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What it means to vote for John McCain

Note to the readers: I’ve been struggling and struggling with this piece trying to make sure I was covering everything and wasn’t being too biased. But new things keep popping up and I have some health issues on the horizon, so rather than keep poking at it I’m going to post it while I have the chance and plan to make addendums as necessary. On to the actual post…

It’s very disheartening to realize that he’s against abortion unless the woman is a victim of rape, incest or her life is in danger along with thinking adoption and foster care are the solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancies. Because the hundreds of thousands of kids currently in foster care awaiting adoption that are going to age out of the system without ever having a permanent home aren’t enough of a clue that his approach isn’t feasible. Neither are the studies showing that foster care is worse than staying in a troubled home. So, let’s make people have babies they don’t want/can’t afford/can’t take care of, and then let’s put those kids into an already overburdened system and hope that magically everything will be okay.

But that’s not my only issue with McCain as a candidate. No, let’s talk about his commitment to veterans. Little known fact, I’m ex-military and I went through college on a combination of the GI Bill and the Illinois Veteran’s Grant. Now, when I was a GI Bill recipient the monthly check wasn’t remotely enough to cover college tuition at today’s prices, but it was a nice little chunk of change and helped me keep my head above water. No, the IVG was what actually paid for college and kept me from having crazy student loan debt. Now, one would think that McCain being a vet would want something similar for today’s soldiers. Yeah, not so much. He thought the expanded educational benefits would hurt the military by giving military personnel more options outside of serving. Because you know that 3,4, or 6 year initial commitment isn’t enough. No, let’s arrange a cute little trap to make long term service (for volunteers!) the only viable option. and yes, I know he’s said he’d only try to bring back the draft if World War III was upon us, but leveraging promised benefits against retention would let him say that since fewer soldiers would be able to afford to leave at the end of their tour. A lot of people join in order to be able to afford college, which is getting further and further out of reach for low income families especially in the current economy.

Speaking of the economy I’m not entirely certain he has any idea what he’s doing when it comes to little things like balancing the budget. After all the latest plan he’s unveiled calls for the budget to be balanced by the end of his first term. But it doesn’t seem to actually have the steps in place to balance the budget much less avoid leaving the poor and elderly out in the cold. I shudder to think of what social programs would be cut to the bone or lose funding entirely given how a large part of this plan is predicated on reducing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. There’s no direct mention of food stamps, but I wouldn’t hold my breath over there being any increase in that funding either despite the increase in gas prices meaning both an increase in food costs and a decrease in available cash in many households to buy groceries.

These are not my only issues with McCain’s candidacy but I’d say these are among the most important issues for any American and I’m more than a little nervous about the idea of McCain as President. I know we’re pledged to stay in other countries (most notably Germany & South Korea) for 100 years, but that doesn’t mean adding new locations to that roster is a good idea. Making it less feasible for military personnel to have good options at the end of their tour isn’t what I’d call taking care of the troops. And balancing the budget by making it more difficult for the poor to exist is just flat out ridiculous. Especially since you then want to limit the options of low-income women to plan their family size. Of course if you want to be at war on multiple fronts for 100 years, what better way to ensure troop levels than to have limited educational opportunities for the masses of unwanted children born in a society where abortion isn’t an option and access to birth control will be increasingly curtailed by cuts to Medicaid then I guess this plan makes sense. Of course that’s a crazy conspiracy theory that doesn’t make any sense. Right?

Karnythia is a writer, a historian, and occasionally a loud mouth. In between raising hell and raising kids she usually manages to find time to contemplate the meaning of life as a black woman in America. Her posts on any topic can be found at her Livejournal.

36 comments to What it means to vote for John McCain

  • Hear hear. My brother-in-law is scraping through school thanks to the GI bill at the moment. If he’d have been required to stay in the army for another three years — hell, even another three months — to get those benefits, he would have given up college rather than stay in.

    I had a laugh over:

    I know we’re pledged to stay in other countries (most notably Germany & South Korea) for 100 years, but that doesn’t mean adding new locations to that roster is a good idea.

