine love of country, independence on some important issues, and willingness to confront his party’s leadership on matters of principle.
And I don’t have any problem imagining Gov. Palin in the presidency – in a free country the presidency isn’t a very important role anyway. The president does not “run the country”, the people do. The president’s job is to run the government, and Gov. Palin seems unlikely to be worse at that than most of the presidents we’ve had in the last century.
Further, I disagree with most of Obama’s domestic policies. I disagree with less of McCain’s.
However, Mr. McCain has a reputation for stubbornness, arrogance, and poor insight into the longer-term consequences of his actions. Probably the best example of this is that, despite being told so in clear terms, he is still unable to understand (or care?) that McCain-Feingold has the effect of limiting political speech and the competition of ideas, rather than enhancing it.
If this were the worst that could be said about Mr. McCain, I’d probably still prefer him to Mr. Obama’s creeping socialism.
But. Mr. Bush – who campaigned in 2000 on a platform of a more humble, less arrogant foreign policy – has transformed the last vestiges of America’s reputation as an advocate and example of freedom into that of a thuggish, war-mongering bully, trampling the freedoms of its own citizens and a menacing invader and occupier of nations. And Mr. McCain promises to continue those policies.
As well, the last 8 years have destroyed any claim of the Republican party to stand for limited government, constrained spending, efficient administration, or defense of the Constitution. After 8 years of such performance, the Republicans simply deserve to lose.
Mr. Obama is clearly intelligent, is said to genuinely listen to and consider counsel, and appears to value reason and pragmatism.
I do hope the Democrats don’t get a filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats in the Senate – I’m a fan of divided government, and think that that a government that “can’t get anything done” is the best kind.
I expect Mr. Obama to disappoint me. Nonetheless, I will vote for him. It’s time for a change.
Update, April 2011: Mr. Obama has disappointed me. Can’t say I didn’t see it coming.