Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Let the lambasting begin

I'm not exactly sure why, but I've been a little afraid to get political on my blog.

Years ago when I made fun of Bush and his policies that crapped all over our civil liberties, I got inundated with hateful comments and it just sort of sat with me, I guess. But that was before he bankrupted the country and his approval ratings plummeted to an all-time low.

I'm sure part of it also has to do with my profession. I make a conscious effort not express my political views in the paper. I weigh everything I do carefully to make sure both parties are equally represented.

I guess that mindset sort of translated to not discussing it at all here.

But the few of you who commented on the last post showed me that it is possible to have a thoughtful exchange of ideas without tossing insults, demoralizing someone else's views or threatening to set each other on fire.

In short, you inspired me.

Months ago when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were still battling it out for the Democratic nominee, my friend Gisela said, "I'm sort of surprised you haven't endorsed a candidate yet on your blog."

Funny, I hadn't thought of that. I mean, who cares what I have to say on the subject? Like the Internet isn't already saturated with political commentaries and analysis pieces down to how much the Republican National Committee paid a hairdresser to follow Sarah Palin around the country and make her look like a polished Caribou Barbie.

But, then again, why not endorse a candidate? Without raising my own pedestal too high, I am probably more well-informed than a large majority of the voting population. I mean, my job is to scour, select and edit political stories almost every. single. night.

But before I get into why I'm voting for Obama, I'd like to take a minute to express my greatest fear -- people voting on a single issue. Namely abortion.

Yes, abortion is a big deal. Yes, the next president likely will have to appoint someone to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, which could result in overturning Roe v. Wade. But is that singular issue going to affect the majority of voters? Probably not.

What about the energy crisis? What about the economy? What about foreign policy? How should we address Iran's nuclear goals? Or funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? What about health care? Gay marriage? And education?

People who vote on a singular issue are telling me that the rest of it isn't important.

Just today we had a letter to the editor in our paper from a man who said his religion forbids him to vote for a pro-choice candidate. But he felt conflicted because McCain went through a divorce. And in the eyes of God, he's living in sin.

Sure, I question his decision-making methods, but at least he was using his head a little rather than just voting the way his priest told him to.

As for Palin? Gah, where to start? I'm infuriated that a woman with no experience in Washington is being offered one of the highest positions on the global stage without climbing the rungs first. As thrilling as it is to be alive to witness the first woman named to the Republican ticket, I'm angered beyond belief that she was chosen for her gender. Sure, her far-right beliefs appeased the party's majority voting base, but McCain's campaign needed a shot in the arm before the Republican National Convention and he knew one of his Senate buddies wasn't going to cut it.

Enter winks, guns and lipstick.

(Excuse me me while I puke.)

Besides the family scandal that has swirled around Palin and her uncompromising views that terrify me, I can't get around the fact that she seems to abuse the power she already has. Troopergate. Fudging documents so the campaign will pay for her children's travel expenses.

And this woman could become president by default? Someone who hasn't ever placed a vote on the House or Senate floor? Someone who has no experience in Washington whatsoever?

That would be like throwing me into the publisher's seat of the New York Times.

By comparison, think of the job position you have. Now place yourself as the owner of that corporation. Or the superintendent of your school district. In eight days. Would you feel comfortable making that leap? How can she?

I would love nothing more than to see a woman vice president in my lifetime. Viewpoints aside, I just don't think Sarah Palin deserves it.

As for me? I won't lie. I voted for Hillary in the primary election, but when it comes to McCain or Obama, the choice wasn't hard for me.

Here's why I'm voting for Barack Obama:

