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Sunday, August 31, 2008

John McCan't...

I don't get it. I really don't get it.

Why would anyone in their right mind vote for John McCain? Why?

I've only been able to discover two reasons someone might vote for him as president of the US:

1-He's a Republican party candidate and they're voting Republican no matter what. (Why they'd do that, I don't know.)

2-He's "pro-life." (I put that in quotations because he's not 100% pro-life. He's about 75% pro-life when it comes to his voting record and past statements on his stance.)

I can't find any other reason someone might vote for him. And those two don't make a lot of sense... actually, the first makes no sense. But the second makes some sense. I just don't see how you can boil everything down to that. You want to support someone who doesn't support the killing of babies, right? But what about the Iraqi babies he doesn't mind killing? I'm pro-life, sure. But I'd take it a step further: (to quote Rick Warren) I'm whole life. I care about the child after its born--about its healthcare and education and the economic circumstances of its family and so on. Being pro-life is a big picture issue. Its not just a political stance. Being pro-life isn't about voting Republican. In the same vein, for a president to call himself/herself pro-life, they need to be more holistic about it than simply being opposed to abortion.

I'm not the biggest Obama supporter. (I'm actually a big Clinton supporter, but that's old news and another post). But telling people I'll vote for Obama brings with it a set of assumptions from a lot of folks. Collin and I talk about this all the time: I'm not a Republican, I'm not a Democrat, I'm not a conservative, and I'm not a liberal. But sadly, in the current US political system, people assume that if you're not one, you're the other. Please don't. Just because I'm opposed to John McCain doesn't mean I'm opposed to right-wing political stances. Just because I'll vote for Obama doesn't mean I'm pro-abortion. My world view is much bigger than that.

Voting for a president is such a big decision. I hope we put all of our thoughts, feelings, logic, reason, and experience behind who we vote for. This is the next four years for all of us, but the repercussions will last much longer than that...

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey John David,
This is Jessie Hussung (Jeremiah's wife). I know you are probably thinking crap... another Hussung:) For most of your blog I agree with you, I too am neither a Republican nor Democrat and I am not overly fond of either candidate (I do like McCain’s running mate). I also agree that being pro-life is a bigger issue than a political stance. But I thought you might find this interesting or maybe you have already seen it (Rick Warren interviewing both McCain and Obama).
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/16/warren.forum/#cnnSTCVideo

There are many clips of the forum and specifically one that states, "I am a pro-life president" by McCain. In this clip he states life begins at conception, he states he is a pro-life candidate and if he wins the election he will have pro-life policies.

Obama specifically states that he is pro-choice as he says that in this interview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRswgN-Wf6g

Saying all that I agree with you and Rick Warren and about not being just pro-life but whole life, but I believe life begins at conception... I could never vote and I will never vote for a president who is pro-choice. Over 40 million abortions have occurred since Roe vs. Wade (if you believe that life begins at conception, then I would call this a baby Holocaust). Now, I am NOT saying you are pro-abortion but I am saying whom you are voting for is, therefore you are supporting his decisions.
I understand and care about the child after it’s born: about its healthcare and education and the economic circumstances of its family, but fighting for human “rights" or whatever you want to call them begins the moment they are made. If we are going to fight for human rights we should start at the beginning.
There is in fact a huge difference between the babies killed in Iraq and the babies killed in abortions. First, is the number. 40 million babies, in America alone, have been killed because of purposefully induced abortions. Secondly, these babies were intentionally killed. That itself is a huge difference between the accidental deaths of babies in Iraq (which is still tragic). Obama wants to publicly fund abortions, which is much more than simply allowing the right for women, to intentionally kill babies before they are born. I see this as a huge difference between McCain’s willingness to fund a war that might result in the deaths of citizens. In other words, the intent makes a huge difference in judging the moral position of the two candidates. Thanks for reading.

JD said...

The intent? So we're not intentionally killing babies in Iraq? We're accidentally at war?

On the rest, I see your point... and its valid. It really is. But I think its the most ridiculous thing someone can do to vote for a candidate based on one issue. None of McCain's stances on other issues matter to people concerned about this. All people care about is that he's "pro-life."

The lingering fact is this: pro life or pro choice, republican or democrat, no current president is going to change a thing about abortions in American. Period. Nothing is going to happen to the legality of abortions over the next four years. It just isn't going to happen. McCain or Obama--doesn't matter. In four years, we'll be having this same discussion again. To make abortions illegal would be a disaster at this point anyway. Sad as it is, abortions would continue and can you imagine what that would be like in those circumstances? This isn't a single term fix.

In light of that, I want to put someone in office that can change the overall state of the system. I want someone who will make an impact on healthcare and insurance. I want someone to improve our economic conditions. I don't think McCain will do any of those things if elected.

