Ahh...the big day is here! There may be very little suspense left in the election (unless the pollsters are totally and completely wrong, which is possible, if unlikely) but it is still a great day. It is like the Super Bowl for civics geeks! I should warn you...this is gonna be a very long post, so beware (even though I cut out the parts about why I would rather we didn't encourage people to vote. Seriously, if you can't figure out why it is important on your own, then I would rather you not dilute my say.)
First, my election experiment proved...um...almost nothing. I am not sure that I initially set out to be impartial, but I was never really strongly in favor about any of the candidates, so I think that my thoughts came off pretty much down the middle. I have been leaning for some time now, but as the election neared, I made a more conscious effort to focus on objective analysis of the candidates instead of opinions.
I assumed that there would be some correlation between people's leanings and their perceptions of my leanings. Either you would assume that I was voting for the other guy because the criticism of your guy would sting too much, or you would read the criticism of the other guy as evidence that I was on your side. In the end? It made little difference. I got 23 responses...11 thought that I agreed with you and 12 thought that I disagreed. It didn't matter which candidate you liked...pretty evenly mixed on both sides. So...my grand experiment proved...um...nothing!!!
It did prove that there was little leaning apparent in my thoughts. A summary of results:
Who are you or would you vote for?
Who do you think I am voting for?
Where do you live?
California, Connecticut (3)
North Carolina, Virginia (2)
So, people maybe sensed a minor leaning, but not much...and there was very little correlation between who people are voting for and who they thought I would vote for. Also, Georgians love me... I should move!
So, anyway, my experiment was kind of a letdown...I didn't get the results I was really hoping for. But...I still have to vote! And I am sure that you are all dying to know who I am going to vote for! Or, maybe not...but you are gonna hear anyway:-P
I am, through somewhat gritted teeth, going to vote for McCain. I could give you like 40 reasons why I shouldn't, and why I don't really want to...but in the final analysis, I simply agree with his view of Government more than I do Obama's. For me, this involves prioritizing issues...I agree with Obama on abortion, and guns, and on parts of his education ideas, and some other stuff as well. I agree with McCain on taxes, spending and entitlements and immigration. I think McCain is more prepared and willing to do what is in the best interests of the country abroad...I feel like Obama would be much more concerned with being liked.
I find them both to be embarrassingly wrong on energy and (especially) health care. When I tally these things up, I agree with McCain on what I consider to be the more important issues. I think it is important to note here, that I firmly believe that energy will be THE defining issue of the next 40 years. I would have voted for either of them if he had put forth a coherent, reasonable energy plan, but neither did. Obama is more specific and environmentally conscious, but McCain's is more realistically effective ("throw everything at it...we shouldn't be eliminating any options right now").
Basically, I would like the next President to address our long-term solvency. We have a massive budget deficit and national debt that is a complete pox on my generation. There are basically two ways to try and close that: raise taxes and cut spending.
Actually, there is only one way...the structure of our entitlement programs is such that we can not pay for them, no matter what we set tax rates at. We HAVE to cut benefits, and the math is simple enough for everyone to understand. Which of these two do I think is more likely to control spending? That's actually an easy one...McCain, despite some recent lapses, has been a pretty avid controller of spending throughout his entire career in the Senate. Obama has no record on this, but his entire philosophy of government says that he will continue to grow the size of government.
So, there you have it...in a nutshell, I am voting for McCain because I think he will spend less. How is that for summing up the longest, most expensive and most interesting political race in the history of the world...
By the way, I am going to vote tonight after work, so you can still try and change my mind;-)