This blog has a comment ranking system. Let's have some fun with it by having our own presidential debate. Pick a side, either Obama or McCain, and leave a comment explaining why your pick would be the best president.

Then be sure to vote for the best other comments that aren't your own. Let's see which arguments float to the top.

You are not required to be brief, but my guess is that people will vote you down if you can't make your case in a paragraph or two.

The challenge is to support your argument. For example, saying one candidate will vote for some particular treaty is just a fact, not an argument, unless you can include a link to an article saying most experts disagree with the treaty.


Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +13
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Jun 6, 2008
The most fundamental requirement for a candidate is that he/she share the values most-common with the constituents of the nation. The most-obvious examples of "Visionary Leaders" are generally associated with the biggest governmental catastrophes of the 20th Century, including Lenin, Mao, Hitler, and Pol Pot (but also with more minor fiascoes as well). If we elect someone who, say, is a Scientologist, most of us would regret it in a big hurry.

For the economy's sake, continuity is the best way to insure economic growth. Every time leadership changes the priorities for the government, it causes massive disruption in the corporate policies, which leads to terminated programs and associated layoffs.

My read of the two candidates is that McCain is more likely to share most of our common values, and is less likely to disrupt the economic environment. Either would be sufficient for him to get my vote, but both, together, makes the matter clear-cut to me.

Please note that I usually consider myself a Democrat, but I've been disappointed by the candidates they've been offering, especially in this election.
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
I’ll vote for McCain for three reasons:

1. We need to get out of Iraq, but we don’t need to cut and run.
2. McCain is much more likely to support building more refineries and to promote more domestic drilling (especially in Anwar).
3. Obama WILL raise taxes. He has been very clear in his speeches. All of us middle-class people will have our wealth “redistributed” to the poor. People need to realize what Michelle Obama really means when she says some of us have to give up some of our pie so that others might also have some. The Obamas don’t realize that with Capitalism, the pie isn’t fixed, instead it constantly grows, which allows more pie for everyone. As a small business owner (and not wealthy), I can’t see how anyone who owns a small business, or hopes to own a small business, can vote for higher taxes.
Jun 6, 2008

You have to make a selection under the COMMENTS sign, or it will show the default setting by date, in decending order. Click "votes, ascending" and you'll get lowest to highest vote totals, or "votes decending" to get highest to lowest vote totals.

-12 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
I'm for Obama for various reasons, but this is about a couple thing that really bug me about McCain:

I saw a video of him on MSNBC, greeting supporters. I noticed his utter lack of eye contact with the people he was meeting. It looked like he was purposely avoiding connecting with the individuals.

Also, he keeps saying 'my friends' in his speeches. This reminds me too much of the old Firesign Theater (yeah, I'm that old...deal with it) 'Dear Friends'...very creepy!!!!
Jun 6, 2008
You've said several times that the comments receiving positive votes "float" to the top. I haven't seen any evidence of this, so at first I thought maybe it was just happening on a long time scale. But even old posts that I assume no one has voted on for a while are not sorted in any kind of to - way. So are you just lying about the floating issue, or is there something wrong with Mozilla that shows the comments in a different order, or what?

For reference, I'll vote for Obama because otherwise people might think I'm racist. Also, liberals always win in the long run.
Jun 6, 2008
I am supporting Barack Obama. That's because Obama is for change. Change we can believe in. Since I want to believe in it, and it makes me feel good if I do and bad if I don't, then since I want to feel good about myself, I want to believe in Obama. And in change. Because change is good, whatever it is. Or isn't. Or something.

Obama has proven that he can change. When he suddenly discovered after twenty years that his pastor was a racist and an America-hater, he changed his feelings toward him, and left his church, and told us that "That wasn't the Reverend Wright I knew." That showed he could change for the good. Same thing with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who helped Obama get elected to the Senate and did major fund raising for him (not to mention that sweet land deal Rezko helped with in helping Obama get his mansion). When Obama found out that Mr. Rezko had been convicted of felony federal corruption, Obama said "That isn't the Tony Rezko I knew." That kind of candor lets us know that he's a man that can be trusted. He just doesn't seem to be a very good judge of character - he's always so surprised to find out what his friends are really like. But that's not very important, is it?

