My friend Kate brings up a good point (thanks Kate!) Would either candidate be better for the military? Tragically, while I have my reservations, I think that McCain wins this one too.
Nathan's been in the Air Force for 7 years now. Currently the AF is putting him through school to be an officer, and because of that we have 5 years to "pay off," which for all intents and purposes means that we are "lifers" or "married to the military." As such, I have an invested interest in job security and finances associated with the military profession. So, that being said, here are my thoughts on the matter:
The fact that Obama wants to bring the troops home is okay by me. I think for myself and most of the military spouse community, we actually don't like our other halves being deployed on a regular basis. Especially when we don't know exactly when they are coming home and there's a good possibility that they'll be shot at while there. Not fun. I don't know what the implications of a pull out will mean. I don't know that a time line is necessarily the best option. Unfortunately, I don't see how anyone can foresee the implications of doing so. Iraq may fall apart, we may get attacked for pulling out, I just don't know... I DO know that if we do pull out that the lives lost in Iraq have not been in vein. The soldiers who gave their lives did so while fulfilling the wishes of their Commander and Chief. I also know that we can't be the stewards of every nation. Of course I think we should do what we can to protect ourselves (I won't go so far as to say preempt everything, but we should protect our nation and our liberties... which are actually being destroyed by our own government.. ironic, okay, okay... that's a subject for a different day), and others, but we can't go guns blazing into a territory not ready to accept and sustain democracy. I think it's a great way of life, but they are used to living under dictatorships (I got this realization from a friend who has ties to Lebanon).
Anyway! So, I appreciate Obama's plan for this war, I think. HOWEVER, he laid out some specifics for his health care plan, and that WOULD NOT be good for the military. We have pretty rockin' health care. Honestly, I'd say health care is one of the top 3 reasons why we stick with the military. Can you imagine what'll happen to it if EVERYONE can by into the government insurance plan? If we end up embracing a type of universal health care, health care declines for everyone. Doctors lose their compensation, and as we've seen in other countries, that doesn't work out so well. So, if you like TriCare, then you don't like Obama.
The other thing he talked about was cutting useless spending in the military. So, he's not going so far as to say that he's cutting our budget, but I think this is probably his PC way of doing so. I'm sorry, but any organization that has a use or lose budget is going to "abuse the system," and quite honestly, it's out of necessity. Just like I have to use every penny of my church funds so I can get them again next year, the military doesn't get a pat on the back for being frugal. In order to have funds for the next quarter they literally have to blow their money on anything they can think of because they next quarter something may come up that would require their full budget, and they'd have less if they didn't use every penny allocated to them previously. The person who installs incentives for saving money will be the one who can better control the cash.
McCain makes me a little nervous. Like you've noticed, I'm not his biggest cheerleader, but I'm finding him to be the lesser of two evils. Due to his Vietnam experiences I'm both skeptical and encouraged. I wonder if he'll be able to accept "a loss" in Iraq. I don't know if he'll be able to walk away from the situation and be able to stay out of things if another bad reigme takes over once we leave. Will he be able to pull us completely out, or will we have Korea all over again for decades to come?
My hope is that between the two of them, McCain and Palin, that they'll be able to make the right choice for our nation. I'm all about learning from the past, but I don't think that this situation has a pretty ending since we didn't learn from Vietnam in the first place. So, hopefully they can handle that.
Where I think we're safer with him lies in the fact that he does have an invested interest in the military, and so does his running mate. Neither Palin or McCain will hurt the military, I'm almost positive of that. Historically, we've seen the Republican party grow the military, and the Democratic party shrink it... that's just one of those party line things that is expected. However, the Republicans this time around are personally involved with how the military is treated. While Obama is proud of his grandparents who helped in previous wars... even though his pride couldn't actually help him remember what campaign they served in... he doesn't have ties to things personally. McCain will want us to have a good life, and good retirements since he personally knows the sacrifice, and Palin has a son who's currently serving and isn't going to want to take away from him.
So, the two second recap:
-He'll pull us out of Iraq (theoretically anyway)
-His health care plan will destroy the benefits we have and flood the system giving sub-par care and longer wait times for procedures.
-His ideas to cut useless military spending is just another way of saying he's going to cut funding across the board.
-He doesn't have personal experience with the military, and thus is more likely to make decisions that will have an adverse effect on us, simply because he doesn't understand what the implications to our families will be.
-Has so many programs that he wants to install that are going to need MAJOR funding, and will probably use them as an excuse to pull more of our "useless" money. (Which kills me, the DOD has a school system too! We have kids that need money, I don't see how we're not an entity that needs funding.)
-His experiences in Vietnam may prevent him from making unbiased decisions about our current, and possibly future, war situations.
-He understands the military and the sacrifices we make (pay included).
-He won't try to pull our funding.
-The military flourishes under republican presidents.
So, these are my observations. You can take them or leave them like everything else I rant about, but as a military wife, I'm going to have to take my chances with McCain.
4 hours ago