This post is dedicated to Ursula See. She will never see this blog or probably ever know how her government AP class affected my life. I'm forever grateful to her for her understanding and political wisdom.
ROCK ON! Who doesn't love a good political post that gets a few feathers ruffled? Are there any other kind of political posts, though? And that's what is so great. I've kinda been watching the soup stew for the past couple of days and I think that it's time that I comment - post style.
First, I really appreciate everyone's comments. I SO wish more people had an opinion, one way or the other, because I think it inspires action. That being said, I sure hope the opinions are coming from an educated place, not just from commercials or pundit emails that keep getting circulated. [I can't TELL you how many people send me anti-Obama emails . . . thanks so much!] Kathy and Rick, thanks for weighing in again . . . and again. And I KNEW it was a hot post when my Moana (aka Ocean Mama) posted and I'm glad Chanel finally weighed in with her thoughts this morning. Josh, I was oh-so curious about your stance considering your military experience (and I think you could give me even more of an insight), but dumping me over it? C'mon! (j/k) Nancee I get where you're coming from with Troy's job, and Alyssa thanks for your comments. (I totally got that you were just feeling out the issue and were really curious - I'm gonna respond for my liberal Mormon self here in a minute :)) Erin, we've had way too many conversations to even share all that on the blog, right!? Robin, I thought you kept it tame and fair; I'm impressed ;) Fishen' Buddy? Who are you? Thanks for the comment, but posting one of the aforementioned emails as a comment does not count. Where's your profile info so I can give you a proper welcome? C'mon. Stand up. Own it! And Sarah, we'll I could hardly resist biting back on a couple of your comments, so now I will. PS. BARB! Where are you girl!?
I have been thinking about the key issues that are influencing me the most in this election and I'm having a hard time narrowing it down. There is so much to focus on. First, and probably foremost [especially this past week], is our weak economy. Holy moly! Can y'all believe we're content that our gas is *thankfully* back down to $3-something a gallon? Did you ever think you'd see the day when you'd be grateful for that? I DO think one of the answers is off-shore drilling, which is something McCain/Palin supports as being one of their strongest points in their campaign, but here's the thing . . . the Democrats in the House support it, too, and so does Obama, from what I understand. According to the Associated Press, the two different parties differ in the taxing of large oil companies and with mandating that utilities nationwide be required to use at least 15% of their electricity from renewable sources. I'm okay with that. Can't the oil companies, which posted BILLION dollar profits, handle paying a few more taxes? And HEAVEN forbid we start to focus on nationally mandating other energy resources! Actually, I'm surprised with the oil crisis of the 1970's that something wasn't done THEN to do something to back up our energy plan that so relies on oil. Oh wait, they were on track to do something . . . and then Reagan got elected. Sorry, President Carter. The parties/candidates also differ because while the Republicans want carte blanche off-shore drilling, the Democrats want to limit what areas are released for drilling. Again, I'm on the Democrats side with that BECAUSE I think it wise for the coastal regions to A) have a buffer and B) that we pace ourselves. Frankly, I think the Republicans prefer no-sanctioned off-shore drilling to bring down the price of gas as their platform because then they don't have to follow through with expanding other energy source programs. I see that as an issue for the future (when my kids will be dealing with it) because at some point, when all that oil is gone, we'll be right back in 2008. Gosh, and I would think all the JOBS that expanding energy resources would create would be another huge motivator. It kinda reminds me of the Depression-era's New Deal, which was the gift that kept on giving to so many and eventually brought our country out of one of the darkest times EVER.
And since I brought up taxes, I'd like to say, I'm okay with them. It's kinda what helps our country be so great. In my opinion, it's part of the American pride/We're in this together kind of philosophy that I can get on board with. It's what pays for all sorts of stuff that we probably take for granted, like the schools our kids attend and the money that pays their teacher, medical research (although their funding has been drastically limited for the past two Bush terms) that help keep my family more healthy, and safer, better roads that take me from one place to another in this country, military defense, etc. When I die, I believe I am NOT taking that money with me, and if it comes down to improving WHERE and HOW I live now, and providing my kids with a brighter future, I'm all for taxes. And, yes, Tyler and I have been in upper tax brackets that get totally gouged with taxes. I never see the money; I don't miss it; my world has yet to crumble; I hope it's being used wisely; and it's investing in my future stability. My brother-in-law keeps telling me Obama is going to put small businesses out of business; I don't see how that will happen (maybe someone could explain that argument better) unless it has to do with enforcing small businesses provide insurance for their employees and if they don't they'll be fined. Too bad, so sad . . . for the company? Nah, how about the millions who've worked for companies and NEVER had decent, if any, health coverage.
