I find it rather easy to answer the question of whether a Christian can vote for Obama. To summarize, a Christian can be politically liberal or even socialist, for that matter, and would presumably vote his or her beliefs. There is no requirement that a Christian be an American style conservative. Thus it should be noted that my vote is shaped by my values, which do not coincide with those of American conservatism today, especially on issues such as the war on terror, the environment, and immigration.
But I find it much harder to understand how a conservative can vote for Obama. I would guess that there are a couple of possible reasons. A conservative:
- … could feel that the Republican party has betrayed conservatism, and that the best future for American conservatism involves at least four years of a liberal president.
- … might feel that McCain did not merit their vote for various reasons, and thus vote for the only other alternative who might win.
- … might choose to vote on personality and a perception of character rather than issues, in other words, desiring a liberal of good character over a(n) (overtly) conservative scoundrel.
As someone who generally votes based on issues, and often finds the choice rather balanced because of my more or less center positions, I have a hard time comprehending some of these options, though real people hold the positions I noted.
One might look at this article from Christopher Buckley, son of William F. Buckley. He plans to vote for Obama, and it doesn’t sound like he agrees with him very much on policy. His arguments focus on temperament and intellect, not on policies and positions. Some of the things he dislikes about the McCain campaign are the same as my objections, but those were not the deciding factors for me.
I should note, while linking to an article about how negative McCain has been, that he has tried to reign in his supporters a bit, as is shown in the following video (HT: brian d. mclaren):