For a lot of people, that seems to be good enough. For others, they might make a check list of each candidates' pros and cons and try to decide between them based on whatever 'most' people seem to be concerned about this time. Is the economy really bad this year? Are we at war? What are the headlines? I have certainly used that technique myself. I have also been the one-issue voter. This time, I wanted to make a decision from a more fundamental basis.
I have been reading both candidates' websites. There were not very many surprises (except for the sheer amount of programs both want passed with Obama apparently doubling or tripling McCain). This article about Obama at the Wall Street Journal, a review of his book "The Audacity of Hope," was particularly eye-opening. And from Althouse today, a brief description of McCain's appearance on "Meet the Press."
Whenever he found the chance, he would stress that Barack Obama has a far-left ideology, and whenever he needed a different argument -- such as when Brokaw confronted him with his own statements in favor of making the rich pay more taxes -- he would resort to the argument that different times require different solutions. How can you use these two rhetorical strategies alternately? It's incoherent.
Which is what McCain is; incoherent. He's more pragmatist than any other Republican we've had to deal with in recent history. Since pragmatists don't have their own ethics, he uses christian ethics with a good dose of 'country first.' Even these seem to be reigned in by what he thinks he can accomplish. He will choke free speech to get a clean government and he is against a federal marriage amendment. His tax cuts and health care ideas are defended because of their results, not based on morality. He does have some ideals, but there seems to be almost nothing he will not compromise.
There are Christians in this country who want to have their moral system ensconced into law. This is evident in the anti-abortion movement, at this point focused on overturning Roe v. Wade, as well as the many efforts to block same-sex couples from marrying. Allowing religious dogma to define laws will turn our country into factions fighting over whose religion is more correct, more numerous, or more acceptable to most people. It is only the republican party that would even entertain such nonsense.
Obama is a true believer the likes of which you would have thought would be ashamed to show their faces after the fall of the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Apparently, when you don't believe in an objective reality, no failure in the real world can shake you.
The Wall Street Journal article talks about Obama's take on liberalism and how he feels he can get everyone on board by being a great leader. The article stresses that Obama has been consistent in his ideals. He is a man of consistent ideas and he fairly glows with the self-confidence it gives him. Many people, even some so-called conservatives, have picked up on this special Obama quality. For many liberals, Obama is the beneficent leader-cum-dictator they have been hoping for. While Obama's platform is not full-throttle communism, the goal of the Democrats has always been a 'death by a thousand cuts.'
Obama has me considering this quote:
The battle of human history is fought and determined by those who are predominantly consistent, those who, for good or evil, are committed to and motivated by their chosen psycho-epistemology and its corollary view of existence.
Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual, p. 21.
McCain, himself, is rather old-school and this link has seemed appropriate for him.
And that is without taking vice presidential candidates into consideration.
I am not a philosopher. I am just someone trying to sort out information I have tried to gather for myself, within the time I decided was appropriate to spend on it in terms of the rest of my priorities. I endeavor to use my brain and good principles. With some effort I'll come to a conclusion that is consistent with what I think works best for me and my kids' future.
For the only philosophy that supports freedom and reason, you can visit here.
Postscript: Any third parties are even more divorced from my standards.