November 4, 2008

Why Obama, General Election Edition

A Baltimore Sun reporter caught me on the way out of the polling station today, and I was happy to answer a few questions. One of the first things she asked me was, "How long ago did you make your decision?" It was an easy answer for me, because today I voted for the candidate I supported from the very beginning of the Presidential primaries.

I explained why I favored Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton during that big primary race, and much of it applies to why I voted for him again today. But let me briefly explain why I voted for Senator Obama and not for Senator McCain (or anyone else, for that matter).

Or, Why I Didn't Vote For John McCain

First, the small reasons: McCain gets too angry too fast and has a history of flying off the handle. I want a President who stays composed. Experience as an argument in this race left the table the day Palin was asked to be VP on the McCain ticket.

More specifically,
  • Taxes | We've all heard the numbers but for some reason people are still worried about having their wealth redistributed. Taxes are necessary, because the government is responsible for taking care of certain things. And the reality is that the richer you are, the more you can afford to help shoulder that load for your country.

  • Healthcare | We're the last western country without nationalized healthcare. Our infant mortality rates are higher than most of the first world. Many of our systems are already nationalized. Other non-socialist countries are running successful nationalized healthcare programs. There's just no reason we can't find a way to provide free, good healthcare to every American.

    I heard Obama say, in a speech last week, "we don't need bigger or smaller government, we need better government." Why is that never an option in these discussions?
  • Foreign Policy | It's not a bad thing that most of the world is hoping for Barack Obama to be elected President. It's not a bad thing that crowds of people come to see him wherever he goes in the world. Our image is damaged and could use a boost. We need a President who can inspire his own people while rebuilding relationships with the rest of the world, and I believe Obama can do that well.

  • Vision and Inspriation are still underrated | Tucker Carlson said, "I don’t think Barack Obama approaches politics that way. It’s like look, there’s an answer, we’re all struggling to find it, I believe I know what it is, you believe you know what it is, let’s talk about it."

    I want a President who can get above the shit, listen to both sides, and make good decisions. I want someone who can act on what Robert Creamer said: "Leadership, more than anything else, is about mobilizing people into action. People take action when they feel empowered — when they are inspired."

I feel strongly about this, but I don't hate or disrespect anyone who voted for McCain. In the end, it's less about who we vote for and more about how we vote, and I hope I've voiced my opinion respectfully. But for those who share my hope for an Obama victory, I think Jeffrey Zeldman said it best in a short Twitter update.

All our hopes now rest with two young Hobbits.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Brilliant. Well put and concise summary.