Okay, so I'm alright with the insurance mandate. ESPECIALLY because it leaves freedom of choice for adults, but guarantees kids will have insurance. No, I don't think socialized medicine is the answer; luckily that's not what Obama is proposing. I like the fact that he encourages states to continue to develop their own reform plans. I like the states taking more responsibility because it's so much more localized. For example, Nevada does not need special task forces to decide what to do with Lyme disease, but, say, the eastern coastal states probably could benefit from that. Obama also pledges to support disease prevention programs, promote quality and cost transparency and reform medical malpractice insurance (and pretty much so does McCain. That's all common sense and THANKFULLY we agree on those issues.)
One of the topics near and dear to my heart would be education. I can NOT wrap my brain around McCain's not supporting FEDERAL action regarding education. He believes it's a states responsibility. I think that would be nice if we all lived and died in our own little state, but since we mix and mingle it up in the great U.S.of A, I'm thinking there could be a little more attention paid to how IGNORANT of a nation we are. I am sure all my readers have the brilliant children, but that's because most of us are coming from two-parent homes, have been educated ourselves, and have been medically diagnosed at an early ages with learning disabilities and our families have been active in remedying those problems. We're a minority in this country (so sadly) and I support Obama's plans to DUMP "No child left behind" and build up early childhood programs and community involvement. I appreciate his middle ground between supporting charter schools, but not voucher programs AND I love that he wants to pay teachers more, especially if they're good teachers. There ARE a lot of people who "end up" teaching and can be detrimental to our schools, so let's reform the process by which the teachers are trained, selected, paid, etc.
And, finally, the moral issues that I believe divide us more than bind the two parties. Interestingly, this election, the issue of gays and lesbians and unions/marriages is one in the same. Both McCain and Obama support civil unions but oppose gay marriage. The other big one, I think, morally, is abortion. I have thought a lot about this and I have to say, I support the right to choose even though I am completely against abortions. The conversation about this is lengthy (at best) and I'm not seeking to convert your way of thinking. What I really wish is that there was no need for abortions. I wish that babies were conceived in a loving relationship for all who WANTED them. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way, and the gamut of issues that have come from uneducated and young birthmoms, promiscuous sex, and/or unplanned pregnancies have resulted in this sticky situation. I do believe the right to choose extends beyond just choosing life or not (or, even backing up, sex or not.) I feel it encroaches on people's beliefs and religion and understanding (or their lack thereof.) I am not comfortable with NOW revoking that right to choose because I think it goes so much deeper and beyond other things I also believe. For the record, I am in favor of sex ed in school and I DO think their needs to be some sort of gun control. All you hunters don't get your camo in a bunch AND those who want to protect your homes, fine by me, but let's not support associations who hide behind those people and all the while allow hooligans to end up with machine guns and perpetuate all kinds of violence. As far as who the candidates have been cavorting with, let's get real. These are decent men who genuinely want the best for our country.
Finally (I think I've gone on long enough), I am frustrated with this war and the fact we're spending SOOO much money THERE when we need it HERE is practically infuriating. I have enormous respect for the men and women who serve to protect our country. I am wondering if we wouldn't be better served to use those many millions of resources here. I'm not sure how war ended up being a humanitarian answer. Again, Josh, I'm sure you could enlighten me on this subject. I like the ideas that Obama has about his foreign policy and withdrawal from Iraq. I do recognize, though, that it may be idealist and perhaps McCain has a better grasp because of his experience. I hope the debates will address these issues better.
And here's my staunch Democratic stance. When Obama is elected the president I hope he can bridge some kind of gap between the two parties. I think we all agree that there needs to be some change and being pissed that your candidate lost to mine won't facilitate any of that. I believe Obama's record of doing something (yes, long before he was running for president I was a fan of what he was doing in his neighborhood) is wonderful and very grass-roots. I do not think he's AS mired in political ties BECAUSE he's fresher and hasn't been in politics for as long as McCain. I believe his understanding in this great country is BECAUSE of his heritage and his education and I TRUST that he will do his best to keep our country the best in the world. As far as McCain, well, I'll leave it that I think it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks and he's been rolling over for Bush time and time again.
Thanks for reading/skimming/whatever. Hopefully y'all will start looking into more details about the candidates histories. Like, I learned McCain's credentials include "Senator, navy pilot, and beer distributor." Nice. Kegger in the white house anyone? (okay, I know. Not nice.)