NOTE: this is simply FYI. I am not about to get into it with anyone on this blog. That's not how I roll.
When the primaries were happening, my outlook was "Anybody but Hillary." I was rooting for Obama over Hillary and wasn't too concerned with the Republican camp because nobody stood out too much and I was determined not to swing to the Republican tag just because my parents traditionally vote conservatively. At the first look, I was interested and somewhat mesmerized by this unknown Illinois senator, but I think that was escalated by the fact that I absolutely did not want Hillary sworn in.
Then McCain won the primaries and I studied his history a little. I was impressed with his military record and noticed he had a stubborn charisma. I was more concerned with Obama because he gave the impression of a moderate liberal and interested me since he was different from the status quo old, white politician. I guess I also thought that there wasn't much of a difference between a "liberal Republican" and a "conservative Democrat." As I watched and studied Obama, I noticed that he changed his story a lot. He claimed to support certain platforms that he'd voted against countless times during his Senate tenure. Still, I remained neutral because I thought that the media could be tainting the story. When Reverend Wright came to the forefront, my doubts increased. I can remember watching MSNBC from a hotel on my honeymoon when this story surfaced, watching clips of Reverend Wright repeatedly bash America and patriotism. Obama claimed he barely knew the man and didn't place any clout on what he said. Well, either way, Obama allowed a man to marry him and his wife and baptize his two daughters OR his claims on devout Christianity are another twist of the truth. I'm not saying you can't be a believer without listening to what your pastor says in church, but it's a little fishy. Also, I am mostly against abortion and especially partial-birth abortion and couldn't believe what I heard him say from an Illinois senate footage. My standpoint then became, "Vote for McCain because he's the lesser of two evils."
Then McCain announced that Sarah Palin would be running with him and that changed my political leanings completely in his favor. Not only was she different than the typical politician, but she was a bold and brave political move on McCain's part. It let me know that he's a fighter. Palin could be my best friend's mom or the lady across the street. She represents the political and social ideals and integrity that I trust and believe. She is poised and balances the Republican ticket by bringing a different experience onboard.
As far as social and political platforms go, I'm mostly conservative. I believe partial-birth abortion should be outlawed completely and that women should be properly educated about their options because I can't believe that any woman would kill a baby with toenails and eyelashes and a beating heart. I especially can't believe that Obama or any father would deny the vitality of failed abortion babies, who can breathe and move and blink and cry on their own.
While that may seem emotional, my economic stance is very practical. I think government handouts are too easy to obtain and I certainly don't think the middle class need any more. If the wealth becomes "redistributed," what's to keep me from quitting my job and living from the pockets of the wealthy. What message does that communicate for the value of hard work? What message does it communicate to the American Dream? If you are going to give people tax cuts, the percentage should be the same for everyone regardless of how full their pockets are.
As someone who works for a small business that serves other small businesses, I can predict what will happen until Obama's plan. Not only will we have to adjust budgets and payrolls, but our small company clients will adjust their budgets and payrolls and possibly eliminate our services. If jobs are eliminated from our company, I can imagine other small businesses will be affected similarly. The unemployment rate will skyrocket.
Under Obama's healthcare plan, we may not see the detriments during his 4-8 years in the Oval Office, but it will definitely place us on the path to universal healthcare like Canada. While there are some benefits to that system, I know that the quality of healthcare will decline with the workers' salary, and we may have to wait longer in pain for doctors whose practices are regulated and whose schedules are full like my Canadian friend who waited seven months for gallbladder surgery. I think that McCain's idea of a $5000 tax credit toward healthcare will improve the quality of the system and take some financial burden off of people, especially if he lobbies on the behalf of people with pre-existing conditions like he promises to do.
Both candidates' clean coal initiative proposals aren't too much different in my novice eyes, but I like the idea of drilling on the home front to see what kind of natural resources American soil can come up with. And I knew I was forgetting one! Education! Free education is a time bomb waiting to explode. If they do offer free education, they should set standards or increase the standards at colleges and universities. Imagine what will happen to the workforce if a diploma is universal. That's something to watch, though I do believe that more magnet or specialty schools should be funded by the government.
Since this is my first election to be really involved with, my eyes have been opened to how much -- media biases aside -- people can receive the same information and come to completely different conclusions. I am proud of America and their increasing participation in politics and responsibility for the future of a nation, and I really hope that people will take facts into consideration and look at both candidates' experiences to discern what they can do to shape America regardless of skin color or gender or age or how charismatic they are.
PS: If you didn't know, you get a free cup of coffee from Starbucks if you vote! So go vote!