I don't know what the answer is. I don't think anyone has a solution. Its a horrific problem. Hell, there's lots of horrific problems.

I just think its ridiculous to vote for someone who's confessed himself to be ill educated in financial situations and a war monger. The dude doesn't know how many houses he owns and said (when he was at Saddleback) that he would consider someone rich if they made 5 million dollars and up annually. John McCain is out of touch. He has nothing to offer America, regardless of what his stance is on abortion.

Once again, big picture.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Jeremiah said...

There a couple more reasons to vote for McCain (certainly you are right by citing the most common reason). Things like 2nd amendment rights anti-gun control, maintaining the privatization of health care, poverty (I'll explain in a minute), and McCain's experience (he's been in Congress for 26 years since before Barack graduated from college). The poverty issued basically comes down to minimum wage legislation. Obama wants the minimum wage to be $9.5 by 2011. That sounds nice, but minimum wage legislation actually increases poverty. Poverty isn't caused by low wages as much as it's caused by unemployment, which minimum wage legislation directly increases. I guess I'm interest to know why to vote for Obama besides his phased withdraw from Iraq.

Sheffield said...

McCan't, ahhh...you and your witty banter.

JD said...

I'll say it again, I'm not a huge Barack Obama supporter. I'm just anti-John McCan't... er... McCain. I think John McCain would continue moving the country in the same direction that Bush has been moving it in for the last eight years--and that direction is bad for us all.

If you really care that much, I'll walk through some of the main issues step by step, but the main reason to vote for Barack Obama:

He's not John McCain

Gun control, healthcare and minimum wage? Right... because the privatization of healthcare has been so good for the country. Oh wait, it hasn't. Its been good for rich people. And sometimes, not for them. And poverty will increase if the minimum wage increases? Poverty exists because wealth exists. Poverty exists because greed exists. Poverty exists because most humans don't give a damn about other people--they'd rather buy a new car, buy a new tv, build a bigger church, buy a second home or bulk up their retirement plan. Most people don't really care about anyone but themselves. The government isn't going to change situations of poverty nationally. Its not their job. Its the church's job. And guns? Guns are really that important to you? McCain's policies on gun control really get you through the day?

The experience thing cracks me up. People really think our president makes all these decisions on his own. Dude probably can't wipe his butt without asking a council or panel for approval.

I'll vote for Obama or perhaps even a third party candidate and I'll feel good about it. Why? Because they aren't John McCain.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

JD,

I agree that the Church's job, not the government's, is relieving the poverty of our nation . This is exactly another large reason I will not vote for Obama. One of the biggest debates in the whole democrat Republican debate is on this very topic. How big the government should be. The GOP would say that it isn't the job of the government to do these things. Let's help increase jobs, let people fill those jobs, and make it easier for jobs to buy health care. Obama is going to raise minimum wage which will destroy local economy, which will destroy, national economy,put people out of jobs etc....

I know the objection will come that the church isn't doing it's job then government should step in. I just think the way to do it comes down more on the Republican side than the Democratic side.

I am not pro mcCain I'm just anti-Obama/democratic party.

Anonymous said...

John David, this is Carol Cummings. Loved your Chicago post, BTW. Chicago is one of my favorite places.

I will tell you this: when I was just a little bit younger than you are, I voted for Clinton the first time he ran for president. I have never been MORE wrong about a political decision in my life. My husband had been activated (Army Reserves) during Desert Storm, and I bought into the whole song and dance sold by Clinton. Also, Clinton was young, charismatic, and a darned good speaker.

God convicted me about that decision, John David. I have to say that I could never, NEVER vote for an individual who favors blanket abortion rights. Our heavenly Father is the giver of life, and we know from Jeremiah that life begins at conception.

I would pay higher taxes, have higher-cost health care, etc. before I would vote for a pro-choice candidate. That's just all there is to it. And maybe, if we elect McCain, nothing WILL happen about abortion in the next four years. Not everyone will accept the Gospel either, but that doesn't stop me from sharing the Good News. But evil flourishes when good men do nothing. I cannot change this by myself, but I can be one small voice for change by supporting a pregnancy support center, pregnant teens in my church and community, and a pregnant woman who is facing horrific choices about the possible health of her unborn child. I have done all of these things. I will also ALWAYS be a small voice for change when I cast my vote for a pro-life candidate.

Please take the time to watch the Rick Warren interview, if you have not done so already. It was so enlightening to me. See how Obama responds to hard questions when he isn't just giving a stump speech. Learn how he feels about human life.

You know that Mike and I love you and Brittany very much. You can respond if you want; I will not argue with you. I am not an ignorant, short-sighted, immature, or uneducated individual. I also do not have a limited world view.

