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Defend Your Candidate On Positions Only!

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posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 03:17 PM
With the addition of the Bully Pulpit here at ATS, I find it only appropriate that we begin to use this forum for it's intended purpose.

Let's discuss the issues.

The purpose of this thread is to reveal and discuss some of the individual issues of each of the candidates. If you are an Obama supporter, tell us why by picking a position of his you agree with and explaining it. The same goes for McCain supporters.

This should be a great chance for everyone here to get a better look at the policies of these two men. It should also provide a chance for the undecided voters of this forum to make an opinion of the men for themselves.

No bias please. Only positions on the issues. That doesn't mean we can't voice our opposition to policies though. Just keep it civil, and keep it fact based.

Let's have some fun.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 08:41 AM
I expected a slew of responses to your thread by now.

Interesting that it appears quiet. I wish I could contribute to the OP, but the policy differences between candidates appear nearly cosmetic to me. Also, neither candidate seems willing to cement their future actions down to specifics. But I suppose that could be seen as typical.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 08:50 AM
I don't find this to be the case at all.

There are major differences in their health care plans, their views on national security, taxes, etc.

I don't these two men could be any further apart on issues honestly.

And I did figure a lot of the people who signed up for the Bully Pulpit would be itching to discuss the actual issues.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 08:57 AM
reply to post by nyk537

I sincerely don't want to derail your threads' intent. I suppose asking for a position statement comparison between the two candidates would be possible, but I can't honestly do so under the premise of my supporting either. Is it possible to make a statement regarding a particular candidates position objectively, without referring to the opponents' position as a framework for highlighting the difference? (does that make sense?)

What I mean to say is I think the 'opponents' position forms an integral part of the verbiage and presentation of one's own. They feed off the technical flaws of each others approach to evoke agreement from the voters, no?

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 09:22 AM
Really all I'm asking for here is quite simple. I just want to know why people support the candidate they do.

Is there one issue your candidate has that you find important to you? If so, explain.

For instance, a McCain supporter could back their support of the man by saying they are in complete agreement with his position on national security. Then explain that position. Also, an Obama supporter could voice their support of his stance on health care, then explain.

The intent of this thread is really just to expose some of the policies of these men running for President.

I feel too much space here at ATS is devoted to picking apart these mens personal lives, and not enough is being spent discussing the issues that really matter.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 11:01 AM
I am more than willing to support or critique Obama on an issue as I did in the energy policy thread IF you asked about a specific issue or policy, but I feel your thread subject is too broad to have a cohesive thread AND you didn't lay your thoughts out first. Those are the reasons I didn't answer this thread.

You also said, "No bias, please" and I am highly biased. We are ALL biased.

But, in the spirit of what I think are your intentions, I will submit a post.

The Issue: Veterans' Affairs

There is a serious problem with the way this country treats its people after they have proudly and bravely served our country. The wounded aren't treated with the care they deserve and the benefits veterans receive are not close to adequate.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Vets, nearly 400,000 vets experience homelessness sometime during the year and 200,000 are completely homeless. This is INEXCUSABLE! One out of every 3 homeless persons you see have served their country!

In February, Bush's lawyers argued that Veterans Aren't Entitled to Mental Health Care

Veterans have no legal right to specific types of medical care, the Bush administration argues in a lawsuit accusing the government of illegally denying mental health treatment to some troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The arguments, filed Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco, strike at the heart of a lawsuit filed on behalf of veterans that claims the health care system for returning troops provides little recourse when the government rejects their medical claims.

The government should NOT be rejecting veteran's requests for health care! Veterans are killing themselves, becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs, and wasting their lives away trying to deal with the repercussions of their service to this country and they have to sue the government to get proper health care??? Something is very wrong there.

Obama's Plan for Vets commits to creating a Department of Veterans' Affairs that sees to the specific needs that our nation's veterans deserve.

Allow All Veterans Back into the VA: One of Obama's first acts will be reversing the 2003 ban on enrolling modest-income veterans, which has denied care to a million veterans.
Combat Homelessness among Our Nation's Veterans: Obama will establish a national "zero tolerance" policy for veterans falling into homelessness by expanding proven programs and launching innovative services to prevent veterans from falling into homelessness.
Improve Mental Health Treatment: Obama will improve mental health care at every stage of military service. He will recruit more health professionals, improve screening, offer more support to families and make PTSD benefits claims fairer.