  • I support a woman's right to choose. Although I thoroughly disagree with his stance on late-term abortion, I think it's important that a woman is ready to take on the role of motherhood. Mistakes happen. Pills can be forgotten. Condoms break. It would be terrifying to live in a country where desperate women felt forced to take matters into their own hands in attempt to end a pregnancy.
  • I am against off-shore drilling. One of the most important things the Republican party did in my opinion was make a wildlife refuge in Alaska. We need renewable energy resources. Experts have said drilling won't reduce gas prices for about 10 years. And even then it wouldn't be a permanent solution. Wind power. Solar energy. Methane gas from landfills. And all of the jobs that would come with it.
  • Obama supports universal health care. Right now there are little kids who have teeth rotting out of their mouths because their parents can't afford to take them to a dentist. There are retirees living on Social Security who have to choose between heat and their prescription medications. I would be more than happy to pay higher taxes to help those people. And who knows? If I ever was unfortunate enough to lose my job, I might need that type of coverage, too.
  • Obama has said he'd be willing to meet with foreign leaders who have long been shut out by the United States. Maybe opening one door would lead to some increased communication and understanding. We have to start somewhere.
  • Obama supports bringing our troops home. Financially, because of the $700 billion bailout plan, analysts have said that we may have to choose which is the bigger threat -- Afghanistan or Iraq -- because we won't be able to indefinitely fund both. I don't support an immediate withdrawal, but a timetable would be nice.
  • Although against gay marriage, he supports giving homosexual partners who want to enter into a lifelong committment the same rights married couples enjoy. To me, this is just a no-brainer. When you care about someone enough to stay by their side during their darkest hour, you should be able to do that in a hospital too.
  • I genuinely believe that Obama wants to improve life for middle America. His hope and enthusiasm for a better tomorrow inspires me. I think many of us could use it.


Andréa said...

I have never before seen someone put exactly what I was thinking so eloquently. I, too, have always been leery about voicing my thoughts or opinions in politics because of how nasty some people can get. Thank you for showing people you can support a candidate without bashing the competition.

Shal said...

Thank you Thank you Thank you! You are amazing, and I do think you would kick butt at The New York Times office!

But I do agree with you about everything you listed.

I am so ready for the election to be over and see Obama start doing the job the way it should have been done 8 years ago.

Thanks again!

R K said...

Perhaps the people who vote solely on one issue (abortion, same sex marriage...) think the candidates are similar enough on the other issues that the differences are null. Then, they vote on the issues where the candidates show a clear difference. I'm not saying it is the most reasonable way to vote, but it is logical if one views the candidates as mostly the same.

Shrug. Just another way to think about it.

Anonymous said...

Well, you've got my vote.

Anonymous said...

Although I don't share your like for Obama's policies especially the one about universal healthcare (due to personal experience with the government health care system and seeing our government can not handle it), I am glad we live in a country where BOTH of us can express our views :). I think it is sad when either side turns viscious...

its_just_ang said...

Very well said. I'm glad you did this in a way that was stating your side, but not going overboard in a crazy Obama-obsessed rant. Thank you. And just my two cents: I understand the need for universal healthcare, because I don't have insurance currently, but I would rather do without it than to get taxed to the enth degree, which is what will happen if a policy like that is put into place. Also get ready to say good-bye to your 401Ks because he's going to do away with those. I also know what it's like to be conflicted because even though I'm a Republican, I still am pro-choice. It's tough to completely stick to just one side. There's so much information out there that it makes my head spin sometimes. I know people are desperate for a change, so much so that they are clinging to Obama and what he represents, but I truly feel like those same people that love him today are really going to regret putting him into office if that's what happens, God forbid.

B said...

Kelly, Please step up and run the country! Or, at least write it up for the everyday person to understand, what a great job you did writing your feeling and clearly backing your statements. Just becasue someone doesn't agree with you doesn't mean you you can't put the facts out.

mhale said...

I am excited that you are brave enough to start a thoughtful conversation, and I am glad there are so many people like you who think carefully about the issues. I don't agree with most of Obama's positions, so I will be voting for McCain.

I support a child's right to live, and believe that when a woman is pregnant she has already made her choice.

I support off-shore drilling (as well as alternative energy research), because as a mechanical engineer I know exactly how many MANY protocols there are to protect the environment while drilling, and I believe we need to reduce our dependence on imported oil. I do not support Universal Healthcare, for a multitude of reasons. I believe that while negotiation and diplomacy are critical tools in global relations, it is possible to have cases where diplomacy is no longer adequate. I support our troops with all my heart (and money from donations) but I believe the worst possible outcome would be to bring out troops home before the area is stable, when all those innocent people will be left in a worse situation than ever. I do support gay marriage, actually, I agree with Obama's stance on this.

