To be very honest, it wasn't exactly a difficult decision.
I supported McCain when he ran against George Bush in 2000, urged him -- as did many others -- to oppose Bush in 2004.
I thought he was a good choice then. I believe he is the only choice now.
Part of the reason is very simple: at heart, I'm what you'd call an old-fashioned American patriot. I believe in this country, in its Constitution and the essential goodness of its people.
The same is true of McCain, and he has given the country more than I (or most people) ever could. He has served its best interests for many years, helping to defend it at fearful cost to himself.
His instincts are good; he is honest and decent. The latter is a vanishing characteristic among the political class.
And he understands the need to defend the United States, knows that peaceful resolutions of conflict are best, but not always possible. If -- when -- we are attacked again, I trust him him to put our safety and security ahead of all else.
I support most of his ideas and positions. I disagree with him -- strongly -- on what should be done about illegal immigrants, those already here and those to come; I disagree with him on the monumentally stupid financial bailout.
And yet, I trust him to do what's right.
What of Barack Obama? I do not trust him at all. He has spent the last two years or more running for president; in that time, thanks to his own evasiveness and the subservient willingness of the media to support him without question, we know very little about his life and achievements. We do not even know for certain that he is legally qualified to assume the office he seeks.
The latter I consider unimportant, except that he chose to obscure the truth, whatever it may be, rather than to produce a genuine birth certificate attesting to his U.S. birth (as the Constitution demands). I would take him at his word if he didn't, in my view, follow a pattern of withholding much information that would be sought from any other presidential candidate.
I find his policies abhorrent. "Spreading the wealth?" Taking money from the rich to give to the poor? Government-run health care? Making Washington the central source of aid for the people, and the master of how businesses are run?
Those are the policies of -- to use the kindest word -- a socialist. And I do not believe in socialism.
Obama has no idea of what he's talking about when it comes to national defense. He will talk endlessly to our enemies, and has already made it clear he plans to weaken our military. His policies are naive at best.
But there is one overriding issue that makes Obama unsuitable in my view, and that is his lifelong pattern of associating with (and being influenced by) people who do not have America's best interests at heart.
A few of the worst: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Antoin "Tony" Rezko. Rashid Khalid. Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Research them.
Of them -- and others -- Ayers, Dohrn and Wright bother me most. Ayers and Dohrn because they are admitted Communists and inactive domestic terrorists; innocent people died because they and their Weather Underground made bombs; children continue to be indoctrinated through Ayers's efforts.
Tell me Ayers is "respected" today, was even named Chicago Man of the Year, and I will answer you with a word I wouldn't use here. Tell me Obama did not have a close relationship with Ayers because he says so, and I will tell you, based on research, that he lies.
Rev. Wright? In my view, no man who preaches racial hatred, who claims the CIA created AIDS to kill black people, who calls upon God to damn America, is fit to occupy a pulpit. Tell me, as he claims, that Obama didn't hear Wright's scurrilous rantings, though he attended Wright's church for 20 years and once called him a "mentor," and I will tell you Obama lies.
I lived through the time when the Weather Underground was in full operation, and I lived through times of racial unrest in this country. Neither are tolerable here in the 21st Century.
I do not want to live through a time when Communist terrorists and racist agitators are welcome anywhere near the White House. In an Obama Presidency, I fear we will see them there.
Inevitably, the question of race comes up. While Obama's origins should not matter, his character does. So does his lack of qualifications. In fact, I believe that if it weren't for his race, Obama wouldn't even have made it as far as he did in Illinois, and certainly would not have been chosen as a presidential candidate by any major political party.
(Yes, I -- and many others -- have been branded "racist" for opposing him, for questioning his suitability for high office. I can't help that. The label has been applied to the point of absurdity, and much of the invective has come directly from Obama and his campaign.)
Beyond that, I find the quasi-religious frenzy that surrounds Obama deeply disturbing. Worse, the venom his most ardent supporters spew, the very irrationality of their responses when challenged has nothing to do with what is good for the nation; they would follow him without hesitation into the abyss, I fear.
Not all of them, of course. I know some extremely intelligent and decent people who support Obama. And I respect them and their views. They are, however, in the minority.
For all these reasons and more, I have chosen the way I will vote. My hope is that enough Americans will see things as I do to defeat a man who, in many ways, would be a dangerous choice and vote instead for a man of patriotism, honor and principle.
A FINAL NOTE: If you're going to disagree, and I'm sure some of you will, it'd be nice if you did so in a civil way. I've already been called all the names the rabid Obama supporters like to use...
21 hours ago