Obama for President

29 Aug

I’m voting for Barack Obama, not just because I’m a registered Democrat, but because, based on his acceptance speech, he is the better choice. Firstly, I respect a man who says he doesn’t want a nasty fight, but who will debate his opponent. Secondly, Obama’s rhetoric struck a chord with themes I believe in. Lastly, he nailed it.

There’s also this bemusing endorsement by The Economist of John McCain, which also, ironically, causes me not to respect the Republican candidate.

Mr McCain used to be a passionate believer in limited government and sound public finances; a man with some distaste for conservative Republicanism and its obsession with reproductive matters. On the stump, though, he has offered big tax cuts for business and the rich that he is unable to pay for, and he is much more polite to the religious right, whom he once called “agents of intolerance”. He has engaged in pretty naked populism, too, for instance in calling for a “gas-tax holiday”. If this is all just a gimmick to keep his party’s right wing happy, it may disappear again. But that is quite a gamble to take.

Two months remain before the election, more than enough time for Mr McCain to allay some of these worries. He needs to spend less time reassuring evangelicals that he agrees with them about abortion and gay marriage, and more time having another look at his tax plans. The old John McCain attacked Mr Bush for his tax cuts, which he said were unaffordable. The new John McCain not only wants to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, but wants to add to them by virtually eliminating estate tax (something that would benefit a tiny number of very rich families, like his own). He also proposes to slash corporation tax. People on middle incomes would see little benefit. Independent analysts agree that Mr McCain’s plans would increase an already huge deficit.

Hawkish foreign policy, irresponsible tax cuts, more talk about religion and abortion: all this sounds too much like Bush Three, the label the Democrats are trying to hang around the Republican’s neck. We preferred McCain One.

I like the Barack OBama that doesn’t come in flexible marketing versions.

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