I consider myself an independent, more accurately a social conservative as far as politics. I receive emails from a Jewish Republican group. I try to balance by reading liberal, conservative, and other blogs. Lately, I've been wondering if Republican presidents have really been on the side of Israel. This is one of the issues I look at very closely as an American citizen.
Some troubling history makes me reconsider if a Republican president is more likely to support Israel. Starting with President Reagan and Secretary if State Weinberger, we have the nefarious prosecution of Jonathan Pollard. Jonathan Pollard was a US Naval Intelligence officer who passed on information to Israel. Under Reagan's term, he was sentenced to life for spying. This sentence is harsh in that most others who were sentenced for the same offense of passing on information to allies of the US were given sentences of around two years. Pollard's sentencing is even harsher than some American spies who passed on information to countries who are not considered allies of the US.
Also, President George W. Bush proclaimed after 9-11 that there is no negotiating with terrorists. The rhetoric coming from Secretary of State Rice gives lie to that stance. Increasingly, Israel is asked to give up more and more to bolster Abbas and Fatah. Fatah is little more than Hamas in nice business suits.
I have a sense of disillusionment when it comes to the rhetoric of Republican candidates regarding Israel. McCain says over and over that the Iranian nuclear threat to Israel is one of his biggest concerns. And yet, time after time, the Republican assurances to Israel seem to falter at some point.
In the past, it has been the Democratic presidents who have responded more quickly when Israel was in danger. President Johnson, unlike President Eisenhower supported Israel.
The past history of Democratic and Republican presidents makes me question which will truly be on the side of Israel when Iran tries to make good on its threat to annihilate Israel.
There are other issues I'm looking at. One being the United States energy needs and the dismal state of infrastructure. Popular Mechanics has a good breakdown of McCain's and Obama's views. McCain supports the building of more nuclear plants while Obama supports more clean-coal plants. In my opinion, McCain's option would be the best. However, McCain doesn't address the critical state of US infrastructure. Obama does and Obama also has stated his ideas for improving the US's electrical grid.
McCain decried the money from taxes collected from gas sales were being earmarked for stuff other than infrastructure. He also supported a national gas tax "holiday" which seems a contradiction.
Also, Obama has plans to help protect New Orleans as well as build-up the marsh lands to help coastal areas along the Gulf Coast, not just in Louisiana. McCain hasn't shared his plans.
I'm going to do more research. I have questions about health care and education. There are other things that I'm bitterly disappointed with President Bush. He promised to increase funding for college grants and yet after he made his speech, funding was cut.
In the end, all politicians make promises which cannot be kept. Some of those promises are vitally important to the safety of millions. Questions, questions.