Considering Substance and Leadership For The Hoosier State

This is an exciting election year, with Indiana supposedly to be in a close-fought race for the Presidential election. I submit that we Hoosiers need to look closely at the candidates in this race, and ensure our votes are based as they inarguably should be–on substance.

Barack Obama has promised us change—in the way government runs, in the way bipartisanship in our government is effected, and especially in a heightening and elevating the discourse and discussion in politics to a lofty new perch. So what do we get?

His campaign releases an ad mocking John McCain as computer-illiterate and unable to use a keyboard. Not only is McCain’s difficulty in using a keyboard a side effect of his injuries from his time as a POW, but Forbes Magazine has ranked McCain as one of the most tech-savvy members of Congress. This distortion and slimy attack is new, above-the-belt politicking? That is not elevation.

What he has given in scant terms of a (continually shifting) economic plan has been revealed as wholly unsuited to our current economic crisis. McCain spoke out against the poor practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac all the way back in 2002. Barack Obama is 2nd on terms of Fannie Mae donations after only half a term in the Senate. Actions are louder than words, Senator, and you are trying to vote “present”—something a leader cannot do, and something you have a nasty reputation for going all the way back to your days in the Illinois Legislature. That is not leadership.

He has dithered on the Georgia/Russia conflict while his opponent came out strongly and quickly. He eventually came to the same conclusion as John McCain, but only after an embarrassing amount of equivocation. That is not leadership.

He attacks John McCain for voting with the Republicans “90% of the time”, but this number can not be certified anywhere. According to the Votes Project, in actuality, John McCain ranks highly in terms of bipartisanship in the Congress—and according to the same source, Barack Obama has voted with his party 96% of the time—hardly reaching across the aisles. That is neither initiative nor leadership.

He rails against Washington insiders, then chooses as his running mate the consummate Washington insider—Senator Joe Biden, a man who himself said during the Democratic primaries Obama was not ready for the Presidency. Have these past few months really changed anything, Senator?

Obama has done little to nothing in Congress, passed no legislation of note, ran nothing but his current Presidential campaign. He has no accomplishments worthy of the Presidency. He lays out his plans for America not in substance or words of seasoned thought, but in pipe dreams and pre-made sound bites rolling off the teleprompter. Lack of experience is not a mortal sin in and of itself. But with his lack of thorough experience at any level of government, Barack Obama only gives us his words and his actions to go by. And those words and actions become increasingly less idealistic, less consistent with earlier statements, and less trustworthy as he struggles to come towards the center for election purposes. There is no substance—ask yourself, “what has he done? What are his plans? How does he propose to actually effect any changes?” There comes a time when words fail, and action is needed. What then? Will Russia respect this “celebrity”? Will China? Will the agents of terror? Will he provide us with the strong leadership we need when we are attacked or threatened again?

In these times, we do not need an ill-proven demagogue. We need tough, proven, resolute leadership. And while Hoosiers may not agree with all of John McCain’s various positions, we don’t need to in order to vote for him. We only need look across the aisle at the unreliable, extreme, erratic, ungrounded example to know a vote for Barack Obama is not a vote we want to cast. Whatever his other faults, John McCain is a proven leader, a reformer, and a servant to his country, not his ego. That should be enough in this election to make the difference for Hoosier voters.