I've gone back to the chalkboard to consider what should matter in choosing the PotUS. I've considered both the Leadership skills necessary to be PotUS and the Issues and Challenges the PotUS will need to manage. I will now evaluate both McCain and Obama in reference to these considerations.
Good Judgment. Both men are obviously intelligent. Both men have also demonstrated good insight. McCain has demonstrated this by recognizing the problems of Iraq and recommended the Surge. Obama has demonstrated good judgment by recognizing that voting on contentious and difficult issues could hurt him politically and it would be better to just vote present instead. Obama has repeatedly skirted the difficult issues whereas McCain has not. Even if it would cost him political points (not just the Surge but also on immigration), he has acted on his insight. Regarding wisdom, Obama has not demonstrated to me any evidence of having any. McCain by putting the needs of his country first over his own political career has. When it comes to good judgment it seems clear to me that McCain clearly has demonstrated superior judgment over Obama.
Firm Resolve. Both men have convictions, but Obama's convictions are to further his own ascent while McCain's are clearly about furthering the USA. I suspect that Obama believes the US would be better off being more socialistic but he seems to lack the faith of conviction to publicly declare this. When it comes to the grace to admit to being wrong, Obama is the clear loser here for first being stubborn when he declared the Surge a failure before it actually begun, as news of its success began to surface he maintain his belief of defeat, and even after it was widely acknowledged to be a success he still refuse to admit defeat. McCain has demonstrated resolve with the Surge, with his unpopular stance on immigration, and even with accepting public campaign financing against the money machine of Obama. McCain wins hands down.
Persuasiveness. I do not believe either candidate has a true understanding and appreciation for the common man's perspective of life in the US. Both are out of touch. When it comes to both being an effective communicator and being able to inspire others, I believe Obama to be superior to McCain. McCain speaks the truth whereas Obama is full of platitudes. McCain's life is inspirational but he doesn't seem to be able to inspire others, particularly the common man, as Obama has. When it comes to persuasiveness, Obama is much more so than McCain.
Over all, my analysis of Leadership ability of McCain and Obama, McCain will be a capable commander in chief. He has demonstrated good judgment and the resolve necessary to carry out his good judgment. He will need to better communicate them though to the public. Obama lacks the judgment and resolve to be PotUS. Obama's persuasiveness, in the absence of judgment and resolve, make him a sophist not to be trusted.
The Issues & Challenges.
Protecting the US from outside threat. Obama lacks the fundamental understanding of what it will take to protect the US from foreign powers, whether it is a resurgent nationalistic Russia or the stateless terrorists of Islamofascism. Obama wanted to take the Georgia crisis to the UN before he realized that Russia has veto power on the UN Security Council. He also wants to treat the War on Terror as a police action, which means we punish wrong doers rather than preventing acts of terrorisms. Obama is too naive to effectively secure the IS against foreign threats.
Sound Fiscal Policy. Too much taxation inhibits private economic growth. This doesn't seem to bother Obama much as he supports increasing taxation on the middle class, small business and large business. This does not bother him because he is a socialist interested in using taxation to redistribute the wealth and furthering the role of government in our economy. McCain wants to make the Bush tax cut for middle America permanent and reduce corporate taxes so they can remain competitive internationally, as well as keep more jobs here. McCain also understands that a large federal deficit ties up credit that could otherwise be used to grow the economy. He has promised a spending freeze on everything except defense. Because Obama is a socialist, he wants the government to grow, provide more services, and thus will spend more. Given that the increased taxation will limit economic growth and thus limit government tax revenue over all, the federal deficit can only grown under Obama. Over all, I believe Obama's plan to socialize the US economy unacceptable.
Resource Management. Out most national resources are the American people who work to make this country more productive as they work to provide more for our families. Obama seeks to support our labor forces artificially by mandating a rise in the minimum wage (though this will inhibit job growth) and to restrict free trade (which will make out products more expensive in foreign markets). McCain wants to generate more jobs for more Americans by creating favorable economic environment for private enterprises to grow and generate more jobs as well as better products. McCain favors free trade, and for the low end jobs that are subsequently shift to foreign lands due to cheaper foreign labor, McCain has endorsed education programs to retrain our workers for better jobs here.
The other aspect of resource management to discuss is energy policy. McCain wants the US to be energy independent by furthering exploration and refinement of traditional energy sources like coal, oil, and nuclear. McCain also favors building up our green and renewable energy sources. On the green and renewable energy sources Obama agrees, but he would rather we become green even at the expense of continued energy dependence on foreign oil, such as from the Middle East, Venezuela, or even Russia.
While Obama's resource management proposal are well intentioned, I believe McCain's plan is both more practical and better for our nation in the short term and the long term.
Secure Individual Liberties. Obama's actions have raised concerns for me regarding his respect of free speech and opposing viewpoints. On several occasion he and his staff have sent letters threatening legal actions against sources of contrary viewpoints. Obama has also consistently opposed the right of each individual Americans to own and bear arms. McCain has been the opposite. Obama also favors agreeable liberties over security, treating terrorists as criminals to be punished after the fact rather than preemption of terrorist acts. There can be no liberty without security.
But the most glaring example of his disregard of individual liberty is his support of live birth abortion. Make no misunderstanding that this is not abortion because once the fetus has been delivered free of the mom, it is a child. In essence, he supports the legalization of infant murder. I do not care where you stand on abortion, pro-choice or pro-life. We are talking infant murder. The state is supposed to protect its most vulnerable members, not exterminate them.
McCain is both constitutionally and morally superior to Obama.
Overall Governance Theme. Obama sees what is wrong with America and wants to fix it, McCain sees what is right with America and wants more of it. Obama wants to change a failing America, McCain wants to change how DC fails Americans. Obama believes in the American State, McCain believes in the individual American. McCain comes closest to cultivating a culture of individual responsibility (Palin has outright stated this) that I believe America needs to build on and less reliance on the State.
In nearly all aspects I considered, McCain is the clear choice for PotUS. On November 4, 2008, I will vote for McCain/Palin. I hope you will as well. Do not let the socialist get elected.