What a great country we live in where such different views can still coexist peacefully and express their opinions in so many forums.

Nikki said...

Here here! It's about time we got a democrat back into office...

Erin said...

I live in Canada and we don't pay taxes to the "enth degree" for our free healthcare. Whoever told you, lied.

Infact, we pay about the same percentage of our income to taxes as you do. Verying between 29-31% For that, we have universal healthcare, our maternity leave is 1 year, where the we are paid 55% of our (pre-tax) salary, which is often "topped up" by employers.

I hope Obama is also elected. I would assume most Americans are tired of being the butt of all policatal jokes about W. Be known for electing an intelligent President, not one based on colour.

erica said...

Regardless of how I feel, I really appreciate how articulate you were in expressing your opinions. By that I mean it was a very calm and logical explanation of how you feel. It welcomes dissention without inciting anger.

With that said I do agree with pretty much everything you are saying. You just stated all the reasons I voted for Obama (sent out absentee today!). I too voted for Hillary in the primaries, but I feel that of McCain and Obama, Obama best represents what I want for my country. I very much respect McCain, perhaps more so in the past than present, but he still has my respect and maybe possibly had my vote until I found out more about Palin.

Either way, thank you for setting up a discussion where both sides can appreciate what the other has to say. I love that people disagree with me, because I'm so grateful that I live in a country where we have to freedom to express our individual opinions.

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism"
-Thomas Jefferson

erica said...

and just to clarify, Sarah Palin isn't the only reason I'm not voting for McCain. I just reread my comment and realized that's how it came across. Obama better represents my views and my ideals for my country to completely generalize. I was just one of the many Ohio undecided after Hillary didn't get the nomination but I changed my mind

Naomi said...

Yay! A policy-based reason for voting instead of rumor-mill paranoia. Please consider running for office at some point. Maybe right this moment it's not an option, but your talents and skills would make you an excellent candidate!

Marcy said...

I agree with you, 100%.

I know someone who was recently complaining about universal healthcare, about how poorly govt care is run these days and do we really want that kind of a system. This same person has prescription medication (and a young daughter's health insurance) she would not be able to afford were it not for the state help she gets. People like to complain about how poorly government handles these sorts of things, but you have to look at the alternative. I'd rather have inefficient care than nothing at all.

Terri said...

As others have said, it is refreshing to see an intelligent, respectful exchange of (somtimes conflicting) ideas. Thank you for initiating such a thing.

I, like many (if not most)voters, do not wholeheartedly agree with either of the candidates and it becomes an exercise in determining which one BEST represents my views and goals for America's future.

The issue I'd like to address is your fear of Americans voting based solely on one topic--abortion. I would like to posit that life in general can be boiled down to priorities and the decisions we make based on those priorities. As unpopular as this might make me, I've done the research (I am a BioMedical Engineer) and I consider a fertilized egg to be the start of life and the intentional killing of this life to be murder. As important as the economy, taxes, the environment, etc. are to me, I simply cannot in good conscience endorse someone I believe is a murderer, if indirectly.

I know there are many quite valid arguments (such as the war being responsible for the deaths of thousands) to my way of thinking and I sure have wresteled with them.

I suppose my goal here is to assure that there are educated, informed, intelligent people who may have convictions that one issue is simply so much more important than the others because human lives are at stake.

Looks like we'll cancel each other's votes out, but isn't that what America is all about? :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not an Obama fan but that was well said.

its_just_ang said...

Just in reply to Erin, the way you do things in Canada doesn't mean that's the way it will be done here in America. And, no, no one who "told" me about it lied. I get my information from valid resources, but thanks for your concern anyway. And ironically, if Obama is elected, it will be majorily based on color.

Lioncloud said...

Fear not. Roe v Wade will never, ever, ever be overturned. It's much too useful a political tool for the Right.

Lioncloud said...

Oh, and more things to hope for:

1) with an Obama presidency, maybe we will be able to vacation in Cuba again!

2) Never again will we have to see Sarah Palin's 6-year old daughter staggering under the weight of her baby brother she has been told to carry around. I get chills when I see it!

Anonymous said...