    When’s the last time armed forces died fighting in Germany or South Korea? By that logic, staying in Iraq or Afghanistan for 100 years wouldn’t be terrible. However, the former long-term commitment stations were not active battlegrounds for years after their respective conflicts ended. North Korea might come across the border at any moment, but they aren’t tossing IED’s across.

  • karnythia

    Oh, but that’s the favorite comparison when someone talks about that 100 year comment of his, that somehow it would be exactly the same as being stationed in Wiesbaden or Frankfurt. We’re not supposed to notice the differences.

  • Adam

    Hi Karnythia,

    I am neither a Republican or a Democrat, but I am just as uneasy about Obama (though I personally like the man) becoming president as well.

    Though his song and dance has been, “I have been against the war from the beginning”, I don’t believe he will call an end to military occupation until our economic interests are secured in Iraq. I am referring to the no bid contracts by the oil companies – there are four major oil refineries in Illinois – Obama’s home state. There are also lucrative opportunities in Iraq for the major machine and equipment companies – Caterpillar, John Deere, and Illinois Tool Works – all based in Illinois.

    There are at least 50 “Fortune 500″ companies based in Illinois whose investments are heavily tied into the oil and machines/equipment sectors.

    While I have reservations about McCain, Obama will not bite the hands that fed him. No Illinois politician does – local or federal.

  • Dianne

    …thinking adoption and foster care are the solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancies.

    Um, not. Appart from the problems already mentioned in the post, placing a baby for adoption is quite literally hell for the mother. Women who carry a fetus to term and give it up for adoption are at very high risk of psychological sequelae, some of which do not appear to remit–that is, they remain depressed for life. Not a good option for anyone, really.

  • karnythia

    Adam,

    Are you laboring under the impression that McCain will bite the hands that fed him? Namely Halliburton and Blackwater? Or will he find ways to incorporate them into is suggested new wars? I’d prefer the companies bent on rebuilding to those bent on profiting from destruction. YMMV.

  • Not pro-McCain either. But not really for Obama. Gotta say something about abortion, though. I’m always amazed at black folks who don’t know the research which shows that abortion is pretty much self-genocide among the black community. Martin Luther King’s daughter, and niece were very much on the forefront to describing the racial prejudice behind the abortion mills. In addition, the mental health issues and breast cancer rates that women who have suffered with abortion have endured is also not widely known. The abuse caused by men and parents who want their girlfriends and children to have abortion is also well-documented. The most dangerous time for a woman and the time she is more apt to be murdered is when she is pregnant. There is also more abuse, especially from boyfriends who are trying to bully women into having abortions. From Lacey Peterson to those athletes who killed their pregnant girlfriends because their girlfriends refused to have abortions, research shows that most of the women who have had abortions have it because their boyfriends force them to or their parents force them to. The entire thing is complicated.. Very complicated. No answer is easy. Not that you were saying abortion is easy. But the mental illness, the cancer rates, the murder rates…all show how complicated the issue is. In addition the “empty arms syndrome” that women suffer after giving up their children for adoption also occurs with women who have had abortions. Except that Planned Parenthood doesn’t want to deal with the emotional impact of abortions. That would mean opening up a can of worms. If they truly cared about women as they said they did, they would have mental help after the abortion and would also provide for mental care. And if they were not as racist as many black folks think, they would not be putting their abortion mills in poor black neighborhoods. -C

  • Josh Jasper

    At 100 years, with a cost (low estimate) of 100 billion per year, the Iraq occupation continuing as it has will cost the USA 100 trillion dollars. A trillion dollars every decade.

    It’s not been getting any cheaper there.

  • Josh Jasper

    “Abortion mills”, by which you probably mean Planned Parenthood, offer what’s known as “family planning” – free contraceptives, counseling on how to avoid pregnancy if you don’t want it, services for pregnant mothers, low cost OB GYN exams, and so on.

    Sure, Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist, but please point at one living eugenicist or racist involved with Planned Parenthood, or any other abortion services group.

  • Adam

    Karnythia,

    No, I honestly do not believe McCain is any more or less virtuous in this respect. I strongly suspect that every member of the House and Senate has holdings of Haliburton in their investment portfolios.

    And Blackwater? Because they are private, it is tough to know who they have supported. Your mention of them causes me to wonder who backed them as they built a facility in Mount Carroll, IL (150 miles west of Chicago – just southwest of Freeport) in 2006.

