I have been studying Presidential candidates' websites, looking through side-by-side comparison charts, and trying to decide who I want to vote for. The simple truth is ... I don't want to vote for any of the candidates who are currently running; they all stink.
Here is how my ideal candidate feels about the issues:
Iraq: has a clear timeline for staggered withdrawal of troops OR has plans to annihilate the entire country with a nuclear bomb the likes of which no one has ever seen (I change my mind from day to day, and by "from day to day," I definitely mean "every time I hear about another attack on our soldiers.")
Education: agrees that NCLB has its good points, but realizes reforms are necessary, starting with the sheer idiocy of standardized testing as a measurement of student achievement and teacher merit
Immigration: supports a strengthened border patrol as well as provides a path to citizenship for illegals who are already here (or, to put it bluntly, I think we should let them become citizens and then tax the stink out of them)
Gun control: supports an assault weapons ban and favors background checks and a waiting period for handguns (and this is just idealism on my part, but I think everyone who buys a gun should be required to take a safety course before they can take the gun home)
Minimum wage: supports an increase (and forces the overpaid Congress to take a pay cut)
Healthcare: supports the deprivatization of hospitals and seeks to cut insurance and prescription costs; is not categorically opposed to universal healthcare, but is cautious about it (Have you seen Sicko? You should.)
Marriage: does not support a constitutional amendment that defines marriage, as this would be a ridiculous addition to that document (also, I do not want the government to define marriage. The next thing you know, they will be defining what a family is. And then, the NEXT thing you know, they will tell me I have to get married and have children. Think of the precedent that would be set. THAT IS NOT THEIR BUSINESS.)
Abortion: I am against abortion. It is murder. However--and I am going to get in trouble for this--I do not support the repeal of Roe v. Wade. I believe that life begins at conception, and that abortion ends a life. But once again, I do not want the government to be all up in my business, and by "my business," I definitely mean "my uterus."
Stem cell research: does not support federal funding of research. I am not against scientific research, but I am against my money being spent on it.
Iran: supports a diplomatic approach, but stands firm and will not wimp out if Iran doesn't shape up; will not kowtow to the United Nations; would support military action if Iran is a buttwad (that is diplomatic language)
Social security and welfare: has a plan that will overhaul the entire system, even if it means the loss of hundreds (even thousands) of unnecessary jobs that were given to party supporters and best friends of former administrations' mothers; seeks to run the program at the lowest cost with the highest benefits; actively seeks out and prosecutes those who defraud the system
Legalization of marijuana: ooh, I don't know. On the one hand, I think it would really bad to make pot readily available. On the other hand, that tax revenue could come in handy. Plus, I don't smoke pot--and wouldn't--so they could tax that to kingdom come and I would not care at all.
Environment: supports the search for alternative fuels; rewards those who live environmentally consciously (I don't know how though ... gold stars?), but does not force green-living down my throat
Flat tax: I don't know. I just watch as my money is taken out of my check every two weeks, but then I get a refund when I submit my taxes, so I don't know what to think. And as a person who is also paid with those taxes, I am a little wary of messing with the system. However, I do not support tax breaks for the wealthy; they will never miss that money.
I can't think of any other issues. I definitely believe that many of these should not be in federal hands at all; they should go to the state and, in some cases, the local governments. But then, my dad says I am, like, four steps away from burning off my fingerprints and moving to Ruby Ridge.