According to, McCain's voting record has shown very little interest in doing right by this country's veterans, even though he is one:

But organizations that have followed the senator's voting record have noted that McCain's actions are rarely in line with the interests of veterans' organizations. In 2006, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Senator McCain a failing grade of "D" based on his voting record.

The same year, McCain supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans just 20 percent of the time. The main reason for the low scores is a consistent pattern by Senator McCain of voting against appropriating money for veterans' health care and disability payments.

According to Disabled American Veterans, McCain voted almost a dozen separate times against spending additional money on veterans' health care in 2005 and 2006, even as hundreds of thousands of soldiers and Marines were returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and filing disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. shows McCain's voting record on recent issues. He voted AGAINST :

S Amdt 2634 to S 2020: To provide an additional $500,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010, to be used for readjustment counseling, related mental health services, and treatment and rehabilitative services for veterans with mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance use disorder.

Obama Voted for It and in 2006 he was rated a B+ by DAV because he supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 80 percent of the time. as opposed to McCain's 20%. VA Watchdog - Source

So, taking the ACTIONS of the candidates into account, it's clear that Obama is much better for our veterans' health, care and well-being AFTER they have so honorably served their country.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 11:11 AM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

You took my issue!

I also think it is interesting he took credit for the new GI bill even though he was against it. I guess he forgot the taxpayers paid for the Naval Academy when he went there. Many vets do not like Sen. McCain and are for Sen. Obama on issues of health care and others.

I will add Sen. Obama will be sorely needed to shore up our relationships with the rest of the world. Many of the worlds' nations do not trust us or are getting increasingly worse. It seems some want to start a new cold war with Russia. It would be good for the defense contractors, but I don't want to have global nuclear war hanging over my head like it did in the past.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 11:26 AM
Perhaps I am too clinical of the matter, I did not feel that the issue presentation was presented in such a manner as to strip it of bias. Nothing personal. I understand the issue, but in essence it is framed in such a manner as to make it more of a political statement about 'what is right and wrong' as opposed to; "This is what I am proposing to do, and this is the result I expect to achieve."

I would have thought:

- reversing the 2003 ban on enrolling modest-income veterans
- establish a national "zero tolerance" policy for veterans falling into homelessness
- improve mental health care at every stage of military service.

was more in line with what would be an unbiased presentation of what Obama's stated policy plans are regarding veteran health care.

Ultimately, the expansion would have explained the mechanism by which these goals can be achieved and what need they address.

Or am I out of line here?

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 11:26 AM
This is exactly what I was looking for BH!

I suppose when I said "no bias" I was simply trying to make the statement that this is the Bully Pulpit, and the cheap tactics used on the other boards are not allowed. No bias does hinder things a bit as we do all have bias. My intention is just to allow people to discuss issues they think are important.

That way we can form an objective opinion on the candidates based on policy alone.

Thanks for getting things started!

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 11:37 AM

Originally posted by Maxmars
I did not feel that the issue presentation was presented in such a manner as to strip it of bias.

You're absolutely right. I am very biased on the issue (as I am on most issues) and presented it with the information that formed my bias, so it's no surprise that you see bias there.
I warned that I am biased and my posts will almost always show which way I am biased. If I had picked gun control (another interesting issue) by bias would have been completely flipped.

My post is framed as a political statement in that this is a political issue and my vote WILL be based on who is doing what I consider to be "right" for the people of this country and who is doing what I consider to be "wrong" for the people of this country.

"This is what I am proposing to do, and this is the result I expect to achieve."
Or am I out of line here?

I don't think you're out of line in commenting on my post, but perhaps you'd like to post on another issue yourself and use the format you describe as another way to add to the thread.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 01:17 PM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

Thank you for understanding that I was not meaning to offend or question the value of your post. (As a matter of fact, I was kind of hoping a McCaine supporter would counter - just to see how it flows).