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news&id=5267983

  • Adam

    Karnythia,

    Several things…

    Before I go any further on what McCain or Obama may have their hands in (or what either one of them are willing to turn a blind eye to), I must fess up and say that I work for a major company in Illinois that has conisderable holdings in Haliburton, Oil Companies, and all the machine & equipment companies that I mentioned above. Hence, my employer’s financial strength and my retirement are tied into this as well.

    I have two family members and two friends who draw their living from Caterpillar Tractor as well.

    With this knowledge, am I as guilty as either presidential candidate? Possibly.

    I am not so much passing judgment as much as I am casting whole lot of doubt on the sqeaky-clean image of one candidate and the “principled conservative” image on the other.

    You raised the issues with McCain, so I won’t expand on Obama any further and risk derailing this forum.

    Also…one question: what does YMMV mean? “You make me vomit” or “Your mileage may vary?” or something else?

    Adam

  • Elizabeth

    I want to say, first, that I support abortion rights (And I’d like to see those studies, Carole, that show most women–of any race–who have abortions are forced into them, ’cause otherwise I don’t believe it. Sad when in happens, yes. The norm? Let’s see some actual evidence–NOT sponsored by pro-life groups, of course.)

    But it always bothers me that people like McCain have an argument like this: It’s wrong to kill a human being, and a fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is just another form of murder.

    But then, like McCain, they want to make exceptions for cases of rape and incest…because, what? People who are products of rape and incest aren’t human beings? Wow! Does that mean that If I know Joe Smith is the product of rape I get to shoot him the head, no questions asked?

    Obviously not, but that’s the point. There is no anti-abortion argument that holds water without being repugnant in some cases even to (most) anti-abortionists. To really make sense, an anti-abortion policy would have to say fetuses are human beings, so it is not morally acceptable to kill them–even in the case of rape, incest, 10 year old mothers, etc. Even exceptions for the mother’s health could only be allowed if you KNOW the pregnancy will result in her death (after all, I’m not morally allowed to kill someone who only MIGHT hurt me).

    So, yeah. Sorry about going on and on, but I just have to say I feel no compunction about not listening to the arguments of people who don’t even listen to those arguments themselves.

  • Dianne

    The link, or lack thereof, between abortion and depression or other mental illnesses is complicated and studies have been ambiguous. Some studies show a small increase in the risk of depression in women who undergo abortion. Some find a small decrease in the risk. Most find no statistically significant difference. (I’ll post links if people are interested.)

    One study I find particularly interesting showed that delivery of an unwanted pregnancy was an increased risk for depression compared to abortion of an unwanted pregnany–prior to 1980. After 1980 the difference largely disappears (although the group giving birth is still at a slightly, probably not significant, risk). Many of the pre-1980 births are going to be to women or girls who had no choice but to give birth. Post-1980 probably the majority of women who gave birth chose to do so. This suggests to me that the most important thing is not which decision is made but rather that a choice is given. So if you’re pregnant and don’t want to be, make your choice. Whatever choice is right for you. Tell anyone else who wants to tell you that you MUST have the abortion or have the baby to go to hell.

  • Dianne

    Oh, forgot to mention earlier: the link between breast cancer and abortion? Nonexistent. Several small studies suggested a link but larger, better controlled studies did not confirm. It was a reasonable hypothesis, but it doesn’t appear to be true. On the other hand, abortion does seem to really decrease the risk of uterine cancer. Again, I’ll give links if anyone is interested.

  • Josh Jasper

    Dianne – I don’t trust the majority of pro-life organizations because they lie.

    The Catholic Church was caught lying to people and telling them that Condoms would not prevent AIDS. They claimed that the virus would just pass through microscopic holes in latex.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/oct/09/aids

    Do not trust these people. Ever. They fake evidence for moralistic reasons that have nothing to do with safety. Women’s lives are not a priority, and the people making up the fake studies are not even women. They’re men in a patriarchal religion with a history of oppressing women.

  • DiosaNegra1967

    …putting “abortion mills” in black neighborhoods? hmmmm….i don’t think so…..moreover, women AND men of ALL ethnicities have benefited greatly from the services that PP has provided through the decades…..it’s not just about abortion….

