In recent months, one can hardly turn on a TV or radio without hearing about a very important voting bloc and how they might decide to cast their votes.
I am referring to former Hillary Clinton supporters. Ever since the former candidate threw in the towel, it has been unclear which candidate her former supporters would throw their weight behind. Speculation only increased after John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate. In what was an obvious attempt to woo former Hillary supporters into his camp, McCain looked past Palin’s inexperience and the fact that inexperience was his main criticism of Senator Barack Obama.
His pick was indeed a risky move and because it was so unconventional, deserved much of the attention it received. But for all the talk of Clinton supporters making their decision between Obama and McCain, the choice seems obvious.
McCain’s decision to pick a woman as his running mate should be his only appeal to former Clinton supporters. Looking past gender, the issues of this election create a canyon between McCain and Clinton.
Clinton is in favor of comprehensive immigration reform John McCain now says he would vote against it (despite his earlier introduction of just such a bill). Clinton also supported a universal government mandated health care program even more encompassing than Obama’s health care plan, while McCain believes the markets will somehow fix the nation’s millions of uninsured.
Clinton’s plan to end the War in Iraq is almost identical to Obama’s, calling for all the troops to be out of Iraq in about 16 months while McCain wants to keep troops there an indefinite amount of time. Clinton and Obama both want to cut taxes for middle class families and raise taxes on corporations, and McCain wants to cut taxes across the board, including corporate taxes.
Clinton is even more pro-choice than Obama, while McCain claims to be pro-life, and Sarah Palin even more so. The list goes on and on. Issue after issue Clinton and Obama’s stances and solutions are nearly identical, while McCain’s are completely different, even opposite.
Former Clinton supporters should not be fooled by McCain and Palin’s high-handed, reformer rhetoric. They are the same brand of conservative republicans they were before they hopped on the bandwagon of change and reform.
If Clinton’s supporters allow themselves to be taken in by sensationalism and bitterness, they could deny the presidency to Obama. If they vote McCain-Palin for the simple fact that Palin is a woman and ignore her anti-Clinton policies, McCain may well win this election.
But if this unique bloc of voters declares themselves independent of simplicity and resentment, if they refuse McCain’s blatant pandering and Bush-like policies and allow reason and logic to guide their vote, they will send Barack Obama to the white house.
So I urge former Clinton supporters and voters in general to cast educated votes this November. Vote for the candidate whose policies and politics you agree with, not the one with which you happen to share a gender or race. The stakes could not be higher.