Can I Just Vote “Present”?

All one has to do is look at our two candidates to understand voting is a privelege and a right not to be taken for granted.  When Barack Obama was born in 1961, it would still be four years before black people were even given the right to cast a vote and John McCain spent several years as a POW defending the principles of this country. But if I am truly undecided, is it responsible for me to vote just for the sake of casting a vote?

Senator McCain has been a respected public servant for many years.  His military service is incomparable to any other candidate who’s ever run for office.  But does he offer the type of change this country needs at this time?  No disrespect to age, but I do wonder if the Senator is a couple elections past his prime.  

Senator Obama’s charismatic energy has people excited.  His oratory skills have earned him much respect. The historic nature of this election alone makes me want to be able to say I cast a vote for the first African American President.  But does he have the experience necessary to be the most powerful leader in the free world, right now?  I can’t help but wonder if this candidate is short about two election cycles in the Senate.

I wish we weren’t at war.  Forget rehashing whether we should’ve gone in the first place, how should I know which exit strategy for Iraq is best?

The economy sucks.  After 9/11, a couple wars, the subprime mess and fingers pointing everywhere but back at ourselves, why wouldn’t it?  

I’d like more affordable healthcare.  I’m never sick and the medical services I receive each year would cost me less at full price than the total of monthly premiums I pay.  I agree no one who’s sick should go untreated, but if healthcare is so important, wouldn’t it be even more prudent to make sure no one is going hungry and everyone sleeps with a roof over their head before worrying about whether they have insurance?

I’m not in danger of losing my house to foreclosure, but my payments are based on a value that is significantly higher than what the market says I can sell it.  Yet no one seems to be offering any relief for those of us who didn’t over extend ourselves.   

I don’t believe McCain wants the war to go on for a hundred years anymore than I believe Obama is pal-ing around with terrorists.  Truth is, beyond good intentions, the only thing I am pretty sure of with either candidate is I probably won’t be paying higher taxes, because I don’t make enough money!

Even my daughter who was just twelve four years ago, isn’t fooled by the rhetoric.  I didn’t realize she was paying attention to campaign commercials when she asked, “How come they all keep promising the same thing, but nothing ever changes”?

I’m sure I’ll end up doing my patriotic duty and punch a chad fully through for one of these guys.  But the chances my daughter will be proven right, are probably about as high as the current president’s approval rating is low.  I think I’d like a disclaimer added to my ballot stating, “Cannot be held responsible for promises not kept by said candidate”.

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