As a fellow journalist who keeps a blog (on knitting, the most non-controversial issue *ever*), I'm wondering what your newspaper's policy is on expressing political opinions in a public forum like a blog. At the large metro where I work, we're forbidden from not only donating to political causes and having candidate bumper stickers and candidate signs, but we're also banned from attending political rallies (unless you're covering it, of course) and expressing our political views online (blogs, Facebook, etc.).

I know you write a column for your paper, so maybe that gives you the leeway to express your opinion (our metro columist can do the same). But I would worry about professional repercussions if I were to express my opinions so publicly.

the plainman said...

I for one enjoyed the respite of not having politics the main issue here, I write about and discuss it enough elsewhere! Same reason I kept it off my own blogsite.

And its not as though your beliefs and values have not come though in many subtle, and meaningful ways; I happen to respect them and agree with many of them as well. And I do agree with your position about people who base their decisions on a one issue litmus test.

But since you brought up the subject.....

I actually discount most of the positions that candidates expound on as they run for the office of the Presidency, (or the local county Freeholder, Commissioner or Mayor's office), events almost always overtake them, leaving the pragmatic concerns of the minute, the hour, or the day their foremost concern.

Bush II's Presidency would have been very different without 9/11. Good? Bad? But different. He may very well have been a one term President, with Gore winning a rematch. We dont know.

So while their philosophy is important, I think their candor and character are even more so. When I was in school, Nixon was running for President, he had a "secret plan to end the war" (Vietnam) and was going to be an agent of change, bringing "law and order" to the nation.

He won over many Democrats because of his position on the war, they believed that Vice President Humphry represented simply a continuation of LBJ's (President Johnson's) pro-war policies, (even though Humphry did not believe in the war, he was loyal to the admin. for too long as a candidate on his own).

Instead, it was ironic that those who voted for Nixon found that his "secret plan" plan was simply more war, costing tens of thousands of US soldiers lives; his lack of respect for the law ended up a national disgrace. He betrayed those who believed in his stated positions rather than considering his character and past actions as importantly.

Although I am an Independent, nominally a registered Republican (because local primaries decide local and county elections) and have voted for the Democratic candidate for President every time but once in the past decades, this time I can not vote for Obama.

Democrats had a golden opportunity to elect the first woman President, and I would have happily supported her and did. I supported John Edwards four years ago, and would have this time (pre-cheating on his sick wife, that is) and Colin Powell could have had my support as well, running as a Democrat or Republican (although I wish he had not drank the Kool-Aid).

I simply find after looking at him closely, that Obama does not measure up at all, not even to John Kerry, who lost simply because voters believed him to be insincere at best, a hypocrite and liar at worst.

The list of reasons against Obamma is long, but one that keeps me wondering are all those "Present votes" in the brief time he was in office. One time or two, sure, I can understand the politics. But his lack of character in making his positions public, and taking a stand, is troubling. That's is exactly what he was elected to do in the first place. To back his convictions with a public stand. Did he do the right thing or the experdient thing?

John F. Kennedy wrote a book on taking a stand called "Profiles in Courage." Barak Obama does not measure up. Ironic that some would compare him to JFK.

I'm not confident that Obamma will do what is right for our country, will instead act to advance his polical positions. Not the same thing. Do I trust him? In a word, no. Nothing in his background gives me any level of confidence.

As for Palin, I'll simply quote what the first Democratic Candidate for Vice President, Geraldine Ferraro recently said,
"Palin proved she has the ability to go toe to toe with Biden and be Vice President."

I was taken aback on the vicious attacks on Palin by those in a Democratic Party that seem to accept the value of diversity of thought, religion and culture, let alone supporting the role of women. And I'm not simply talking about the double standard over the clothing issue, (forgetting all those gushing Michelle Obama make-over pieces that were floated in the media and press).

But am very disturbed by the attacks on her beliefs, her own set of standards and religion. Even Romney's far more diverse Mormanism was given more respect, with PBS even airing a history of Mormon during the primaries.

I don't expect that treatment from Democrats. When I vote for McCain amd Palin next Tuesday, does that mean I am endorsing those who are now in control of the Republican Party? Of couse not. I don't even support every one of McCain's ideas or policies. Or Palin's.

