Seeing as how I've already announced that I was breaking my cardinal bloggy rule regarding "THERE SHALL BE NO POSTING ABOUT POLITICS" on this here blog, I'll dispense with the disclaimers.
I can't promise that what I am about to say is going to coalesce into little more than political goo.
Here's the deal, tell me why you're voting for who you are. Dig deep, provide links if you want, or just from your heart, tell me why you're voting for him (or her, if you're writing someone in) and what you think he's going to do for our country that the other dude won't. How is this person going to get us out of the huge hole we're in?
What prompted me to break my own rule? A couple of things. I read this post over at Okay.Fine.Dammit and have been checking back regularly to see if there was something in the comments that swayed me one way or the other. There wasn't. However, I was impressed with the tone and civility of all those involved in the discussion. Then the news of the failure of the bailout to pass Congress hit the wires and that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
I'm having problems making up my mind for many reasons, and up until the House pretty much gave the finger to the rest of the country by failing to pass the bailout plan, I was pretty calm about all of this. I wasn't a huge fan of the bailout plan in the first place. As I listened to the debates and read the specifics of the plan, my overwhelming thought was; "You morons have been elected by the people to represent the people and this horseshit is the best you can come up with? What about starting from the bottom up...with THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES rather than bailing out the cretins that got us into this in the first place?"
I can't remember where I read it, and maybe one of you lovely souls will help me out, but recently I read strongly convincing material that stated that if you gave each adult in the U.S. a certain sum of money, the gov't could ease not only the meltdown on Wall St., but on Main St., too. Sure, I will concede that some people would be be unable to resist temptation and use the money foolishly and we'd see a few more Porsche's, Hummers and BMW's on the road, but I like to think that most people would use this money responsibly to bail themselves out of their financial messes.
Perhaps my thinking is far too simplistic, after all I am merely a person and not a politician, but in my mind, it makes sense that by people taking responsibility for themselves, rather than the government stepping in and bailing out the huge corporations that are sinking, it would save the huge corporations anyhow. The debts would be repaid, the freeze on credit would let up and the financial meltdown we'd be facing would be averted. Or would it? I'm sure some wise soul out there will point out the flaws in my logic.
From everything I read about the failure of the bailout to pass Congress, it looked pretty evenly divided...in other words, hated equally as much on both sides. At least I'm reassured knowing it was with equal measure that Congress pretty much isn't terribly vested in the financial implication of NOT doing something.
Aside from the bailout, or lack thereof, there are other issues that stand out in my mind with both Barack Obama and John McCain that make me want to throw Holy Water on both men and steer as clear of them as I can.
Taxes. This is a big one with me. Sure, its all fine and dandy that Obama wants to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. So, who does that leave behind to carry the burden? Oh yes, that's right, the other 5% who happen to be small business owners, and large corporations and the wealthy who also happen to run the large corporations and small businesses. Those very same small business owners and large corporations are our employers. They are also the majority of people who write the largest checks to charities. I daresay they already have a large enough burden. I have been that small business owner who shut down her business because the burden was too large to bear. Thank God I didn't have any employees because I would have felt terrible knowing I was putting someone else out of a job when I closed down shop. I didn't go under, but I got out before it came to that. My profit margin was too small to justify staying in the game.
Should the small businesses of this nation be any more heavily taxed than they already are, how many more people will find themselves out of work? The same can be asked of the large corporations. Sure, the 95% will have lower taxes but good luck when a good portion of that 95% are out of a job because their employers had to let them go because they can't afford to keep them employed and cough up their fair share in additional taxes.
Obama is now saying to remain calm in light of the House's failure to pass the bailout plan. Well that's all fine and dandy for you, however there are a lot of people out there who are going to wake up unemployed tomorrow, or soon to be. There will also be thousands of folks who have sunk tons of money into their 401K's only to discover they are worthless. And McCain? All he can do is play the blame game. He's more interested in pointing fingers than offering any concrete and sustainable solutions.
