Saturday, August 30, 2008

You Know He's Pro-Life, Right?

That's what I say whenever anyone asks me what I think about McCain.

And, lately, I've been getting asked a lot. As I have mentioned before, in my family when anyone wants to know about the pressing political issues of the day, they turn to me. And, I've gotten a similar reputation amongst co-workers and friends not because I'm particularly politically active but because I try to keep myself informed - spending a good deal of time reading blogs, newspapers, magazines, and more. Often, I think this daily ingestious of the political mainstream only leaves me more confused than I would be otherwise - usually right after I turn off the talk radio and right before I reach for the bourbon. But, this years is an election year and this fall is when my particular intests pays off.

So, being the opinion leader for a small and probably not very influential cross-section of a demographically valuable (In the right state, in the right age and income bracket, and with the right mindset to potentially be that ever-so elusive swing vote.) electorate, I've been waging a rearguard action against the appeal of the McCain campaign.

I make no bones about it. I want Obama to win, if only because I think a McCain administration would be a disaster for the country. I have my differences of opinion with Obama - I've been upset with his stance on FISA and his turn to the middle after the primaries, for starters - but those worries pale in comparison to the flop sweat nightmares I have about what fresh ruins that another four years of conservatives at the levers of power will create.

One of the quietest of those concerns, the one that lurks in the background of my thoughts and under the radar of most coverage I've taken in, is that the next president stands to nominate at least a few more Supreme Court Justices. Either because of old age or because of a mass exodus so young, fresher ideological companions can take up the fight. The makeup of the court is going to swing on which party holds office. And that means the direction of our country for the next twenty, thirty, even fifty years is on the line.

What you will never hear McCain say and what the press seems to go out of their way to avoid saying (But what his selection of the virulently pro-life Sarah Palin, a member of Feminists for Life shouts loudly and clearly), is that McCain is going to appoint judges who want to and who will overturn Roe vs Wade.

Like Senator Obama, I choose to believe that John McCain is not a dishonorable man. That his beliefs are held because of his deepfelt convictions and not for reasons of crass opportunism (Although, again, the selection of Governor Palin does throw that theory into serious doubt.). So when he has articles like this on his website, in the area where he sets out his policies and agenda for the nation, I believe him. I don't think he's been pressured into it or forced into it by the right-wing extremists of his party, I think he sincerely believes in restricting even abolishing abortion (The alternative, of course, is that he doesn't care about it at all and has simply adopted the position that best appeals to his constituents in order to get elected. And, as I said, that should be unthinkable for a man like John McCain - a former prisoner of war who suffered and fought for the right of people to hold their own opinions in a country like ours.).

But I can see why some people might be confused. That above article, after all, is buried way down at the bottom of the page (Next to "the Space Program" and the "Ethics Reform" that shows up dead last which, I don't know, strikes me as an extremely apt description of their relative priority for the Republican Party). And not under a clear title like "The Economy" or "National Security" but, instead, as the vague "Sanctity of Life" - complete with a picture of the shiny, happym and well-scrubbed nuclear family.

Because McCain really doesn't want people - especially those pro-Hillary women he's so blatantly courting - to know where he stands on the issues that are important to him. So, as I remind my relatives and co-workers, if you want someone who's going to thump the podium and deliver bellicose rhetoric in order to keep the nation safe, vote for McCain. But if you want women to continue to have the right to choose, don't.

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