I do not understand the Republican party. Are they intentionally trying to destroy the United States, or is that just an accidental by-product?
Exhibit A: George W. Bush. He has been a disaster in both his foreign and domestic policies. America has been seriously harmed by his unnecessary war in Iraq. The federal deficit has damaged our financial strength and has undermined the dollar as a strong international currency. His administration has badly mismanaged several domestic crises, most notably the reaction to Hurricaine Katrina. I am very sure that he will be remembered as one of the worst presidents in American history.
Exhibit B: John McCain. He used to be a person I could respect, even if I disagreed with many of his political positions. I used to feel that he was a decent, practical man who spoke his mind and did what he thought was the right thing. His presidential campaign, however, has soured me on him. He is pandering to get votes, and his politics will hurt America.
My Take on the G.O.P.: Overall, the Republican party has two sides. One side is the pro-business, small government side (a.k.a., rich white people); the other side is the religious right (a.k.a., poorer white people). It is my strong belief that the religious people are being manipulated into voting against their best interests. The "Nascar Dads," the southern, blue-collar people who vote so solidly Republican, are not being helped by their Republican officials; they are being used by them, then forgotten until the next election. Take the abortion debate and the gay marriage debate. The conservative positions on these subjects are litmus tests for the religious voters; they will only vote for like-minded politicians. However, THE PRESIDENT CANNOT CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION! The Republicans get the religious conservatives to vote for them based on these "values issues," but the president has no power to do anything directly about these issues (although he can appoint judges, which gives him an indirect influence).
I was inspired to write this politically-themed post today by the revelation that the Republican V.P. nominee, Sarah Palin, has an unmarried, 17-year-old daughter who is 5 months pregnant. What the hell? This woman cannot keep her own daughter from making a mess of her life, what would she do to the country? Palin is AGAINST teaching sex ed in the schools; I cannot help but think that her daughter would have been better off if SOMEONE had explained the basics of reproduction to her! Palin also is in favor of teaching Christian creation myths in SCIENCE CLASSES! (At least the executive branch cannot directly change the national school curriculum; it's a small comfort). Palin has no background in political science or law. She has been a small-town mayor and a governor for less than a single term. She is NOT prepared nor qualified to be the most powerful person on the planet. McCain is too old and has had too many health problems; we must assume that the chances that his Vice President would become President are higher than average. McCain's choice is ridiculous; he went with a "pretty girl" with right-wing values, not a qualified, competent person (of either gender). He is treating her like window-dressing for the campaign. Palin is as ideologically as divisive as Hillary Clinton, but without Clinton's intelligence, experience, or overall competence. Clinton would have been an extremely capable person for the job, but I did not support her campaign, as she is a divisive political force. Palin brings the divisiveness, but lacks the competence. She was not a good pick, and she reflects poorly on McCain's judgement.
By choosing Palin, McCain makes a hypocrite of himself whenever he criticizes Obama's lack of experience. He insults the women of America by assuming that we will vote for any ticket with a female candidate on it, even if she is ideologically unpalatible and dangerously inexperienced. America can do better. Will we? Or will 51% allow themselves to be manipulated into another four years of bad government?
Reader, you don't have to agree with me politically, but, please, do the basic research to find out what each candidate stands for. Don't let soundbites and photo ops decide for you. Pick the best person for the job! I am more convinced than ever that the right person is NOT McCain.