One who looks to the Republican Party today must consider: Is this the real GOP? Is this the GOP of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Taft, Coolidge, and Eisenhower? Is the a party committed to promoting economic growth for the middle class, protection of our cultural and natural heritage, and furthering the interests of the man (and woman) in the street?
The GOP of today, at least when it comes to the current leadership, shares only a name with the pre-Reagan GOP. The GOP of today serves corporate power, the ultra-wealthy, and little else except perhaps what certain neoconservatives like to term "creative destruction." --I think that would be with an emphasis on the "destruction."
Why ought a conservative or right-winger vote for an imitation party? Might it not be better to vote.... Democrat? The same truth holds, of course, for the moderate with rightist leanings.
The Democratic Party may not be permanent home for those seeking refuge from 25 years of GOP warfare, military belligerence, debt financing, retrograde taxation, and half-hearted "deregulation" that is really just selective deregulation for the interests of large corporations and the wealthy. The Democratic Party is a flawed beast. It's greatest flaw is that it has not broken with its traditions of supporting what pundits like to term "big government." But at least the Democratic Party has kept to its historic roots. At least the Democratic Party favors progessive tax structures that ought to be endorsed by anyone calling him- or herself a "conservative," and by any Rightist or moderate focused on the interests of the historical American nation, or on the guiding light of European Protestant culture. At least the Democratic Party looks to educational funding that will preserve and strengthen our the historical American nation, and indeed the nation in general. And at least the Democratic Party has shown a much greater degree of skepticism concerning the inflated claims of our military-espionage industry, and shows a willingness to look to the interests of the common person rather than of industry and influential, wealthy insiders who skew our foreign policy away from our needs and toward war, conflict, and inflated defense budgets.
There may come a time when the Republicans again favor a moderate, restrained foreign policy oriented toward meeting our treaty commitment to Japan and NATO, but otherwise committed keeping American troops at home. There may come a time when the GOP stands for immigration reform, smaller government and more progressive taxation, ending Affirmative Action, a return to Federalist principles (i.e., ones embracing ideals of subsidiarity), and the empowerment of individuals through needed funding for higher education. Until such a time, one must watch as the GOP remains unable to adjust to the end of the Cold War, and lies writhing in the grips of industrialist / military / corporate / ultrawealthy-elitist networks. This spectacle is no longer matched by the show put on by the feminist and minority-racialist activists of the Democratic Party, who shenanigans have never been that vast in comparison with what "the big boys" can get up to in Washington, Iraq, etc. But it is a spectacle we pay for quite dearly; this spectacle must come to an end.
Obama, who perhaps is a bit of grandstander on certain racial issues (although really he is quite restrained), and who is certainly no moderate when it comes to his plans for healthcare and Americorps, is the true heir of Lincoln in this election. I am not sure if that speaks to the strengths of Obama, or to the weaknesses of McCain, Huckabee, Ron Paul (an extremist), and the other GOP candidates. 2008 is a sad year for the GOP.
McCain, in particular, has betrayed the GOP. He had every chance to keep to his more progressive views (relative to Bush) concerning taxation, and to moderate his stance on immigration. Instead, he caved-in to Bushite pressure and took up a cowardly, anti-American, "politically correct" stance on immigration reform activists. (At least Obama can simply support near open borders without having to imply that his GOP detractors are racists. McCain, a small, literally tortured man, needs to do otherwise--in part, because that's what Big Business wants, but also in part because the GOP is, in our times, just so plainly incoherent and morally bankrupt.) Combine these facts with a general GOP record a major spending on the wars and other conflicts it causes, and there is no reason for the conservative, Rightists/Center-Rightist, or moderate leaning Right to support the GOP any longer, apart from certain special interests need such as gun control or space funding. ( --Concerning abortion, all the candidates are the same: McCain just lies more often.)
You may say: there's not a dime's worth of difference between the major parties. I would have to agree. But now, with the specter of McCain and the insanity of the relection of Bush, plus some halfway decent proposals from Obama, there is at least a nickel of difference. All things being equal, that nickel ought to be worth your vote.