While a conservative, I simply cannot imagine McCain as President. Or rather, I can, and this compels me to vote for Obama. His impetuous nature simply renders him unfit to lead our nation in foreign affairs. His unrivaled enthusiasm for war (read: singing Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran) is positively frightening. His lack of knowledge on economic or other domestic matters is simply pathetic for a presidential candidate (such as the inability to credibly defend his health care plan) but also shows an alarming lack of intellectual engagement or curiosity. Such attributes have been in constant display by the current occupant of the Oval Office and to the nation's detriment.
I am not necessarily excited by the prospect of an Obama presidency combined with a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress. However, he clearly has the character and intellect to be President. He will raise taxes, but ultimately they must be raised. He will spend a lot on infrastructure, but such investments are overdue, and at least with Obama there is a chance that such investments will also include mass transit, and heaven forfend, there might be a more rational process in how these investments are made. His committment to enact a cap and trade is less than optimal, but his preference for auctioning off permits is vastly superior to McCain's proposal of allocating permits. And most importantly, Obama's signature foreign policy proposal is to wind down an ill-conceived war instead of doubling down on the existing one and launching a new one.
But further, as a Republican, I believe a loss is deserved on our side for the horrible mismanagement of the nation's affairs from Iraq to Katrina, the scaling back of our civil liberties, the rampant cronyism, politicization of the federal agencies, and deterioration of the nation's fiscal position. The conservative movement, and the Republican party to which it has become so intertwined as to the point of oneness, has become intellectually and morally bankrupt. A relevant conservative movement will need to develop ideas beyond the current platform of tax cuts, the politics of denial (climate change, income inequality, and the state of our health care system), gay bashing and conspiracy theories. The conservative movement has failed to embrace this reality, hopefully a loss will begin a process of reevaluation.