Measured Against Reality

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

My thoughts on the candidates

I've been following this election fairly closely, mostly because it feels quite important (though I'm not entirely sure if it is). And because we're quite in the thick of things with the New Hampshire primary being later today and Iowa already done, I thought I'd give my opinions of the candidates.

First, the Republicans, and first of them, Ron Paul. Since I've self-identified as libertarian and can still be fairly accurately identified as one, one would assume that I like him. There are things I admire about him, but he has huge problems. For one he can't possibly win, but that's beside the point. He also denies evolution, has a sketchy stance on abortion, and I'm not fond of his immigration beliefs. And he takes libertarianism to impractical places; most of the stuff he says he'd want to do just wouldn't be possible, and I'm not entirely convinced some of it is wise. That's why I don't like Ron Paul.

As for the rest, Huckabee is an idiot, and just about the worst possible candidate. Giuliani is also terrible, his ideas about executive power are just absurd. Romney is the definition of a person who'll do/say anything to get power. The only one that's even respectable is McCain, and he's switched stances to pander as well as made extremely hypocritical statements. Besides that, his policy stances aren't anything to be happy about: at this point supporting the Iraq war is just lunacy.

As for the Democrats, the closest one to my actual beliefs is Kucinich, but since he has no shot I'll stick to the main three. Honestly, I know very little about each of them, somehow that information just doesn't get into my news sources. Nonetheless, I'll jot down some thoughts. Hillary seems like she just wants power, she's been a bit too supportive of Bush insanity in the past, and frankly I don't trust her. Obama seems genuine, as does his talk about change, even if it is vague. He has made statements supportive of science, and as far as I've heard he has few terrible policies (although the NY Times editorial page has complained about his health care proposal several times, I'd imagine anything that would get passed would be about the same regardless of the President). Finally, Edwards also seems to genuinely want some kind of change, and he certainly talks the talk about being above corporate influence, but who really knows if he is? At the very least, he's more savvy than four years ago, and would probably fair better than Kerry in the games leading up to the general election.

So who do I support? I'll vote for whoever the Democrats put forward, but right now I'm hoping that'll be Obama or Edwards. In fact, and Obama/Edwards ticket would be fairly attractive to me, with either of them in either role. But it's so hard to predict, based on platitudes and inanities and very, very little substantive discussion, who is actually right for the job and what will happen under their leadership. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.


  • If people are unwilling to support a candidate that is an underdog just because they "can't win", then we're never going to see any big changes, we'll never dissolve our two-party duopoly that benefits no one but the people in power.

    If you really align with Kucinich, then vote for him in the primary, and tell others to do the same - vote for who you really want! People accused Ralph Nader of spoiling the election in 2000. I would argue the opposite - he provided another option for voters, making the process more democratic. People who voted for Nader preferred Nader over Gore or Bush. Until the big parties make changes to their platforms that incorporate these voters' perspectives, they should be losing their votes.

    I like Ron Paul, but I also disagree with his stated positions on abortion and immigration, religion etc. Honestly, we have bigger fish to fry, and Paul acknowledges this. Roe v. Wade isn't going anywhere, and if it does, are abortions going to stop? Evolution is a tough issue too - but I'm not sure a federal mandate against the teaching of evolution is the right solution.

    By Anonymous Nate P, at 10:43 AM, January 11, 2008  

  • " Since I've self-identified as libertarian"

    ... lol, and therefore you find a couple of super-statist appealing, makes perfect sense

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:42 PM, January 20, 2008  

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