There is a distinct disadvantage for me in these kinds of debates in that I am truly against both candidates (nearly ALL candidates for that matter) simply because they are willing - if not eager - to espouse 'the party' as some kind of savior organization 'for the people'. I just don't see it that way. But this is neither here nor there, just more rationalization for sticking my nose in where its potentially unwanted, or just plain doesn't belong.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 01:30 PM
Perhaps this thread would flow better if the object were to discuss an issue a candidate supports that you are against?

I can think of several of Obamas policies that I strongly disagree with, and I think that would be easier to discuss. I'm sure BH can give us an in depth analysis of where McCain is wrong too.

Just brainstorming here. I really think a good look at some issues will be a breath of fresh air around here though.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 02:43 PM
Issue: Gun Control

I used to be a gun-control advocate... until I became educated about the facts and let go of the illogical fears that are fed to us by the government and media.

Our Constitutional rights have taken a beating over the past 7 years and the 2nd Amendment is one that I feel strongly MUST be protected. I support the right to own firearms for whatever reason, hunting, self-defense, collecting or just because.

I do believe there should be background checks and common sense protections, to make sure criminals or people with known mental instabilities cannot freely purchase guns, so clearly, I do believe in some infringement.

Obama endorsed a handgun ban and voted to allow lawsuits against gun manufacturers. That makes as much sense to me as a lawsuit against Toyota for having an automobile accident. He cosponsored a bill to limit gun purchases to one a month (none of the government's business) and believes that it's OK for retired police officers to have a concealed carry permit, but not regular citizens... I don't believe that we can make the judgment that just because someone was a police officer necessarily means they are safe from committing a crime with a gun.

Obama has a history of working to infringe on the rights of the people protected by the Second Amendment and while I understand WHY he is concerned about guns, I believe the way he has gone about dealing with the issue in the past is the WRONG approach.

Obama on the Issues

McCain, on the other hand, believes that the CRIMINAL should be prosecuted, not all gun owners and not gun manufacturers. He would hold the criminal accountable instead of making law-abiding citizens pay for the crimes of others. He doesn't support background checks on people at gun shows and I think that's a bit irresponsible, because anyone can walk into a gun show. But he has a record of voting to protect the rights of the citizens to purchase and own firearms.

McCain on the Issues

So, on the issue of Gun Control, I stand much closer to McCain than to Obama.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 08:06 PM
This is interesting in that I think the original intent was that the first post be on specific issue(s) and include sources and links to any other facts and information available. Then the ensuing posts either back it up with more sources or information or refute it with good sources and information.

Expressing opinion is what led to this Forum's creation I think.

This would be a good place for a Mod to further define this.

This will lead to much smaller threads, backed up with sources and facts and links to them. It is getting to where many threads on ATS are 90% junk and opinion and too little useful info. Mod, please correct if I'm wrong?

posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 02:16 PM
The problem is if I post why I am voting for McCain on the issues, with details, my response would be very long. I'll try to summarize:

Where I agree with McCain:

* Energy policy (favors drilling, or says he does now, favors building nuclear reactor facilities which will create jobs and aid an already strained energy grid, McCain does also favor alternative energy - he just doesn't want to put all of our eggs in one basket which I whole heartedly agree with)
* Not nationalizing health care
* Securing our borders
* The war on terror, including Iraq and Afghanistan
* Not afraid to stand up to Iran and Russia
* Committment to education
* Tax cuts for major corporations (because this in turn tends to create jobs for Americans)
* No to partial birth (late term) abortion
* Stand on the Second Amendment (right to bear arms)
* Fighting against Pork Barrell Spending (a BIG problem with current Congress)
* Fully supports U.S. Space Program (from the John McCain website)

and of course, being conservative means:

* smaller government, less involved in the affairs of people
* more power to the individual states
* support of free trade

posted on Aug, 30 2008 @ 05:58 PM
I'd like to talk about Obama's plan to revisit the recent radical reforms in immigration policy in five years. In the past immigration policy favored admission of family members of those who have already immigrated and those sponsored by American companies who want to hire them. The new system would award "points" to immigrants based on factors such as degree of education and income status and relegate those without sufficient "points" to a temporary, "guest worker" status, with a maximum stay of two years.

In a speech given in 2007, Obama suggests the "points"system should be sunsetted (subject to review and/or revision) in five years.

