For someone who's got a Master's Degree in Political Science, I've said very little about this election. It's time to pipe in.
Six months ago, my feelings were that even if McCain won in November, it wouldn't be a complete disaster. For example, unlike many of his fellow conservatives, he actually believes in modern science, and that the scientific consensus that fossil fuel use is hurtling us toward a global warming disaster is true.
I don't feel that way anymore. If McCain won, it would be a disaster. This is going to be the most important US election since 1860.
Let me clarify. Most who know me and those who read my blog regularly certainly know that I was always going to vote for the Democrat who won the nomination, whether it was Obama, Clinton, Kucinich or any other of the pack. My concern is that there's no guarantee that the Democrat will win in November. And in fact, the Republican did win in the last two elections. This has led to a disasterous slide in this country at every level-- economically, politically, internationally, energy-wise. I sometimes wondered if Bush and Cheney had a crack team up late at night trying to figure out new ways to screw up.
The fact of the matter is that we are in trouble. We are trapped in a war in Iraq that we never should have been in. We are losing a war in Afghanistan that could have been won by now had we not diverted resources to Iraq. The dollar has plummetted in value, and oil prices have skyrocketed. We've got seventies style "stagflation" going on-- inflation combined with economic slowdown. And thousands and thousands of Americans are losing their homes. I read in the New York Times today about Merced, California, where three out of every four housing sales are foreclosures.
In the midst of this, the soon-to-be Republican candidate for President, in what is, in my opinion, the most important election in over a century, did not know, when asked, how many houses he owns.
Let me state, right off, that the issue is not that he is rich. Obama, Biden and most other Senators are rich. The issue is that he did not have the sense not to say something that stupid and insensitive. He's been trying to paint Barack Obama as someone who is elitist and out of touch with the issues that concerns Americans. Americans are scared to death about the economy. It's been frightening to go from the nineties, when everybody seemed to be getting in on the economic boom that happened then. Welfare mothers were going to work and buying homes. I have no doubt that the flush times were largely responsible for the plummet in the crime rate. And that the current economic problems have been part of the uptick in crime, including violent crime, in recent years. As most of you know, this has personally affected me.
So McCain's strategy has been to paint Barack Obama as an elitist who is out of touch with the concerns of the common folk. Two recent things have really troubled me, beyond the fact that McCain seems to be completely out of it in understanding global politics and economics. A few weeks ago he revealed that he is unable to use a PC, something my kids have done since they were babies. How in the hell can a guy who can't use a friggin' computer do a job that is probably the most demanding job in history?
The other is, of course, his response about the houses. I'm not just appalled that a guy trying to portray his opponent as an out-of-touch elitist is so rich and, well, out of it, that he doesn't know how many houses he has-- though I do find that pretty appalling. The thing I find disturbing is that it never occurred to him that the answer he gave would be appalling to many, many people. He should have kept his goddamned mouth shut. If he doesn't have the sense to do that in that situation, I cannot imagine how he would have the sense to run the country.
Go Barack and Biden!