McCain-Palin would move U.S. in right direction
We have to admit it's tempting to make no endorsements this year.
With the state of the economy and the new taxpayer burden related to the banking bailout, it would be nice to be able to check that "none of the above" box many voters have been clamoring for over the years.
The decision isn't easy for Southwest Nebraskans and Northwest Kansans when it comes to the presidential race.
This "red" part of the country is usually a cinch for the Republican candidate, but this year, the standard bearer, Sen. John McCain, opposes ethanol subsidies, which have created one of the few bright spots in our economy.
His opponent, Illlinois Sen. Barack Obama, is a champion of the industry.
Some of the differences between Obama and McCain are clear-cut.
McCain opposes abortion, and has voted for abortion restrictions and says he would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, but would not seek a constitutional amendment to ban abortion.
Obama supports abortion.
On gun control, McCain favors background checks at gun shows, but voted against banning assault-type weapons and to shield gun-makers and dealers from civil suits. "I believe the Second Amendment ought to be preserved -- which means no gun control," he said.
Obama favors leaving gun-makers and dealers open to lawsuit and as an Illinois state lawmaker, supported a ban on all forms of semiautomatic weapons and tighter restrictions on firearms.
McCain would provide a $5,000 tax credit for family health insurance, while Obama would mandate coverage for children and require employers to share cost of insuring workers.
McCain pledges "no new taxes" if elected, while Obama would raise income taxes on the wealthiest and their capital gains and dividends taxes, corporate taxes, and breaks for poor workers and elderly.
McCain opposes a scheduled withdrawal from Iraq, while Obama could have combat troops out by the end of 2009.
Other issues are less clear, however.
Both are in favor of reopening trade with Cuba under certain conditions, both support the death penalty, both oppose a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and support some legal rights for same-sex couples, both have supported limits on greenhouse gases, both favor help for struggling homeowners, legal status for illegal immigrants if some conditions are met, and relaxing restrictions on federal financing of embryonic stem cell research.
The addition of Gov. Sarah Palin to the ticket, however, helped cement the Republican ticket's conservative credentials. She's an easy target for criticism, but her qualifications easily match or exceed those of Obama, given a dispassionate review.
Obama is leading in the polls, and his personal confidence and charisma are appealing.
But the majority of Southwest Nebraskans and Northwest Kansans don't want to see the country shift to the left, the direction Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, would take it, especially as it relates to the Supreme Court.
For that reason, the McCook Daily Gazette is endorsing Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin for president and vice president.