Caution: Partisans read this with care.
As I do every election year, I'm going to attempt to lay out in the simplest terms possible (and I'll try to use smaller words) Why the vast
majority of voters who have actually educated themselves on our candidates' platforms have chosen Barack Obama. This is, while written by a liberal
person, a fair and honest appraisal of both platforms, Republican and Democrat, and a truthful assessment of the validity and overall benefit of a
given party's platform.
That being said, the sources for my research goes directly to the source, platform material taken directly from each candidate's website,
For you McCain-anators
On the issues:
Barack Obama's stance on Healthcare is immediately apparent when you read the following, in which he briefly outlines a plan to get healthcare to
“We now face an opportunity – and an obligation – to turn the page on
the failed politics of yesterday’s health care debates.... My plan begins
by covering every American. If you already have health insurance, the
only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of
money you will spend on premiums. That will be less. If you are one of
the 45 million Americans who don’t have health insurance, you will have
it after this plan becomes law. No one will be turned away because of a
preexisting condition or illness.”
--Barack Obama, Speech in Iowa City, IA, May 29, 2007
The section continues into an outlined breakdown of problem points, solutions, and Barack's own record on the subject.
It is very comprehensive and available here: Health Plan
John McCain's stance on Healthcare is a bit more precarious, from his own website:
John McCain Proposes Making Insurance More Portable. Americans need insurance that follows them from job to job. They want insurance that is still
there if they retire early and does not change if they take a few years off to raise the kids.
John McCain Will Encourage And Expand The Benefits Of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) For Families
John McCain Will Reform Health Care Making It Easier For Individuals And Families To Obtain Insurance.
John McCain Believes The Key To Health Care Reform Is To Restore Control To The Patients Themselves.
John McCain Will Promote Proper Incentives.
--John McCain's platform literature
The Bottom Line:
What McCain has added to his platform reads well, and makes the concerned voter feel at ease, but I realized that there was very little substance in
the actual platform, as it was filled with buzzwords and intangible ideas. McCain promises things like 'making it easier' and 'giving people the
choice'. That, in my opinion, is tired old paleocon claptrap, notwithstanding the fact that in his very platform he promised more "proper"
incentives to drug companies. Looking exclusively at their policies on healthcare, and most importantly, healtcare for the uninsured, McCain falls
short. If one of your primary concerns in the upcoming election is healtcare, then Barack Obama is a candidate that you should research.
(EDITORIAL NOTE)I noticed as I read that McCain's platform materials begin a paragraph very strong, and in bold type, then immediately lose all
substance. He makes great claims but then fails to explain what that means. I suspect it is because John McCain appears to have not written his
platform himself, as opposed to the Blueprint for Change, as written by Barack Obama. This deepens my fear that the 'same old republicans' are the
ones pulling the strings on McCain's side. Perhaps the Social Security sections will prove me wrong.(/EDITORIAL NOTE)
Clean energy and the dependency on foreign oil
This, I'm fairly outraged by, I clicked on the link on McCain's page and it sent me to a wash of drivel written a third party other than McCain or a
staffer. To be brutally honest it looks like it came out of an investment brochure. On the actual issue, the document states that:
Our nation's future security and prosperity depends on the next President making the hard choices that will break our nation's strategic dependence
on foreign sources of energy and will ensure our economic prosperity by meeting tomorrow's demands for a clean portfolio. John McCain has made the
necessary choices - producing more power, pushing technology to help free our transportation sector from its use of foreign oil, cleaning up our air
and addressing climate change, and ensuring that Americans have dependable energy sources. John McCain will lead the effort to develop advanced
transportation technologies and alternative fuels to promote energy independence and cut off the flow of oil wealth to repressive dictatorships like
Quite good sounding.
Here's the bottom line on clean energy. McCain proposes a 5,000 tax credit for people who buy a 0 carbon emission car, and skirts every so closely to
saying that we'll end our dependency on foreign oil in 2025. The Caveat to this being that, er, well...'Drill, Baby, Drill'
Barrack Obama pledged to end our dependence on middle eastern oil within 10 years, and proposes to federally mandate that 25% of consumed energy in
the US comes from renewable 'green' sources. Furthermore he believes drilling in ANWR is nothing more than a stopgap measure.
In my eyes, and I hope it's as apparent to you, the Republicans have never, and will never be the solution to our energy problems, although McCain is
one of the greenest elephants they have.
If you're ready to see your country move into the next generation of fuels and energy production then John McCain is not your man. As for the price
at the pump, well...It's going to be pretty high for pretty much the rest of our lives. Granted it's come down a bit lately but we will never see
gas below 2.00 a gallon again ever, and I personally think 3 is pushing it.
Defense and Foreign Policy
McCain is a typical big-military type Republican. On the Defense Budget at large:
The global war on terrorism, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, threats from rogue states like Iran and North Korea, and the rise of potential
strategic competitors like China and Russia mean that America requires a larger and more capable military to protect our country's vital interests
and deter challenges to our security. America confronts a range of serious security challenges: Protecting our homeland in an age of global terrorism
and Islamist extremism; working with friends and partners overseas, from Africa to Southeast Asia, to help them combat terrorism and violent
insurgencies in their own countries; defending against missile and nuclear attack; maintaining the credibility of our defense commitments to our
allies; and waging difficult counterinsurgency campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.
And on Homeland Defense:
As President, John McCain will ensure that America has the quality intelligence necessary to uncover plots before they take root, the resources
to protect critical infrastructure and our borders against attack, and the capability to respond and recover from a terrorist incident
No real surprises here for anyone who's followed McCain, as always he's got a real hard-on for the Military Industrial Complex. Not only does his
"plan" for Iraq include a continued presence in Iraq, but calls for international pressure on Syria and Iran. How does he expect to get this done
when our own allies are looking at us like we're posessed?
As for Obama:
“When I am this party’s nominee, my opponent will not be able to say
that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit
of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not
talking to leaders that we don’t like. And he will not be able to say that
I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is ok for
America to torture – because it is never ok. … I will end the war in Iraq.
… I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the
fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common
threats of the 21st century: nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate
change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more
a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, “You
matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.”
This is Obama's Weak point, but the term weak is really a misnomer. He's merely inexperienced, based on his remarks regarding the future of Iraq:
The best way to press Iraq’s leaders to take responsibility for their future is to make it clear that we are
leaving. As we remove our troops, Obama will engage representatives from all levels of Iraqi society – in
and out of government – to seek a new accord on Iraq’s Constitution and governance. The United Nations
will play a central role in this convention, which should not adjourn until a new national accord is reached
addressing tough questions like federalism and oil revenue-sharing.
He shows a strong understanding of what it means to be a world leader, and sometimes that means occasionally letting the world lead you. Allowing the
UN to take the primary role in the restructuring of Iraq shows a strong willingness to cooperate with our neighbors and avoid quagmires like Iraq.
McCain on the other hand still believes that the US has a formative role to play in Iraq:
[edit on 9-6-2008 by Loki]