Took seven minutes to vote this morning. There were two people ahead of me in line, and I was ballot #485 in the machine at 3.5 hours into the day. They gave us clipboards to use to vote if we didn’t care about waiting for the four privacy “booths” set up for our precinct (our county uses paper ballots). The other precinct meeting at the school gym had probably a 45 minute wait. Guess I was lucky! David only took three minutes at his voting location–no one in line. We are very glad we didn’t vote early and wait in line for hours!
I’m excited about Obama. Way more than I was about Hillary, and I landed squarely on her forehead on a political quiz a couple years ago. It’s cool to be An Independent, as if that implies Free Thinking, Not Toeing a Party Line, all those good things you want of smart voters. Except, let’s face it: the Republicans are not likely to nominate a candidate who holds dear the issues I hold dear. The Democrats are way more likely. Frankly, they aren’t liberal enough for me.
Liberal has definitely been tossed as a dirty word around me. I shouldn’t be afraid of it if it describes my politics most days, so I’ve been trying to embrace it more lately. Would I vote not-straight-Democrat? Sure, given a MORE liberal candidate. And for some local elections, I’ve been known to vote for folks who I know I like (their positions, their plans) without knowing their party affiliation. They were probably not Republican, though.
I guess I don’t want “Republican” to be a dirty word, but it tends to be one around my household (and I fight that assumption, looking for the nuggets of truth). I’m glad my best friend calls herself one because it’s taught me a lot about considering the other side’s viewpoint, about trying to be respectful. That hasn’t changed my dread that GWB is a dumbass spiraling our country into the exact opposite of what I believe to be most compelling issues/direction we need to travel, nor that I live in fear of something happening to him because I think Cheney is downright, perhaps, evil. At least GWB doesn’t appear to be smart enough to cause more damage than has already been done, but we do have a few months to test that theory.
Obama is inspiring. He makes sense. I believe in his integrity, something I don’t get from some members of the current administration. Obama is genuine to me, in a way Hillary just didn’t tweak, as much as I liked her.
I want peace, religious freedom (including freedom FROM religion), protection of abortion rights, and an energy policy that frees us from the noose of petroleum and all its accompanying evils (terrorism, political submission, economic slavery, environmental devastation), an immigration policy that make sense and acknowledges the value of–instead of criminalizing–every person who WANTS to be here, a place to live that empowers all within her borders. Is that why people are so excited in this election? I feel like maybe all those folks who never felt represented before finally see something in a presidential candidate that they like and trust and believe. It’s, oh, enfranchisement? Why does that scare so many regular white folks? (And I am not trying to make this about race–I feel represented for the first time too.) It can’t just be about guns and gays and fetuses, can it?
I want leadership through a sagging economy and a crappy real estate market and a loss of American jobs. I want Supreme Court justices who will stand up for each of these issues on MY side because I think they make us a healthier, happier, more JUST place to live. And none of that constitutional amendment crap defining marriage.
Gut instinct on McCain and Palin: He seems doddering. We already have an image problem in this country. I don’t really think that would ever keep me from voting for someone. But as much as the buzz on Palin on Day One was so Wow! It’s A Woman!, when I then read about her I found out she has the exact opposite stance as I do on every one of the political issues I mentioned above. The only thing she might have going for her is integrity, and I base that assumption on Wikipedial references to her challenging Republican ethics and ousting all sorts of folks in charge. Such ousts can also be due to power grabs, of course, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt since a fresh start often seems like the only viable governmental choice to me. Meanwhile McCain used to seem promising to me. Until he swapped all his convictions for whatever the GOP told him to be for their campaign. Bzzzzz, try again.
To be honest, most press/media has been rather absent from my life the last couple of months, and I hope that means I’m less influenced by whatever “liberal agenda” they’re supposed to have. Whatever that means.
On Smaller Government, a common refrain I hear from Republicans. Really? Do you really think the party is suggesting Smaller Government? All I have seen are special interests getting a whole lot of money and the rest of my taxes (plus a lot of money not even printed yet) sucked into Iraq. I also see that no American can make a living wage on minimum wage, that being a poor kid going to a poor school makes you no match for what the world hands you. Why doesn’t everyone have health insurance? It seems like the right wants smaller government as it relates to general welfare programs, but then goes and spends it somewhere else anyway. That’s not smaller. Anyone visit the National Priorities Project lately?
Do I think the Democrats have all the answers? No. But for the issues most important to me–and most of those boil down to treating people more like humans–the liberal approach makes more sense to me. I still get pissed at the way both sides fart around in the legislature and argue with each other instead of doing real work. We shouldn’t be sitting here wondering how to fix energy policy… it should be half done by now. The economic scare of the past several weeks did bring out enough oh shit by both parties to make me wonder if we actually could work together on something. But we’ll see.
I’m Amy, and I approve this message. I think I wrote it as much to hash out my own platform as to prove I had one! I hate being assumed to be Queen Democrat. Frankly, a lot of them annoy me, because politics bring out the worst in everyone.
Bottom line: unless Kucinich runs, I probably won’t be truly happy. But Obama has something that I haven’t seen anywhere else in a long time. Let’s hope he has the smarts, compassion, and common sense he’s impressed upon me.