Do I believe that McCain can do the job? Yes. Palin. Yes. But more importantly, I trust them to do what is right for our country as a whole, each time they make a decision.

To me trust is what it is all about.

(Thanks for the soap box.)

Anonymous said...

Very well-put. Good point about the one-issue voters....there are so many issues to take into consideration! I'm fairly sure Obama will win. Here's hoping!

sarahhhh said...

I had always backed the democratic party this election because America NEEDS it right now. There is just way too much garbage floating around our political system. Our image around the world is tarnished and approval for Obama is backed up around the world. We need to amend our past and Obama is the man to do it.

In the beginning McCain didn't bother me. At least I felt this time that we had two smart men running for office. Then he had to go pick his VP and I realized what I had been questioning all along -- is he a sell out? Yes. He totally sold his soul to win this election. To me that speaks volumes about someone's character and their lack of. He has sold himself out with this, and who knows how many groups in Washington. Seriously... what does he think, this smart guy with more experience in his nose hair then Palin, when he is standing at his own rally and hears, "drill baby drill!" being yelled out. I bet he catches himself and wonders, WTF is happening here?! -- this is MINE? In one blink his soul is slightly ruined and in the next he is hopeful this type of stupidity will help him win.

Let's pretend I am completely wrong on the above...

The basic fact is his VP is out of control irresponsible and inexperienced. The dude is OLD and the chances of her becoming president are enough to make me want nothing to do with the party.

Great post Kelly. :)

Kristin said...

I completely agree with all of your reasons behind voting for Obama. The one that resonates with me the most is healthcare. I am all for paying higher taxes (because I can afford to) so every person in this country has healthcare. Last time I told someone that, they told me I was a better person than she was because she would never do that. I was ashamed that she didn't want the best for her country men and women and that she was able to admit that out loud. Thank you for sharing your opinions.

Randall said...

I enjoyed reading your point of view in addition to the comments above - whether I agree with someone or not on a political issue I still think it is interesting to hear their perspective and history of their reasoning.

I will not be voting for Obama, already sent in my absentee for McCain (no standing in line for me!), based on overall policy standpoints, specifically on taxes and universal healthcare.

I also, as Plainman noted, do not trust Obama's grand speeches and promises. I know you didn't express this viewpoint but sometimes I just want to shake people and explain, "he is a politician!" Just look at some of his largest campaign contributors: PACs of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. It would be silly to think that won't be affecting his policy decisions regarding the economy if he is elected. I don't think the man will be the change, maybe I'm cyncial, but I don't buy it.

So, although I disagree, I thought your points were well expressed!

Kathleen said...

While I do generally slant to the right (and I believe anyone who clings to the extreme end of either party is nuts), abortion is my number one concern when casting my ballot. This is not because the other issues aren't important. It's because abortion is the MOST important of all issues. No government should allow (perhaps even condone??) the killing of its own citizens.

There are several issues on which I agree with democrats, but my conscience cannot allow me to place those issues above the millions...MILLIONS...of lives lost through abortion.

Once we take care of that, we can sort out all the other stuff.

Ray said...

I think you pretty much sold everyone on Obama. Hehe! ;o) There's only seven days till election (including election day) and I still haven't read up on what both candidates stand for, so I don't know if I'm going to vote. Although I could do a crash course and read up on it.... But you have valid view points. May the best man win! And it sounds like Obama is the best man.

Kathleen said...

Ray - I hope you're in a tiny minority. Please don't vote. That's just reckless.

Anonymous said...

I've liked Obama from the start because of his idealistic hope even though it makes me nervous to see how it will be accomplished in reality. I'm voting for Obama despite the fact that I live in a red state where my vote will basically be useless.

LeslieAnn said...

I generally feel the same as anonymous journalist. I mean I definitely have my own ideas, opinions and convictions, but I try not to express them publicly. I know for sure I'm not allowed to have any sort of political bumper stickers or anything and I'm not supposed to be politically open online. If I do write any comments on news stories or anything (like on the Washington Post) I write them under other names because I'm writing as my personal self rather than my professional self.