He also refused to use his race as an issue. When he threw his white grandmother under the bus, he didn't blame her individually - he just said that she was a "typical white person" who was afraid of anyone black. Since Obama is half-white, one wonders if that means he's half-scared of black people. Hard to know, really. But that doesn't matter, right?

Some say he doesn't have much experience. I say that's a good thing. Experience can get you into trouble. Lack of experience allows you to approach every situation from a position of ignorance, so you can blame others if things don't go well for not giving you good advice. Take Iran, for example. Obama says he will meet with Iranian president Ahmadinejad without pre-conditions. A more experienced person would never do that. That's change, and since it's change, it must be good. Especially if Ahmadinejad is able to give Obama a nice mansion in Iran for a good price, or help him raise funds, or says that he hates America.

And if Ahmadinejad ever goes ahead and nukes Israel, as he's threatened to do repeatedly, Obama will be able to say, "That's not the Ahmadinejad I knew." Since that seems to be an acceptable excuse for Obama's lack of ability to understand people, I'm sure it will be OK.

So I say support Obama. Change we can believe in. Change is always good, right? Let's change to Obama. Hey, what have we got to lose?
Jun 6, 2008
Obama is my choice because he is the best choice to repair the damage to foreign relations that Bush has caused. The world is made up of many-colored peoples. So far the US has seemed somewhat unfriendly to any but white men. We make ourselves more accessable to others, or at least seem to be, with Obama as president. How many peoples of the world hate us because they think we look down on them? Probably many. Obama is a unifying figure between the US and the world.

Also Obama can be a great lesson to those dinosaurs in the US who think they are superior because they have whiter skin. I can't wait for that!

CFS '93

By the way, the voting on comments on this experiment is almost all negative. Interesting!
Jun 6, 2008
Obama: less likely to die while President.
Jun 6, 2008
McCain changed his position to support Bush's torture position. SInce McCain was also a prisoner and subjected to torture, did he "spill the beans" under torture and thus knows that torture works? If not, then why did he change his position, and why should we trust his ability to make decisions in the future?
-12 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
Obama will waste a ton of my money on inefficient government programs like healthcare and give out subsidies to strong lobbies like the farm bill he supports. His healthcare plan alone will cost $150 billion a year.

McCain has a stupid foreign policy where he wants to chill in Iraq for a while and spend about $120 billion a year. But at least he won't try to institute expensive social programs.

The difference here is that war inevitably comes to an end, while it is nigh impossible to repeal social programs (think New Deal lol). Vote McCain this election...I guess...
-6 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
I'll try to make this as logical and un-emotional as I can.

Approval ratings, though not really scientific, tend to give us a basic feel for what the general public thinks.

Bush's approval ratings are some of the lowest ever. This suggests that generally, people want someone who handles things differently than Bush. Bush is a Republican. It follows, then, that the most likely way to get something different (which seems to be what most people want) is to vote for a different party than that of the administration of which they don't approve. This would mean to vote for a Democrat (yes, there are other parties, but statistically speaking, the next POTUS will be one of the two major parties). The Democratic nominee will (most likely) be Obama.

It follows, then, that if you disapprove of Bush, you should vote for Obama, as that is the most likely way to get change.

Whether he will be a good president or not, I can't tell, but I would say that if you are someone who doesn't approve of Bush (which tends to be a majority of people), your best bet for something different would be Obama, making him the best choice for President.

