Thursday, October 16, 2008

The presidents

so everyone... the presidential election is coming up and I want to know.

How do you feel about obama vs mcain?

after that

Do you feel that they justify their points well, what knowledge issues are there in their statements... stuff like that.


Bismah A. said...

I"m not going to pretend to know every little detail about either candidate, but I do support Obama. Although I feel that he is much better equipped to lead this country through our difficult times, that does not excuse the faults that either side has committed. I have to say that I am quite disgusted with the campaigns that BOTH the parties have run, focusing on attacking the opponent, rather than articulating their own achievements and strengths. What's more, and more concerning to me, is that the negative campaigning still has an effect and influence on the population. I don't think we should judge a candidate on how they attack their opponent, but rather on their own policies and achievements.

Also, a fact that I found interesting, was that nearly 95% of McCain's ads were negative, whereas Obama only ran around 25-30% negative ads in the past 2 weeks....

Fred said...

Let's think. I obviously support Obama over McCain, hands down. Obama is the only one who is really ready to handle a country. Neither of them have any experience in the executive branch, and therefore neither can attest to knowing more about the position than the other. However, based on what Obama has said, and the amount of maturity he shows (McCain really is rather like a baby - he even sort of looks like Winston Churchill - it's the cheeks) is far superior to that of his opponent. Really, look at the debates, the rallies, the press conferences... McCain would do better as some sort of...oh, I don't know. Mayor, or something. I might consider trusting him with a small municipality (think like six hundred people, all of whom he knows by name), but not so much a country of three hundred million. Obama, however...he'll make mistakes. Everyone does. But at least he'll listen, and his mistakes will be honest, and he'll make an effort - a good effort - to fix them when they happen, and with luck they won't happen again. I trust him a lot more than I trust McCain.

Anyway, McCain will die soon. He's had four bouts of cancer, and the average life expectancy for men like that is 73.6 years old. He's now seventy-two. He would die in office, leaving us with Sarah Palin, a failed beauty queen who has been governor of a state for less than two years, was the mayor of the meth capital of Alaska, and qualifies being able to see Russia from Alaska as "foreign policy experience". WHAT?! WE CAN'T AFFORD THIS.

Also, look at the education of the four of them (two candidates and VP candidates). McCain didn't quite finish high school and graduated from a military academy at the bottom of his class (not quite last, but close). Sarah Palin never finished getting her bachelor's degree, and jumped around between schools and majors so much that it's no big shock she didn't. Barack Obama, on the other hand, graduated high school, went to Harvard, got a law degree (something critical in a politician, which neither McCain nor Palin have), and very high grades. Biden got something very similar. I'm not dissing people without opportunities - I'm just saying that the candidates on the Republican side of the ballot are not sufficiently educated to run a country. At all. Being a POW does not get you anywhere. It just gets you locked up somewhere for a few years and a nice medal from your government afterwords, maybe even some compensation. Being the mother of five and having a baby with Down's syndrome gets you nothing but sym/empathy, which is worth NOTHING when you're supposedly prepared to lead a rather large country at the drop of a president.

What was I talking about? Must have gotten a bit sidetracked there in my rant.

Oh, and also: Obama, I am mad at you. He is too conservative for my tastes, though I think he's the best thing we've got, and that he's the best thing that could happen to this country. I am mad at him because he said at one point that he'd be willing to sit down with the leader of Iran and have a nice chat, and then later, when McCain challenged him, he showed no backbone and just sort of went back on it. I don't understand why all you people think it's so bad to talk to "terrorists": talking and negotiating is the best thing you can do. I mean, one can't very well nuke them without massive repercussions, and we can't exactly go to war with anyone else, seeing as we've exhausted our forces and pushed them to their limits with the purposeless war in Iraq. Gods that thing bothers me. It's a war over a diminishing supply of a harmful chemical (useful, yes, beneficial, not so much) that we just so happen to be extremely addicted to. That's all. It's not against any terrorists - at this point, if there are any terrorists, they're in Afghanistan, laughing their butts off watching CNN or something. Coincidentally, am I the only one who has noticed that the news hasn't said didly squat about the war since about January or so? Not a word. It's all crap like "Some random guy broke into this one little house in this one neighborhood that no one's ever heard about and we intend to waste seven minutes of your life telling you about how little Johny's dog bit him and was heroic and crap like that." They don't say anything about the political machine grinding away in Washington, not so much as a "Yet again, some member of Congress has been caught doing bad things with money from lobbyists!" I mean, that's practically soap opera material, and they don't say a word. I haven't heard the term 'embezzlement' since the Enron deal, and that was five years ago. Okay, maybe since Eliot Spitzer, but whatever. It's been a while. I hate lobbyists, long and short of it.

I seem to have wandered. Excuse me. But that was fun.

