Saturday, January 05, 2008

My vote

I rarely discuss politics here, or anywhere actually. I'm simply not that interested in the subject and never feel confident enough of my opinions to debate them with those would differ with me. For me, politics are a bit like some people view religion--too personal to discuss in polite company.

I'm going to make an exception just this once.

I'm a former straight-ticket republican with strong conservative leanings. I've long embraced the idea of less is more with respect to the presence of government and I've sought out candidates who share my views on family and God.

I am still a conservative. I still prefer to be left alone.

However, after eight years of Republicans in office we've gone from working class to working poor thanks to huge increases in the cost of groceries, gas, and medical care and no increases in income. Meanwhile the fiasco that has become the Iraq war (and this is absolutely not a criticism of those who serve in our military) continues to drag on while the president pushes for tax breaks to the wealthy and vetoes bills that would improve the healthcare for poor children. Quite frankly, I ready to color outside the party lines.

My husband and I differ strongly on this. I think this is the first time we've disagreed about political candidates. Perhaps I've always just followed his lead, I don't know. But I've concluded I like Barack Obama a great deal. I believe he will have my vote in November if he gets the candidacy.

I like him in part for where he is NOT from: He does not come from a political dynasty like the Kennedys or the Bush family. Nor does he have connections to the very scary Clintons (Ask me sometime about what Billary did for the homeschoolers in Arkansas). He did not grow up in a wealthy, privileged family. He did work hard to get where he is.

He was raised in Hawaii (born two days after my husband who grew up there), and he was raised by his largely single mother. I'm impressed by the choices he's made in his life (like the fact that he worked as a civil rights lawyer) and, most importantly, his stand on the issues (especially with respect to discouraging corporations from outsourcing--a huge factor in our own troubles this year). And you know what else? I like the fact that he's young and that he has small children. Perhaps this will serve to connect him to the needs of our children.

In one of the articles I read last night someone said all the candidates lie and that Obama does too, but at least his lies are different. If he can make good on just a quarter of his promises, I'll take it. For now, I like his stand on the issues, that he's paying attention to the needs of the middle and lower classes, and that he recognizes how much outsourcing has hurt the average American worker. I'm much impressed with his perspective on minimum wage and truly hope his plan will be put into effect (as it is, minimum wage doesn't even come close to providing enough for anyone to live. Minimum wage=public assistance. Duh). His take on the war? Afghanistan was a neccessity, Iraq was a mistake. I'll go with that.

Anyway, that's my very controversial take on politics. At least as far as the climate in our home is concerned. Stay tuned. It could get messy.

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