Thursday, October 30, 2008

A long winded way of saying "I don't know who to vote for.."


I've been struggling with this far too long so I've decided to put it down on here and see what everyone else's opinions are on the matter..

I'll be surprised if anyone actually has the time or inclination to really read the whole thing though!

I have done as much research as possible to find out which candidates to vote for- and I've come up with nothing. Nada, zip, zilch. I don't want to vote for either but I also don't want to waste my vote by writing in someone like my husband (although I would vote for him if he had a chance!)

To make this coherent, I'll put down some of the pros and cons for each party and why they are a plus or minus to me:

McCain
Pros:
Anti-abortion (this is obvious- I'm anti-abortion myself)
Would fight to end earmarks (I believe government should be scaled back and shouldn't pay for people's pet projects)
Would work on medical liability reform and end frivolous lawsuits (Lawsuits have their place but the medical liability ones have gotten out of hand)
Would encourage the importation of drugs and faster introduction of generics (Anything that helps bring down health care costs is good!)
Believes in civil unions but not gay marriage (this one could end up partially in the con pile but let's leave it here. I can be okay with his position on civil unions but I firmly believe in marriage between a man and a woman. Nothing else.)
Believes marriage questions should be left up to the states (Slight problem here... how does this work in reality? How can we have gay marriage in one state and not another? Will all gay couples flock to those states? I would prefer a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to clear things up. Not likely to happen either way, but it's what I'd like)
Supports amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman (Amen.)

Cons:
Believes in pre-emptive war (I have serious issues with this. I am not anti-war, but I do believe that we are only in the right when we defend ourselves, not when we initiate a war. It's hard to reconcile pre-emptive war with what it says about war in the Book of Mormon)
Will wait for "victory" in Iraq, regardless of cost or timetable (Since this is a war that never should have been I think it should be ended as quickly as possible. Not hastily, but quickly. I'm not advocating a cut and run strategy. I haven't seen a definition for "victory" in Iraq and worry that victory could be decades away. Let's get back to fixing our country and quit working to fix Iraq. Let the Iraqis do it.)
Health care tax credit wouldn't be enough for most families to obtain insurance AND the credit goes directly to the insurance company (I know about this. To get insurance through David's work would cost us $700/month.. $3400 less than the tax credit. Right now we pay $420/month with separate insurers so how we might break even. But our coverage isn't that great and a lot of families couldn't get the rates we do. David is uninsurable except through work.)
Would tax employer based health care benefits which then offsets some of the tax credit (What??? Why tax one of the few benefits workers get nowadays??)
Voted yes on loosening wire-tapping regulations (I have a serious problem with anyone going against constitutional rights. This includes the Fourth Amendment which the Supreme Court ruled includes private conversations. There were already effective laws in place to deal with this. To supersede them was to grasp for more power and control than was warranted. I worry about someone who would vote against a basic freedom.)
Voted no on restoring habeas corpus to Guantanamo Bay detainees (They may or may not be terrorists but they are still human. Habeas corpus has been the standard since 1305 and it has been invaluable in preserving freedoms. What makes anyone think that they've come up with a better option? And what's to stop a government from detaining anyone without giving them access to petition for relief from unlawful detainment? It's scary to think that our own government has been doing this.)
Very little information available about his religious beliefs (Aside from a mention that his faith to a "higher cause" helped him get through his time as a POW I've not heard anything. I'm assuming he has faith and beliefs but I don't hear about them or how they might affect his decision-making. I don't think we need a big show about faith but it should come up sometimes.)

Palin
Pros:
Enacted ethics reform in Alaska (Always a good thing.)
Fought corruption in Alaskan government (Give the gal kudos for this one.)
Didn't abort her last child (This would be a given to me, but since they keep bringing it up as a plus I'll add it too)
Looks good in her new wardrobe (Sorry, couldn't help it. You've gotta admit though, she does look like politician barbie.)

Cons:
Extreme views on abortion- will only allow if mother's life is in danger, not even in case of rape or incest (Even the church doesn't have this standard. What other views is she this extreme on?)
Agrees with the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war "if there is enough legitimate intel" which is hard to quantify (Weren't we told that there was enough intel to start the Iraqi war? And didn't that turn out to be incorrect? Again, I have to base my feelings on this on what I've read in the scriptures and nowhere does it say "strike first.")
Raises her kids with a network of relatives with Todd as "Mr. Mom". (I have a real problem with a woman who has young chilidren (and a pregnant teenage daughter who's going to need her Mom) putting her political aspirations above her responsibilities as a mother. Whatever happened to "family first?" It may be sexist but I believe a man can be President/VP without this being as much of an issue because the man's role is different. He is supposed to provide and preside in righteousness, whereas a woman's role is to nurture her children. How can a woman nurture her children if she's too busy building her career? And don't tell me that a VP wouldn't be busy! That position is a lot more work than a normal career! I know that many women have to work nowadays and so they look up to Palin for "doing it all" but I wonder how much has been sacrificed to get her where she is today. I don't want to judge her because of her daughter's pregnancy, but having been a pregnant teen I can honestly say that if my mom had been more involved in my life I probably would have never gotten pregnant. I don't know if that's true with this case or not but it makes me wonder. In any case I see a lot more political aspirations than motherly nurturing in Sarah Palin.)
She's "tough." (All I have to say to that is: Margaret D. Nadauld, former Young Women general president: "Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. . . . We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith" ("The Joy of Womanhood," Liahona, Jan. 2001, 18; Ensign, Nov. 2000, 15). I've come to appreciate the truthfulness of this statement.
Troopergate. (Some will say this isn't an issue but for someone who was so involved in ethics reform she really should have known better. )

