So clearly, I've picked my side in this fight. However, I have to acknowledge that some of the criticisms of this ticket and of the True Conservatives® in general is the lack of consistency in the prolife ideology. Abortion and euthanasia are not the end of the story. While I personally believe that these are God-given absolutes, I don't believe one has to have a theological world view to accept these points:
* A prolife ideology should emphasize that some aspects of nature ought not to be manipulated simply to meet a market demand or to allow people to escape the consequences of their decisions. Doing so usually results in more severe and unforeseen consequences down the road.
* A prolife ideology should reserve the most severe punishments for those who commit the most severe crimes, with a bias toward mercy when it is reasonable. When we can incarcerate indefinitely without endangering other lives, it should be done. When it can't, the government has an obligation to protect its citizens—all of them, not just those walking freely.
* A prolife ideology should take a high road that determines not to treat human dignity as something that is dispensable and exchangeable for some other perceived good. Torture is simply wrong regardless of the context. I think McCain knows this but struggles with it because he truly wants to serve the country. However, serving the country also means protecting its moral stature and its principles. This is something that many conservatives seem to have forgotten.
* A prolife ideology needs to include principles of Just War theory. Pre-emptive military strikes factor in when there is an obvious immediate threat to our nation's (or another's) sovereignty, not when there is merely a perceived indirect threat to our "national interest."
I'm solidly in the McCain/Palin camp, but I know this choice is flawed. However, compared to the leftist leanings, extremely questionable associations and methods, and the overwhelmingly pro-abortion/pro-death stance of the other party, I have to work not only to avoid supporting it but to actively defeating it. I know some Catholics feel that abstaining from the two-party vote is a better choice. They must vote with their conscience. However, most of their reservations seem to be based more on a cynical view of "the way the world is" than the way God moves. McCain is imperfect, and *SHOCKER* so is Palin. However, God makes use of weakness and imperfection to do His will all the time.
*Oddly enough, sometimes a war initiated without just motives must still be completed in order to bring about justice. I believe the war in Iraq is such a war. As Gen. Colin Powell said, "We broke it; we own it." If he weren't "pro-choice," I'd vote for him as POTUS in a heartbeat.
UPDATE: Looks like this concern is in the air now. Whole life. I like the sound of that. (HT Feddie).