Electoral anticipation -- 11/03/08

Tomorrow we vote...

Several months ago -- before I got thoroughly sick of politicians and (perhaps especially) thoroughly sick of the people who supported their candidate with a fervor bordering on dementia -- I was actually a bit excited about Obama's candidacy.

It's interesting to see the variety of positions taken in my family. I voted for Obama in the primary, as did Jill. Nancy supported Obama but voted for Hillary (whom she has always intensely disliked) out of feminist solidarity. Jeremy didn't vote in the primary, saying there was no candidate in either party worth the effort. From conversations with Adam and Leah I believe they are both Obama supporters, but they live in New York and I can't recall any specific discussions of the New York primary.

I long ago lost my enthusiasm for Obama but I will still cast my vote for him tomorrow (and perhaps I will be able to stir up a little bit of "hope" as I do so). My concern about him is not that he is some kind of raving socialist who will try to turn the U.S. into a version of, say, Belgium. (I agree that many of his more leftish supporters might like that.) My concern is more that he will be another Jimmy Carter and we will be trapped in the same kind of "stagflation" as we hand under Carter's clueless administration. (Actually, I have another concern -- that he will be tempted to prove his strength and determination by being too ready to resort to military action.)

However, the alternative to Obama is not some mythical libertarian candidate of my dreams (someone who believes in fiscal conservatism, lower taxes, an end to pork barrel politics and earmarks, an end to the No Child Left Behind nonsense, a strong military for our defense but an end to trying to play policeman to the world and the bringer of democracy to places that hate democracy, who believes that the federal government has no business intruding where it has no constitutional requirement to do so, and who will not play idiotic games with garbage like the Defense of Marriage Act because the Constitution does not define marriage, and if states want to allow same-gender marriages it is none of the federal government's business, but the Constitution does make the President the Commander-in-Chief of the military and, just as Harry Truman ended racial segregation in the military, a proper libertarian president would end the cowardly Clinton era "don't ask, don't tell" policy and order the military to end discrimination against gays, etc.) -- because there is no candidate around who comes close to my ideal (the late Barry Goldwater came the closest and he has been gone for many years now)

The alternative to Obama is McCain... and, although he was brave and honorable in service to our country -- and although I supported him in 2000 -- I really oppose his positions on a number of issues (such as immigration) and think his famous McCain-Feingold act is a terrible law and despite what the Supreme Court said, I still believe it is an unconstitutional infringement of free speech rights -- and, perhaps most importantly, I do not think he has a clue about economics. (And his reaction to the current fiscal problems was a confirmation of my doubts about him.)

I do not have a problem with his vice presidential choice (other than he really should have picked Senator Lieberman, but I guess he wasn't maverick enough to take a chance on alienating some of the Republican right wing base... who don't like him much anyway). Once Obama picked a loser like Biden as his running-mate, there was little chance that McCain could make a worse choice. I usually find hypocrisy amusing but the people who rant and rave about Gov. Palin's shortcomings and yet don't see the least flaw in Joe Biden are just showing how their political ideology is blinding them (and that's the kindest way of putting that).

So... predicting tomorrow... Nancy and I will vote for Obama. (Well, I assume that -- I've not actually asked her for sure.) Jill has felt let down by Obama's negative campaign (i.e., he was supposed to be different but he did the same old political mud-slinging and name-calling instead of presenting intelligent positions on key issues) and I think will probably vote for Ralph Nader. Jeremy has been talking about Congressman Bob Barr running on the Libertarian ticket. (As you may expect, I've voted Libertarian in the past -- such as in 2000 -- but I did not care for their 2004 candidate nor am I very enthused about Barr.) I'm assuming Adam and Leah will go for Obama.

So... tomorrow night we'll know...

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