I don’t generally get into politics in this space. But tomorrow is the vote and everyone and their mother has weighed in, so I’ll put my two cents out there. Take it or leave it.
In general, I’m one of those voters who isn’t 100% happy with any candidate. I am mostly fiscally conservative and very socially liberal. I had a lot of respect for John McCain when he ran in 2000; I really believed he was a maverick then who might transcend the modus operandi of a typical politician. I don’t have that respect for him now.
There are scads of rumors about both candidates flying around and labels used by the campaigns without any analysis of what they even mean. But I don’t need to look at anything more than the way each man has run his campaign to make a decision. McCain has run an inept, cynical, and fear-mongoring campaign, exemplified by the pick of Sarah Palin. If the same kind of decision-making that went into choosing her as a running mate ends up determining the fate of this country, well, then God help us.
Obama, on the other hand, has built an incredible organization that is active and engaged and his message (though polluted with plenty of negativism particularly in these final weeks) has generally been one of hope, perseverance, and change. Even after all these weeks, I have no idea what McCain’s vision of America is. What I fear is that after 8 years of being led by an ideologically-bound, barely-literate cowboy, we’re facing the prospect of being led by my cranky, mean-spirited grandpa for 4 years.
I also don’t know how any fiscal conservative can look at the country’s finances during the 6 years the Republicans controlled both the executive and legislative branches of government and state with a straight face that another Republican administration is going to mean a leaner, more fiscally-responsible government.
Finally, since this is a blog about the arts, I would refer to this piece in the LA Times about each candidate’s views on arts funding. Personally, I have about two dozen reasons for supporting Obama, but for an arts professional, I don’t think you need much more than this to determine your vote.
You may not give a rip about my opinion and that’s fine. You can post all of the flames you want in response to this endorsement; it’s still a free country. But in my mind, the smartest vote for a stronger, safer, and better America is a vote for Barack Obama.