Palin entered the world stage with a proud confidence. She attacked the left-wing press and took several shots at Obama. She delivered a great speech — from the Republican point of view, that is — and set herself up as a creditable future vice president.
But before we get diverted and too quickly anoint her as vice president, we have to stay focused on the similarities and differences between McCain and Obama.
Obama is totally in favor of abortion rights for women. McCain is pro-life and is opposed to abortion rights, although he did vote for abortion restrictions that were provided for in the Roe v. Wade decision. He also said he would try to overturn the guarantee of a woman’s right to an abortion if he was elected president. With the possibility of two Supreme Court judges retiring in the next few years, McCain’s choice as a replacement could help him overturn Roe v. Wade.
McCain and Obama differ on gun control. Sen. McCain is opposed to gun control and voted against a ban on assault-type weapons. Why in the world would anyone would need an assault-type weapon I’ll never understand. In the first place, it’s not legal to hunt with them and it’s not legal to assault anyone. But McCain did vote on a bill requiring a background check on anyone buying guns at gun shows.
McCain voted on legislation that protected gun manufacturers and show dealers from civil suits. He says, “I believe the Second Amendment ought to be preserved, which means no gun control.” How anyone can be opposed to gun control is beyond me. Gun control that protects the American people from murderers, thieves, terrorist and gang members doesn’t necessarily mean restriction. It means protection, accountability and responsibility. The country needs more gun control.
Obama, on the other hand, voted to leave gun makers and dealers open to civil lawsuits. As a legislator in the Illinois State Senate, Obama supported a ban on all forms of semi-automatic weapons and proposed even tighter restrictions on all types of guns.
McCain and Obama have similar views regarding Cuba. McCain suggests we ease the restrictions on Cuba if the United States is “confident that the transition to a free and open society is being made.”
Obama agrees and wants to end restrictions on families traveling between the United States and Cuba. He also wants to make it easier for Cuban-Americans to send money to Cuba. With all the money we send to the Arabs for oil, to Cuba and to Mexico, it’s a wonder we have any money left for ourselves. Maybe that’s one of the reason we don’t.
McCain’s and Obama’s energy policies differ slightly, but in some ways they’re similar. McCain favors off-shore drilling for oil and wants federal money to build 45 new nuclear power reactors by 2030. And he opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Obama, in his flip-flop mode, would now consider limited off-shore drilling. Like McCain, Obama opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. They both agree that our global warming plan would increase energy costs. Even Jimmy Carter could figure that out and he was a rocket scientist.
Now that the conventions are over the political feeding frenzy will be in full force. Soon, we’ll be getting 10 phone calls a day from both McCain and Obama wanting our support, our vote and our money. Our mail boxes will be stuffed with 8 x 10 photos of Sen. Biden and Gov. Palin — Biden with a gavel in his hand and Palin on the cover of Vogue magazine.
It is our responsibility to know how the candidates stand on the issues of abortion, campaign reform, education, health care, social services, immigration, Social Security and foreign policy. If we don’t care and don’t want to be bothered, then we should just vote for the vice presidential candidate of our choice. It will be the first time in history the VP candidates (and Vogue magazine) shaped the outcome of a presidential election.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at email@example.com. His Web site is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.