Monday, March 03, 2008

McCain or Obama? (Part 1)

I’m in a bit of a quandary.

I am unsure of who I will vote for in November, if given a choice between John McCain and Barack Obama. Now, if the choice is between John McCain and Hillary Clinton, I do know who I would vote for: John McCain. Mrs. Clinton has never ranked high with me in terms of likeability. I don’t trust her at all, and I think her election would have the effect of further polarizing our national politics (as if they could be any more polarized than they already are). But if the choice is between John McCain and Barack Obama, I’m unsure of what I would do.

Some background: I have had the privilege of voting in every Presidential election since 1984 and, if the Lord lets me live, I intend to vote in November. In 1984, I voted for the Mondale-Ferraro ticket (What can I say? I was a 21-year-old college student who didn’t know any better.). However, since 1988, I have evaluated Presidential candidates first and foremost based on their positions on abortion and so-called gay rights: if the candidate was for either one, I was against him. Of course, this has meant that, when it came to the Presidential election, I’ve always voted for the Republican candidate.

Despite this fact, I don’t consider myself a dyed-in-the-wool Republican. It’s hard to feel at home with a party that pretty much ignores the plight of Black America. The Republican Party knows it will lose the Black vote, so their attitude seems to be, why bother? On the other hand, I’ve long been disenchanted with the Democrat Party. I have felt for many years that the Democrat Party simply takes Black America for granted. They know that if they throw some money at the Black community and say the right things they’ll get the “Black vote”, even if they never do anything to bring about substantive change and improvement in the Black community.

It’s frustrating. Republicans have no trouble finding billions of dollars to pump into the Iraq war but can’t afford to invest billions of dollars in the inner cities of America to help relieve the plight of the urban poor. Democrats promise much but deliver little that actually helps in the long run to reverse the moral and economic downside in the inner-city Black community, while giving their unequivocal support to abortion and pandering to the demands of the activist homosexual community for full recognition of their immoral lifestyle choices.

It’s enough to make one want to totally withdraw from the political process. Yet, I find that choice unacceptable. At one time, Blacks could not vote at all. I don’t want to ever forget that. That’s why, as a Black American, I feel I have a civic and moral duty to vote whenever I’m given the opportunity.

Which brings me back to this coming November and the possibility of having to choose between John McCain or Barack Obama. For the first time in the history of this country, a Black man has a real chance of becoming the President of the United States. There is a part of me that wants to vote for Barack Obama simply because he is Black, as a matter of racial pride and solidarity, out of a feeling of “it’s about time”, after over 200 years of racial injustice in the “land of the free”.

On the other hand, Obama is pro-choice on the question of abortion. I find that position morally unacceptable. Obama also has the endorsement of many in the homosexual rights movement. Just the thought that, perhaps, a “President Obama” could advance the acceptance of “gay marriage” in this country I find totally repugnant.

So, I should just vote for John McCain, right? Many of my fellow conservative Christians would say, yes. Honestly, however, a vote for John McCain would simply be a vote against Barack Obama, not a vote for McCain, because I’m really not interested in John McCain at all. Personally, I think he is too old. I don’t think anyone needs to run for President who is older than Ronald Reagan was when he won the first time. I’m also not too thrilled about the fact that he has been divorced (as was Reagan).

For at least the past three Presidential elections, I haven’t been particularly excited about the Republican choice; I just didn’t want the Democrat to win. Personally, I’m tired of just voting against someone. I want a candidate I can be for.

(To be continued…)

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