Perhaps I am just too much of a capitalist pig, but I still believe in hard work, and making the American Dream, your own, whatever that means to you. I believe in a hand up when it's needed, but not something that becomes this circuitous cycle being passed as a legacy from one generation to the next. I don't believe in subsidizing the future of an entire generation because they have been taught that's the only way to survive.
Universal Health Care. Perhaps I take too simplistic a view on this. I have lived overseas and spent a great deal of time in countries where socialized medicine in the norm. I was grateful for the times I needed immediate care and it was there, no questions asked and no insurance cards needed. However, it's not the answer. Spend some time talking to people who have to wait inordinate amounts of time to receive care for orthopedic, cardiac or cancer care and then come back and tell me it's the best course for our country. At least, having the government run it would NOT be the best course for the United States, in my opinion.
Yes, I do believe every person has a right to health care, but going about it via "universal means" takes away my freedom of choice and I don't like it. I also have a hard time believing that the 95% who are going to receive tax cuts won't then in turn be taxed to pay for Universal Health Care. Sort of negates the tax cuts don't you think?
Abortion. There, I've said it. This is where I am probably going to lose my more conservative readers who hold strong religious beliefs.
I can not, in good conscience, vote for a man who would willingly and happily take away my daughters' choice to do what they feel is best for their own bodies and lives. I can not vote for a man who feels he has a right to dictate what is best for my daughters' in the event one of them is raped.
By the same token, Obama voted against banning partial birth abortion and that makes me feel a bit queasy. I guess in this instance I want to have my cake and eat it too.
This issue is so very personal to me. It's simply more than a matter of religion, or when life begins. Adoption is not always the best answer, especially when you're suffering after a violent rape or incest. If this choice is taken away from the women of this country, not only will it set us back another 50 years, it will force us once again into the dark corners and back alleys where coat hangers and dirty floors are our only options.
Defense. I worry about McCain having a temper tantrum and annihilating a small country, or hell ANY country for that matter. On the other hand, Obama strikes me as someone willing to bring anyone to the table for talks, despite their threat to our country, perceived or otherwise. I worry that his lack of international experience makes him unprepared for the challenges and threats that face our nation. Without sounding like too much of a smart-ass, I fear that something akin to another 9/11 will happen and if McCain were in office, he'd strike first and ask questions later, or, have a heart attack and then it would be up to Sarah Palin to defend our nation against an attack. Is she up to the task? Are any of them? I don't want to find out at the last minute that they aren't. I want to know, without doubt, that they are and have faith that I am placing my life, and that of my children in the hands of someone who will assure our safety and security.
Civil Rights. It's been a long road for me, and there are some forks in this road that I am not very proud of, but I want everyone to be free to love whomever they want and enjoy the same rights that I do. Period. Can both candidates promise that?
The other thing that stands out in my mind and distances me from these men is who they align themselves with the likes of; Tony Rezko, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Pasqaule and Alice Rocchio, and Abu Naba among others.
Nothing screams at me; "VOTE FOR ME!" with either of these men. True, there are other candidates I could vote for, Bob Barr being one of them. But realistically, at this point in the game, the only thing a vote for him is going to do is send a message to the other two that says; "You aren't cutting it, we want and demand more and better for ourselves, for our children, for our futures and for our country!"
Do you see my quandary? Am I asking too much? Perhaps I am jaded by the past 8 years of disappointment, disillusion and heartache.
Is it wrong to want to be able to travel to Europe again and not be spit at or looked upon with disdain because I am an American? My youngest daughter is a dual-citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. I want her to be proud of both sides of her heritage. What's more than that, I want the American side of her heritage to return to the symbol of freedom, democracy and respect that we once were among the other countries of the world. I want my daughter to be able to stand up and say, with pride, that she is an American.
Here's your chance...take as much space in the comments as you want, but CONVINCE me that your guy is who I should be voting for and tell me why you are so secure in that decision?