Monday 27 October 2008

Obama or McCain?

I'm not typically one for politics. It's too big and murky and uncertain for me. How do you vote for one person when there are so many issues at stake, when you agree with candidate A on issues a, b, and c, and you agree with candidate B on issues x, y, and z, and you think everyone's going about issue d the wrong way? It feels like there's no winning - or, perhaps, no losing, for the eternal optimists out there.

But there's an election coming up that, for once, I have come to feel quite strongly about. Which is sort of a shame, because it's the American election, and I'm Canadian. So I don't get a say anyway.

Well, here's my say, for what it's worth.

If Obama becomes president, he has said that the first thing he will do is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. The FOCA would annihilate every single state law limiting or regulating abortion, including the federal ban on partial birth abortion. It would effectively nullify informed consent laws, waiting periods, parental notification or consent laws, and health and safety regulations for abortion clinics. As FOCA will become a constitutional right, medical professionals and institutions that refuse abortions would lose legal protections. Government officials, too, will be left open to lawsuits, as FOCA prohibits any government agency or official from taking any action that would "discriminate against the exercise of" the FOCA-created legal rights, with respect to any "benefits, facilities, services, or information" - which would include something as simple as a pro-life speech given by a public official.

(As a side note, Obama's support of federal hate crime laws to include sexual orientation should also be worrisome to those who may soon find their morals dictated to them by the government.)

I will never understand the legalization of partial birth abortion. However you feel about abortion itself, partial birth abortion is so absolutely horrifying and undeniably wrong that it could not be considered anything less than murder.

Of course, Obama did make his views on children even more clear when he said he didn't want his daughters "punished" with a baby if they make a mistake. I wasn't aware that babies - even unexpected ones - were punishment.

Something else I don't understand - Obama had this to say in his speech to Planned Parenthood:

"In 1966, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America gave its first Margaret Sanger Award to Martin Luther King, Jr. And in his acceptance speech, which was delivered by his strong and wonderful wife Coretta, Dr. King wrote, “Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by non-violent, direct action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her.”

That struggle for equality is not over and now we are at one of those rare moments where we can actually transform our politics in a fundamental way. But it’s going to take people as resolute as Mrs. Sanger and Dr. King..."

It literally shocks me that, given Margaret Sanger's racist eugenic ideology, Obama would hold her up as a forerunner in the struggle for equality. The logic...well, it simply escapes me.

McCain, on the other hand, supports giving legal protection to unborn children, and opposes government funding for abortions. McCain is pro-life with the goal of eliminating the need for abortions in the first place - something that truly gets to the heart of the issue.

But there are many who are not disappointed by the promise of FOCA. So leaving the abortion issue aside, what else would an Obama presidency bring?

Obama opposes allowing parents to homeschool their children with little or no government interference. Obama's education fact sheet includes more daycare ("education from birth"), voluntary (for now) universal preschool, and government workers coming into people's homes to see how the parents are doing ("evidence-based home visiting programs"). A review of his education platform on his website shows a threatening push to place children under the government's banner of care.

McCain, on the other hand, supports the right of a parent to choose among schools for their child, including home education. A review of his education platform on his website shows a strong emphasis on empowering parents to choose and providing freedom of education.

Speaking of parenting freedoms, how about vaccinations? McCain believes in the right for individuals (and in the case of children, parents) to make informed health care decisions, and does not support pre-empting these prerogatives. Obama has said that he is "not for selective vax". Combine a firm position of pro-vaccine on schedule with mandatory UHC insurance for children...yikes.

At the heart of it - McCain trusts you to parent your own kids. Obama thinks he can do a better job than you.

Ronald Reagan said it well:

"I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts."

Economically, Obama opposes the passage of a law requiring a balanced budget. Where is the fiscal responsibility and accountability in this? McCain, on the other hand, supports the passage of such a law.

