McCain and Obama – one and the same

Ted Hamilton

So here we are, in the final days of the 2008 election. Two years and maybe more of political maneuvering, bribes and lies have brought the two main candidates close to their goals. While a Russian election campaign lasts just several months, ours lasts over a year. After the debates are watched, the attack ads run and the war chests are emptied, what do we have to show for it?

Two sides of the same coin. Does anybody see a gigantic difference between the candidates chosen for us?

I don’t.

Both carry the Bush mantra with some slight alterations. Both want a stronger military, and both are more than willing to use it. While McCain is a bit more hawkish when it comes to Iran and Iraq, Obama is not the anti-war candidate people figure him to be. He wants to increase our troop level in Afghanistan and is more than willing to cross into a sovereign nation’s land if he wants to – Pakistan, to be precise. What is even more worrisome are his comments about the Russia-Georgia conflict, even though Georgia obviously provoked the war in the first place.

On economic policy, both nominees advocate tax cuts while increasing spending. Obama claims 95 percent of Americans will get tax cuts – which is blatantly bogus in itself. While tax cuts are needed across the board, so is cutting government waste off so many of our bureaucracies. Government all around needs to be shrunk, not expanded as both candidates are proposing. What kind of choice do we have when both candidates advocate the same thing?

The candidates also believe we should do something about global warming. Though McCain does not believe the pure science of it, he still thinks something needs to be done. When it comes to that great divide – abortion – both candidates want to keep it largely legal. Although there are some discrepancies, it is true, no matter which candidate is endorsed by National Right to Life.

Neither the “Messiah” nor the “Maverick” has whispered one word about the War on Drugs, illegal immigration or prison reform. These are not issues to be ignored just because the economy is in the toilet. These are largely the issues that have been hurting civil rights for years. While these areas have largely been ignored, both candidates have supported maintaining social security and Medicaid.

At this point, I am almost glad we invaded Iraq because maybe it will keep the next president from pushing Russia too far. The Georgia conflict was influenced by the United States, maybe to further damage relations with the Kremlin. Russia had every right to protect its allies in South Ossetia, whom Georgia attacked. Will the next president be gutsy enough to start a war with a more powerful country? While President George W. Bush has politically been neutered of his power, a new president will think he has a mandate from the people. Who knows what this is going to end up meaning for the American people.

Just four days – not counting the court battles that may occur – until America gets its new handler. Will the next four years be like the last? No matter what you argue, only time is going to tell us for sure.

Ted Hamilton is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].