Barack Obama, the unlikely Democratic presidential nominee, entered the presidential race with troubling inexperience: four years as a freshman U.S. Senator from Illinois and seven years in the Illinois state Legislature.
John McCains political career, meanwhile, has spanned more than two decades. The Vietnam War hero, during that career, has legislated for and against military intervention, pushed for ethics reform and environmental regulations. McCain has indeed stood against the Republican Party, often risking his preservation within it.
But that hasnt been so during this presidential race. In an extraordinary about-face, he has campaigned against the very bills he helped author, changed his stance on the Bush tax cuts for the richest in the nation and chose a running mate with little knowledge of the challenges that face this country. McCain has failed to put country first, instead choosing to appease the fringes of his party he once flouted.
Obama has offset any concerns about inexperience with his astute judgment on the campaign trail and during his political career. His decision to denounce the war in Iraq amid a swell of patriotic support for it was the first sign of sound foreign policy judgment. Sen. Joe Biden, a 36-year Delaware Senator who currently chairs the Senate Foreign-Relations committee, will certainly serve as a necessary and knowledgeable advisor. Domestically, Obama called for restricting the financial regulatory system months before the housing and credit crises hit while McCain oddly called for a domestic spending freeze.
The Organization for Economic Corporation and Development recently released a report that found income inequality in the United States has increased greatly since 2000, when the Bush tax cuts on the top percent of income earners went into effect and financial regulation went lax. McCains recent assertions that Obama will redistribute wealth ignoring the fact that distribution of wealth is the very purposes of taxes in the United States are correct: Obama has proposed to repeal the Bush tax cuts and put money back into the hands of the lower and middle classes because it does not just trickle down to them. McCain provides few answers to quell this economic turmoil. And the ones he does provide are ineffectual: He has proposed to pay for his sweeping tax cuts the majority of which are on the rich by cutting pork-barrel spending, which only account for a small percent of the budget.
McCains hawkish stances on Iraq, Iran and Russia are the very reason the U.S. reputation is damaged abroad. While we are disturbed with Obamas assertion that he would have no trouble violating Pakistans sovereignty, his realization that military troops and resources must be shifted to Afghanistan from Iraq provides necessary direction to a catastrophic U.S. strategy in the region. His willingness to talk to dictators not without pre conditions illustrates a much more diplomatic and multilateral approach to foreign relations necessary in this dangerous, post-Sept. 11 era.
On energy policy, McCains energy plan bellies on domestic oil production and increasing the role of nuclear power, but ignores that government support for companies producing alternatives will greatly accelerate the nations aim to become energy dependent.
Moreover, under McCain, a dangerously conservative Supreme Court could take shape with three liberal justices possibly leaving. Obama would retain a proper balance on the Court while McCains appointments would fundamentally alter its direction.
Obamas run for president has showed a remarkable and resounding call for optimism while McCains campaign message has turned incredibly divisive, at times, skirting on bigotry. We urge readers to take part infundamentally shifting U.S. policy away from politics of fear, unilateralism and exclusion with the prospect that the world which we inherit is one, at the very least, taking heed of the lessons of the past eight years and moving into a new era of prosperity, safety and above all hope.