Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Reasonable Discourse

Cross posted here

Your esteemed moderator at this fine blog asked me to make a reasoned case for the election of Barack Obama. He gave me no guidelines other than a rough word limit. Therefore, I decided to set a rule for myself. I am going to make my arguments on Obama’s merits, not McCain and Palin’s perceived deficiencies because in my mind that would be akin to shooting fish in a barrel (Ok, I just had to get off one shot…). While I understand that for the most part, the American electorate seems to care very little about actual policy and would much rather concern itself with Inside Edition-like gossipy crap I feel that this election is far too important to get into the kind of worthless discourse that includes race baiting, religious intolerance, class discrimination, and a tremendous amount of outright lies spread through vicious internet based smear campaigns..

I would be tremendously off base if I did not address the economy and taxes right off the bat as these two subjects seem to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now with nearly 77% of the population unhappy with the economic direction of our country. I feel that Obama’s plan to increase taxes on corporate earnings is on base. However, I have little faith that this would actually increase revenue due to the tremendous number of loopholes in the tax code. It’s interesting to note that McCain has the exact opposite philosophy as the plan he announced yesterday to assist the bailout would extend more tax credits to corporations. I strongly disagree with that course. I am more heartened by Obama’s plan to cut taxes to over 100 million families (those earning less than $250k). I would also like to see him follow through on his promise to revoke Bush’s tax cuts that we all agree benefit the ultra-wealthy and were the first of their kind during a time of war. Neither candidate in my mind does enough to curb spending; although McCain seems way off base in his idea to make the aforementioned tax cuts permanent when the country is mired in tremendous debt.

The words leadership and experience are tossed about everyday by the punditocracy as if they have a firm definition of either of those concepts. In other words, one person’s idea of leadership might be nearly the exact opposite of another’s definition. As we have seen over the course of the past 8 years, neither word seems to mean what the majority of the US electorate would hope! I firmly believe that Barack Obama has plenty of experience to handle the office of the Presidency. Moreover; I have full confidence that as a leader he would surround himself with the best and the brightest available. After all, isn’t that the mark of a good leader; the ability to recognize one’s own deficiencies and put people in place who can handle the situation more effectively? We have seen during the Bush presidency what cronyism and the ability to ignore history and not attempt to learn from mistakes will lead to. Honestly, since when is being thoughtful and open to ideas a bad thing? I trust Obama to make reasoned decisions and not rule from his gut. Additionally, I believe that an Obama presidency would instantly transform our world standing. It should be abundantly apparent that we are all in this together and we need someone that can unite the world behind us, not cut a fiery swath ala General Sherman or President Bush. I do not trust McCain to be that leader. His world view is too closely aligned with the failed policies of the Neo-Con brain trust (I use that term very loosely).

Closely tied to our standing in the world are the two wars we are currently mired in which are bleeding precious funds from our country and more importantly taking precious lives. Obama pledges to begin an orderly withdrawal from Iraq and to refocus our efforts in Afghanistan. I feel this is the absolute best case scenario short of pulling out of both countries (sorry as a bleeding heart, I find war to be absolutely abhorrent, especially unnecessary ones). Setting aside our reasons for being in Iraq, I think we can all agree that the ages old sectarian differences renewed by our proverbial bat to the beehive are not going to be settled by American interlopers, no matter how long we stay there. Let’s cut our losses. Meanwhile, the most recent NIE sees things beginning to spiral out of control in the true central front for the war on terror in Afghanistan and to a large extent Pakistan. Obama pledges to refocus our efforts there and also to track bin Laden into Pakistan if necessary. I agree lets keep our eye on the ball.

Due to space restrictions, I will not be able to delve into healthcare as deeply as I would like, but let it be known that I do not want my benefits taxed as McCain suggests and I would much rather find affordable, accessible healthcare available to all.

I would also be remiss if I did not mention education. This is the one area where I will break the rule I stated earlier. Can anyone explain to me McCain’s position on this all-important subject? Does he even understand the importance of this issue and that our population continues to lag behind other countries? If we want to be the best and the brightest, we need to educate our children in such a fashion, not ignore our deficiencies. I feel that Obama is so far out in front of McCain on this issue that it does not really merit a discussion.

Thanks for the opportunity,

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1 comment:

The Den of Mystery said...

This will actually be cross-posted over at The Political Hoedown ( and linked back here. There will also be a link from the Den of Mystery, as indicated.

We at the Den and the Hoedown appreciate Townser's willingness to share his political thoughts in such a civil manner during these decidedly uncivil times.