Sunday, August 31, 2008

What to do?

I don't know who I'll vote for in November.

When it comes to domestic American politics, I'm a Democrat.

But Obama is . . . scary. It's not so much the inexperience that bothers me -- although that's a problem, too -- it's his followers who scare me . . . He's so charismatic, he's got all these people wrapped around his little finger, over what? He could do anything and all these people who love him would just keep wagging their tongues and talking about how wonderful he is. He could stab someone in the back and his supporters would keep saying "but he's so GREAT." No, he's not so great. He's just really, really charismatic.

And yet . . . if his policies are more or less in line with mine, I suppose it doesn't matter what the masses do, what matters is what I want the president to do. But . . . but . . . there are alllll these people telling me, with complete confidence, that Obama would be terrible for Israel. And if I voted for him and that turned out to be true, I'd feel like such a heel.

And . . . when it comes to Iraq, I'm more right-leaning than left-leaning, though it's a complicated situation and I wish the Republicans would show a little less hubris and a little more reflective thinking. And seriously, when you look at where the candidates are right now with their plans for Iraq, how much of a practical difference is there? I don't see so much, even when I squint at it. "We'll be there for a long time, assessing the situation as we go, it's really important not to create a power vaccuum, blah blah blabbity blah blah blah." What it really means is "neither of us has any clue what to do with this mess. Who really can say what will be?"

And . . . I don't think anyone who says "this candidate is better for Israel" or "that candidate is better for Israel" truly has a crystal ball. Almost everyone I know who is a right-wing Jew vis-a-vis American politics is still saying that Dubya is "so great for Israel," forgetting that the very Gaza disengagement they think was horrible happened under W's watch. Israel will do what it wants, when it wants, and America will exert pressure this way or that no matter who is in the Oval Office, because --I really believe this -- God has more control over the situation than the President of the United States. You seriously never know what will happen once someone is actually in office . . . just look at Ariel Sharon.

And . . . a disturbingly high number of people who are telling me that Obama would be bad for Israel actually still think he's a Muslim. Hello, people! He is not Muslim, he's Christian, and your ignorance of that fact is not raising my confidence in your opinions. Not that his pastor is anyone to write home about, either, but let's at least get the religions straight.

And . . . how could I vote for McCain? He stands for just about everything I hate, except -- if my Republican friends are to be believed -- for his alleged support of Israel. See above. I do not put my faith in John McCain. I put it in God, and in ourselves, and simply hope and pray that America will continue its friendship of us. The practical difference, vis-a-vis Israel, between Democrats and Republicans is much smaller than most Israel-supporters really care to admit. And that difference can be erased completely, on the practical level, when Israel decides to do whatever the hell it wants, which it often does (and I'm glad of that, at least philosophically).

And now he picks Sarah Palin as his running mate. Do I really want someone in the Vice President's seat whose total experience in governance includes a few years as the mayor of a town whose population is roughly equal to that of the undergraduate population at Columbia University, and 2 years as governor of a state whose population is roughly equal to that of Fort Worth, Texas? Do I want such a person to serve as President of the Senate, and to be first in line for succession to the Oval Office? Especially if that person is fervently anti-abortion choice?


I've seriously considered not voting at all, but I don't want everyone else to be picking from between the two terrible choices. I should let my voice be heard, etc etc. But I just know that whether I vote for McCain or Obama, I'll come back from the post office feeling dirty, like I need a good long shower.

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