McCain supports the appointment of judges who are strict constructionists, ones that will not legislate from the bench. Obama opposes this. I find some of Obama's statements on this subject to be particularly frightening. It is relevant to remember that an Obama presidency would last four years - but Supreme Court nominees serve an average of 15 years and can stay as long as they like.

I'm going to stop there for now, as far as Obama/McCain goes, despite the many more issues I have with Obama. I've found the political entries over at Parenting Freedom to be highly revealing, and much more in-depth than my non-political mind tends to go. (I've also rather enjoyed her many Sarah Palin pictures, all with her beautiful family right there beside her.) I'd like to end with a slight shift in focus - third party votes.

I know many people don't like either candidates and dislike the thought of voting for the "lesser evil". Some (hat tip to Lauren) have suggested that we need to think in the long term, sacrificing our votes now in hopes of eventually getting to the point where a third party could mean something. I understand that argument, I truly do, and normally would encourage the idea of voting for a third party.

In this particular election, however, I could not do so. My vote would go firmly to McCain.

As it stands right now, it looks as though the election could go either way - Obama or McCain - and perhaps more likely Obama. It seems (and I could be wrong) that most people who vote third party would look at McCain as the lesser of two evils if they had to choose. If all of those third party votes went to McCain instead, it could mean the difference in who becomes the next president. So while I feel it is admirable to vote for the person you feel most comfortable with - even if it is a third party - this year I would have to vote for McCain. I would so hate to see Obama elected that even if I wasn't 100% comfortable with McCain (and I do disagree with him on some issues), I would forgo the third party vote and vote for McCain instead. Considering the issue of Supreme Court judge appointments - this is a long-term matter.

So for those who support the rights of the unborn, the rights of parents, and the right to believe as you choose and act accordingly, for those who want accountability and a balanced budget, for those who prefer personal freedoms to "big government" - vote for McCain, not a third party. The election is uncertain enough that all of those "throw away" third party votes could make the difference between Obama winning and McCain winning. And to me, Obama is by far the greater evil.


  1. I think it is incredible that a ProChoice candidate whose philosophy is in line with Keep Your Hands Off My Body refuses to support selective vaccination. Amazing actually.

  2. The Obamanation will bring even bigger government that we have now. Under the messiah's rule, there will be less for you to decide because the government will just do that for you. You will have your freedom to kill your baby in-womb, in-transit and who knows... perhaps post-partem as well. If you don't like the color of your baby's hair you should have the right to stick an egg beater in your kid's head in the delivery room then leave it to gasp for air. What's the difference anyway if only the baby's head is partially inside the momma's vagahey? Just wait till its out all of the way, look it over and if you don't like the eye color - snuff it out. We all know it's not a baby until it is totally out of the womb with the umbilical cord severed.

    Mccain is the RIGHT candidate. A vote for Mccain gives you the right to choose your school, the right to choose your health care, the right to be pro life and not have to defend your views to a very narrow minded group of A-holes. Perhaps, due to his (what appears to be legit) concerns and questioning over the relation between vaccines and autism, you might have the right to choose not to inject your kids with toxins that alter the human body in ways yet to be determined.

    There is evil in this world and sometimes you just have to stand up for what is righteous even if it puts you in a temporary hardship. I will be voting for Senator Mccain and my Rights. I cannot vote for a man that does not believe in the Constitution yet will take an oath to defend her and all she stands for. A vote for Obama is a vote for evil.

  3. The only way Obama can lose this election would be to boil and eat a fetus on TV.

  4. I don't understand this comment:

    "As a side note, Obama's support of federal hate crime laws to include sexual orientation should also be worrisome to those who may soon find their morals dictated to them by the government."

    Why should it be appropriate to commit hate crimes against anyone? Regardless of how you or anyone feels about people with a different sexual orientation, I don't think that should give you the right to spray paint their house, send them death threats, throw bricks through their windows, etc.