But go you, for having something so well written and for not being argumentative. That's the most frustrating thing about elections to me. When people write out of anger or hate or spread rumors or things that aren't true or important. This is a good conversation.


LeslieAnn said...

*Forgot to mention (in case any others who comment care - which they probably don't) I feel similar to anonymous journalist because I am also a journalist.

Kriston said...

Thanks for talking about this. There are some of us out there that are having a really hard time deciding.

Anonymous said...

I voted today for the very first time.
obama. :)

grace said...

i'm canadian as well, but go obama!!!!! i want our troops to come home :(

julie said...

I'll admit, I'm not politically savvy or well-informed. I find myself caught somewhere between Democrat and Republican. I'm pro-choice [the woman doesn't always get to decide, as is the case with rape or incest], pro-love [why should I care what gender someone's spouse is?], pro-help [I've been on welfare and think it can be a great temporary help]. But I'm also in favor of the government staying the heck out of my business, my decisions, and my life in general.

Anyhoo. I'm voting for Obama because I believe in him more than I believe in McCain. I also am one of those people who think that certain issues are more important to me than others. The availability of an abortion is something that's important to me. Not because I want one or need one, but because I believe having the choice is vital. I do find it odd that some Republicans want the gov't to let the people be trusted to make their own decisions, yet they want to make abortion and same-sex marriage unavailable options for the entire country.

Regardless of all that, in all honesty, I fear that anyone who actually WANTS to be president shouldn't be trusted with the job.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I think Washington needs someone a bit new to the waters. I do not agree that she is so completely inexperienced that she does not deserve the position. I think the more typical politicians have screwed it up over. and over. and over and I think a new perspective could make a vast difference. Plus I agree with just about all of her moral stances. I do think McCain is imperfect but I'm not a single issue voter either. So for a lot of reasons, I'll be voting for McCain/Palin.

the plainsman said...

Been stopping by to read the comments today and like the exchange of ideas.

I will add that although voting for McCain/Palin, I am strongly pro-choice, as are many identified or registered as Republicans. I believe I read that about 70% of the country believes the Roe ruling should stand. And I agree with Lion Cloud that the ruling will stand, although not quite as cynical as she, of the reason! Roe will remain by principle of stare decisis.

A true system of comprehensive heath care is long overdue and neither candidate has a solid enough plan, in my opinion. But it is wrong to think that only Democrats want a comprehensive health care system. Even major manufacturing and business leaders (typically Republican) are calling for such a plan, as it will also somewhat level the field in terms of international competetion.

Obama's plan has some major flaws and McCain's does not go far enough. I think the reasoning that if the Iraq War were over, we could afford such a plan is flawed.

It overlooks the simple fact that we could have afforded comprehensive health care years before the war, back as far as Clinton's years but lacked the collective will to support leaders who would implement it. That is not a Democratic nor Republican fault, but all of ours. Any politicians today that blame the other side and not take responsibility for their part are part of the problem, not the solution.

Anyway, that is more of my "two cents." Good night.

Anonymous said...

I think that someone who would argue about Obama's lack of experience, but then vote for McCain/Palin, is obviously delusional. First of all, Obama WILL be the fifth youngest President when he is elected. Others on the list include JFK and Bill Clinton. IF Mccain were to die in office, Palin would become President. She is grossly underqualified, and she doesn't have a fundamental understanding of what is going on in the world. How could she ever understand foregin policies, the issues that major American cities/states face, and let's not forget her abuse of power. And for the record, when Barack Obama wins, it won't be because of his race. That is the most ridiculous arguement ever, it's like someone saying I got my job or accepted to college because I'm mexican-american (I live in CA- no affirmative action during my time). Please, if anything, I've had to work harder to prove that I'm not a stereotype and that I actually deserve everything I've achieved.

C. said...

I'll be voting for Obama for many of the same reasons you listed, and also because I truly think McCain will be bad for this country. I think the way McCain has conducted his campaign is a good indication of the sort of man he really is. He used to take moderate stances on many issues, but moved right to shore up his base coming out of the primaries. Clearly he wants to be the winner more than he cares about his own convictions. He even voted against the wonderful immigration bill that *HE* drafted! He has also run an extremely negative campaign against Obama, which is surprising given his own painful experiences from the 2000 election. Obama has demonstrated integrity, calm under pressure, and a rational, level-headed approach to the obstacles he encounters. I have no doubt he will be a great president.

courtney said...