McCain and Obama justifying Well, McCain justifies his points to the extent that circular logic will allow. I've noticed that a lot of Republican candidates for various offices, like Marilyn Musgrave, bring up these graphically sentimental stories about single mothers with four kids calling them about what they can do about their mortgages, as if that many single women with four kids are stupid enough to ask a politician, not an economist of some variety, or their mortgage lender. They use all these cutsey stories to get their points across, the kind that make even me go, "Ooooh, those pooor people!" and get kind of choked up. People remember speeches where they get choked up. And if you want people to vote for you, wouldn't you want them to remember some story about how said politician saved the day for this poor woman? It works, people, it works. McCain and Palin use that - the whole "I am just like you" thing. Obama uses it to a certain extent, but what I really appreciate is that that doesn't drive his campaign. Policy drives his campaign. (Dangit, I wish I had italics, or something. So annoying.) He is there to tell people what he's going to do, not what McCain has done in the past. He mentions those things, but that's not the forefront of his argument. And honestly, the Republican party knows that the only way they can win is by playing it negative and screwing with people's registration (true story, I heard it on NPR in September: the Republican party of some town somewhere sent out all these lovely cards to voters - like hundreds of them - saying things like 'Now that you're a registered Republican...' and junk like that. This is harmless...but they sent them to Democrats. And unaffiliated people. It scared some people half out of their wits. No kidding - I would be mortified if that turned up in MY mailbox) and the ballots themselves. Like, in the 2004 election, Bush won by 300,000 votes, or something. Why? Because three hundred thousand ballots weren't counted in Ohio. He won for the same reason in 2000, only he cheated in Florida. I kid you not. McCain is being driven by his party, and they will use the same tactics this time round, if we let them. The Democrats, on the other hand, do no such thing. The accusations about ACORN are BS. ACORN did do some funny business, but they didn't actually register anyone really. Some people thought they got registered, but really weren't, and there was some weird stuff going on with that. But that was a few individuals. That wasn't an entire party. In fact, Obama has said openly that he is not in league with ACORN and that he did not ask them to do that. There has been no voting fraud or suppression from the Democratic party any time recently, I can assure you.

And you've probably stopped reading, so I'll save the rest of my rants for the next time someone brings up this topic!

Thanks for getting this far. Hope you get more sleep than I do.


Fred said...

Also, I agree wholeheartedly with all that Bismah said.


J.Malone said...

Fred... I like a good rant as much as the next guy. I often go on them. But please try to stick to the prompt.

So to commenters... This post is not meant to incite an argument about which candidate is better. It is rather challenging you to discuss how justifications are being used by each candidate or party and what knowledge issues might be getting in the way.

Go to it...

Simone said...

Fred, I think Churchill would be rolling in his grave if he knew he was being compared to John McCain.
I think the majority of any candidate you see running for any office tends to use statistics (empirical evidence) to prove their point. I think it's because (90% of ) people respond to a percentage because it gives them a scale to look at and a point of comparison. behind those statistics though, one can find huge amounts of disparities. You have to ask questions like 'how was the poll conducted, what type of questions did they ask to obtain this information, who did they interview, was it mandatory,' etc. So all of these issues come into play when you listen to Obama or McCain rattle off stats. Something even more interesting is when the stats fluctuate a bit between speeches and debates.
I don't think either of the candidates justify their points. They go on and on about their points and policies, but the most interesting question would be, "Why?" For example (and I am only using McCain because I can't think of an Obama example) I would like to know why he thinks his healthcare plan is a good idea. $5000 would not pay for the healthcare of the average American citizen. I realize McCain says that with his healthcare plan, we can 'take our money across state lines' and get the best deal out there. But as someone who will very well end up paying for their own healthcare in a year or two, that concerns me. Not being able to get healthcare through my employer or school scares me. And because of some health issues I have had in the past, I highly doubt an insurance company would be willing to cover me for $5000 or less.
Oh, Obama example. I would like to know his justification for feeling that we are in a position to attack Pakistan. That came up in one of the debates and I was taken aback. Because there are terrorists there? Is this like the weapons of mass destruction excuse?
Why, o wonderful candidates? Why? Because that's how your party tells you to think? Or because it's what your party doesn't like to think?
They should be held accountable for the crap that pops out of their mouths sometimes.

Fred said...

A agree with the Pakistan comment, and would like to add that a lot of times in the debates, the moderator would ask a question which neither of the candidates would actually answer. At least Sarah Palin was honest when she just came out and said, "You know, Gwen, I would rather talk about the environment," and went with it. I'm not supporting this, but at least she didn't even pretend like she was answering anything. It kind of feels like the candidates each have some sort of set quota of phrases they have to meet, or something. They'll get asked about foreign policy and tell you a story about how they voted for this one thing in congress. They'll be asked about the economy and both will say it's a pressing topic, but neither will say, "This is why my plan will work better than the other guy's." They never say that, not so much as a "well, that won't work because...". Neither of them justify what they do choose to talk about, either, which is beginning to bother me.

And Winston Churchill, I apologize, from the very bottom of my heart.


