Choosing a ‘lesser of two evils’

Brittany Westerberg

Brittany Westerberg

Candidates have chosen their running mates. Millions of people across the country have taken sides, rooting for their favorites and booing and throwing trash at the opposition. The pairs give each other the Evil Eye as they line up. Get ready ? set ?

Wait. I’m not convinced.

Between the garbage slinging, long-winded speeches and random media attention on details about the candidates and their running mates that should have nothing to do with the election but do anyway, it has been difficult to pick the lesser of two evils.

I have decided here to put down my thoughts about the candidates from both parties and their running mates and why I have yet to choose anyone. Perhaps in reading this you will begin to get a picture of which side I am leaning toward, but even that changes from day to day for me.

Barack Obama is admirable in many aspects. He’s the first minority to be this close to becoming president, and he’s developed quite a following, especially among the younger people who do not necessarily pay that much attention to anything for very long, let alone a political race. My younger brother’s girlfriend is a staunch Obama supporter and has no problem spouting his praises.

Despite this, I have several issues with Obama. No, I don’t think he’s a closet-Muslim. I disagree with him on many of the issues. From what I have found, Obama rarely votes any other way than at the very left end of the spectrum, and many of his ideas zoom that way as well. While I don’t have enough room to be as specific as I’d like, I will say that sometimes I see him leading us toward socialism, and I am definitely not for that.

I do like Joe Biden for the fact that he is currently the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Foreign relations are extremely important to Americans today, and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon. There are also Republicans and Democrats alike who say that Biden is willing to “reach across the aisle” get issues solved – and has done so on many occasions.

Sometimes it seems, though, that Biden is trying too hard to sell Obama as the best man for President. Also, how is he adding to Obama’s ticket of “change” when he has been in the Senate long enough to see seven presidents come and go? His political positions are consistently ranked by various interest groups as mostly – if not completely – on the liberal side of the spectrum. It makes sense, given his party, but I’d prefer someone more in the middle to represent America.

My family has consistently been involved in the military for generations, and I would not mind seeing someone with a military record like John McCain come to bat for the U.S. He has always been known as a “maverick” who votes how he thinks is right.

Not all of McCain’s ideas agree with me, however. I do not support us staying over in Iraq any longer than it takes to get all of our soldiers out safely, for example. Then you have to factor in his age. Despite the fact that his mother is alive and healthy, as people get on in years, their health becomes more fickle. Besides, women are noted to live longer than men, so who says McCain is going to follow in his mother’s footsteps that way?

While I could make a quip about Sarah Palin being a beauty pageant runner-up, after being acquainted with the last two or three Miss South Dakotas, I have resolved never to make fun of women involved in pageants. I admire the fact that she does have a family and an amazing career, which I aspire to do as well, and she does balance out the McCain ticket well, I think. For the most part, I agree with her on many of the issues.

However, there are some disturbing parts to her ideologies that I don’t adhere to. She is extremely pro-life, and I am a little wary of anyone who is not willing to even listen to the other side. One of the librarians at Briggs Library told me yesterday (and I confirmed it in an article in Time) that during her time as governor of Wasilla, she tried to ban several books from the public library. That is one thing I will never agree with; just because one person has a problem with something that’s been written does not mean that you have the right to tell other people, “It’s bad for you. You can’t read it.”

While this may not have been as in depth as I would have liked it to be, hopefully you can see my dilemma in choosing a side. Maybe I think too much, and maybe my vote doesn’t mean as much as many would like to think an individual vote counts, but it matters to me.