There was a time, long, long ago (bout six or seven weeks if I remember rightly) when as a Hillary supporter I swore that if Barack Obama won the primary I’d vote for John McCain. I meant it too. Or else I was just going to sit out the election for the first time since Reagan ran against Carter. After all, I didn’t trust Obama, who to me is just another man, albeit half Black (you see, I’m not prejudiced enough to think that a Black man is any different than a White one; to me, Barack Obama is just another male politician running for office) and all his shining house on the hill rhetoric. I’ve always had the feeling (still do!) that if he’s not just out and out lying to America, then he’s been sadly deluded by his own press. Anyway, what I really wanted to see was how a woman handled the job; now that would’ve been different.
But now of course Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee and all the pundits are speculating about whether us Hillary supporters ( excuse me, we Hillary supporters- now that I’m going with Obama, I have to upgrade my verbal skills) will go with McCain out of spite. Well, my wife and I form the exact demographic that the pollsters are looking at- she’s a college educated _____year old woman (do you really think I’m stupid enough to tell you her age?) and I’m an uneducated older White man who’s armed, albeit not religious at all, so let me tell you what I think.
Even though I still think Barack Obama is lying, either to us or to himself, I believe that John McCain is a far, far bigger liar. In some ways, he’s even worse than George W. Bush. At least with the Little Guy you knew where you stood- he’d fuck you each and every time. But John McCain is more problematic…he’s developed a political fluidity that’s hard to pin down so you just can’t tell what he’ll do- condemn torture but support the denial of habeus corpus for Guantanamo Bay prisoners, oppose ANWAR drilling but support offshore oil exploration, try and court the women who wanted Hillary but oppose abortion, develop a health care plan that would deny even him coverage. The old guy’s all over the map. You have no idea what he’d do if he were actually president and that’s a scary proposition.
And while I believe that at least the first year of an Obama presidency will be filled with political missteps, pie in the sky proposals that will get shot apart by Congress, a general alienation of the masses and a precipitous drop in his approval ratings, I still would prefer that to a John McCain at the helm. Why? Because I believe that deep down inside Barack Obama’s visionary and audaciously hopeful exterior, there sleeps a political pragmatist who’ll wake up after he gets slapped in the face a few times and get some shit done. Actually, it was his cutting Jeremiah Wright loose and telling the Canadians not to pay any attention to his NAFTA speeches that fills me with that audacity to hope. Like George Bush, I believe Barak Obama will fuck us sooner or later, but unlike the Small One, only when he needs to. Hey, you take what you can get.
So I’ve put my brand new “OBAMA 08- I Guess.” bumper sticker on my gas guzzling Jeep, am building a house in the high country, liquidating everything else, clinging to my gun, hunkering down with the God-fearing rednecks and come November, I’ll vote to make history. Not the history I wanted to be sure, but with at least with Barack Obama I’m pretty sure America will still be here when it comes time to vote for a candidate I actually like. With John McCain?…uh, not so much.