In light of the Iowa Caucuses happening today, I thought it might be a good day to post my dismay at the large array of Republican candidates, from which I have to choose one person on a day not too far from this one.
So far I have it narrowed down to three candidates (in no particular order).
Let me detail (briefly!) what I'm thinking about each of them. Subject to revision, of course. :)
Things I like:
1) Lots of experience running things, and turning major problems around. If we ever needed someone to turn a financial disaster around, it is now!
2) Pro-family and pro-life rhetoric. I know many people say this is all just a front to get votes, but I think to be fair we have to admit that he might truly be a "convert" to the cause. He IS Mormon, after all, and most Mormons are definitely pro-family.
3) He says exactly what I'm thinking about illegal immigration.
1) He supports embryonic stem cell research on frozen IVF "extras". He also supports abortions in the cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother. While I understand that this second policy is politic and it may be impossible to hold anything else and be a viable candidate, I still find the logical inconsistency troubling.
2) I have concerns about the way he ran Massachusetts, particularly in the realm of healthcare. To be fair, he was working with a democratic legislature. Still, he claims their health system as something he is "proud of" and I'm not at all sure that I want the rest of the nation to follow a system of that sort. Sarah, want to weigh in on this one?
Things I like:
1) He really does seem to have a pretty solid conservative track record, particularly with fiscal responsibility.
2) He's not going to leave the Iraqis hanging. While I do very much wish that we were not still in Iraq, I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that we broke it and now we own it. McCain seems to have a clear idea of morality in the situation.
3) He's against torture in all forms, even the "grey areas". I'm pretty sure that I want our nation to be a leader in warfare ethics, not one that tries to weasel out of responsibilities because the base isn't on our soil.
4) His ideas on healthcare seem pretty reasonable.
1) He doesn't like Evangelicals much, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that (and his current pandering to them!) Still, he does seem to agree with most Christian moral principles.
2) I think his theories of how to solve the current illegal immigration problems are just nuts. Not to mention completely unfair to everyone who didn't break the law.
3) Like Romney, he supports embryonic stem cell research on frozen IVF "extras", and abortions in the "big three" exceptions.
Things I like:
1) He is a Christian. While I'm certainly not one that advocates a theocracy, I do appreciate the fact that a Baptist minister is most likely going to act in ways which I believe to be morally and ethically correct.
2) Pro-life position, even in the case of IVF babies. I can't pin him down on abortion in the "big three" cases, though. Anyone know what he believes on that?
3) The fair tax. I know it won't ever happen, but I can dream, right?
1) I keep hearing that Huckabee is a "populist". And I can't figure out what that means, but I know that Edwards is one and I can't stand Edwards. So this makes me nervous. Can someone explain this to me in more detail? And why I should or shouldn't be nervous?
2) I can't pin down his fiscal record. Everything I read seems contradictory. Is this guy a raving, spending, liberal in republican clothing? Or did he do the best he could with a democratic legislature?
3) His theories on healthcare seem mainly to be "prevent, prevent, prevent". Perhaps there is more to his idea than this, but what I'm hearing sounds way too simplistic.
3) Is a Baptist minister from the south even remotely electable? I get the feeling that the nation may just be totally finished with anyone who sounds anything like our current president.
I think I have two main problems. One is knowing which issues should be deal-breakers for me. Is the IVF issue big enough to change my vote? Should it be? The other (related) is deciding how much "electibility" should play into my vote. I want to vote my conscience, but I also don't want to indirectly elect someone far more out of line with my beliefs, simply because I voted for someone who had no chance of beating him/her.
I'd love some conversation on this topic. Just remember to keep it respectful, eh?