    You and I have similar views on a lot of topics and very different views on others. For the most part, I can respect the fact that you feel differently, but I just don't understand how anyone could support hate crimes against anyone.

    Or am I missing something here?

  5. phdinparenting, it should never be appropriate to commit a hate crime against someone. Ever. However we have already begun to see pastors unable to even declare homosexuality to be a sin. I fully support crimes based on sexual orientation being considered hate crimes, if that was how it would be played out, but unfortunately it seems instead to be heading towards a prohibition on teaching, preaching or speaking out against homosexuality. It is the criminalization of anti-gay speech that I fully disagree with. Thus my comment on having our morals dictated to us by the government - something I should have explained better.

  6. Thanks for clarifying. I still disagree, but my chin is no longer on the floor!

  7. I personally think I'm just moving to's the weather?

  8. I don't think that the third party votes are going to be quite as drastically taking away from John McCain as you make them out to be. Classic Libertarians are often Democratic leaning, with many of them being specifically pro-choice. Specifically, many Libertarians were against Ron Paul because of his pro-life stance, for example. And many Ron Paul supporters, like myself, will end up voting Libertarian or Constitution party. So, there is a definite split in the Libertarian vote, depending on if people are voting more as "values voters" or voting on economic issues.

    When Ron Paul endorsed Chuck Baldwin, it angered a lot of Libertarians and Republicans who previously supported Ron Paul, but who felt that Chuck Baldwin is a Theocrat.

    And a lot of Democrats were interested in Ron Paul because of his views on legalizing drugs, ending the war and internet freedom. Specifically, Ron Paul stole an entire interest group-- atheist computer geeks, who are traditionally Democrats. In other words, when Ron Paul ran, he crossed the two major party lines. Who knows where their votes will land now.

    Chuck Baldwin would indeed take a more Christian conservative backing for the most part. Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney will be more liberal leaning, with Cynthia McKinney being a staunch socialist.

    I think that this election will break records in third party votes.

    In any case, I share your beliefs on the issues you talk about, I just don't take them to the conclusion of voting for John McCain.

    I just sent this article to Sam's parents, because I was trying to tell them how I felt about voting third party, since I think that Chuck Baldwin says it better than I do.

  9. Pro-choice, but only if I like your choice. Obama doesn't really believe in our personal rights, he seems to want to rip most of them away (vaccinations, homeschooling, etc). But you can have an abortion with no limits if you want. The disconnect is huge there.

    This is why I proudly marked McCain on the computer screen yesterday during early voting. I was not a McCain fan, though Palin really has brought a ton of energy into this campaign and I do like her. He was not my first or even second choice (not even sure he was my 3rd, but that was a bit ago). But he's now the choice that I have. This election is too important for me to go third party and pray that they get enough votes (when 3rd parties don't get enough to put a man into office in this type of election) when the option looming on the horizon scares me more than anything I have seen in years.

  10. I agree with you completely! I think it's a shame that many so-called "enlightened" people don't know or understand Obama's position on some of the issues you mentioned. And Kimmie's point is a good one.

  11. I liked this point your made:

    "Considering the issue of Supreme Court judge appointments - this is a long-term matter."

    This was very well written and I agree with you 100%. My entire family is voting McCain for the same reasons.

  12. Partly curious and partly playing Devil's Advocate here...

    Your comment addressing phdinparenting's concern made sense - that you don't want the government to dictate morals to the populous. So let's say McCain is elected and abortion is made illegal. Given that there are so many different standpoints on abortion, anywhere from the morning after pill being a form of abortion up to partial birth being okay, this would lend to the idea that abortion is a moral matter as well. By making it illegal, isn't that the government dictating morals to the populous, only from the other end of the spectrum?

    (For the record, I am personally against abortion, but also don't think it's the government's place to make that decision for everyone. On the other hand, it shouldn't be funded by government, either. I think the government needs to be hands-off on a lot of things it tries to mandate.)

