We are now just five days from Election Day, and most Americans have decided on the presidential candidate for whom they will cast their vote next Tuesday. I have decided who will get my vote, but it will be neither Barack Obama nor John McCain. And the reason in both cases boils down to personal integrity. For all of their considerable talents and leadership skills, the moral character of both of these men is too flawed to justify my support.
In the case of Obama his character flaws are apparent in his questionable associations, the most astonishing of which is his long-time pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Wright is not just a liberation theologian. He is a radical anti-American racist, whose rhetoric is more venomous than anything I’ve seen in public life. Yet Obama sat under his preaching for twenty years? Unbelievable. Another disturbing association of Obama’s is Bill Ayers, the domestic terrorist with whom Obama served on a Chicago education board. Obama’s claim that he didn’t know about Ayers’ terrorist past at the time is implausible. Finally, there is Obama’s utter insensitivity to sanctity of life issues. Set aside his unyielding pro-choice position and his breathtaking assertion that determining when human life begins is “above my pay grade.” (Come on, Barack. As difficult as that might be, you must have some belief regarding the matter. And surely anyreasonable person must admit that a pre-born child is human at least by the point of viability.) The most astounding thing is Obama’s refusal (four times) to support the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which simply mandated that babies which survive abortions should receive medical attention to keep them alive. Intentionally allowing a baby to die is, of course, infanticide. And Obama’s refusal to support legislation to prevent such is complicity with this heinous act. To say that this reveals a character flaw on his part is, well, an understatement.
As far as McCain is concerned, I do appreciate the man’s honorable service as a soldier, especially his heroic commitment to his fellow servicemen while a P.O.W. during the Vietnam War. I also appreciate McCain’s respect for the sanctity of life and his take on several other issues. But he, too, has a seriously chequered past. McCain was unfaithful to his first wife, leaving her for his current wife, Cindy, even while his first wife was recovering from a serious automobile accident. Yes, this was nearly thirty years ago, but there have been whiffs of questionable behavior since, such as regarding McCain’s inappropriate relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman. Adultery is no small matter, as it demonstrates a person’s willingness to flout the most sacred vow two human beings can make. If a man is willing to break that vow, then why should we trust him when it comes to his commitment to the American people? And if the Clinton years taught us anything, it is that the so-called “private life” of a President is never just that. So I cannot cast a vote for McCain. (In fact, I have a personal rule never to vote for a known adulterer.)
But I do plan to vote in the presidential election. So for whom shall I cast my ballot? At this point I plan to write in the name of someone who is consummately qualified and has impeccable character: Condoleeza Rice. I will refrain from extolling her virtues here, otherwise this post might never end! Suffice it to say that she has the moral integrity that I wish either Obama or McCain had. Oy vey.