I can tell you that your world views will change with maturity, experience, conviction, and life lessons. And trust me: your views will also change once you have the honor and privilege of seeing your own miracle baby born into the world. God Bless.

jason said...

Hi Carol,

I don't know you, and so I know that it is sometimes difficult to have a respectful conversation between strangers on a blog - so please take this with all the respect I say it in.

The fact of the matter is, some people don't have the option of "paying higher taxes or paying for their own health care.

I am adamantly pro-life. But I am pro-life from the cradle to the grave. For me, affordable health care, a living wage, and fair taxes, these are also central "pro-life" tenets.

Anonymous said...

Jason, I don't know you either, and I mean this will all due respect. I am not a rich person by any means, and it is a stuggle for me to pay my taxes and to pay for my own healthcare. But even if I couldn't pay for them, I would still never support a candidate who believed in blanket abortion rights. I am pro-life from CONCEPTION, not from the cradle, and I stand on God's word that life begins at conception.

Have you ever seen a 4-D ultrasound, Jason? Have you ever seen God's little creaton sucking his thumb, yawning, stretching? Seen the fine strands of hair floating in the amnoitic fluid that protects him? That's life, Jason, and it begins before the cradle.

In Christ,
Carol

JD said...

Hey Carol-
Good to hear from you... and I appreciate your input. That's why I write, to get us all talking honestly.

Aside from all this, I wanted to check in on Mike. I don't have your cell or anything, and I've left him messages, but don't know what state he's in to reply. My email is jdryan@broadwayunited.org. Can you email me with your cell? Just wanted to see how his recovery is going...

jason said...

Hi Carol,

Please forgive my terminology. I too am pro-life from conception. "From the cradle to the grave" is just a euphemism that I used. I apologize for the confusion there.

I have seen a 4D ultrasound - I was blessed enough to see my son via ultrasound. And, having had that experience, it reinforced my already pronounced views on pro-life.

The point I am trying to make, however, is that being "pro-life" must mean more than just supporting the rights of the unborn. It unarguably does. But let's expand that to include the whole of life - not just the nine months in the womb.

Richard Carwile said...

The issue that seems to be missed in many of these discussions is this: is it responsible to not vote for someone over one issue?

If you do not support the war, and it is against your conscience to vote for someone in support of the war, then that is one issue.

In my case, I deeply object to abortion. As such, I will not vote for anyone who supports abortion. Period. I wish more Christians (or Jesus followers, or whatever one might call themselves these days) held the line on this. If they did, perhaps we would have more pro-life options in both parties.

The kick back I get on this is that I am a "one issue voter". But I think most people are, whether they admit it or not.

Would you support a person who lined up with you on every issue...but supported slavery? or felt it was okay for a man to rape a woman? That is "one issue", but certainly is one issue that would disqualify and discredit someone. That is how I feel about abortion. I cannot support someone who supports abortion. Period. It doesn't matter how soon they would end the war, lower gas prices, improve healthcare, etc.

Just my thoughts. Feel free to rip them.

I do wish I had a scooter.

JD said...

I don't see how McCain is the ultimate pro-life candidate. He has said he will not overturn Roe v Wade. He says he will support it being overturned by putting in conservative judges. (Bush did this, it didn't change anything.) He doesn't want to make abortion illegal, though. He wants to keep it legal for the exceptions of rape and incest. So basically, he wants to see an updated version of Roe v Wade in place--he just doesn't support ALL abortions.

How is that pro-life?

BfH said...

To play devil's advocate:
McCain does support overturning Roe vs. Wade, which essentially would make the legality of abortion a state-by-state issue. His ultimate goal, though, is to end abortions. This is stated plainly on his website. (Past voting records are moot to me, based on his explicit presidential platform.)

To respond to Mr. Carwile:
I don't think that any candidate would support rape or slavery, seeing as both are illegal. Comparing abortion as an issue with rape or slavery is essentially the same thing as calling someone whose beliefs aren't in line with your own Hitler. It is exaggeratory.

I absolutely understand your point, that you abhor the notion of abortion, but neither slavery nor rape are political issues. They really have no place in a valid argument against abortion.

Richard Carwile said...

I was making a point for those who do not see abortion as a disqualifier for a candidate...is there one issue that would be a disqualifier....what about rape? what about slavery?

I am not trying to get anyone in office. There are no stickers on my car or signs in my yard. I do believe Christians need to have a commitment to protecting the lives of the unborn.

My email is rcarwile@lhbg.org if anyone wants to communicate directly with me about this. My cell is 282-3476. I will buy you lunch if you want to have a discussion about this.

Peace and grace.

Ben said...

I think it's funny that we're comparing abortion to rape or slavery, though I think they're all horrible crimes. But wouldn't it be easier to just compare it to what it is: murder. That way there's no confusion on why we wouldn't vote for a candidate that supported it.

