I'm depressed about the coming presidential election. I've spent my entire life wanting to vote so badly. Now I can, and for the first time, I don't want to - and I don't think I will.
First off, both of the candidates have ridiculous ideas about how to lower gas prices: Barack Obama wants to raise taxes on oil companies; John McCain wants give oil companies a tax break, and they both have complete confidence that this is going to lower gas prices (that ought to be a little red flag right there hadn't it). First, Barack's idea is ridiculous because only a few percent of the total profits from oil companies go into the pockets of executives... much of it is invested back into drilling and exploration... so cutting their profits is only going to make the existing shortage worse (or wait... isn't that what the liberals want...?) and second (my Grandpa explained this to me) most shares in oil companies are actually owned by mutual funds, which are mainly owned be normal Americans, who will be hurt if the profits are taxed. John McCain's ideas are relatively moronic as well, since giving a big tax break to the oil companies doesn't obligate them in any way to pass that profit on to the consumer in lower prices as the pump, and their a business... if they don't have to, then why would they?!
At any rate I don't care too much about gas prices. I may spend $50 dollars a week on it, but I work for a small alternative energy company, so it helps.
At another rate, so to speak, I like Obama, I voted for him in the primaries here in Pennsylvania in fact. I think he has good idea's about dealing with poverty. I think he would also go a long way to furthering racial and ethnic equality in our country by his very presence, and help improve our image in the world (hey, I was a neo-con once, but it doesn't mean I think it would hurt for other countries not to hate us). But on the other hand, I'm pro-life... I don't believe in gay marriage. I think it's sad to have to be considered a conservative just for believing those things, but I'm afraid I always will be (considered), and I still struggle with the idea of voting for some one who supports those things. On the other hand, with Obama as President, there would probably be less abortions than with McCain President, since alleviating poverty would cut down on the number of people having them... so from that perspective I might be able to stomach it. On the other hand... oops, I ran out of hands... I'll put this one on my foot, most abortions are, contrary to popular belief, not performed on teens or the highly impoverished, but rather be older, middle class woman, I believe I learned in Sociology. So would it even help? On the other foot our country is so evenly divided on the issue that electing a pro-life president isn't actually going to overturn Roe vs. Wade. So from a practical stand point, it doesn't really make a difference whether the president is pro-life or pro-choice (choice my foot... they should call it pro-abortion... if the people who support it are coy to use the word... well... that should be another little red flag....).
Now... John McCain... don't even get me started. He wants to keep Bush's tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy. I respect Bush as a President (thank you, thank you, yes, I know, I'm in a very exclusive club). He may have gone too far with the Iraq war, but but when I think back to 911, I think he responded well, and sent a message that the people who did it weren't expecting (this wasn't the first time that Al-Qaeda committed mass murder (they bombed the USS Cole, they committed dozens of terrorist acts in the Middle-East and Africa and killed untold thousands of Buddhist's and Gay individuals in Afghanistan via the Taliban), it was just the first time that anyone came after them for it). But when it comes to tax policy, it makes me livid. Let me ask a question? What are millions of dollars to people who already have millions? Nothing but more money, that they can't spend... it's nothing but a rush for them to accumulate more... a sort of ambition to be the biggest, a lust if you will (the Bible calls it the lust of the eyes). Millions will not do anything to improve the quality of life for people who already have millions and billions... (err, excuse me, it might make the difference between a private golf course and a 12o' yacht... forgive me for my cruel oversight!). So all that said, what does Bush go and do but pass a series of tax cuts that save millions of dollars for, da da da, multimillionaires and billionaires. And now, if John McCain gets elected, he is going to keep those tax cuts, and add more! It's the thing I hate most about conservatives, they want to run our country as if it's a business... if it goes on Wall Street then it can go for our country. 'If rich people can make money that they will never use, then, well, it's their's, so it's OK.' But our country isn't a business - it's a sacred trust. You can't ask people to die for a business. Let me ask another question. Does this actual scenario make sense: business executives in NY city make hundreds of thousands a year, have mansions, expensive cars etc. A plumber I work with has to work 80 hours a week just to keep food on the table for his family. And this contrast of course is perfectly fine, what's their's is their's, it's just good business. Now 2000 people in New York City get killed... now this plumber's son been sent to a foreign country to pay for their deaths. He has to kill. He has to see people killed. He is faced with the possibility of having to give his own life. Is this perfectly fine? Is this just business? Apparently anyone can be asked to give their life to help anyone else in our country. But not anyone can be asked to give some of their money.
I hate conservatism - and I hate liberalism as well. I suppose that's probably my problem. But for now I'm just depressed about the coming election.
So, if you actually read any of this confusion make sure you tell me, because I'll be impressed... : )
- Andrew Wilber