Earlier this summer I heard from some news source that John McCain had admitted to having an affair. I thought that would be the end of his campaign, as conservative Republicans would be disgusted with him over this. Remember, these conservatives are the ones who got Bush elected to office based on moral issues, and nearly impeached Clinton for his messing around in the White House. I was really quite surprised that I never heard another peep about it from the media, to the point where it felt like I had just imagined the issue. I looked up this issue online, because I wanted to find out what the story was.
The challenge was to try to sift through the allegations, spins, lies, biases, etc., in order to try and get an accurate picture of the truth about all of the candidates. One thing that has bothered me about this presidential race in general is that it seems like more than ever in the past, people are really trying to fear monger the candidate from the “other” party (which ever of the major parties a person doesn’t identify themselves with). I can hardly believe the level of bias that’s going around. There have been totally un-based, outright lies especially against Obama (There probably have been against McCain too, but I’m not aware of them), which I think really reveal many people’s prejudices against anyone who isn’t a white protestant. In other words, we still judge people on many things including their race.
Anyhow, I’m surprised how people seem to give up reason so easily. People seem quite willing to believe something bad or scary about the other candidate, when it has little backing or is a stretch to argue. Yet at the same time, will really bulk and resist the idea that their candidate has any significant flaws, or that the flaws matter much at all. It seems to me that people aren’t really judging by principle, though they may claim to. Rather their judging is biased, making it fit to their predisposition. It seems few people are approaching this in an open and honest manner. I decided that I wanted to try and get as accurate and honest as possible picture of the negatives on the candidates. Here is what I found:
McCain: During his youth up through his early years in the military, was some what “wild” rather than being a good student and officer. When he returned from Vietnam where he was a P.O.W. for five and a half years, he had a number of extra-marital affairs. He ended up courting another woman and divorcing his wife. He has been known as a gambler and hot-head.
Palin: There is a possible association (at least through her husband) with a radical Alaskan secessionist group. She is very conservative. She is being investigated for possible abuse of power while governor. She has a relatively minimal amount of governmental experience, and has no foreign relations experience at all.
Obama: During his teenage years he used drugs and alcohol. He is very liberal.
Biden: He has an instance or two of plagiarism.
Many people have tried to suggest that Obama is Muslim, but there seems to be no evidence of this at all. It has also been suggested that he is anti-American and anti-white, or black supremacist, though evidence for these positions is a stretch, mainly based on the beliefs of a person he knows. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want people to believe that I believe everything that someone I know or some place I’m associated with believes. For example, I grew up in a conservative environment, but I don’t consider myself to be conservative. Overall though, from what I can substantiate, there appears to be a bit more dirt on McCain and Palin than Obama and Biden. However most of the dirt is of such a nature that I don’t see it as putting much doubt in how the candidate would perform in office (the main exception being Palin’s possible abuse of power).
I would like to say a little about how I perceive supporters of Obama. It seems like Obama has almost a cult following. He has die hard fans that believe he is the only “hope” for the country, and seem to suggest that the country will be great if he is president, and terrible if he isn’t. Make no mistake however; Obama is not the savior. If you put your hope and faith in him, he will prove that he is merely mortal and a fallible human being just like the rest of us. Whether Obama or McCain become president, some positive things will be done and some harmful things will be done.
In conclusion, I see no need to trash the candidates. I feel that it is unfair, immature, and mostly untrue. When it comes down to it, you should choose which candidate you support based on whether you agree more with McCain’s conservative policies, or more with Obama’s liberal agenda. Personally, I don’t support either candidate. I’m not sure I even agree enough with the Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr, to support him. I apparently need to either find another third party to support, or start my own.