BfH said...

If hypothetical semantics are an apt way of arguing, what about the following scenarios:

1 - A candidate is pro-slavery, but also pro-life. His opponent is anti-slavery, but pro-choice. How would you propose to resolve your moral paradox?

2 - A candidate is anti-abortion, but also pro-euthanasia, as in, willing to allow doctors to assist patients in committing suicide, or even to pull the plug on a comatose patient if they saw fit. Could you vote for said candidate?

Backing yourself into a corner, based on one issue, seems irresponsible to me.

I fully understand the passion behind your pro-life beliefs, and I respect them. I share them, to a degree. I hate the fact that so many people see abortion as a quick means-to-an-end, but to base your political affiliation solely on such a polar issue really defeats the purpose of democracy.

I truly believe that a citizen ought to pick the best candidate for the country, taking into consideration all aspects of the candidate's platform.

Joe said...

bfh

I don't speak for anyone but myself but I think that others would agree if those were the only candidates to vote for I just wouldn't vote at all.

In Christ
Joe Hussung

Ben said...

I wouldn't call myself a one-issue voter. I would be more of a one-issue non-voter. It's not that I'd vote for someone simply because they were pro-life. It's that I wouldn't vote for someone that was pro-choice or pro-slavery.

BfH said...

Joe,

I'm not endorsing a candidate here, but pro-life McCain is also pro-war McCain. Anti-war Obama is pro-choice. It's all win-lose. There is no win-win.

People need to really know what each candidate brings to the table and make an all-inclusive choice about who they support.

Matt McDougal said...

I'm not sure why people call McCain a war monger. Sure I hate war, I lean towards being a pacifist, but sometimes wars are a necessary evil. You wouldn't even have the right to write this blog had a group of men not decided to band together and war against Britain... it wasn't even over any moral issue, they were sick of being taxed unfairly without representation. They believed their government should be closer to them. So they decided to go to war and kill people over the issue. Is war a result of the fall? Yes. Do innocent people always get killed in wars? Yes. But is war sinful? Not always. Sometimes there are not other ways. I really have no idea as to whether or not Bush made the right decision or not, but I do know Saddam Hussein was evil and did horrible things to people in Iraq. I do believe that his country is better off without him. And so now we have to make the best decision we can and move forward. John McCain is simply trying to make the best of a bad situation. To call him a war monger is unfair. It's not like he is advocating colonizing Iraq or invading Canada and Mexico. He understands that to pull out now would leave an unstable Iraq and our presence there is necessary. Sure we need to do something in Afghanistan and other places, but we cannot afford to leave Iraq worse than when it all started. Also, our world is an incredibly dangerous place, I think about how everything has changed since 9/11 and our world is just not safe. There are incredibly evil men who hate Christians and people from the West, to sit down and try to talk with these men with no stipulations is simply naive and someone with any type of experience would understand this. It makes me feel safer to know that there would be a man in office who knows that not everybody is our friend and not everybody wants to hug it out. I like the idea that we have trained warriors with big guns protecting us. All that being said it is simply unfair to call McCain a war monger. There are so many other things I would like to talk about but this will do.

John David - I enjoy reading the disussions, I'm glad you do this.

BfH said...

Matt,

I respect your right to your opinion, and based on your comment, I do think that you'll respect my right to politely disagree...haha.

I don't think the world became any less safe after 9/11. It was always unsafe. It just opened American eyes to what happens elsewhere in the world, and made us realize that we are at risk, just as the rest of the world is.

And, for the record, I don't see how a reasonable person can both morally justify the Iraq conflict and see it as a success.

But, like you said, that's a discussion for another day...

Matt McDougal said...

BFH -

I do agree that the world didn't become more dangerous because of 9/11. I was actually thinking on that today. It did open our eyes more as spoiled Americans who have never had a real conflict on our own soil(outside of the civil war).

I guess to be clearer - I'm not sure that the Iraq conflict would fall under Augustine's Just War theory nor am I sure that it was moral. I do believe that it has had some positive points (Saddam being removed from power, etc...). All I know is that leaving is probably not the answer, that being said I will say that the whole thing could have been avoided, but maybe not. There's never easy answers to these situations. Peace.

J. R. Miller said...

Hi, I am new here, but thought i would jump in on something that has no controversy at all... LOL

I only decided I would vote for McCain in the last month. I am not so much a supporter as I am a voter thought I guess.

I have believed for some time that McCain possess the qualities of a good leader, but have not always been convinced that his agenda was the right one for America.

If you care to read some of the reasons I am now persuaded to vote McCain, they are in the comments section of this post.

Anyway, what I was curious to know is, what are your reasons for voting Obama? You said you could think of no reasons to vote for McCain, but what are the reasons for voting Obama.