    Also, Obama supports unwanted pregnancy prevention as well - - scroll down to "preventing unwanted pregnancy." I looked at McCain's website to see how similar their approaches may be to prevention, but couldn't find anything.

    The presidential debates left me with a lot to say with both candidates' views on education. McCain's idea of competition makes sense in theory, as does giving parents the choice of which school to send their child to. But living in (and working in the school district of) a fairly low-income area, I can see a lot of ways that could just never work. We recently discussed with the public the idea of closing down one of the elementary schools due to the cost of fixing the building vs. the lower cost of building a new one and redirecting students. It was a very low-income school, and parents were freaked. out. about having to find some way to get their kid to school at a further away location when they don't have a car and bus transportation is only free from a certain distance. Point being, if it's all competition-based, some parents may be stuck sending their kids to the "losing" schools due to lack of transportation. Costs of providing transportation on a national level for students to be able to go to their choice of schools would be astronomical. The idea of just making sure all schools are actually good and giving teachers incentives to be good at what they do, in that kind of a situation, makes sense to me.

    I definitely agree with you about vaccinations and homeschooling, though. Each side definitely has its pros and cons.

  13. That's a fair question, Karyn, and I see where you're coming from. Two things in response:

    First, I stand by what I said about the gov't having no business legislating morals. I find, for example, homosexual marriages to be immoral (from a religious standpoint), but I don't believe they should be illegal anymore than I believe common law marriages or premarital sex should be illegal.

    I don't, however, see abortion as being a "moral" issue, but rather as being an issue of the rights of unborn children. Murder is illegal when it comes to everyone else, and I honestly believe that should apply to persons who have not yet been born.

    Second, it's the extremities of Obama's views and the FOCA that bother me far more than the legality of abortion itself. I understand (though disagree with) the legality of abortion. What is truly awful, though, is doing away with informed consent and parental consent. Rather than tell women the truth, they want to hide it. Because I believe in women's rights, I could never support denying a woman all of the information she needs to make her choice, under the guise of "making it easier for her". As for parental consent, these are children who can't make the decision to drink, can't vote, can't marry without parental consent, can't be given so much as an advil without parental consent - but they can make a decision of that magnitude, with all of it's life-long affects, without parental consent or even parental notification. It's wrong. It's far beyond issues of morality - it's simply wrong.

    Also, as I said in my post, making it a constitutional right opens up doctors and public officials to lawsuits for refusing to perform abortions or for speaking against them. Again, that's simply wrong.

    Does any of that make sense as to why I don't see this as being an issue of legislating morals?

    Interesting thoughts on education, Karyn. I do appreciate the goals of Obama's education platform, but I find them on the whole to be worrisome and heading in a direction I wouldn't want to see America go. Education is not supposed to be a federal issue, and Obama's way too hands-on in that regard for my liking.

  14. America in general is too hands-on about a lot of things :-/. It's like they're trying to make decisions for those they don't think have the ability to make their own (which, granted, there are a lot of people like that, heh), but that kills a lot of freedoms for those who are smart and make informed decisions. Happens on either side.

    I agree with you about informed/parental consent - I think any procedure done to any person for any reason should be decided upon with full disclosure of other options, side effects, etc. At the same time, though, I do wish people would do their own research into options and alternatives, so the government wouldn't have to have anything out there about full disclosure or informed consent... and I also think people should stop being so lawsuit-happy over people not agreeing with them... and all other kinds of contradictory and implausible things that no candidate would ever include all of on a party ticket :). Candidates don't like to have "buts" when they're running a campaign, I think.

    I find myself hoping that both candidates are taking extreme positions just to get the extremist and hard-leaning voters, and that, in either case, their positions would swing at least slightly back toward middle before anything were enacted.

  15. Hi. I just found this blog from a link on PhD in Parenting, & found this post. I’d like to comment on the things you said about abortion, just to give the other side of the story from a pro-choicer.

