(Kyle is writing this) Here is one of those Blogs I probably shouldn't write and everyone is thinking well then don't write it. I have been mulling it over in my head for days. I am not going to pretend that my opinion matters to anyone but me but you all know thats never stopped me from sharing it before, so here it goes.
I have really found this election season to be very fascinating.
What are we really electing in a president?
I read an interesting article in Newsweek this last week where the author made the case for supporting Barrack Obama simply because of his ability to inspire people. Nobody can argue that fact. He clearly has inspired many people to at least get out and vote that never have in the past. The interesting thing is that it doesn't seem like Democrats are coming out to vote for him just to block Hillary. In recent polls democrats have said they would support either candidate in the general election. I find this really interesting because most republicans I talk to are purely motivated by not letting Hilary win. For those of you who remember the last presidential election does this ring any bells?
As a first year music teacher I don't know a lot about how to teach, yet. Though, I have in a large way adopted the idea that my job is not so much to teach even though that is a part of the job (Teacher :) but more importantly to inspire or motivate. Is this true of a President as well? When this election season first started to heat up I remember asking my mom and no offense, "older" people if they ever remember being inspired by a President? Overwhelming I received a NO answer from everyone. Granted my "study" was very small. My follow up questione was more surprising to me though and I would really like to have more answers for this question from anyone who wants to answer. Have you ever even really had "Hope" in a president. Hope in the sense that he (we haven't had a she yet) was really going to help make your life any better? While I didn't get as many hard NO's I still didn't get and Yes answers either. I got more "not really" and "I guess not".
So if Presidents don't really inspire do they motivate even? There are a few famous quotes from presidents that I remember like "ask not what your country can do for you but ask what yo can do for your country", "Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down
this wall!" Did history change because we were inspired or motivated by these statements. Thats debatable.
For this reason I don't think that just being inspirational is enough in a President. Maybe Obama will end up changing my mind.
What is more important in choosing a candidate to support, Issues or Character?
So if just being inspirational is not enough then what is truly important? I have heard some argue that we need to focus only on the issues at hand and where each candidate leans on each. Find the candidate you most line up with on the most issues and there you have your candidate. Others argue that you need to find the candidate with the strongest character that you can rely on to make the most correct choices in any situation that may arise.
Issues are a tough thing to understand and new ones arise all the time so how can we as the general public be expected to stay up to date and understand all of the issues. Or isn't that why we elect government officials in the first place. We all have busy life's where we have to go to work, raise family's and a million other little things so that we don't have time to research all the issues. So we "hire" or elect someone to do it full time on our behalf.
A lot of people would use Bill Clinton as prime example of the exact opposite of a character president. A lot of people in the country accepted that he cheated on his wife and then lied to everyone about that fact because he seemed to do a just fine job running the country at the time and as a country we were just fine. I would argue that if you would combine the problems President Bush faces today and throw a controversy like that on top and the people would surely not stand for it.
I believe the most important factor in a President or any elected official for that matter is character. If I was hiring someone to manage my finances, schools, freedoms, etc. I would not hire someone whose character I don't trust.
Romney or McCain?
While Character is the most important I will still vote for someone who has the same basic political views over someone who doesn't. I am a registered republican but would consider myself more moderate than ultra conservative. Thus it would come down to a republican and because I think Ron Paul and Huckabee are extreme conservatives it comes down to Romney or McCain.
A lot of people I have talked to throw there support behind Romney with what seems no or few questions asked. Being more moderate I think I would have supported the Romney that was the Governor of Massachusetts over the Romney that ran for president. And that is a big problem right there that I define them as two different people. I don't agree with all that he did as Governor, especially his health care solution which I view as Liberal, not even Moderate. Nor do I agree with all of McCain's views either. I don't think global warming is as important as he does but nor do I think improving our environment is a bad idea either. He is a little more moderate than I am.
The biggest issue between the two for me is the character issue. Any way you spin it Romney changed his views too conveniently on too many issues for me. I understand that to get elected you have to be willing to compromise some things but Romney seemed to me to try and be someone he wasn't. Some argue that the Romney running for president was the real Romney the Governor was what he had to be to get elected there. Well then he lied to people then or now. Either way this changing is not the character I am looking for in a president.
McCain is a moderate has always been so and everyone knows it. We know what we are getting. I believe him. I believe he will do what he thinks is best for the country and that is what I expect in a president.
Long story short
There are always issues that are deal breakers. For example I will never vote for someone who wants to legalize abortion or some one who wants to legalize gay marriage. But most issues to be honest I don't know enough about to have even good opinions about. I believe that McCain is the best most reliable candidate to lead the US into these difficult and changing times. He is old but when has that ever been a bad thing just ask President Monson. He may not be the most electable against a democratic candidate but I refuse to vote for someone out of fear or to block someone else. I know a lot of people may not agree with me and I would love to hear from you, isn't that what makes America great.