Anybody here from California? If so, please please please vote NO on Prop 8! The CA Supreme Court has correctly identified a constitutional right of same-sex couples to be treated equally under the law, and a vote in favor of Prop 8 is a vote to relegate homosexuals back to second-class status. It's a vote to deny loving, committed families over 200 rights and protections associated with marriage. Don't be fooled by the opposition's ads. Recognizing same-sex civil marriage will have no effect on religious communities who do not support these relationships. They will not be forced to perform marriage ceremonies, and they will not lose their tax-exempt status for failure to do so. CA schools will not be required to teach about homosexuality, and CA has an opt-out provision for the umbrella issues of family and health that allows students/parents who object to a particular lesson to be screened out. You will still be able to decide when, how, and if you will teach your children about homosexuality.

And yes, I am biased. I'm deeply in love with my partner of four years. She helps me to be a great person, and I know I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I desperately want the assurance that I will be able to see her in the hospital and help make medical decisions if necessary, the comfort of knowing that our joint assets will be protected, and the knowledge that, when we're ready, we can raise children together without fear of losing them. We hope to get married this summer, but we won't be able to do that without your help. Please do not let the opposition take this chance away from us.

Tonya said...

I was speaking with my grandmother on the phone who at 89 is still stuck in the 1950s. Somehow, we got on the subject of politics. She said that Obama is the anti-christ. Then I said, "Granna, I'm voting for Obama."

Nothing but silence. Later, when I was talking to my mom, she said, "Tonya! You could have killed her with that comment!"

My grandmother is choosing a reason to hate him based on the way she was raised and not looking at the big picture. I agree that people need to look at ALL the issues instead of choosing a candidate for one particular issue.

Anonymous said...

As an Obama supporter, I was interested to hear in church (Roman Catholic, no less) that the church wants you to consider "life" when voting. BUT that life is just not abortion. It is health care, education, capital punishment, help for the poor, foreign affairs AND a person's character.

Ashley said...

I'm voting for McCain. Abortion, off shore drilling, and other issues are very important to me. I do not believe in universal healthcare. Why? I'm not a socialist. My fiance does not have healthcare, so I can see what not having can do. However, that doesn't mean I am willing to pay for everyone to have it. Unfortunately, health care is one of those things that you have to work to get. If you can't, we have medicaid. People in our country, many times, put our wants before our needs. My fiance does that, and will admit it. He is against uni. health care as well.
I'm also against abortion. I believe that in this day and age, we have so many form of effective birth control, it unnecessary for any woman to have an abortion. We have emergency birth control, the patch, shot, nuva ring, the pill, condoms, and plain ol' abstinence. When a woman goes to the hospital after she is raped they give her EC. So no, I don't think that abortion is necessary at all.

Erin said...

This is a question for Ashley.

You say you pay for your own healthcare and don't want to pay for others, can I ask how much you pay for your plan?

See me? being in Canada with a universal healthcare plan, I don't pay a cent for healthcare seperate from my taxes. I pay about the same in taxes that you do. So really, right now, you're paying more for your own healthcare then I am for the entire country.

See how simple that was?

I'm pretty sure if we can figure out how to make that happen, that the government in the U.S could as well, and if not, I'm sure our government can tell you how it's done, if someone would just ask.

Or they could ask any of the following countries, because they've also figured it out.

Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Seriously, I wish more then anything that people in the US would understand that universal health care systems are a GOOD thing. They don't cost you more money, they aren't sub-par doctors or service, and we don't have crazy wait times. We get the same sort of medical help you get, only we don't have to worry about HMO's denying us.

Anonymous said...

I'm slighty annoyed at people who like to bring up Obama's inexperience. Neither Obama, Palin, Mccain, or Biden have ever been President or Vice President so they would all be starting out on the same level. No one knows what exact challenges the next president will face. We have an idea but no one can predict the future. What I think people should be concerned about is whether you think the candidate you are voting for, when faced with these unknown challenges, will be able to make intelligent decision for the good of ALL Americans.

