Hopefully this will be a somewhat shorter post... Yeah right :-)
Following up my last post on socialism, I will say that neither candidate has a record of exactly supporting true democracy and capitalism. McCain's so-called campaign finance reform laws (limiting free speech and not reforming anything. Too many hundreds of blog posts out there to pick from to link to) and his records of wanting more regulation on this or that issue do not make me happy, any more than the fact that rather than being a "maverick" he strikes me as more of a "try to please everyone" type of person. From watching him over the last few years he seems to equate making people agree with him to getting things done. I think getting things done means a little more than that and often, unfortunately, getting things done means you will be less popular.
However, Obama really scares me. See this great article for a few of the reasons why. Another consideration - even if you really liked all his social policies, what about the way he would be viewed by other countries and by terrorists? Even if it were possible to prove that he never had any knowledge about the Communist/terrorist work of the various people he worked so closely with, do you think that would get through to Al-Qaida and other organizations? Al-Qaida is a lot weaker now than it used to be, but there are still plenty of people out there who are constantly working on ways to attack us. It is amazing to me that we have not had any more attacks in seven years. It's incredible. If we get a president who is percieved as wanting to be friendly to those people, it is not going to make them decide to like us. They will just decide the time is perfect for a new attack now that our guard is down. What would Obama do? Would he get panicky and use nuclear... would he not react enough and let more attacks happen?
It might be possible to stand a president who does his best to ruin the economy and personal freedom but protects the country's borders, and it might be possible to stand a president who is careless about our safety but protects personal freedom and the economy, but one who actively attacks personal freedom/the economy AND actively weakens our safety is a nightmare. I don't want that nightmare to come true.
Slightly different: What is with this sort of treatment of reporters? For Pete's sake, I can possibly understand charging reporters to travel around with the campaign, but not that much! Limit it to $300 or $400 a day, treat them like human beings, and try to remember what they are there for. Either give them help to do their jobs (i.e. news, information, sound bites) or don't have them there. I do understand that running a campaign is a very difficult job and that leaks can be extremely damaging to any campaign. Newsflash: Leaks inevitably happen. If you build a decent rapport with a press corps, they will be nicer to you in the event of embarrassing leaks. I just cannot understand this seemingly universal abuse of reporters covering campaigns. Oh well. Enough ranting for the day!