Sunday, November 2, 2008

Barack Obama or John McCain Will be America's Next President

Unless something very strange happens, either Barack Obama or John McCain will be the next American president, and Joe Biden or Sarah Palin will be vice president. Who sits in the Oval Office will make a huge difference.

All that's pretty obvious. What may not be is that your vote is important. The 2000 presidential election was decided by a few hundred votes in one state.

The odds are that the 2008 election is going to be close, too.

Voting, When Nobody Looks Good

I'm not all that enthused about either of America's presidential candidates.

I was excited, when a young Democratic senator talked about and end of partisan bickering. I thought that Barack Obama might be a charismatic, reasonable, leader who would encourage more good sense, and less party wrangling, in Washington. Then I found out more about his political and economic philosophy.

I'm not a McCain chauvinist, either. John McCain is not a perfect candidate, from my point of view. But, I've never seen a perfect candidate: and don't expect to.

Still, I'm going to vote this Tuesday, God willing. My passions may not be engaged, but I'm an American citizen, and it's my duty to vote. And, to vote smart. It's also my duty as a Catholic.

Barack Obama, John McCain, a Protest Vote?

Sometime during each election campaign, I've been tempted to write in "Mickey Mouse" for president. Particularly when none of the candidates seemed to be adequate - let alone good - choices.

I've never actually done it, so far: and most likely won't.

After November 4, 2008, it's almost certain that Barack Obama will be president, or John McCain will.

Voting for another candidate, like Charles Baldwin or Ralph Nader, might feel good: but it means that the majority party candidate who has views similar to yours is less likely to be elected.

I don't think that's a good idea. Particularly in an election like this, when there are two very different candidates running for president. It may seem noble, but a protest vote has the practical effect of taking support away from a candidate who might support at least some of your views.

Think About Slogans

All candidates and interest groups use slogans. It's important to think about what slogans actually mean.

"A woman's right to choose," for example, means "a woman's right to kill her baby." All too often because her husband, boyfriend, or employer doesn't want an inconvenient third party underfoot.

I don't support that, any more than I would support slavery. Even if slavery were called "an owner's right to choose," or "non-optional guaranteed lifetime employment." A catchy slogan doesn't make a cause right.

Can't I Just Vote Democrat/Republican?

Well, yes. But it's not a good idea. Both major parties have changed a bit since FDR was in office; and individuals in each party are, well, individuals. They have their own views and beliefs.

Responsible American Citizenship, Catholic Style

Today and tomorrow, I plan to post about my take on the Catholic approach to voting.

I'm a Catholic layman, and do not have the sort of authority a bishop or priest has. But, I try to stay informed, and how to look up sources that are authoritative. (I'm modest, too, right?)

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.