Jun 6, 2008
Maybe I'm breaking the rules but is nobody else just *fascinated* by the number of comments that are down voted to negative. To me (Canadian) this is a symptom of the problems in the US political system. It's so polarized that everyone who doesn't precisely agree is a an enemy. Why isn't everyone going around up voting people that roughly agree with them? You'd figure that way the comments would be all about zero or one side would be positive and the other negative depending on the demographics.
-15 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
Liberals will win a veto proof majority in the Senate. Obama will (re)sign the War Crimes Treaty. Then we can have a trial and hang George Bush!
Jun 6, 2008
Obama will win becuase he has bigger ears, which means his other "body parts" are big, also, so He will make a great President, becuase we need another big d!ck in the white house.

Sorry Hillary, yours wasn't big enough.
-20 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
Obama wins because he is more !$%*!$%*!$%
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
I don't want to vote for either one.

- McCain is moderate/ok, and he can get things done, but he might (?) lean to the right/neocons which will cause lots of damages. It's wrong to associate him with Bush, he is very different from Bush.

- Obama can inspire people, but can he accomplish anything? no one knows now. In an interview with Barbara Walter, Jon Stewart and Barbara expressed they do not know how Obama gets to where he is now. Obama is an excellent public speaker, but in one-to-one deal, he is clueless, arrogant/over-condifent and rude.

Since third-party vote will get nowhere, I am lost and frustrated.
Jun 6, 2008
I will vote for Barack Obama for three reasons:

1) I live in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, so it is always good to have a president from your home town

2) I live in Illinois, and Illinois always votes for a Democrat. If Obama wasn't from Chicago, neither candidate would even bother to visit here. John Kerry won easily in Illinois 4 years ago, and he maybe visited the state once on his way to Wisconsin or Missouri.

3) I live in Illinois and there is absolutely no chance Obama is not going to win his home state. Even if I did vote for McCain, it would not matter.

Jun 6, 2008
Vote for Obama
From an economic standpoint, it's a vote for Richard Thaler and a vote against Phil Gramm.
Jun 6, 2008
My vote will be for Obama for these reasons:

The economy: John McCain and the Republicans don't see the implications the war in Iraq is having on our economy. A billion dollars a day is being pumped in with very little return. National security is too important to leave Iraq? How about the fact that our country is the weakest it's been since WWII. We are in a recession, the debt is rising, and the EU and China are on the rise. The strength of a country is always dependent on how much money it has, and we our draining ours in this war that McCain says will go on indefinitely.

Openness: Obama wants more transparency in the government, and I'm not just talking about donations. His youth allows him to see the importance of the internet for democracy. His plans, to get all government records online for the public, patient information online for easy use by doctors which can reduce health care costs, and just generally loosening the bureaucracy through the internet (student loans, tax forms, drivers license, etc), are all ideas that the government is lagging behind private industry on.

I also believe that he has shown good judgment so far, and though he may be liberal, he will let logic rule over politics. We have seen this in the stunt of "tax free holiday" that McCain supported for votes and Obama shunned after talking to economists. The only problems Obama has had with his candidacy have been scandals that have no significance to policy (pastor comments, minor gaffes). When we look at the issues, Obama wins out every time. Bush is causing the decline of America, and besides minor details, how does McCain differ from Bush?

Jun 6, 2008
Choice: McCain
Reason: We know what he stands for. I don't mean we know what he SAYS he'll stand for. We KNOW what he stands for. There's a subtle difference in the words but huge difference in the meaning.

I know a lot of people are in love with Barack Obama and are incredibly supportive of his bid for United States President. I respect that and I am, at the very least, quite proud of how much more involved the populace is in the voting process this 2008 election. While I could certainly dispense with the hatred, name-calling and “us vs. them” attitude so commonly displayed nowadays (on both sides of the political spectrum), I will side with over-agressive involvement rather than passive apathy almost every time.

But these Obama supporters - are they really enamored with Obama himself, the candidate? Or is it just the idea of Obama, and the “hope and change” he promises?

Basically, are they voting for Barack, or are they voting for a Blank?

I equate Obama to a blank slate, and there are a few parallels I can provide. Read the rest on my blog entry entitled <a href="http://whall.org/blog/2008/06/04/obama-just-fills-in-the-blanks/">Obama just fills in the blanks</b>.

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