Uh Oh

When Edwards dropped out of the race, I was faced with a serious problem: who I’m going to vote for in November. I was fairly certain that Edwards wouldn’t get the nomination, but I thought I could delay this decision until after Super Tuesday, rather than having to face reality. The thing is, I really can’t vote for Clinton or Obama. I just can’t. It’s time to start looking at other candidates.

So I started looking at McCain, who seems to be the front-running Republican candidate. I was talking about him with Tristan the other day, and both of us basically decided that although we respect the guy, we don’t like his policies. And I started making a list of reasons I like McCain, and reasons I don’t like McCain, and I thought I’d share it with you. Research was mainly done at Project Vote Smart, which is a resource I encourage you to use. If you’re thinking about voting for McCain (and I sort of was), I think you might find my list a good starting point for thinking more deeply about him. Please take note that this list is really, really simplified, and that all of these issues are more complex than I make them out to be; this is meant to be a starting ground for research.

Reasons I Like McCain:

He’s a combat veteran who was also a prisoner of war.

He thinks waterboarding is torture and has been very outspoken about it.

McCain-Feingold.

He wants stronger fuel emissions standards.

And supports carbon trading.

Some of his immigration policies (like creating more citizenship options for people already here) are fairly progressive.

He’s not afraid to go against the Republican party.

He wants to close Guantanamo and bring those prisoners to Fort Leavenworth for rapid trials.

Reasons I Don’t Like McCain:

He thinks funding for the Olympics is pork.

He is anti-choice, although generously says he wouldn’t ban abortion for victims of rape and incest. Thanks!

He does not support universal health care.

He is against network neutrality.

No plans to pull out of Iraq.

He likes NAFTA, GATT, and the WTO.

He supports the death penalty (ok to murder adults, not ok to kill fetuses).

He supports mandatory sentencing.

And thinks we should use military tribunals to try suspected terrorists.

He doesn’t have a great animal rights track record.

He hates the arts.

He’s not strong on human rights.

Or the separation of Church and State; in fact he says he would prefer a Christian President since this is a “Christian nation.”

He likes abstinence-only sexual education.

His position on economics; namely that he has a very Conservative approach to economics (for which read Reaganomics).

He’s all about the war on drugs.

He voted for a ban on immigrants with HIV.

He doesn’t think that crimes based on gender and sexual orientation should be treated as hate crimes.

He likes the thought of nation-wide testing for students and a merit-pay system for teachers.

He thinks that trade agreements should not include protections for the environment or worker’s rights.

He supports preemptive strikes against nations which are deemed to be national security threats (as assessed by whom, I wonder).

So, there you have it. The reasons I won’t be voting for McCain, grossly simplified. Tristan has suggested that I do this for Clinton and Obama as well, although this may be a bit challenging because my opposition to them is more complex than my opposition to McCain, which is easy to boil down in a set of neat points. I will probably also do this for major third party candidates, if any emerge. This is a bit more challenging because third party candidates don’t get on every ballot, which is very frustrating, because it makes it difficult to support them on principle; I don’t like the two party system, but I would like to see a more serious effort to reform it than just putting yourself on a few ballots as a token.

Have I mentioned that this election is really depressing me?

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