    With regard to what you call ‘partial-birth abortion’ (it’s a rather misleading name), I wrote a blog post some time back about why I felt the Supreme Court were wrong to ban this procedure. The post is at

    With regard to underage girls and parental consent, I dearly wish that no young girl was ever put in the position of having to decide between abortion, adoption, and young motherhood. But a pregnant girl is going to have to opt for one of those choices, and is going to have to live with whatever the consequences are. And to me, it makes no sense to say that a girl is not mature enough to make a decision for herself, yet *is* mature enough to deal with going through a pregnancy and its aftermath because someone else decides she should. It also makes no sense to say that a girl isn’t mature enough to deal with the pain of an abortion, so that means she should be put in a position where she should be forced into an abortion if her family decide, against her wishes, that that’s what’s right for her (and that does happen). I think that she ultimately HAS to be the one who makes the decision, because she is the one who will have to live with it, and because even the best-meaning of parents are not omniscient and can make the wrong decision about what would be best for their daughter. And, although I would strongly encourage a girl in that position to talk to her family, I would never want to see a girl in a situation where she was scared away from being able to talk to anyone due to believing she couldn’t count on being able to do so in confidence.

    And with regard to the laws about informed consent, I’m guessing here that the issue is probably that pro-lifers do have quite a history of trying to give very skewed or inaccurate information – phrasing risks unrealistically, or giving information from old studies that have since been superseded. What were the informed consent laws you feel the FOCA would abolish?

    Given that Obama has two children who are clearly much loved, I very much doubt that he thinks that babies are a punishment. But I think that, when a pregnant woman is told that she has to go ahead with her pregnancy against her wishes because she had sex and so should expect this consequence, then that attitude does pretty much come down to baby-as-punishment. (I’m not claiming that you hold this attitude, just that I have seen it from many, many pro-lifers, and am guessing that this is likely what triggered this statement of Obama’s.)

  16. Sarah, you bring up good points.

    There is no easy answer as far as parental consent goes, but I feel that parental consent is preferable to leaving children to make this choice for themself. You're right, that doesn't mean that the parent will help them to make the best choice for them - like I said, no easy answer. I didn't intend to really dig into the issue here, just give a brief overview of my thoughts.

    As for the informed consent laws, I've read such things in several places (a quick Google search brings up a great number of hits). Senator Boxer, sponsor of the bill, phrased it this way: "...we respect a woman's ability to make her own decision, and don't force women to attend anti-choice propaganda lectures, which submit women to misleading information, the purpose of which is to discourage abortion." You see bias on the part of pro-lifers; I see just as much on the part of pro-choicers.

    Ultimately, at the very core of things, I could never see the end justifying the means as it relates to abortion. I just can't. I know all the arguments for abortion - women's choice, her body, the sort of life the child would live, decreased crime, parents not being ready, all that stuff. For me, none of that justifies killing a child. It is just beyond horrific to use any of the reasons to justify killing a child once it's born, and I can't get my mind around the idea that an unborn child should be treated any differently, that it's okay because it's "not really a baby" yet. If a woman isn't ready for a child, there are so many other women out there who would dearly love to take that child and raise it well. I just could never, no matter what the reason, see it being okay to end that life just because it hasn't been born yet.

  17. I can fully understand being pro-life, and used to feel that way myself (ultimately I decided that I could not bring myself to put other women in a position where they would be forced to go ahead with a pregnancy, that they should not be made to use their bodies for that end - but I can still completely sympathise with people who feel the opposite way). Just wanted to respond to some of the specific points you made.

  18. I realize this post is quite late and completely unrelavent now, but I just found your blog, so am just now reading this.

    If have to tell you, from someone who lives in Texas, the absolute heart of the Republican party, I haven't found a single Republican (and trust me, they are EVERYWHERE here in Texas) who explained the reasons to vote for McCain more simply and effectively than you just did. Makes me almost wished I'd voted for him. Almost. :)

    Thanks for the post and look forward to reading more.