Now on to the Democrats..

Obama
Pros:

Would offer a small business tax credit to offset the cost of offering health insurance to employees. (This is one tax credit that makes sense.)
Would create a National Health Exchange so that small businesses could collaborate and obtain affordable health insurance. (Small businesses should be able to pool their resources so they can get health insurance at close to the same rates as large corporations. This would help them to attract quality employees.)
Would focus on prevention and technology to help cut health care costs. (Prevention needs a lot more attention nowadays. Help educate people on taking care of themselves before a problem arises.)
Would require insurers to cover pre-exisiting conditions. (Ever known anyone with a pre-existing condition? It's exceptionally unaffordable or even impossible to get coverage. Insurers shouldn't be able to pick the healthy applicants and dump the others.)
Tax cuts would benefit most middle class Americans. (I've researched it and they would. Not by a lot, but some.)
Supports a timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. (If you've read my previous comments on the war you'll understand why this is a plus for me.)
Voted no on removing the need for FISA warrants for wire-tapping. (Again, I firmly believe in my constitutional rights and that our government shouldn't seek to limit them.)
Voted yes on removing oil & gas subsidies (Why the heck do energy companies need government money??! We need a lot more reform in this area. )

Cons:
Pro-abortion (No need to even say it. Yuck.)
Voted no on parental notification of abortion for minors. (What?? They need our permission to take an advil at school but they can go get an abortion without us knowing? That's messed up!!)
Pro gay rights. (This one is only somewhat a con. I believe gays should be given many rights that they don't have right now... such as the right to visit when a partner is in ICU. But I don't think they need to shove their lifestyle down our throats and I definitely don't agree with gay marriage.)
Believes decisions about marriage should be left to the states. (Same as with McCain.)
Supports civil unions BUT is against defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. (This is a definite minus. There's no getting around the fact that I disagree 100% with him on this.)
Voted no to reduce federal spending. (I would really like to see less government spending so I worry about this.)

Biden
Pros:
Doesn't believe in gay marriage. (Yea!)
Supports a ban on partial-birth abortions (Unlike his running mate. Maybe he would help balance this out?)
Voted yes on requiring FISA warrant for wire-tapping. (A big deal to me.)
Doesn't believe in federal funding for abortion. (Good.)

Cons:
Isn't anti-abortion. ('nuff said.)
Also thought minors' parents don't need to be notified of an abortion. (I've covered this already.) Voted to allow illegals to participate in social security. (What?? How stupid can you get!! )


Here are my problems with this..
I am firmly anti-abortion (except in cases of rape, incest, or mother's life in danger.)
I am anti-war in the sense that I don't think we have the right or responsibility to attack another country except in self-defense or to defend an ally from another country's attack.
I hold tight to my constitutional rights and have been upset by our current Presidency's attempts to undermine them.
I believe in marriage being between a man and a woman but I also think that there's room for gay couples to be able to have civil unions. I'm not advocating that and it would have to be worded very carefully but I could see it as a compromise because I don't see this issue going away any day soon.
I believe the war in Iraq has done more to hurt our country than to help it. I think we should start letting the Iraqi people pick up the pieces and work to build their country the way they want it. We should put our attention back on Afghanistan and eradicating Al Qeda and the Taliban.
I think it doesn't hurt to talk to leaders of other countries, even when their views and policies are in direct opposition to our own. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Problems don't get solved by refusing to discuss them.
I believe the government shouldn't be paying for half the stuff they do. Personal responsibility needs to be re-affirmed as a ruling principle.
I think our health care system needs some serious work but I don't think either candidate or party has come up with any viable solutions.
I think there need to be checks and balances. So if we have a Republican presidency I think we need more Democrats in congress or vice versa. Too many of either party spells disaster!

