Election thoughts

As a rule, I don’t discuss politics on my blog. This is for a number of reasons. One reason is that I’ve seen too many flame wars and petty fights masquerading as political discussions online. I don’t want to join in on that sort of thing. Furthermore, I do not consider myself educated enough, sufficiently informed, or savvy enough to give the kind of legitimate, high quality political discussion that you might find on a site like Positive Liberty. So I figure I’m too good for the childishness and not good enough for serious political discussion. There’s just no place for a “middle-grounder” like me.

Besides, as a rule, I prefer to focus on other aspects of life. In many ways, I think that Jack Handy had it right when he jokingly suggested that the word “politics” comes from the words “poly” — meaning “many” — and “ticks” — meaning “blood sucking creatures. To be honest, watching this year’s election races — both national and local — I’m inclined to take Handy’s comment as a joke that barely hides a serious point. So I’d rather write about more local things and personal action, like loving people and touching individual lives. Besides, it fits my nature as a simple guy.

However, given that it is election day for what many are calling the most historical presidential election, I’ll offer my meager opinions and say that I indeed voted. I doubt it needs to be said, but in the presidential race, I voted for Obama. I doubt anyone who reads my blog is surprised (though some may be disappointed or even disgusted). I’m not going to give a huge list of reasons for why I voted for him. If you want long, sound reasons, go check out Doxy’s blog. Instead, I will simply say that in many ways, Obama represents what I believe is best for this country far better than McCain.

For those who would ask about third party candidates, I do not vote for third party candidates for a rule. Not because I think doing so would be a “waste” of my vote. (I think pulling the lever in general is a “waste” of my vote, but anyway.) I simply am not convinced I like any of the third party platforms. The Green Party has looked tempting to me at times, but I just haven’t convinced myself to go with them. I barely hear anything about them, either, and am not even sure they had a candidate on my state’s ballot.

I’ve also looked at the Libertarian party. In some ways, the Libertarians are appealing to me. But I can’t get past what I feel are erroneous assumptions about the economy and markets. Fundamental to the Libertarian ideology is the belief that enlightened self-interest will convince corporations to “do the right thing” through the realization that doing the “wrong” thing will eventually hurt them. As corporations are run by human beings — a species known for being short-sighted and doing wrong things despite knowing that those things will have consequences that are not in their best interest — it’s an idea I just can’t accept.

So for now, I’m sticking with the imperfect major party that most closely matches my own ideals. And that meant voting for Obama.

I don’t think Obama — or any other candidate — is perfect. I doubt he’ll be able to deliver more than a tiny percentage of the hope and change he has promised. After all, he’s just another man, a man with an perilous mountain to climb. But then, Obama isn’t the first candidate to promise more than he can deliver. They all do it. To be hoenst, I doubt a candidate would ever make it past their first primary election if they only promised what they could reasonably expect to deliver once in office.

But I do think and hope that Obama will make some small steps towards positive change in our country. And at this point, I think that’s the best I can hope for. So that’s what I’m voting for.

I just also wish that I was in a state that was currently voting on a constitutional amendment to prevent marriage equality. I’m hoping that those who favor equality for all couples prevail in California, Arizona, and Florida.

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