I loathe politics. It seems to me that every politician is little better than a snake-oil salesman, making false promises and selling a big story just to get into a position of high importance. Every two years I get a little more sick to my stomach as November draws nearer (the local elections that happen in off years don't seem to bother me as much). Much to my chagrin, this year has been an even bigger circus than most election years because of the departure from the traditional. Who would have thought we'd have an African-American man and a woman on the major party tickets for president at the SAME time? While I celebrate Senator Obama and Governor Palin for having the moxie to defy tradition, I dread turning on the television, knowing full well I will be inundated with political propaganda from one party or the other.
To set things perfectly straight, I am not affiliated with any particular party. I think the bipartisan system is ridiculously flawed, but it IS functional, and I know we're unlikely to find a better one. I believe in voting for the candidate, not the party.
Now, with that being said, I'm not sure I'll vote for president this year. I know, it's my duty as an American citizen, but I have such a hard time committing myself to either candidate, and I probably shouldn't do something silly, like write in Brad Pitt. There are several reasons why I feel this way, but I'll just present one major issue I have with each candidate.
I cannot vote for John McCain because he supports overtuning Roe vs. Wade. Do not misunderstand me: I DO NOT SUPPORT LEGALIZED ABORTION as a rule. I generally believe that if one is "responsible" enough to have unprotected sex, one is "responsible" enough to carry a child full term and give birth. There are always plenty of couples ready and willing to adopt the result of an unwanted pregnancy. However, I am of the opinion that abortions should be legal in the cases of rape and incest, and when the physical, mental, or spiritual health of the mother is in question. Personally, I would never have an abortion under any circumstance, but I wholeheartedly believe that a woman that had pregnancy forced upon her should have the chance to make that choice, if she felt it was the right one for her. Overturning Roe vs. Wade is the first step down the road towards abortion being completely abolished, which I feel is wrong. It would deny women who had no choice the chance to make a choice. Think about it logically rather than morally, as well. If abortion is declared to be unlawful, will all abortions immediately stop? Of course not! During the Prohibition Era, did all alcohol production, sales, and consumption cease? Ha! Are we not currently fighting a war against the sale and possession of powerful mind-altering drugs that are, in fact, illegal? Indeed, we are. History has displayed that simply outlawing an item or action does not make it disappear. Women will still be able to find someone to perform abortions. The difference will be that these abortions will not be performed by doctors or specialists in sanitized clinics or hospitals. Anyone seen Dirty Dancing? That's what I imagine will happen to many upset and desperate women if abortion is illegal.
I cannot vote for Barack Obama because he supports a government-sponsored universal health care system. I fully believe every American deserves to have health insurance, but I don't think this is the way to do it. A universal health care program eliminates the need for multiple, competing health care programs. Competition drives people and industries to provide the best care and service possible. Currently, if you don't like your health insurance provider, there are several more that are eager and willing to accept your patronage. With one, universal program, I feel like the quality of health care that we receive will deteriorate, simply because the bigwigs in charge will know that, with nowhere else to turn, we will keep coming back. In addition, the medical conditions that Americans have are diverse and widespread. Health insurance cannot be one-size-fits-all. I don't want to pay for coverage for conditions that I don't have and will never have, but I don't want others who need the coverage to go without it. With multiple providers, we are all more likely to find a program that fits our specific needs without having extraneous costs. Finally, I'm curious to see where Senator Obama intends to find the money for a universal health care program without raising our taxes. (Incidentally, If it were possible, I'd like to see discounts and tax breaks offered to ease the burden of paying for health insurance--that way, it would be easier for all to have health insurance, but we would still have the luxury of choice.)
There lies my dilemma. Like I stated before, these are not the only causes of my hesitance to vote, but these are two issues about which I feel strongly. I guess it will come down to choosing the lesser of two evils, but haven't decided who that will be. Brad Pitt is starting to look really good in my eyes...