Saturday, October 11, 2008

McCain or Obama?

For some reason I haven’t fully embraced Barack Obama as my candidate. I think it’s because he seems a little too intelligent. I guess after 8 years it just seems sort of weird to think about having a smart guy running the country. I’m probably going to vote for him because I don’t have any other good options. He’s connected with millions but he hasn’t really connected with me really. Maybe it's because I'm a white middle aged guy. Obama seems too young to be president. McCain is too old. It'd be like voting for my dad. And face it, McCain has a screw lose somewhere. He’s erratic and unpredictable. You don’t know what he’s going to do next; suspend his campaign; debate or not debate; skip the Letterman show; pick a hockey mom for his vice president. Any of these things are possible and I don’t want somebody like that in the white house. He could start a war over prune juice. Not to mention the guy could keel over and die at any minute. A vote for McCain is probably a vote for President Palin. Think about that; President Palin... At least Saturday Night Live would be interesting for the next four years.

I’m disappointed that Al Gore didn’t run. I would have voted for him and I’m sure he could have won this year – like he did last time, and I hear they have to actually let you be president if you win twice. Bush/Cheney have screwed things up so bad that all Gore would have had to do this year to win would be to lose 200 pounds. …hmm, well I guess I’m not sure he could do that. He might be able to win a Nobel Prize and an academy award, and bring global warming to the attention of the world, but I’m not sure he could get his weight under control.

I’m worried about global climate change. Both McCain and Obama seemed to be serious about it this time. At least they seemed to be 3 or 4 months ago. In fact everybody was for lowering the emissions of greenhouse gases and reducing our dependence of carbon fuels until the economy tanked. I watched all the signs and chants at the Republican convention saying “Drill Baby Drill.” It’s sad really. In 1993 President Clinton proposed an “energy tax” that would have tacked 50 cents to a gallon of gas. The Republicans screamed bloody murder. It would kill the economy they said. Well, the tax didn’t make it very far in congress. Let see, gas prices in 1993 were just over a dollar a gallon. Would $1.55 a gallon have killed us? It wouldn’t have been easy, but wouldn’t have killed us.

The question is, how much money would the tax have raised had the tax passed in 1993? I dunno, let’s see: In 2004 the US consumed some 179 billion gallons of gasoline. (I picked 2004 out of the air as a representative year just for an example; feel free to do more accurate math on your own.) 179,000,000,000 gallons of gas x 15 years and times 50 cents a gallon would have given us about $1,339,020,000,000. That’s 1.4 trillion dollars in round numbers; money that could have been spent on alternative energy technology over the past 15 years. Hmmmm, you know we might have had some pretty cool stuff by now. And we'd undoubtedly be leading the world in alternative energy technology and production. Instead of paying about $4.00 a gallon to fill our SUVs, we could be thumbing our noses at OPEC and maybe scooting around in solar powered hover craft.

I think Obama is smart enough to understands we can’t drill our way out of this mess. I’m not so sure McCain is. And I'll bet he's too old to learn how to drive a hover craft.

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