Nels said...

I think that Obama was responding to McCain who was like "I would go to the gates of hell to get Osama Bin Ladin if I had too, much less Pakistan." Obama said that I think to show that he wasn't a "pansy" and would violate somebodies sovereignty even though we can't change the past.

I agree with Bismah about the add stuff. McCain uses a lot of strong language and it appears to me that even when he is out lining his own ideas, he is trying to attack the oppositions ideas with words such as "allies". I really hate that, it makes this seem like a war instead of a discussion of how the country should be run. We aren't here to fight or kill people, just to see what people think.

Obama sits down and talks about his ideas significantly more frequently. However, Obama uses images to show his patriotism and to evoke emotions in you.

I will readily admit that I am liberal, so take whatever is above with a grain of salt.

Spencer_JB_to_the_Don said...

Observing all of the media surrounding the recent campaigns makes me ask myself, am I watching a candidate, or just Tina Fey on SNL? Personally, I feel that the recent media coverage has been based around the hockey mom that can see Russia from her house, rather than the actual Presidential Candidates that we are supposed to be voting for. The vibe that I am experiencing around me is not so much "vote for Obama" it's more "whatever you do, don't vote for that crazy bunch of McCain and Palin." I recently watched the film entitled "W" in theaters and I extracted one basic message, anyone can be president. I shall not elaborate on my critical observations of Mr. Bush, although I now realize that if he can be President, why can't Palin? Then again, Joe Biden is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer either. This is clearly seen as he stated that "Jobs" is a three letter word. I'm not precisely sure what makes a person qualified to be president, but I think one standard that "Joe" might want to live up to, is first grade math. See the slip up:

Callie said...

I feel that this election, and the past couple of elections have really polarized people so that you are for one candidate and completely against the other one. I think that McCain and Obama have done an okay job at trying to show how they have "reached across the aisle" but that doesn't necessarily mean that their supporters are willing to show compromise and respect towards each other. I kind of agree with Bismah in that I am disappointed in the way that the candidates attack each other. But if you look back in history, there are many examples of how candidates have conducted smear campaigns from the beginning of American history. (I read an article about this a while ago but I can't remember what magazine it was in, maybe Newsweek or Time). Personally, I am liberal and support Obama because I agree with his stances on education, health care and the environment. I disagree with him on some other policies, such as energy. But I do not think that either Obama or McCain justify their opinions very well. I had to go to both of their websites to remind myself how they justify their opinions, and they really don't. Their web pages on policy are vague, generalized and idealistic and it is hard to articulate what, exactly, they support. This brings up several knowledge issues because each candidate uses generalized statements and slogans to make people support them, but they leave things out and one has to do a lot of research to find the whole story on their voting record and policy.

Spencer_JB_to_the_Don said...

In the TOK aspect of the election there is one evident motive in the campaigns. Much of the election is based solely upon emotion. Think about it, there is an African-American candidate that actually has a legitimate shot at the white house. There is also a woman, Sarah Palin, which is a rare occurrence in the twenty first century. This has been quite an emotional period for voters, African-Americans and American females specifically. It is suspected that many voters will vote for certain candidates strictly because they can relate to them through race or gender. I also think that sense perception also would play a large role in this aspect of the voting. It will be interesting to see how the election will turn out.

Nels said...

One thing that gets me about both campaings is that as far as I can see neither says that it isn't the president that passes the laws. Neither mention that, rather stating that if you elect that canidate they will do all these things. But the can't! Both will have to deal with Congress to get the stuff they want passed. This will need an ability to reach across that imaginary aisle. Both canidates say that they have it, but neither as far as I can see supports it. They don't give specific examples or comments about them from people that they dealt with from the other aisle.

I think that this is a language issue, as both canidates are misleading the public.

Ian B said...

First thing I'll say: Fred, I'm not even going to start reading that.

I've supported Obama essentially since it was between him, Edwards, Hillary, and Richardson, around January. I think all four would make good presidents, but after Edwards and Richardson dropped out I was definitely for Obama. To be entirely honest they didn't seem very different on policy to me, though I thought Hillary was starting to become far too negative.

As for McCain, the entire 'Maverick' argument (I shudder just typing that now) is complete BS. It seems to me that almost the entire GOP is acting on behalf of lobbyists, corporations, and the extensively flawed notion that the United States are somehow better than the rest of the world.

Now, I don't really care about race or gender in this election. It's incompetence that's gotten us into this mess, and I can tell Obama will be willing to co-operate with other nations as well as to respect other nations and our own people while upholding the rights of Americans and resolving conflicts of interest. It's just common sense.

I respect all these people, but the ideas we've been running with are so flawed that we desperately need an entirely new approach to politics. Not just change, but change that will resolve the problems we as a nation face at this time in history.

Ian B said...

And in response to Nels' last post:

'Oh, if I could only be president and Congress too, even for just ten minutes!'
-Theodore Roosevelt