  • Ico

    I will NOT be voting for McCain. Ever. But I am increasingly disgusted with Obama’s anti-choice, pro-domestic-spying, increased-faith-based-funding speeches and/or votes.

    If he doesn’t take a rapid turn back to the left I’m going green.

  • browngirlspeak

    I would not, or should I say ,will not vote for anyone who is willing to stand beside George Bush. Period. I think there should be a limit on how many times you can run for the presidency and lose.

  • nihilunder

    I agree that a McCain presidency would be the last nail in the coffin for America, but on abortion I can see where he’s coming from; I’m all for choice and all, but the humanity of mutilated 5 month old babies is hard to argue with. As far as foster care problems, the overcrowding is due more to mis-management than anything else.

    The way I see it, there are three problems with the adoption system:

    1 – It’s cost prohibitive for many otherwise qualified people. Application fees and red tape are insane, and often block loving but not-so-rich couples from adopting

    2 – I can’t verify this 100%, but I’ve heard stories of race discrimination, ie, not allowing white couples to adopt black children and vice versa. I assume that everyone reading this sympathizes with my disgust.

    3 – Homosexual couples are often discriminated against. Again, I don’t think anyone here will argue against abolishing this barbaric practice.

    Alterations in these three aspects of the system would clear up overcrowding quite nicely, in my opinion. Yes, I know this is a side issue, and no, your point was not lost on me. I’m just sayin’

  • sallyjrw

    Public adoption has the rule that race should not be a factor when placing children and most states pay for adoption fees. Private adoption agencies are only too happy to get rid of black babies and usually offer discounts for them.

    The vast majority of states report the barriers are in terminating parental rights, recruiting adoptive homes, child welfare case management, court case management, and establishing / changing
    permanency goals. Source: Urban Institute

  • Sydney

    Hi. First time reader here.
    And while I think you are 100% correct, I am a little upset.
    You stated all the reasons we should vote against McCain, but what about the other candidates?
    To keep it fair, there are plenty of reasons I would not want to vote for Obama, where McCain has him in my eyes.

    You should support both sides of your opinion, because I hate it when people vote AGAINST something, instead of for something else. It means, nobody is really getting what they want.
    So tell us, what DO you want? And who can provide that, and why?

  • Adam

    I am feel ambiguous about McCain taking office.

    If McCain gets elected, I see very little in the way meaningful legislation in this country – a moderate Republican with the Democrat majority in both the house and the senate. Much like George Bush Sr.

    Expect Iraq and Afghanistan to continue to be household words.

    I would expect McCain to appoint a very conservative judge to the Supreme Court as a nod to the conservative base in the country – just as George Bush Sr. did with Clarence Thomas. If he can do it in his first term, it will be a stategic move for a better chance at the second term.

    If McCain is elected, I would also expect more Decomcrats to replace Republicans in the House and Senate as the distaste for Republicans in the U.S. continues to grow.

    No matter who is elected, I would expect to see more dissent from the two-party system among voters – less votes for the (R) and (D) and more for parties like the Green, the Libertarian, and the Constitutionalist parties. An increase in votes may not get a member of these smaller parties elected, but less votes pouring into the (R) and (D) parties will spell “concern” for them.

  • Excellent post! I have written a great deal about John McCain and his voting record on the issues and it seems that every time something new comes out about John McCain, I’m astounded at his blatant shortsightedness when it comes to just about everything.

    I firmly believe that McCain is either in the first throws of dementia or has been battling it for a year or two and just watching him speak and try to make sense of his words before they come gushing out of his mouth makes me rather uncomfortable. I would never trust him at all to run this country, especially when he says that the country’s budget will be balanced within 4 years. Come on! To add to that, he doesn’t even have a clue as to how he plans to do that; no plan, not even some fuzzy figures floating around in his head that he could have said to keep people hopeful and at bay. Nope, McCain is an asshole, really, with absolutely no clue how to run a country and it really saddens me when people say “Well I won’t vote for Obama, so I guess I’ll have to vote for McCain.” Ugh.

