Way back in February, I wrote about my feelings on the candidates for the '08 presidential election. I picked my top choice of candidates from both major parties, basically I found the candidate from each party that I was least opposed to voting for. At that point, my choice was Obama for the Democrats and Giuliani for the Republicans. Since then, a few things have changed.
First off, I did a little more reading on all the candidates and discovered that I kind of like Ron Paul. I agree with him to some extent on most of the issues. The only issue where I'm really opposed to his stance is on parts of his border controls and immigration plan. I don't, for example, completely agree with him on the need to physically secure our borders. Yes, we need to secure our borders, but our historically pretty open borders with Canada and Mexico are a good thing for all three countries. Rather than cut off the Canadians and Mexicans, we should work with them. I guarantee that the Canadian and Mexican governments don't want terrorists to strike in the US either, as it would be bad for their economies as well as ours. They also don't want any attack to come through their country, as that would be bad for them in many ways. So why not work with them, so that we can maintain the openness we've thus far enjoyed while still improving security. I also don't agree that we should get rid of birthright citizenship. In as much as we are a free country and a country interested and involved with encouraging freedom for people around the world, it is important that we do what we can to extend the freedoms we enjoy to those that don't. One method we have of doing that is offering the people who lack those freedoms for themselves the opportunity of giving their children a better life. Yes, it provides a motivation for illegal immigration, but if you really think about it, the reason we have illegal immigration is because the US is a good place to live. The only way we're ever going to stop illegal immigration is through policies that turn the US into a bad place to live, and I, for one, would rather not do that. Despite that, however, I like Paul's other positions, and he moved up in the rankings to contest Giuliani's position as my favorite Republican candidate.
The other thing that changed, happened a little more recently, and most people have probably already heard about it. It is, of course, Rudy Giuliani's recent statements in New Hampshire. I had previously said of Giuliani that 'his strong support of the PATRIOT Act, and his buying in to the "with us or against us" mentality spread by the White House in regards to terrorism donâ€™t sit well with me'. He's now basically gone and taken that to the next level with his statement basically that more Americans will die with a Democrat in office than with a Republican in office. Even if he were right that the Democrat approach would be less successful than the Republican one (which I don't think is the case, though I suspect the best approach would be somewhere in the middle), what he said was essentially a threat against the American people. As Keith Olbermann said, his statement was basically an act of terrorism: the use of fear to steer opinion and policy. That pretty much sealed his fate, as far as I'm concerned.
So, Giuliani's off my list of people I'd potentially vote for. He now joins Hillary Clinton and John McCain on the list of people I absolutely won't vote for. In his place as my Republican candidate of choice, for now, is Ron Paul. Barack Obama is still my pick of Democratic candidates for now.