If I'm not writing so much around here these days, it's partly because I'm utterly captivated by the unfolding political drama of this 2008 presidential election campaign. I'm a news junkie at the best of times, and when I actually have something on the line... well... let's just say I need my morning politics along with my coffee before I can think about anything else for the day. But finding objective truths about who said what and when and who actually plans to do what if he's elected... it's not easy to come by.
In fact, earlier today, a friend who lives in another country asked me about where the two candidates stand on key policy issues. I helpfully Googled around to see if I could find a comparison chart, a quick summary, something. And though my Google-fu is strong, I couldn't find anything that wasn't rife with spin. There's so much spin going on you could use the news to make cotton candy or separate out blood plasma.
So I thought: This is awful. An informed electorate is the absolute heart and soul of a democratic process. But the information we need for is hard to find. Even the candidates' policy sites obscure simple policy information behind walls of "And we support truth and compassion, and leading the great American people to a golden era as leaders for freedom and justice, and economic opportunity for all." What IS that? It doesn't even mean anything.
And then I thought: You, Andrea, can make the world a little better by trying to make this simple policy information just a little more accessible.
So I've made this handy little PDF, the Obama vs. McCain Cheat Sheet. It's mainly a brief rundown of policy positions, many gleaned from a fairly lengthy two-part article on Newsday (linked from within my PDF), though much is from several other sources. I've tried to keep it as fair and nonpartisan as I know how. I've also included links to more information on each issue, provided I could find a source that wasn't obviously biased one way or the other. Which, let me tell you, was not easy.
I'll be straight, here: I'm an Obama supporter. But I'm an even bigger supporter of truth and the democratic process, and it burns me that such a simple thing didn't exist already. So.... here you are. If you find it helpful, let me know. If it seems slanted or is factually incorrect, let me know that, too.
And if you haven't already, (well, and you're an American citizen) register to vote. And then, you know, go vote on Election Day. It's the most important thing you'll do all day.