Election Day Thoughts

I haven't written much about the presidential election because in my view it is largely irrelevant. We are in deep trouble whether McCain or Obama wins the White House. With Obama we will get massive federal spending, increased government control of the economy, unjust wars and counterproductive intervention abroad, abortion, gay marriage, and suppression of free speech. With McCain we will get massive federal spending, increased government control of the economy, unjust wars and counterproductive intervention abroad, abortion, gay marriage, and suppression of free speech. Pick your poison.

Obviously I would never vote for Obama, whose ghastly support for infanticide knows no bounds, but the idea of John McCain as the conservative opposition is simply laughable. Eight years ago, even those who are now his most fervent supporters chose George W. Bush over McCain because, they said then, McCain was a liberal in disguise. Has he changed since then? Of course not. So why does he deserve your vote now? Is Obama that much worse than Gore would have been?

Speaking of Bush, if you want to blame somebody for what we are about to endure, GWB ought to be in your crosshairs. He is the one who set the precedent that on all matters remotely related to national security, the President's word is supreme, all-powerful, and beyond appeal, up to including the power to secretly imprison and torture anyone he wishes. Some of us warned against this and were drowned out by so-called loyal conservatives. Now that same unlimited authority will belong to Obama. Do you have any doubt he will use it? Good job, guys.

I've been told I should bite my tongue and vote for McCain for the sole reason that he will give us pro-life Supreme Court justices, which Obama will surely not. This argument might make sense if McCain were actually pro-life, but he's not. This is the man who wanted to place pro-abortion Joe Lieberman or pro-abortion Tom Ridge a heartbeat away from the presidency, and would have done so had political reality permitted. Now ask yourself: if you are truly committed to a cause, and you are a 72-year-old cancer survivor, would you not make absolutely sure that your hand-picked successor was equally committed to that cause? Of course you would. Yet McCain picked Palin only under pressure from the religious right - pressure that we won't be able to exert once he is safely in office.

The fact that McCain would even consider Lieberman or Ridge tells you everything you need to know about the priority he places on life issues. He is pro-life only for those babies who are big enough to be seen on an ultrasound, and who had the good fortune not to be conceived as a result of rape or incest. He's happy to see smaller and even more defenseless children shredded alive in the cause of medical experimentation. He will even use your tax money to pay for it.

Clearly McCain is not someone who is deeply committed to protecting innocent life. Like most Republicans, he just goes through the motions in order to get pro-life people to vote for him. Even in the unlikely event he wanted to nominate a pro-life Supreme Court justice, the chance of such a person getting through the Democratic Senate is nil.

In one strange way we are probably better off with Obama. As noted above, we will have a liberal in the White House no matter who wins. If it's Obama, congressional Republicans will at least make a mild effort to show some backbone. With the help of Southern Democrats, they may be able to head off some of Obama's worst proposals. If McCain is president and pushes the very same plans in consulation with his Democratic buddies - which he will - the GOP will meekly fall in line just like they did with Bush. And you can see where that got us.

All that said, I think we'll be okay for the next four years. If Obama wins, he is smart enough not to overreach. If McCain wins, the Democratic Congress will restrain his worst impulses. Tough times are coming in either case, but the world will keep turning. The real threat we face is a long-term decline in public morality and values. Our problems are much more spiritual than political. No president will solve them.

Maybe McCain will pull an upset tonight. We'll know soon. Whichever of the two wins, they will have done so without the help of my vote. I made the mistake in 2004 of voting for what I thought was the lesser of two evils. I forgot that the lesser evil is still evil. I won't forget again.

No comments: