The last post was generally for Mexican-Americans and Latinos. For those who don’t identify with the immigration debate, here is my take on why I will be voting for McCain in general. This is from an email I sent to a grad student who recently asked me why I support McCain. I revised it for this post.
I am generally pro-life, with the standard caveat if the mothers life is in danger.. I believe life starts close to conception.. if not then, I don’t know when.
– I am a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment
– I generally prefer open markets to government regulation
– I support the war effort (as bungled as its been), and I generally prefer a strong military
– I want a greater expansion of NAFTA and freedom of movement for labor
– I prefer spending cuts over taxes to balance our budgets
– I am pro-Israel, though as a foreign-policy issue, I can be convinced otherwise, but so far I haven’t been
– I think there are better solutions to healthcare than trusting the same government that gave us Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to do it for us
I differ with thein some important issues and I am ambivalent about other issues
– I generally prefer the government not to be in the marriage business.. I am pro-gay marriage, but I do think society has a right to work it out on its own timetable… I wish they’d move along faster, though.
– The whole nationalism thing among the staunch right wingers is tiresome…I’m not that excited about NASCAR dads and hockey moms.. its merely an aesthetic to appeal to a large number of Americans who identify with that.. however, I don’t care for the “white trash” “hillbilly”, etc. comments coming from the elitists on the left either. I think its distasteful and lacks empathy for good upstanding American citizens.
– I can take or leave the issue of former felons voting.. I don’t see it as a civil right. i can be convinced otherwise, but I’m not roused by the issue either way
– I don’t really see immigration as a civil rights issue.. I wish the laws would change to have more open borders, and I wish there was a larger apparatus to integrate immigrants, but I don’t see a problem with enforcing the laws. I think the laws are dumb and I really prefer that the laws weren’t enforced, but that doesn’t mean enforcing the laws is an infringement of anyone’s .
Are there racists in the GOP? Sure. Does it bother me? You bet. Is it ubiquitous? I don’t think so. I’ve worked with the GOP from Orange County to East Lansing. My experience has generally been quite pleasant. I’ve never been treated differently by a Republican when they discovered I was pro-immigration or Latino. The GOP is generally a white operation. I don’t find that any more racist than seeing 97% of blacks voting for a black candidate. Is racism a factor? I think so. Is it unique to whites? I don’t think so.
I grew up with my folks and their friends who were active in the chicano movement in southern california. I was raised in a multicultural neighborhood and I was around people of all colors my whole life, with leaders and representatives who were of many different backgrounds. I found them to be no less corrupt than whites.
I prefer young Mexican kids in college do more school work and less social work. I find clubs like MEChA to be a waste of time for first generation college students. They can be charitable when they have something to be charitable with. I prefer to leave the social movement stuff to the rich white kids and prefer the poor mexican kids get busy studying and doing internships in companies and law firms.
I can go on and on, but I think you get the picture. We all have our reasons and we are all shaped by our experiences. Thats not for me to judge. I identify pretty strongly as a Catholic and religion is important to me, but its important to me in the sense that I think religion is important. I respect it. I am humbled by it. I generally wish to respect our environment and our fellow human being. For lack of a better term, I consider myself to be conservative. To me, conservatism is about change. I respect the decisions we have come to as a society in the past, because i don’t pretend to know better. I disagree with many of those decisions, but I can’t bring myself to believe I know better. Change is inevitable, I don’t wish to preserve society, I wish to conserve it.
Again, my support for McCain is tenuous. His commitment to some of these core principles is not ideal, in particular his tendency for big-government solutions, McCain-Feingold, etc. However, I see no alternative in Obama. While McCain’s commitment to these principles is weak in some areas, Obama’s principles are committed to tearing down many of the ideals I find important.