Why November 4th Can't Come Soon Enough
First, some background on me so you'll know where I'm coming from: I consider myself an Independent (I'm registered as one) and have voted both for Democrats and Republicans in previous elections. I was fortunate to turn 18 back in '88 and took pride in voting for Bush Sr. whose background in national security impressed me despite my lack of worldliness (in other words, at 18, I hadn't exactly been many places or knew nearly as much as I liked to think I did). I've made sure that I vote in every presidential election since then because (despite my belief that the electoral college needs to go) I also believe that if you don't vote, then you don't really have much to stand on if you start complaining. I served in the United States Air Force and have worked for Uncle Sam. Following that, I worked in private sector security doing a variety of jobs including executive protection. As a result of my lifelong study of martial arts, I've also taught defensive tactics to a variety of government agencies including the Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons, and the US State Department. A significant chunk of my adult life, therefore, has revolved around national security and personal protection. Given these tidbits, one might think that I might be backing McCain in this election. I'm not. George W. Bush has been, without question, this nation's worst president in its history. At every level and in almost every instance he has shown an abject lack of brains, wisdom, maturity, and pretty much everything else that a president needs. The one time I did agree with him was immediately after 9/11 when he pledged to go into Afghanistan and hunt Bin Laden and al-Qaeda down and destroy them. I agreed because that was the right place to go into - it was the right war. Even the way the Afghanistan action was being handled was smart. Spearheaded by United States Special Operations Command, the conventional troops were being used as support while specops was taking the lead. Al-Qaeda, bin Laden, and the Taliban were an unconventional enemy and that called for our best unconventional troops. Then Iraq rolled around. And everything changed. No longer was our focus on hunting down and terminating the bastards responsible for 9/11. Instead, Georgie wanted to impress his dear ol' dad and the result is the stupidest, dumbest, most idiotic use of our military ever conceived. The basis for the Iraq invasion was nothing but a bed of lies. There were no WMDs. I have many friends still serving and between those I know in the UK and those I know in the US who were charged with "finding" those WMDs, the response has always been the same: "We knew it was a bogus op." We're spending $10 billion per month in a nation we shouldn't even be near. "Yeah, Jon, but what about Saddam? He was so mean." Yep, I agree. He was a scumbag dictator. And we helped him get that way because of Iran. But here's the thing: Saddam wasn't doing much of anything except talking a good game. And he still had Iran to worry about. Those two countries hated each other. In terms of Iraq gaining any sort of heinous stockpile of ricin or related WMDs, it simply wasn't happening in the near future. And we had a much more pressing mission in Afghanistan. We've had eight years of a morally bankrupt administration. Cheney, Rumsfeld, all of them. They're scum who have denigrated the reputation of the United States via their various antics that have cost us precious resources, not the least of which are the brave souls in uniform who have paid the ultimate price. And now we've got John McCain attempting to win the presidency. As a former member of the armed forces, I salute anyone who has served the country. But he's no hero. His background is a carefully constructed narrative designed to push all the buttons of those with more "patriotism" than brains. Our current economic debacle is a direct result of many factors, but overriding them are the facts that McCain has supported the Bush policies of the past eight years. McCain has also figured prominently in more de-regulation than should have ever been tolerated. He is in bed with lobbyists of every stripe. The leader of his transition team was in Saddam Hussein's pocket. At every instance, John McCain is a walking hypocrite and outright liar. I've watched all three debates. Perhaps more in last night's debate than any other, those watching got a chance to observe McCain as he truly is: an angry man fed up with the fact that for all his lies, machinations, and hypocrisy, he can't fool enough people into voting for him. His "outrage" over his actions being paralleled with those of George Wallace was ludicrous. Here's a simple fact: McCain/Palin followers are shouting the most atrocious comments at their rallies. "Kill him!" is not something that should be tolerated by either candidate, but the tone of hatred and intolerance at McCain/Palin rallies is out of control. McCain should be ashamed that these nutjobs are even voting for him. Instead of making a public statement last night regarding that issue, he had the unmitigated gall to sit there and whine about someone calling him out on his nasty tactics. Any honor McCain might have once had has surely been flushed down the crapper. The McCain we've seen since this campaign started has been erratic, grumpy, outright rude and condescending, and his decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate will surely have historians laughing or shaking their heads or both long after he has passed on. (The real winner on the Republican side will surely be Palin herself who will no doubt coast into a comfy job at Fox News thereby providing endless hours of fun for her devotees.) The United States of America is in desperate straits. Our economy is a shambles. Our national reputation is laughable. Average, hardworking people are losing their homes and their savings. We need a president who has the resolve and demeanor to see us through the maelstrom and get us to the other side where we can hopefully begin to repair what we've had broken, misused, and raped for so long. I've never been as involved or cared so deeply about an election as I do this one. While I haven't had time to do much, I have raised several hundred dollars for the Obama campaign and my vote goes to Barack Obama on November 4th. I will no doubt be up all night long watching the results until I know that this country - one that I love so much - is safe from four more years of the same crap we've already endured so much of. With almost three weeks remaining before that date, however, I shudder to think of what underhanded and slimy things McCain will attempt. As has been seen, nothing is off-limits and the most dangerous opponent is always the most desperate one with nothing left to lose. Since McCain has obviously long since sacrificed his ethics and morality in his quest for personal glory and aggrandizement, I have no doubt things will get worse before we have a chance to make them better by sending the Arizona senator back to one of his seven homes, instead of the new 8th one he wants so badly.