Monday, November 3, 2008

My thoughts on the election - Vanessa

As tonight is Election Day Eve, I thought I'd share a few of my own thoughts on the election. As most of you know, I'm a political junkie and waste a huge portion of my life reading and listening to commentary. I feel more informed about this election than I've ever felt before in my life, and I'm proud of myself.

In college, I had to take a spanish class to graduate. Then I misread the requirements and I took three more semesters than I had to (whoops!) My last semester, my teacher was a lovely, vivacious Columbian woman who changed my life. One day she entered the room and in her rapid, rolling Spanish asked us what we had read in the news that day. Bleary from late term exams and papers, we met her answer with blank, tired eyes. Not one person responded.

She looked disappointed. "Students," she told us, "don't you know you have a responsibility? You have been given so much. We have so much. You have a responsibility to know what is happening in your world. How will you raise a family or make a difference if you don't even know what is happening around you?" Something in the way she rebuked us, especially since she had shared with us the extreme challenges she had felt in her home country and her gratitude for her family's life in the US, changed my heart that day. And I've read the news every day since.

My biggest frustration this election season has been the plain apathy in so many of voters. I've got pretty strong opinions, but I'm happy to meet the rare someone who can clearly explain their choice and reasoning even if differs from mine. This isn't a popularity contest for student body president, kids, this is a world-changing election and you get to be part of it. You don't pick a president for his looks or charm or fantastic branding. You pick a president for the way he will lead our country, for his policies and his party (don't be fooled, they ALL will tow the party line.)

My personal decision has been made, in order of importance, on:
1) Voting Record
2) Party Platform
3) Personal statements of policy

I have chosen to vote for John McCain. He wasn't my first choice in the primaries, and I don't agree with everything he says. And yes, he's ugly. Big whoop. I'm choosing him because his voting record, his party platform and voting record most closely align with my personal beliefs and desires for our country.

A few issues that are most important to me, and that are not in line with Barack Obama and/or the Democratic party platform:

I believe that to end the life of an unborn child is to take the life of a human being. My views on this changed forever when I looked into the eyes of my own newly-born son and saw that he was, indeed, a full-spirited and alive person. Reading this testimony before congress solidified my conviction that abortion is wrong (see approx. pages 41-51). My stance closely correlates with this statement, written by a man I greatly revere and published last month, in time for the election season. I cannot, in good conscience, vote for a candidate or a party that will support abortion. I know, I know, it's not cool to be a "single issue voter," but in this case I cannot argue against my conscience. This is my issue. It matters.

I believe generally in free market economics. I strongly dislike Marxist-tinged economic philosophies (ick!), encouragement of class warfare, and redistribution of wealth.

I feel heavy concern about the future of our Supreme Court and the recent actions of activist judiciary. I much prefer a conservative, interpretational stance. Judicial activism, in my mind, forces particular ideology upon the free people of the United States. Let the people choose.

Though both candidates have spoken in support of a traditional definition of marriage, one party has been considerably less supportive. I believe that the recent judicial actions in California were wrong and will adversely affect the children of our country, as well as infringe upon the free exercise of religion. I love my homosexual and lesbian friends and respect their right to lead their lives as they choose, but I do believe that imposing a new definition of marriage, which shapes the basic structure of our society, is neither wise nor correct. I freely admit that my opinion is influenced by my religious beliefs, as explained here.

There are many other issues that I could discuss, but in my mind these are the most important issues in this election. Please, consider thoughtfully your vote before you go in to that booth tomorrow. "Change you can believe in" refers to a specific set of policies, not a happy utopian world. Take the time to find out what kind of change you want. Be informed. I don't mind if your views differ from mine, but please, please, PLEASE know what you choose, because we all have to live with our decision.

Thanks for listening. Back to the usual happy family news tomorrow, promise.


Shiloh said...

Very well said!! I am still hoping that when I grow up I can be like you!!

Leez said...

Hello! Being a friend of Eric's from the study abroad he went on a year ago, I frequently stalk his blog. The most recent post discussed yours and I found this. This was quite a well-written post and you stated your opinions very clearly. It also guilted me a little into looking into the news a little more. Well done.

Tania said...

You obviously don't live in NY. Absolutely no "plain apathy" here!

NessaAnn said...

Well, I guess what I should have said is that everyone has a hard and fast opinion, but then when you ask them about policy, or voting record, or party platform they just kind of mumble and say well I guess I have a little more research to do... but my gut tells me so and so is XYZ." Usually it seems like when you really press them it comes down to looks or style or braggadacio or race or religious background or something stupid like that. Arrrrgh!