  • Veronica

    No matter how good an option adoption is (and it’s not a very good one–in its traditional forms, it has caused immense suffering for women who gave up their babies), it doesn’t address the main problem, as far as I’m concerned: forcing a woman to endure pregnancy, childbirth, and all their complications against her will is immoral. Neither black nor white women are brood mares. We don’t let people use other people’s bodies against their will, no matter how great the need. Nor should we.

    The abortion clinics I’m familiar with have been in all kinds of neighborhoods: white yuppie, black working-class, everything in between. And all kinds of women have visited them. The people who harrass the women visiting them, however, have invariably been white. Mostly male, though not all. Often either in high school or too old for fertility to be an issue for them.

  • MeMees

    wether abortion is murder or not,
    where its “black genocide” or not
    if I dont want a kid, I AINT HAVIN IT!
    and I could give a rats*** what anyone wants to think of it. I have my funds, I have my education and that pretty much means I OWN MY LIFE. I will be no one’s “baby mill” .
    If you aint gonna raise it, feed it, etc then you have no right telling me ( or any one else) what to do so YOU can feel good for the day. Please!

  • MeMees

    As for McCain,
    I cannot consciously vote for him. I am a part of the small nook ( female and gay) who would be horridly affected if an Abortion ban and Marriage Equality ban was put into place. It would mean I would have to start looking for another country to live in because America would be ultimately inhospitable for me. Like taking a cool shower in a (supposed) friends’ home only to have that person pull the curtain away and scream “you don’t belong here in MY SHOWER”! Your left with the choice of whether or not to apologize and suck it up or go find a Motel 6 immediately.
    I wish I could concerned about more pressing issues, but I am gay and female and this matters to me because I suffer worse ( oh , did I also mention I’m black and atheist?…yeah…..)
    I don’t see a push on his part for education reform, innovation and competitiveness. Its like no one cares about America anymore. Asia is beating us out , before long, we will NOT be able to compete with them on ANY level. While we are here BULL$h!tting about immigrants, we are oblivious to the fact that SPANISH is the second most spoken language in the world (after mandarin Chinese ). Three top world languages are Chinese, Spanish, English…and a number of indicators saying to teach your children Chinese. Canada is Bilingual, why cant we be??? We would have the advantage because French is a declining language but Spanish is NOT! Then there is the national deficit. Its widely know America is in dept ( mostly to Asia) for over 10 trillion dollars. He wants to cut taxes, and make deductions for children about US$7,000! There would be people who pay essentially NO TAXES! Umm, don’t we need to raise taxes to solve this mess!!!

  • Adam

    MeMees,

    I read an article in National Geographic several months ago where analysts are predicting that the Chinese economy will over take the U.S. in 10 more years. And, yes, working in the financial sector, learning Mandarin has caught my interest.

    You are correct is stating that French is in decilne. But useful for study in the social sciences, humanities, philospophy, etc.

    My wife is from Guatemala so we so speak Spanish in our home. But my wife would tell you that Spanish is not what you would call a “language of power” on a global scale. Though nearly a 1/2 Billion people speak it, and it is still a “marketable skill” in the U.S., it is not considered a language for international business, commerce, trade, etc – Argentina and Venezuela are notable exceptions.

    Do get me wrong, I have found it very useful on social level here in the U.S. I move around comfortably in Little Village of Chicago.

    Then again, one’s career endeavor will sort of dictate the useful language to learn. With my employer, Chinese, Spanish, and Polish tend to be highly valued.

  • dg

    Long time reader, first time commenter -

    So glad you brought up the thousands of children who age out of the system without getting adopted. Sure, if you’re Juno, with a precious little white baby growing in your tummy, someone will want to adopt that. If you’re not white? Good luck.

    One of my son’s best friends is the (black) adopted son of two white men. The primary dad told me that he was trying to adopt a Guatemalan child, but he got a call one day from a social worker in Texas. The woman said they had a newborn black boy, and since black babies are considered “unadoptable,” the state would be wiling to consider a gay couple. The one-two punch of ignorance.

    Now the boy is 6, thriving, beautiful, brilliant. You’d be proud, anybody’d be proud, but if the goddamned state of Texas hadn’t decided to offload one undesirable onto another, who knows? It makes me tear up to think someone would reject this boy for no fucking reason, might reject my beautiful boy, if circumstances had been different.

