On Election Day, I’ll be working from 5:30am to 10:30pm. Accordingly, I’ve had to review my sample ballot and cast my vote early, by mail.
I am a Decline to State voter because I don’t believe in political parties. They encourage lazy voting by offering a platter of candidates, and I would rather learn about individuals. It is true, however, that over the last twelve years or so I have usually voted for the Democrats running for national office. This is almost entirely because of the hard right turn the Republican party has taken since around 1996.
So, yes, I voted for Barack Obama. Here’s a ranked list of my top ten reasons, and of course, I hope enough of these resonate with you that you’ll agree and back the president.
1. President Obama has pursued a balanced foreign policy, generally helping to reduce the quantity of death, dismemberment, and destruction worldwide. Though that Nobel Peace Prize was a little ridiculous, America is not hated as much as we were five years ago.
2. Given the obstructionist House of Representatives, and I include the Blue Dog Democrats of 2009-2010 in that group, the president’s domestic agenda has been reasonably successful.
3. Specifically, the economy is doing far better than I expected. The president mostly can only guide policy; action has to be taken by Congress, and only the House can spend money.
4. Regardless of who the president has been the last four years, the opposition party has seriously acted like a bag of dicks. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader who described the single most important goal of Congress as “making Obama a one-term president” is an even worse pustule that John Boehner, and that’s saying something. When the opposition actively obstructs basic governance, they increase my likelihood of voting against them, just on principle.
5. Mitt Romney the Moderate is someone I could conceivably have voted for, just like John McCain version Y2K. Unfortunately, there is just too much evidence from his own mouth that he’s closer to McCain version 2008. Add to this Paul Ryan on the ticket and the lack of specificity in their plans, and I just don’t trust it.
6. Paul Ryan gets a reason of his own. If the most dreadful thing were to occur, I’d rather have Handsome Joe Biden in charge than Hey Girl Paul Ryan. Seriously, dude is almost scarier than Palin.
7. On the national level, I generally agree more with the philosophy of tempered government involvement and stimulus in citizen’s lives. I’m a fan of the National Endowments for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities. I loves me some NASA. There are some things only government is big enough to do, mostly because government doesn’t need a profit motive. Oh, and the New Deal was a good idea. I believe everyone who keeps trying should get a helping hand when they need it.
The Republicans have been slipping more and more toward permanent Ayn Randiness. Look, I read the books and went through my selfish phase, too. I got over it by about age 22. Sure I get mad at the bums constantly harassing hard-working people, and lazy coworkers who strategize that they can make better money on unemployment. I know that people take advantage, and that a certain percentage of my taxes are funding slacking free-loading buttmunches.
Ultimately, though, I know there is no system that operates at 100% efficiency, and that a certain percentage of my taxes also go toward new nuclear submarines, which I think we could do without.
8. I’m not down with Republican hypocrisy on government intervention in social issues. I’m more of a Libertarian when it comes to this stuff, and I don’t understand how the Republicans can be so “get your government out of my healthcare” and then turn around and start bitchin’ ‘bout ‘bortion. Gay marriage, too, WTF? If you want to preserve the institution of marriage, try outlawing divorce and adultery and see how far you get. Leave other people alone.
These big social issues move so slowly on the national level that I can’t really consider something like a pro-life stance an absolute dealbreaker. On the state and local level, it carries more weight for me, but for presidential candidates it’s like dating a woman with an artificial leg.
9. My personal situation has improved with Barack Obama as president, and is more likely to improve if he stays in office. No one should ever feel ashamed about voting for the candidate who will literally help them out. I feel no resentment against Millionaires for Mitt, and if you’re a rich person he is definitely your guy.
After doing fairly well for myself in the Clinton years, I got hammered in the Lost Decade. Since 2008, I’ve got more work than I can handle, made more money than ever, and paid completely reasonable tax rates. My home value, which peaked in 2006, has hit bottom and is starting to rebound. Other than my mortgage, I have no debt. I am optimistic about my prospects, and crucially, if I do end up switching careers… I trust Barack Obama to realize the value of foreign aid and diplomacy more than Mitt Romney. That means funding for my chosen new profession.
10. Supreme Court nom nom noms. Looking at the court as it exists today, I’m a big fan of the women on the court and most of the time Breyer. They’re thoughtful, reasoned, and pretty much in line with what I believe. Kind of like national parents. They were nominated by Democrats.
On the other hand, can you imagine having a father like Justice Thomas, who hasn’t said a word in court in something like six years? Or frickin’ Scalia? Everyone on your block would be afraid of you, but they’d also figure Noxious Dick is in your DNA. Thomas and Scalia were put in place by Republicans.
Roberts is borderline, as is Alito. Meh. On balance, I trust Democrats’ nominees more.
So don’t forget to vote on November 6, people. And I’d love to hear your thoughts.