Politics, Politics, Politics

ReAnne Utemark

I was one of the 75,000 people at the Obama rally in Kansas City, Mo. on Saturday. My party and I got there at around 1:30 p.m. and six hours, a sunburn, a popsicle and a Secret Service checkpoint later, I saw an historic event.

I think that Senator John McCain is intelligent and capable, but his outbursts, like at the debates or when he wanted to fire and supposedly decapitate Chris Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, leave me worried about what he would do to institutions who might do or say things contrary to the law in McCainland.

Senator Barack Obama seems to be earnest in his care for the majority of America, which is the middle class, despite him only defining that as people or families who make under $250,000 per year (read as, most of the people who vote).

Tax cuts, health care and the budget seem to be the major domestic issues upon which the two candidates differ. Foreign policy is an entirely different column. Tax cuts for businesses or for workers? As Obama asked yesterday, do we value wealth or the work that creates it? I agree with the notion that we should cut taxes for those who are not wealthy, but if we are going to implement your plans for socialized health care and college money in exchange for some kind of community service, the money has to come from somewhere.

If we are going to cut taxes, the money to pay for other governmental programs, the money is going to have to come from somewhere. As for McCain, it makes sense that making the United States more business-friendly in terms will help increase jobs. But I thought, and I am no economist, that businesses were also sending jobs overseas because some labor costs less. Until one can make the American worker work for less, which I do not advocate, I do not think that the Republicans are going to see the results they promise. Businesses are just going to see lower taxes for their American branches.

Obama’s spar during the debate about the vice presidential candidates was impressive – that he respected Palin’s commitment to special needs children, but those children would not get the funding they needed if there was an overall spending freeze like McCain advocated. I think Obama’s scalpel, while probably less effective because cutting programs line by line will not only be tedious, but an uphill battle from those who still support them, will probably be more beneficial than McCain’s overall freeze. Tightening one’s belt does not mean cutting off the blood flow to one’s legs.

I understand that most of these are promises that the politicians cannot or will not keep. I understand that the reason the candidates are ignoring issues like poverty is because the middle class (voting) public is “hurting and angry,” to use McCain’s terminology. That does not help me make up my mind. I do not consider myself an undecided voter – one of the uninformed masses – but an independent voter who refuses to blindly vote down a party ticket because that is generally ignorant. I have been waiting and listening to these politicians because what they do and say in these last days before the election will be telling.

A friend of mine is writing in Publius. I might write in Tina Fey and Andy Samberg.