As with most people, I am keeping an eye on the progress of the Democratic nomination. Last night Barack Obama seemed to have taken a critical lead over Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, the Republican nominee, John McCain has the luxury of some relative peace and quiet before he has to go head-to-head with the winner of the Democratic ticket.
I don't particularly like the way the election is shaping up. I don't feel like there is a real choice for those of us who hold consistently to a pro-life/pro-family ethic. Most people of this persuasion seem to assume that the Republicans are the party for them. But increasingly, this seems inconsistent to me. The Republicans are for war and capital punishment. That's not consistently pro-life. Conservatives balk and say that execution of those who are guilty is right and just. But that begs the question of who is guilty. Is another nation guilty because they have an opposing ideology to our own? Can we be absolutely certain that those we find guilty in a court of law are indeed guilty?
On the other hand, it is well known that the Democrats are the party pushing abortion on demand, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and the gay agenda. So clearly, one could not in good conscience vote for them.
John McCain has been trying to get into the White House for the last several years. He strikes me as a man willing to say or do anything to achieve his goal. He is plainly for embryonic stem cell research so he is not pro-life even from that standpoint. But he also has said he intends to continue with the program begun by President Bush. As for Iraq, this is inevitable as we now have a moral obligation to stay the course and attempt to clean up some of the mess we made. But what about other nations? What about the so called "war on terror" as a ruse for executing our own agenda in nations that we don't particularly like- such as Iran?
In addition, McCain says he will appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court. But how do we know he will. He also has a history (until recently campaigning for the conservative vote) of moving toward the moderate position, looking for opportunities to work hand in hand with Democrats on a number of issues. That in itself is not wrong. But it does highlight his tendency to change his position for political expediency. In short, how do we know he can be trusted?
So here is my dilemma. I cannot vote for the Democratic nominee regardless of who it is. I really don't feel that I have a better choice in John McCain. So what do I do? At this point, I don't intend to cast a vote for either person. I will most likely vote on other candidates (if I can find one) in other races and on other issues. I believe in taking responsibly our duty as American citizens to vote. But right now my vote is to not vote. Until I can find a candidate who can hold to a morally consistent position, I cannot give my vote to anyone. My abstinence is the exercise of my right to vote and to say I am not limited to the substandard choices presented to me. I demand excellence in my leadership. And I will hold out till I get it.
What do you think? I would really like to know. Because there is a part of me that is looking to be talked out of this position. And then again, there is a part of me that wants to talk everyone else into my position.