I don't usually talk about politics on my blog. I've mentioned that I support Obama, but that's about the extent of it. I know that politics is personal and people are sensitive about their political beliefs, and I don't want people or readers to feel alienated. I recognize that what I'm about to say is something that not everyone will agree with, and I want everyone to feel free to express their opinions in the comments. I hope that nobody will feel so alienated by what I'm going to say that they will feel that they can't continue reading my blog because of our difference of political opinion. But if people do feel that way, that's fine. What I'm going to talk about is more important.
I don't like John McCain's politics, and I really don't like Sarah Palin's politics. This has nothing to do with McCain's POW experiences, or Palin's pregnant daughter, or the fact that McCain's choice of Palin as VP was a clear case of cynical political pandering.
No. Plain and simple, I think they are wrong about the best way to lead this country forward. And the thing that makes me the angriest is that I think they know they're wrong. They know that their policy plans won't do the most good for the most people, and they don't care. They are about making policies that serve their particular constituencies, and then coming up with a bunch of justifications and platitudes about why everyone else doesn't matter. It's not like Palin didn't know that her speech was full of lies and hyperbole. How can you believe that what you're doing is right when you have to stretch and spin the truth just to sound convincing? How can you believe that you deserve to be in office if you know that you have to lie to the public to get them to elect you?
This argument about small government is bullshit. A truly small government might not provide social services for its worst-off citizens. It might not put gun control laws into effect. But it also wouldn't tell people who could and could not get married. It wouldn't start unnecessary wars and refuse to educate people about sexual health. It wouldn't try to teach the religious philosophy of creationism in public schools. It wouldn't attempt to ban books from public libraries.
So let's get this straight. Democrats don't really believe in small government, but neither do Republicans. Nobody who runs for office really believes in small government. They want to get involved in government because they want to make a difference, and they believe that the government can make a difference.
And I don't believe in small government, either. Not the way Republicans define it. I don't support Big Brother and paternalistic leadership, but I do believe that government is necessary to the smooth functioning of society, and that there are things governments can do to help make life easier for everyone. I also believe that it's totally fine to place a slightly higher burden on the best-off people in our society in order to provide a boost to the worst-off people.
John McCain claims that Obama wants to raise taxes for middle class people, exactly the ones who are suffering from the current economic downturn. In reality, Obama's tax plan would increase the middle class's take-home income by 5%, whereas McCain's would increase their income by only 3%. Obama's plan would raise taxes--but only for the people who can afford it, namely wealthy companies.
Sarah Palin sued the Bush administration over its decision to add polar bears to the list of endangered species because she was afraid it would interfere with oil drilling. She doesn't believe that humans have caused climate change. She wants to teach creationism in public schools. She wants to prohibit abortion, even cases of rape or incest. She's a proponent of banning books from public libraries. She made fun of Obama's community organizing experience as though it's a negative thing that he was working to get ordinary people involved in politics--because to her it is.
McCain and Palin have blind faith that the market will solve for everything. I believe that they are wrong. The people who believe that the market solves for everything are exactly those who have benefited from it. And not everybody has. There are so many people who don't have insurance, who can't afford healthcare, who work crappy jobs or can't get a job at all, who can't afford housing in a safe neighborhood, who can hardly make it through the day. Those are the people who get lost in the system, the ones for whom the market doesn't solve.
I am actually, literally scared of the idea of the U.S. as run by McCain and Palin. I don't think our country can take four more years of this. Certainly those people who are at the bottom of the pyramid can't. And the question is whether those at the top will notice. If McCain and Palin win, I see no evidence that they will. The rich will keep getting richer, the poor will keep getting poorer, and the rest of the world will grow more and more disenchanted with this country.
Read this (and this). Read this. Read this. And read this.
The rest of the world can't believe that the McCain-Palin ticket could win. Maybe, for once, we should take our cue from them instead of trying to force them to do as we do. Spin, exaggeration, and charisma shouldn't be enough to win an election. The strange idea that disagreeing with someone is just evidence of your political bias, rather than evidence that you have convictions about how great our country can be for all of its residents, should not be used as an excuse not to engage on the issues and really discuss what policy stances will be best for our country as a whole.
I can believe McCain and Palin could win this election. But I'm really hoping I don't have to.
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