I have purposely stayed well clear of the political discourse this year. I've paid attention enough to know how the candidates feel on the issues most important to me, but I've avoided watching any of the campaign coverage. I've hardly seen Obama or McCain speak--most of my news has been through the written media.
Here's my take on the debate tonight (or at least the last portion that I was able to watch because of my concert). I'm more confirmed in my decision than I was before. I agreed with nearly everything McCain said and though I found Obama to be a more gifted orator and a smooth debater, I found that I view the world fundamentally differently than he does. I think he's a naive idealist concerning foreign affairs and I find it bizarre how much he stresses whether we are "liked" on the international scene.
America has always steered an independent course, and though we have had traditional allies throughout history, we have often been viewed less than favorably by other countries. To shape a foreign policy directive based primarily on repairing what some conceive to be a tarnished international image is something that our forefathers would find laughable. If we look at history and how we have been favored or disliked by other nations, one would find that love for America is as cyclical as the seasons. France hated us, then they loved us after the war for saving them, and now they don't like us anymore. I don't care one iota what any Frenchman thinks about the US, and I will never cast a vote for President of the United States based on the belief that we need to repair our image abroad. We do not have a Eurocentric view of the world--we have a decidedly American view of the world and it is irrelevant to this citizen what any other country thinks of us. We do not historically view the world as other nations do. Why should we begin to now?
I could never vote for Obama as Commander in Chief. I see him as an appeaser. I am a voter who would want to see another Reagan in office, a man who was not afraid to attack Qhadafi or to insist to Gorbachev in Berlin, "tear down this wall!" Obama's views are unacceptable to me, and so is this milque toast dovish talk about getting around a campfire with Hugo Chavez and Co. and talking things through.
Before tonight, my vote for McCain was really a vote against Obama. It's even more so a vote against Obama than it was before, but surprisingly, my vote actually is becoming a vote for McCain.