Been a while, so here is the next installment. Maybe I’ll do more than three tonight too. Exciting!
Before I get started, if you have not seen Tina Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin, you are missing out. It is spot on, and makes me like Tina Fey even more. To view said impersonation click here. Now on with the fun:
10) Parents choose schools via vouchers
My View: I support public education. I want to be a school teacher someday. So, I don’t support vouchers. I was confused as to what OnTheIssues meant by this, so here is their explanation:
- Strongly Support means you believe: The government should not be in the business of running schools. State-funded vouchers should pay for privately-run education at private schools, parochial schools, charter schools, home-schooling, or whatever schools parents choose. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” act sets the stage for terminating failing schools.
- Support means you believe: School choice helps the poor who would otherwise be stuck in failing schools. Why should only the elite be able to afford private school? Subsidize parents’ school choices to foster equality, as long as the school respects separation of church and state, and meets basic state standards. Charter schools are a good compromise.
- Oppose means you believe: Continue experimenting with charter schools, and with public school choice, but only as a limited experiment, and no vouchers. We should create pressure to improve our public schools, not abandon them. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” act is an unfunded mandate.
- Strongly Oppose means you believe: Public schools are an important component of American society. Improve public schools rather than destroying them with vouchers. More teachers, smaller classes, more funding – then parents will choose public schools.
So, I guess I strongly oppose. We need to fund public schools. If we don’t, then nobody will teach and future generations will be off to a bad start. We shouldn’t use vouchers just so the private schools keep getting richer.
Obama’s View: Supports charter schools, believing it is important to experiment with education. He feels we should guarantee affordable life-long, top-notch education, not only for the elites but for everyone. Supports charter schools and private investment in schools. OVerall, he has a neutral stance towards this issue according to OnTheIssues.
McCain’s View: We should place parents & children at the center of education, and we need more choice and competition in education. Feels that charter schools, homeschooling, & vouchers are key to success and that vouchers will improve our school system. We should issue vouchers for any school. and have more charter schools. Finally, he was rated 45% by the NEA, indicating a mixed record on public education.
Match: I don’t really match either candidate, so this one is a wash, but like I said, we should make an investment in our public schools and give them a chance to succeed, not hinder their progress by using stuff like “No Child Left Behind.” Schools should be left to the states and not the federal government.
11) Replace coal an oil with alternatives
My View: Of course we should. We cannot be reliant on foreign oil forever, and we really don’t have the time to wait for more oil to be created, seeing as how that takes a long as time to happen. Plus, coal, oil, and other fossil fuels tend to pollute and lead to global warming, which is not good. “The planet has a fever,” according to Nobel Prize-winning Vice President Al Gore. We should do our best to give it penicillin (like the metaphor? I am so awesome!)
Obama’s View: We should reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, and plan on using 20% renewable energy by 2020. We should also aggressively address accelerating climate change, and factor global warming into federal project planning. Reduction in a reliance on oil would be a 3-way win: economy, environment, & stop funding terror. Investing in alternative energy sources is a super idea. He sponsored bill for tax credit for providing 85% ethanol gas. He was rated 100% by the CAF, indicating support for energy independence. Let states define stricter-than-federal emission standards. Finally, we should leave the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge alone, defining it as protected wilderness.
McCain’s View: Believes that climate change is real and must be addressed, and criticized President Bush’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Treaty in 2000. We should strengthen Clean Air & Water Acts, but not Kyoto. Thinks that ethanol is bad for the environment & bad for consumers, but supports alternative fuels, emission controls, & CWA. Wants to make the EPA into a Cabinet department. Was rated 53% by the LCV, indicating a mixed record on environment, and 17% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence. Also supports immediate reductions in greenhouse gases.
Match: Both are in support of this, though Obama seems more inclined to actually fund alternative energy research. We’ll call this a tie.
12) Drug use is immoral; enforce laws against it
My view: Again, this topic is a little unclear. Here are the definitions:
- Strongly Support means you believe: Drug use is immoral and drugs poison our youth and our society. We should fight the Drug War using all reasonable means – Just Say No!
- Support means you believe: The Drug War is winnable if we invest enough resources. We should do whatever we have to do: More police, more border patrols, more intervention abroad, more prison terms, more prisons.
- Oppose means you believe: We should have regulated decriminalization. Medical marijuana might be legalized, for example, as might clean hypodermic needles. Our drug policy should be reformed, with less criminal penalties and more drug abuse clinics.
- Strongly Oppose means you believe: The Drug War should be ended. It has failed, condemning a ‘Lost Generation’ of blacks and Hispanics to prison and criminal records. End it now like we ended alcohol Prohibition, and organized crime and drug-related crime will decrease like it did when Prohibition ended.
I strongly oppose this based on the above. I am not saying we make drug legal across the board; some drugs should be illegal forever. But if people are going to do “minor” drugs, i.e. marjuana, let them, and don’t arest them if they have a joint on them. If they are trafficking it by the short ton, by all means arrest them, but individual use should be decriminalized. I like the example above about Prohibition; everybody thought that by making it illegal, less people would drink, but it had the opposite effect: more crime and the same number of people drinking. That’s why it was repealled. Drug use should be the same way.
Obama’s View: We need to look at needle exchange and expand treatment for users. Meth is a horrible drug, and we should fight to rid our communities of it. We should help prisoners with substance abuse. In 2001, he questioned harsh penalties for drug dealing. He wasn’t the first candidate to use drugs, but the first to be honest about it. He also smokes cigarettes now, and has admitted to smoking marjuana in high school & college.
McCain’s View: Was forced to smoke weed while a P.O.W. (Not really, but that would be funny if that was his story, no?) Feels that the current administration is AWOL on the war on drugs and that we’re losing drug war; people need to just say no. Wants to spend $1B for detection equipment for more border interdiction. Wants stricter penalties and stricter enforcement of current laws. Finally, he sponsored bill for grants to Indian tribes to fight meth (Apparently, Indians have a meth problem. Who knew?).
Match: This one’s easy…Obama all the way. Say yes to decrimalizing certain drugs, say no to throwing someone in jail for being an addict.
13) Allow churches to provide welfare services
My View: I am the first person to admit that I am not a humongous fan of organized religion. That being said, churches should be allowed to step in and provide assistance, but only to those people who want said assistance. I am reminded of starving kids in Africa. Give money to these Christian organizations so they can help the children. Sure, they give them food, but they also baptize them and try to make them Christians. If a church wants to help someone, let them, but don’t expect them to be at church on the Sabbath and praising the lord and whatnot. You were the one that helped them. Caveat emptor.
Obama’s View: Feels that we can cut poverty in half in 10 years, with faith-based help. Sees “black” churches ministering to social needs out of necessity, not because they want to. They are just trying to help their people. Finally, he thinks that we should reach out to faith community because faith has role in public square.
McCain’s View: Supports block grants, welfare-to-work, and state control of all welfare programs. Anti-poverty should be shared by government and faith-based organizations. Voted yes to reform welfare.
Match: Ick…stupid politicians and their support of faith-based programs. No match here, sorry.
Well, that’s all for tonight. I have like seven left, so I’ll try to finish those soon. Hope you are enjoying these thoughts so far. Thanks for reading.