    So fuck you, John McCain. Adoption is simply not an option for some babies. You need to be called out on your ignorance. And god bless you, ABW.

  • Well, you’ll have to pick your poison – as they are both liberals who will likely do very similar things in reality.

    Liberals are going to be disappointed no matter who is elected because there is little doubt in my mind that drawing down the Iraq war and balancing that with maintaining a presence in the middle east – is going to dominate a majority of the time no matter who wins the white house.

    Subjects like abortion always comes up during election time, but I seriously doubt domestic issues will be on the radar of any politician.

    Although McCain leans further left than I would personally like, I believe that he’ll provide better wisdom on war issues than we’ve had during the previous 7 years.

    The worst of Iraq may appear to be behind us, but that’s misleading I think..

    I think it’s going to get more complex as we balance troop withdrawal while keeping a hammer held over Iran’s head. We absolutely cannot just vacate the entire area.

    Obama has tried several times to acknowledge this fact – and keeps getting hammered by his base over it. But fact is fact. You cannot just abandon the region in any sense of the word.

    So I think domestic issues will be stale-mated in large part over the next 4 years, which will not make liberals happy and it will not make conservatives happy.

    Congratulations. 4 more years of endless bickering lies ahead.

    Danny Vice
    http://www.theweeklyvice.com

  • I think you are missing the point of being against abortion. Because there are many, many children in foster care waiting to be adopted IS NOT a good reason for abortion.

    The majority of abortions that happen, happen by someone that had willing sex with someone else. Sex produces pregnancy. Every person who willingly has sex with someone knows that pregnancy could happen. So, it should not be a surprise that a pregnancy could happen! If you don’t want a pregnancy, DON’T HAVE SEX!

    Here’s the issue – nobody is willing to accept the consequences for their actions. Pro-choicers seem to completely fail at understanding this. You can’t just have sex and ignore the consequences, or eliminate a life because you don’t want to deal with your actions.

    So, don’t look at a bloated foster care system, or the fact that foster care homes are tough on kids as being the issue. The issue is that people are now owning up to their own actions. That is the real issue with abortion.

    Obama has said it too. He considers an unwanted pregnancy to be punishment rather than a fact of someone re-configuring their life to adjust to the consequences of their actions and owning up to it. Here is a recent quote from Obama:

    “Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

    This is just absolutely the wrong way to think. It’s sickening.

  • Here’s the issue – nobody is willing to accept the consequences for their actions. Pro-choicers seem to completely fail at understanding this.

    Pro-lifers seem to completely fail at understanding that many of the people who choose to abort are happily married and/or are simply unable to carry the fetus to term due to illness or other physical limitations. The women walking into Planned Parenthood aren’t all unwed, teenage mothers.

    You claim that instead of aborting, they should “re-configuring their life to adjust to the consequences of their actions”. But if a couple does use birth control and it fails, should the woman to be forced to carry a fetus to term if she is psychologically, physically, and/or economically unable to care for a baby? And who are you – and any other pro-lifer, for that matter – to force that upon her?

  • Thank you, for this article.

    I’ve forwarded this to my friends.

  • As far as the G.I. Bill goes, I did some research on McCain’s total views on the new Bill. He did support a new bill. One issue he had was that he didn’t feel veterans who serve one enlistment should get the same benefits as someone who served two or three.
    Almost understandable, but for a volunteer service, like you said, it shouldn’t matter. One enlistment is a blessing. ANY enlistment is a blessing. Even the Air Force (for whom I served 2 enlistments and an extension for) deploys more and more people than they used to, often working hand-in-hand with the Army. If you spend one day within 500 miles of an IED, you deserve all the benefits.

  • If you don’t want a pregnancy, DON’T HAVE SEX!

    And here we have the crux of the matter. You want to control other people’s sexuality. You don’t really care about whether fetuses are babies, you don’t really give a rat’s ass about babies at all, as is amply evidenced by your complete apathy about the number of children waiting to be adopted. You just have an unhealthy obsession with what other people do in bed, and needing to make sure what they do follows the rules you think it should. That’s just creepy. Luckily, most Americans recognize that people’s consensual sex lives should be their own to determine, not yours to control, no matter how badly that makes you twitch.

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