I dug through my archives for anything I wrote during the last election and I realized I wrote NOTHING. Which was weird. I thought I was more vocal last election. I remember pictures of my kids at Obama rallies and things like that. Where did that stuff go? Then I remembered: FACEBOOK.
Back in 2008 the only people I was friends with on Facebook were blog friends. Blog friends who knew my political leanings. I guess I felt it was safer on Facebook to post my PRO-OBAMA rants than it was on my blog. Maybe my conservative family wasn’t on Facebook yet? I don’t know.
Either way – it’s funny how it’s JUST the opposite now. Facebook has gotten SO UGLY this year that I’m scared to do anything other than my Pro-Gay Rights stuff.
(SIDENOTE: I’ll post that stuff until the day I die because I want everyone to know how important of an issue that is to me so when I unfriend them for posting a tirade about how much gay people disgust them? They’ll know why.)
But I thought – I should document this day somehow. I should be proud that I’m voting and document why I’m voting the way I am. Feel free to leave, but this is not an attack on anyone different. I promise. This is just a documentation of why I’m voting for Obama. I hope – even if you’re voting for Romney – that you’ll read it so you can understand. I have friends who’s deal-breaker issue is abortion, or who hate Welfare, or who think the environment should not be our concern right now. I know why they’re voting the way they’re voting. So it’s my turn to tell you why I vote the way I do. I hope you’ll read it – but I understand if you don’t.
Let’s be clear – If I were forced to claim a political party, it would be the Green Party. Their platform most similarly matches my own beliefs. HOWEVER – none of that stuff would ever get done so I consider Obama my best chance and getting things moving in the direction I want them to be in.
I also really like the guy. Which is nice. He’s the first candidate I’ve voted for that I actually just liked. And while that would never be a deal-breaker for me – I don’t think I have to like a person to think he’d be a good president – it sure is a bonus!
OH! And I love his dog, Bo. That dude ROCKS.
OH! And I love the First Lady. And I’m certain she would hate me for putting her after Bo on this list. But then again – she might not. That dog is super-cool.
So – here is why I’m voting for four more years with President Obama. To go on the record. So my kids will understand if they are curious in the future. (Although – we talk about it now. They understand. But – for the sake of argument – I’m doing this assuming they won’t remember all of that.)
- Gay Rights
I have said time and time again that this is my deal-breaker issue. I could not vote for someone who was against Gay Rights. I was frustrated last election that Obama only claimed to be “for” Civil Unions but it was better than nothing. This time? He is on the record saying he believes in marriage equality. That is very important to me. There are people in my life – friends and family alike – that I love with all of my heart and until they have the same rights I do? I will not stop the fight. I’ve spoken to some of those loved ones recently about this. And I really wish I could let you speak to them too. If someone is in the White House who does not believe that they should have equal marriage rights – then they look at the next four years as completely hopeless. I’ve seen the sadness, the heartbreak, and the desperation in their eyes. I’ve had email exchanges that involve very wealthy people saying, “I don’t even care about the tax plans anymore. Tax me all you want. Or tax me nothing. JUST LET ME GET MARRIED.” They are just desperate to just be equal and looking four years ahead and seeing NO HOPE in that fight? It just creates this look of defeat that makes me angry. To see someone you love say, “My life would just…suck.”
I’m crying just writing this. Because these people. My friends. My family. They are beautiful people who deserve to have their love recognized for the beauty it is. I have family that have been in relationships longer than Donnie and I yet still can’t be allowed to make medical decisions if put in that situation. They still won’t have legal claims on benefits after death. They still can’t call each other “husband” without the having the voice inside their head that corrects them and says, “Well…not really.”
So…Yes. This is my deal-breaker issue. I couldn’t support a candidate if their party’s political platform affirms the rights of states and the federal government not to recognize same-sex marriage, while also supporting constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. No matter what my stances were on welfare, environment, and reproductive rights are. Until the people I hold dear in my life can marry the person they love? Those will all come in second in my decision process.
- Breaking The Cycle of Poverty
I strongly believe in having a Welfare system. And food stamps. And government housing. I believe in helping the poor people as much as we can. I believe than even if the parents are on drugs, or uneducated, or lazy – we still help them so that we can try to break the cycle of poverty. I believe I should be taxed for all of that. And I believe that I should be taxed more than people who make less than I do. Because – since things like the price of bread, medicine, and gas aren’t “fair” and change with salary – then the only way to balance out the share of the responsibility is to tax me more than them. And if the system is managed well (Which it’s not perfect, I know.) then we can have fewer people living under the poverty line with each generation. And that is my hope.
- I Believe We Must Change Our Ways
I believe we should be investing even more in Green Energy and sustainable living practices. I fear for our planet and I think we should be concerned about how our behavior will affect future generations. I believe that the food and energy industries can not be trusted to make decisions that will create a greener future and I believe the government must play a part in that. Because – just like we force companies to fall within pollution standards and waste disposal requirements – we can force them to adjust their emissions and product qualities. If the government did not regulate pollution then many companies would dump their waste in our rivers. I believe this is the JOB of the government, to enforce regulations that will encourage many industries to make better decisions for our planet. And I believe we – as individuals – should do the same.
- I Believe in Reproductive Rights
I do not believe that the early stages of development in pregnancy is a life. Therefore, I believe a woman should be given full rights to make decisions regarding that embryo that would not continue in development without her body. I believe that a couple who does IVF should be able to dispose of their unused embryos just like I believe a woman who is not ready for motherhood should be allowed to terminate a pregnancy. They are the same sets of cells. I believe that if the health of the mother is at risk, it is up to her to decide what is best for her and her family. I believe that no woman should be in a position to have to PROVE a rape happened just in order to have the resulting pregnancy terminated. She has gone through enough. I don’t believe that just because I’m Pro Choice means I’m not Pro Life. Because I believe in helping women make these decisions, and if they choose to keep the baby in any case, I believe in the government helping her if she’s poor or can’t afford to care for another child.
These are the simplified versions of the issues important to me. I could get into why I think capital gains should be taxed more and and why I believe the TANF program (Welfare) is actually not enough and doesn’t help everyone it should. I could explain why I think Obama has better plans in place for veterans and why we should be dumping more money into their mental health as well helping with job placement after they return home from service. I could go into details about how I feel about fuel subsidies and carbon taxes. But none of the details are important. These things I said above, these are the basic and strong reasons why I vote the way I do. So; if my children don’t remember the talks like the one last night over dinner – where we discuss these things – then they can go back and read it succinctly.
And I pray that the Gay Marriage issue has already been resolved by then. I hope they can read this when they’re grown and say, “Thank goodness that one has been taken care of.” So that any of them can marry anyone they want to – no matter what the gender of that person is.
But whatever you believe. GO VOTE. It truly matters.