The speech is taken from Obama's senate website:
Immigration Reform

An excerpt from the speech follows:

“Let me be clear: Senators Menendez, Feingold, and I are not proposing to strike the program from the bill. But this system should be revisited after a reasonable amount of time to determine whether it’s working, how it can be improved, and whether we should return to the current family and employer based system that has worked so well.”

“We live in a global economy, and I do believe that America will be strengthened if we welcome more immigrants who have mastered science and engineering. But, we cannot weaken the very essence of what America is by turning our backs on immigrants who want to reunite with their family members, or immigrants who have a willingness to work hard but who may not have the right graduate degrees.”

“This is not who we are as a country. Should those without graduate degrees who spoke Italian or Polish or German, instead of English, have been turned back at Ellis Island? Should the immigrants from Asia who arrived at Angel Island to build our railroads have been told that they could only come for two years because they had no hope of passing a points test? How many of our ancestors would have been allowed to enter the U.S. under this new system?”

“Character and work ethic have long defined generations of immigrants to America. But these qualities are beyond the scope of this bill’s points system. It tells us nothing about what people who have been without opportunity can achieve once they are here. It tells us nothing about the potential of their children to serve and to lead. We are Americans. We do not have a caste or class based society, and we do not need a caste or class based immigration system.”

“In short, the points system raises some serious concerns for me. Now, I’m willing to defer to those senators who negotiated this provision and say we should give this a try. But I’m not willing to say that this untested system should be made virtually permanent. For that reason, I urge my colleagues to support this common-sense amendment to sunset this points system after five years so we can examine its effectiveness and necessity.”

Obama is not arguing that we should ditch the present immigration reforms altogether, just that these reforms should be subject to review in five years and amended if necessary.

It makes sense to me that those who are well educated and highly employable should move to the head of the line, but we do risk losing a lot of deserving people who may not have had those advantages in their home countries. After all, we like to think of America as "the land of opportunity."

Sen. Obama's amendment would give us the opportunity to review the success of the new "points" system in a reasonable length of time. He and his co-sponsors seem to me prudent and wise.

posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 07:44 PM
I think that defending a position first requires a position to be opposed, so consequently, I'll take just one issue, oppose one side, and defend the other.

Perhaps then we can get this rolling.

Obama desires to put into place a comprehensive government run health care plan. He has no idea how much it will cost, how it will be structured, but desires that those without medical coverage receive it. Very nice.

We do not need another bureaucracy getting between people and their health care, which puts control in the hands of government instead of the people.

Since we know nothing of how the plan will be put into effect, we can only assume it will be similar to other government helath care, such as Medicare.

Medicare's HMO's are...quite limited, and without much choice, since Medicare controls all the choices, and sets the standards. Although there are supposedly many companies offering these HMO plans to Medicare recipients, in actuality, it is an insurance cartel, offering the same plan with only minor variations.

Although Obama has stated he wants everyone to have the medical benefits he receives, and that all Federal employees receive, he hasn't the faintest idea how to get that benefit to the people.

The government would need to contract with their health insurers to cover everyone that doesn't have benefits now...which would create a total monopoly for the insurers, presuming of course that Congress would approve such a complicated plan without pork built in everywhere, while the bureaucracy would leave citizens paying for illegal entrants into the country. Then numbers of those to be covered include 12 million additional people that are not legally on anyone's books.

McCain, on the other hand also wants health care to be available to all, and has put a price on it, and a simple way of handling it.

McCain desires that a tax deduction of $5,000.00 be given to every family, so that they can purchase a health plan from a medical insurer, which is rebatable to those that don't have enough income to purchase such a plan.

Any worry about getting the medical insurance rebate limited to the purchase of medical insurance can be accomplished with the rebates being offered as vouchers to those that do not have income for a cash purchase, and proof of insurance billing being required for those that use the direct deduction. In addition, only tax-paying legal immigrants would be covered under this health plan.

This leaves control of medical care in the hands of those choosing it, and stimulates competition between insurance companies to offer the best plans for people to choose from.

It would be easy for Congress to put through, as a single amendment to the tax code, particularly since no bureaucracy would be created.

This alone would keep me voting for McCain...I like common sense and practicality.

[edit on 9/4/2008 by DreamTrekker]

[edit on 9/4/2008 by DreamTrekker]

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