Thursday, August 30, 2012

I've Picked My Presidential Poison

I recently lost a facebook friend.  She told me we no longer had anything to discuss when I shared that I was going to have to vote for the Obama/Biden ticket, even though the Obama presidency has disappointed me badly in several ways.  She just does not understand how ANYBODY could vote for President Obama a second time around.  

I should say I think President Obama has done a far better job over the past year or so, but I chalk that up to the ramp up to the election, and worry about his behavior during a last term, when he doesn't have to appease his base. To those of you for whom this admission comes as a surprise, feel free to ask me why - not that it matters at this moment.

Anyway, in case my friend is paying attention, I want to explain myself.

The next President of America affects a lot of stuff - way beyond the Oval Office.  My decision to vote Democrat is a political decision that reflects the following concerns:

1. The damage I fear could be done if we have both a Republican majority in Congress & a Republican White House.  There would be no balance in policy at all.

2. Fear of a Republican White House if the opportunity presents to appoint another Supreme Court judge during the next administration.

3. Fear of the religious right's hold over the Republican party - as demonstrated by the complete make-over of a moderate Governor into a right-wing presidential candidate to get past the religious right gate keepers, the choice of a religious right vice presidential candidate, and the Republican Platform.  I fear the religious right's impact on policy-making, and on the lives of minorities, the poor, women, LGBTs and other pet targets.

4. My personal inability to look the other way on immigration, abortion, small business and welfare policies (welfare having to do with the economic downturn unemployed, rather than welfare mothers - who have not been able to play that game since the Clinton administration). I don't believe that either administration, Republican or Democrat, has the back of small business, actually.  But that's a topic for another day.

5. My strong belief that top-down economic "fixes" don't fix it for anybody but the financial industry. Not entirely sure we'll get anything else, even from another Obama administration, but we SURE won't get it from the Republicans.

6. My fear that Republican "fixes" to social security, medicare, medicaid and health care will just mean privatizing everything - something that has not worked very well, for example, when you look at private retirement savings efforts.

It's not just who's in the White House. It's all the ways we lose a balance of power and policy, if we tilt the windmill completely Republican.

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