My endorsement: I'll be supporting Barack Obama in the upcoming election, but even though I live in Madison this was not a foregone conclusion. I had been excited about the prospect of having a socially progressive, moderate like McCain at the top of the Republican Party ticket.
I was hoping that McCain would be able to strip the social conservativism, xenophobia, and culture wars from a party that at its purest is about ensuring freedom, and creating an environment where American's can succeed to their greatest personal potential.
But McCain has been caught up in the "base" of the party, made up mostly of religious Zealots, who quite frankly supported Democrats in droves, only a few short decades ago. Those of us who are moderate conservatives who believe in less government and personal responsibilty have been abandoned. The biggest blow came when he choose Governor Palin to be his running mate. She is an inexeperience politician with lite credentials on key issues, but a populist appeal to social conservative, and small town people with small minded values.
For me it's easier to swallow the entitlements and intrusive government of the democrats, than the immoral position the Republicans continue to hold on a woman's right to choose, gay rights, and issue of illegal immigration.
McCain has had moderate positions all of these issues. In an election year that has been about change, I had been hoping that John McCain would have the strength of conviction to change the republican party. Unfortunately, he hasn't. Insteading changing the party, the party has changed John McCain.
The man who was once consider a courageous war hero will have had his legacy tarnished by a campaign for president that at it's best appealed to basest instincts on the religious right and at worsts bordered on flat out racism.