In my opinion I don't think Mccain has all Americans best interest at heart. And to me he proved that by picking Sarah Palin. I consider my self an intelligent person and I can see a politcal move when its right there in my face. That was simply a sad political manuever to appeal to disenchanted Hillary voters. He didnt care if she was qualified or if she was corrupt. That to me is extremely negligent. I dont think we need someone in office who is willing to play games like that.

If you are voting for Mccain because you agree with the way he wants to lead this country or he shares your beliefs, thats fine and I respect that. But to discredit Obama because you think he has no experience is crap to me. I promise you he will not be in the white house by himself, LOL. Just like Bush has advisors and Mccain would have his advisors so will Obama. I have confidence that he will surround himself with intelligent likeminded individuals that will aid him in making the best decisions.

I don't think Mccain and Palin have the best interest of all Americans at heart. And to me Palin and Mccain are all about saying what needs to be said and doing what needs to be done to be elected. I don't get sincerity from them. Especially Palin, instead of her being HONEST and saying I don't have very much experience but Im committed to doing the best job I can. She gives these pitiful justifications as to why she has experience. (i.e. russia being across the ocean from Alaska gives her foreign experience).

I digress. I do know that whoever wins can't do any worse then good ole Bushy..lol

Ashley said...

This is in reply to erin's comment. My health care is part of a family plan that covers a wide range of insurance: medical, dental, vision, cancer, maternity, prescription, and temporary disability plus I have pre-existing conditions (heart and cancer related, everyone in my family has died of one or the other). It is around 4K for everyone, of which half is paid by the employer.

Anonymous said...

I do agree on a lot of the items Obama stands for but I do not think he will have true Middle Class Americans in his best interest. I believe he will do his best to help those that are less fortunate than me, whether it is due to real life situations or pure laziness. Meantime I will work every day of my life as will my husband to try to get by and put a little money aside for retirement and our daughter's future.
And where oh where does he plan on getting the money to fund all of the programs he wants to continue and add to?
I personally do not agree with universal health care. But slowly bringing troops home as long as we continue to support them and their families, the right for early term abortion, and rights for same sex couples I am definately for.
As for Bush - I voted for him. I didn't like him or Kerry but for me Kerry was a far worse choice and I think he would have been dangerous in office.

Just a little food for thought - The problems of our country did not come to exist because Bush came into office. Many issues were developing during the Clinton administration. But as with all elected officials when good things happen those in office currently receive the credit. Just as Obama or McCain will if our economy recovers as a results of the bail out, even though they are not the direct cause.

Meantime take a look at some of the bills Clinton signed and somehow they get sweeped under the table and the Dems go unharmed by and the Republicans are blamed for.

One thing I do not want to hear is someone voting for Obama because he is black or McCain because Palin is a woman. That is NOT how a leader should be chosen. I AM afraid however that is how a lot of people are voting this election. I have heard an alarming number of people say they are voting for Obama and they do not know one thing he stands for. If that is how either party is brought into office it will be a very sad day.

All that being said also consider the fact that you will have a Democratic House as well as President. That can lead to trouble as well.

Marja said...

I wish people would look outside their bubbles, to really look at what the WORLD needs from us. We are, without a doubt, the current great world "superpower," but we looked down upon more and more as our policies and relationships with the rest of the deteriorate. As a student of international policy I find this incredibly sad, and I think this is something that Obama could begin to help mend.

As a side note, many of the countries considered to be among the best democracies of the world are what many McCain supporters would call "socialist" (mostly Scandinavian countries).

the_plainsman said...

This was a fun couple of days and all of those who wanted to had their opportunity to be heard. I do not think many minds were changed, but I'm sure a few points made were well taken and considered. I particularly liked that one 15 year old reader (could not find her post right now) felt respected enough on your blog site to speak her opinions. Whatever her convictions, she will be a good and thoughtful citizen and one that anyone would be proud to have as a daughter. And tell your Aunt that travel to Cuba has been possible for a while now on the flimesiest of excuses if one really wants to, an old schoolmate and his wife went ther a few yaers back so he, a railroad engineer, could go run some old steam engines on sugar plantations, something like that. They had a great time.