Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Why I Voted For Obama

Yesterday I boldly declared myself an Obama supporter. I do not believe in gloating however. The past few years have been hard. This election has been bitter, and hard-fought. Today I feel nothing but pride. I am proud to be an American! Since I was five years old, all I wanted was to be an American. Yesterday was the first time I voted for a president in my life. I have a great sense of calm and reassurance that if a nation so diverse and so divided can transfer power so peacefully, that nation can still be a shining city on a hill for all the world to look up to. Now we have a chance to leave the 20th century behind and let a new leader from a new generation take us across this bold new frontier to face the 21st century. Take hope. This country and the world will be okay. Please watch Obama's speech from Tuesday night.

My vote, like so many things I do, is complicated. I voted for Obama, but also against McCain. Here’s why:

1. When John McCain passed his campaign finance reform act a few years ago, I swore I would NEVER vote for him. I consider that law to be one of the most egregious assaults on the constitution ever mustered by Congress. Today I keep my promise to myself.

2. McCain is 72 years old, and it shows; Obama is 47. I think that McCain’s time has come and gone. He represents a bygone generation. It’s time for the Vietnam generation to enjoy retirement, and allow a new generation to lead the country and the world. I’m going with the younger guy.

3. Obama is VERY intelligent and articulate. That counts with me. He is a very quick study, and picks up on things fast. He gives complex and nuanced answers to serious issues and problems. McCain seems to give overly simple answers. Why? Because his right wing base sees the world in terms of “black and white.” We need a serious person to lead.

4. McCain is close enough to Bush in both economics and foreign policy that he represents a third Bush term. George Bush has been the worst president since the Civil War. A vote against McCain is, for me, a repudiation of the Bush administration.

5. In that vein, I have come to reject “trickle-down” economics. At the end of the Bush administration, the country is economically ruined. An obscene amount of wealth is concentrated in a tiny handful of people. These people (oil executives, Wall Street barons, war profiteers, etc.) have the audacity to pillage and pirate without any shame or consequences, while the rest of us are in dire straits.

6. I think the idea that Christian equals Republican is absurd. In the OT and the NT God is ALWAYS on the side of the poor, and against the rich. In this election, Obama’s policies overwhelmingly help the poor, while McCain has spent the past month creating fear in people earning over $250 000 a year that they will be taxed more. My Christian values find better expression in the Democratic Party because my values are deeper than the shallow and trite moralizing of Republican Christians.

7. Our medical system is BROKEN. People are dying and going bankrupt because of obscenely high medical expenses, while insurance companies are wallowing in profits. Republican judges consistently throw out lawsuits against these insurance companies. The sooner we have nationalized health care, and see every HMO go out of business, the better off we will be. Obama will bring us closer to that reality.

8. McCain spoke and acted erratic during all 3 debates. After the debates I had ZERO confidence in McCain.

9. McCain’s war hero status is to be applauded on a personal level, but it does not impress me in any way as a “qualification” to be president.

10. I cannot put Sarah Palin that close to the presidency. I admire her personally, but again, I don’t believe this woman is anywhere near qualified to be poised to take the reins of our government. Her sketchy credentials, her lack of knowledge, and her conservative worldview is not what America needs right now. I don’t want a folksy “hockey mom” running the country.

11. The "guilt by association" attacks on Obama have been so weak and pathetic, they have actually pushed me to support him. The worst has been the “socialist” label. George Bush has been the most socialist president in our history! We are well down the socialist path. Progressive tax rates, property taxes, and public education are all planks of the Communist Manifesto for crying out loud!

12. I refuse to give any Republican any further hold on power. They have squandered that chance. George Bush has presided over the biggest growth of the Federal government in our history. Enough!

13. I don’t respond to fear. My vote for Obama is a thumb in the eye of every conservative fear monger who wants us to look for terrorists behind every bush and under our beds.

14. I am voting AGAINST the war in Iraq. I agree with Obama’s position that this was an unjustified and unnecessary war from the beginning. McCain is a carbon copy of Bush with regards to the war. EVERY reason we were given to go to war is a lie, and we have no reason to still be there. We are wasting billions of dollars every month doing the very same thing that caused the British Empire to go bankrupt. I refuse to give my consent one day longer!

15. While I am pro-life, abortion is a non-issue for me in presidential elections. Even if (and it’s a big if) Roe v Wade is overturned, it just sends the issue back to the states. Abortion will NEVER be illegal in the U.S. Once you realize this, you won’t waste energy making your voting decisions on this one issue.

16. I just plain like Barak Obama. After his speech on Tuesday night, I have hope again!

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