It being 60 days before the election -- I guess it's finally time to sort this one out.
And once again -- my first complaint -- is that the campaign websites are so worthless regarding what each candidate has actually done -- for which the most useful authority seems to be Wikipedia.
O.K. -- all advertising must sell the sizzle not the steak -- but still, it would seem that a sincere concern for public life would motivate a candidate to have at least some part of their website offer serious discussion of their role in recent history.
Here's my pros and cons for each candidate:
Pros: The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. -- whether it can survive the Republican Supreme Court is another question -- or ever be effective -- but you've got to respect the drive to end quid-pro-quo legislation - even if it must be a perpetual activity. McCain gets big points for this -- and maybe only a man with his hero-status could have taken it as far as it's gone.
Pros: Educational Choice. This is part of the Republican platform -- and I don't even know if McCain has ever given it a second thought -- but still it gets some points -- even if Republicans have never been able to do anything about it, even when they ran the show.
Cons: Universal Health Care: McCain has spoken up against it -- saying that it "puts a bureaucrat between you and your doctor". But what about people who can't afford a doctor (i.e. major medical treatment) at all?. I was one of those -- being dropped by my insurance company and then un-insurable for 6 years due to a precondition. This is a major issue for our country at this time --and McCain's sloganeeering can only be called callous and thoughtless.
Con: What else has he accomplished ? what more will he accomplish ? Returning a Republican administration to office for another four years so they can continue to serve the interests of big business? I don't really see any serious purpose here other than "I want to be President" --
any more than his reason for flying planes in Vietnam was "I want to be an admiral like my father" (he's admitted that prior to his capture, his motivations were all self centered)
A man of extraordinary personal strength ? Yes
A man who deserves to be honored as a hero? Yes
A man who will use that reputation to benefit the public rather than just himself ?
I'm not sure.
(and yet -- if he had beaten Bush in the 2000 primary -- I would probably have voted for him as President)
Pro: Mostly -- to return a Democratic administration to Washington -- with its historic role of serving the bottom rather than the top of society-- including/especially appointing Supreme Court justices who will protect the campaign finance reform effected by McCain -- and to work further towards universal health care (not that it's achievement is a cure-all -- but it's a step in the right direction)
And yes -- I do like the idea of a black man as President. Much of what a President does is to exemplify America. (that's why Bill Clinton was such a failure) -- and having grown up in a Jim Crow city (Cincinnati) -- I would feel very good about a black American President -- and that's how I would like the rest of the world to see us.
Con: I just don't know much more that's good about him So far -- he's been a go-along guy -- don't rock the Democratic Party boat. Of course -- that's what beginners have to do -- he's not a big war hero like McCain -- if he rocks the boat too much -- they won't let him climb on.
Perhaps he has been an inventive, effective legislator -- I just don't know the details.