Confessions of a McCain-Palin Supporter
(Note: This is an op-ed I originally wrote for a newspaper. I decided to post it here instead. I have not updated it in light of the recent events surrounding Obama’s appointments and Blagojevich, as it was written well beforehand, but I will post more on those later. In the meantime, enjoy!)
Now that the bright lights of the victory stage have dimmed and the giant crowds of supporters have gone home, America is left with a new President-elect of the United States. History should marvel that our democracy worked once again, setting an example for the rest of the world. This election was indeed historic, with America getting its first chance at having an African-American man as President or a female Vice-President. Now that the media has exhausted standard clichés and obscenely-biased coverage, America is left with President-elect Barack Obama.
The leader that the majority of the voters chose, I wouldn’t have. I would have preferred having John McCain as the 44th President of the United States, with Sarah Palin as his Vice-President. I feel that their policies, their ideas, their approaches to the difficult situations that face our nation would have been more successful. Senator McCain and Governor Palin together fulfilled three main criteria that most conservatives like me consider to be important when choosing candidates for public office; they believe in small government, a strong national defense, and the sanctity of life. During primary season, I always considered McCain to be the most liberal of the candidates available. I often joked after the Republican primaries that there was a choice between three Democrats for President: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain. I was an early advocate of McCain choosing conservative Governor Palin as his running mate, and back in June of this year I asked him at a town-hall meeting if he would choose her. Needless to say, I was exceptionally pleased when she became his Vice-Presidential candidate. McCain’s choice of Governor Palin was the difference between me lukewarmly supporting McCain and actually holding McCain/Palin signs and handing out bumper stickers. Despite the fact that the Republican ticket lost this election, I will definitely support Governor Palin running for President in 2012.
As tempting as it is to look towards the future, the man who will be our President for the next four years is Barack Obama. I am just as inspired as any other American by his story, his fulfillment of the American Dream. I see him as a man of decency, of eloquence, and of respect. That having been said, I have serious concerns about his policies, his judgment, and ideology in general. I was very disappointed when he turned down public financing after promising to take it, and it was at that moment that I realized that he is not a “transformational figure” but a standard, garden-variety Chicago politician.
On national security, Obama’s record has been less-than-stellar. His campaign plan for a 16-month withdrawal from Iraq has already been thrown out of the window as unfeasible, his waffling on an Afghanistan “surge” with such little time for action is unacceptable, his willingness to meet with the leaders of rogue states without preconditions is unheard of. For a man with 300 foreign policy advisors surrounding him, it appears that he needs all the help he can get.
The gross misconduct on behalf of both parties when it came to spending at all levels of government must be stopped. It appears that now-President-elect Obama’s proposals will simply result in more spending, with no way to pay for it outside of raising taxes. Candidate Obama’s “95% tax cut” proposal is dubious, considering that the income level ceiling for such a cut dropped magically from $250,000 down to $150,000 in a matter of weeks and that the specifics of the proposal are cloudy, hidden behind “refundable tax credits” and other clever political jargon. For a man who requested nearly one billion dollars in pork-barrel-spending in three years for his home state to suddenly warn Americans about deficits is laughable. He has made many, many promises this election to many people, as evidenced by the entitlements couched in Obama’s “plan to revive the economy.” In politics, promises cost money.
Most of President-elect Obama’s “proposals” are couched in warm, comfortable language with no respect for facts or specifics. He says that he will “fix our health care, education, and social security systems” on the “Agenda” section of his superfluous new transition website, change.gov. The entire section describing his agenda is under two paragraphs. It is embarrassing for a man who will become the next President of the United States to have policy proposals that a fifth-grader could come up with, in the midst of so many issues that require attention.
Herein lies the root problem with the Obama candidacy and, I fear, the Obama presidency: underneath all the “hope” and “change” lies nothing but fluff. His “proposals” are like cotton candy, sweet and airy and delicious. But after the American people who voted for him gobble up his ideological carnival fare, they will realize that they’re still empty, as well as their wallets. Author Toni Morrison once called Bill Clinton the first African-American President of the United States. Perhaps Barack Obama will be our first Cotton Candy President.