Monday, April 21, 2008

Real Issues

I received a comment from an anonymous somebody who seemed to be disgruntled because the Democrats didn't cover the "real issues" in their most recent debate. This got me to thinking -- what are the real issues? I guess the issues one considers to be "real" vary depending on one's values and worldview. I tend to lean quite conservative, so the values I embrace will dictate which issues I consider to be important:

I believe wholeheartedly in a personal God. This belief and my faith frames and shapes my entire worldview. However, the fact that I put my faith in God doesn't mean that I require God to be an "issue" in my politics. Frankly, I'd rather there be a little less discussion of God and religion on the campaign trail. To me, it all sounds rather false and pandering.

I am fully anti-abortion. I would love to see all abortion made illegal in the United States of America. I think this would be a wonderful way for the country to behave. However, I am a full believer in the Constitution of the United States as well, and I think the Constitution supports leaving the issue of abortion up to the individual states. If this ever happens, there will probably be some states that choose to outlaw the practice and some states that choose to keep things as they are. Perhaps some even allowing more lenient practices. I fully support leaving abortion up to the states.

Ecclesiastes 3:8 states that there is a time for war and a time for peace. The war on terror is, I think, a major issue this election cycle. I believe that pulling out of Iraq would send the message to the terrorists that they can win against the United States as long as they hold out long enough. I think that we need to be certain that we are fighting smart... but we shouldn't stop fighting until it's won. I think the threat we face in militant Islam is very real and we should never forget that.

Taking care of the poor, the elderly, the orphaned and the widowed is a Christian principle - one which I think should not be neglected. I think most people can agree on this, be they Republican, Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. Where we find a large chasm is in HOW we should be taking care of the poor, the elderly, the orphaned and widowed. I would like to see more private support and less government intervention. This is born out of the notion that the government is NOT run like a well-oiled machine. The red tape and waste that oozes from governmental programs are not, in my opinion, conducive to taking good care of anybody. 

In line with the above paragraph, heath care is a major issue in this election cycle. I hate the idea of nationalized health care. It's one of those things where you can look at the other countries who practice medicine this way and their system STINKS. To me, it just makes no sense to emulate something that doesn't work. It's kind of like going to a restaurant and ordering a meal. You end up HATING what you've ordered. So you ask the waiter for the recipe and go replicate it at home so you can eat it again. It's just stupid.

I know that age is going to be a mini-issue this election because of McCain. I believe back in 2006 he was asked if he would be running for president in 2008 and his answer was, "In 2008 I'm going to BE 2008!" Good that he has a sense of humor about it, I guess. Anyway, how much his age is an issue for me will depend on who he chooses for his running mate. I read somewhere that people were thinking McCain should have to make his medical records public because of his age. This, to me, seems ludicrous. Last time I checked the obituaries, you didn't have to reach a certain age before you could die of some dreaded disease. Life is a crap shoot. Medical records aren't going to help anybody have a more informed vote. 

The economy is always an issue in a presidential election. And, let's face it - our economy isn't at it's finest. There are so many factors that can contribute to this that I don't understand them all. I am not an economist - I try to learn what I can, but I confess to not having a very full understanding of what makes things tick. Common sense tells me that higher taxes will drag down the economy further. If you pull money away from people's pockets, they no longer have that money to spend. That's just kind of... "duh." Beyond that, I can't really dissect economic policies very well... which is apparently just fine because none of the candidates seem to have one they're willing to share. 

And the last and most important issue -- the most real issue I can come up with -- is integrity. Can a person be trusted? And this just causes me to heave a big sigh... because none of the candidates have true integrity. I know that politics is an ugly business. But why do they have to make it even uglier? Why can't anybody say what they actually think and actually mean? I know that political races tend to melt down into popularity contests... but it shouldn't be that way. Frankly, we might as well just have a swimsuit contest and vote based on that if we can't believe what the candidates are campaigning on. At least then when the president came on TV we'd know they were good-looking. 

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