The “fundamental difference” between the vice-presidential candidates is not their view of the problems facing Americans, but how they see we should address the issues which are most critical to the people. Just in case you are not up to speed, here is a list of issues I think are most important and how the candidates stand on them… for now anyway.
Economy: The elephant in the room has started stomping around and knocking things over. Elected officials on both sides of the aisle have been too busy taking advantage of earmarks and other perks provided by lobbyists to do their job protecting the folks from corporate greed. Sub-prime mortgages, price gouging, CEO’s running their companies into the ground and walking away with a golden parachute have collectively put the economy in worse shape than it has been in almost 70 years. To me, Biden made the most profound statement of his beliefs when he described middle class America as sitting around the kitchen table wanting “help.” Obama/Biden promote bigger government (more programs) which means more taxes. They claim that taxes will not go up, but the programs they propose increasing will cost money and it has to come from somewhere. McCain/Palin plan to lower taxes. Neither plan works if the government doesn’t stop earmarks and protect the folks from greedy CEO’s.
Iraq: The government’s primary job is to protect the people. Most people agree that mistakes have been made in the war in Iraq. People are still divided on how and whether we should have gone in at all, but looking back at that question does us no good. The question is how and when do we get out? McCain/Palin say we finish the job and then leave a stable Iraqi government. Obama/Biden want to leave now, and claim that McCain’s plan has no end. However, everyone, including those who oppose the war, conceed that the surge is working and it can now be said that we are winning in Iraq. The war on terror continues, however, and how we handle Afghanistan and continue to persue Bin Ladin, as well as how we deal with Iran and North Korea (not to mention Russia) will be dictated by the next administration.
Moral issues: This may be the clearest topic of discussion. McCain opposes partial birth abortion and favors required parental consnt for abortions for minors. Obama supports unfettered abortion for all ages as a right of privacy. Marriage has been defined as a union between a man and woman since before recorded history. Obama would change that and supports homosexuality being taught in elementary schools and adoption by homosexual parents. Obama would allow gun control. McCain would not.
Truth be told, it’s really not that difficult to pick a side when the choices are so clear. One more thing – change is coming either way.