So I like about half of what each candidate has to offer and I despise the other half. How do I choose which is the more important half? Do I go ahead and vote for the ones who believe in marriage between a man and a woman because the church is emphasizing that right now? And would they (or could they) even do anything about it? I tend to think that it will continue to be a states' issue under either candidate, so is this a non-issue in the national contest? Do I worry about abortion? And is there much chance of either party actually changing Roe v. Wade? Do I worry about an unjustified war continuing for years and years with high costs to our country financially and to our military with injuries, deaths, and mental illnesses? Do I plug my nose and just vote for the lesser of two evils? I have listened to biases from both sides, I've searched online and read everything possible and I'm still at odds.

If I've missed anything major (that can be backed up by fact!) please bring it to my attention. I really want to make the most informed decision possible.

11 comments:

Erin said...

I read your epic post. Every word. And if you were running for President, I'd vote for you. I don't agree on everything, but I agree with you FAR more than I do with either of our current choices! I'm all for writing in "Patty Radabaugh"! Thanks for your post!

Mama D said...

And I agree with Erin!

Thanks for sharing all your research and ideas on the pros/cons. Wish I could help you out but I'm also where you are...

Steve and Jamie said...

I also read THE WHOLE THING! I admit that I have been riding the fence. It's only been in the last few days that I've come to my decision. And honestly, it's not the person I thought I'd be voting for . . .

Mama D said...

Ah, Jamie! You're supposed to tell us who you decided to vote for. Maybe it will help some of us decide! :)

(I know, we need to make up our own minds...)

Leslie said...

I've decided. I'm voting for Ben. He's waaaay too cheap to spend all that gov. money, and waaaay against anyone touching his own money.
He doesn't even know what abortion is.
He's not old enough to own a weapon.
He has completely accepted that the Proclamation has settled the whole gay marriage issue.
All in all, I think he'd do a better job than those who are up for election.
Of course, I'd hate that life for him.

Papa D said...

I don't like Obama's politics, but he appears to be a good man; Biden is barely tolerable, but he appears to be a good man; McCain is a grumpy old cheating lech, who has caved in to the evangelical right; Palin scares me more than any candidate in a long, long time - including Huckabee.

The Democratic Party scares me; the Republican party disgusts me; I don't agree with either party on a majority of the issues; and the beat goes on and on.

I have no confidence in the future of this country for the next four years no matter who wins, and the idea of the Democrats controlling all branches appalls me, but I also couldn't reward the Republicans after the ludicrous last few years and how they have shredded the Constitution and absolutely butchered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I plugged my nose with all my might, took Dramamine to control my retching and voted for Obama.

Adrienne said...

I'm right there with you! I haven't TOTALLY decided what I'm going to do yet...but here's what I've come up with:

I agree mostly with McCain's morals,
I agree mostly with Obama's policies on things in the government that will affect my daily life.

I would vote for neither Biden, nor Palin.

In short, if I went to vote TODAY, I would vote for Obama. Tomorrow it might be McCain. Something dramatic would have to happen on Monday to make up my mind definitely.

heather said...

I think I will vote for Ben too. He can make Colin his running mate. That would be a pair to get things done.

Papa D said...

AMEN, Heather - or Ben and Laura. (or Ben and Jerry - I'd like that one.)

Louann and Bari said...

OK- I have been following my conservative notions through this whole thing, but I got a call from my sis Friday night and she shared a couple of interesting things about Obama. I think the most significant thing was that he is very intelligent, so much so, that he will ask questions and seek information from people around him. In other words, he doesn't just rely on his own smarts to make an opinion, he will ask those 'in the know' about policies and what should/could/would happen in any particular event. Hard to say, but I think I'm leaning to the Dems.
Good luck with your decision!

John said...

Patty,
This election can be likened to the rebound relationship. You know, the guy dumps the girl for whatever reason and the girl, in a mad search for something to stabilize her, goes after the guy who has been waiting for the right moment. A good part of this country is disgruntled with Bush for a variety of reasons. Obama has seized this opportunity to convince Americans that the grass is greener on his side and that he is better largely because he doesn't represent the party of the old guy. He promises something different than "Four more years of the same," a statement that of itself is largely unfounded. Obama has been very deliberate to point out all the ways this country is failing "Change" is his montra and I believe him on that. He will change the Supreme Court (he will likely have 2-4 appointments which we can only assume will be judges who will interpret the law nearly as liberally as he does); he will attempt to nationally legalize same sex marriage, partial birth abortion, and standard abortion; he will attempt to bankrupt (his words,not mine) the coal industry (yes, it's true, google his most recently revealed quote on his view on coal in a San Francisco Chronicle interview in Jan '08 and how, under cap and trade policy, electricity prices will "necessarily skyrocket."); he will tax the wealthy and corporations and then expect them not to pass their taxation on. And on and on. Nevertheless, he has successfully downplayed his unprecedented lack of experience and emphasized how he will save us from the turmoil we have been forced to endure under Bush. His platform can only be considered untested theory because he has no significant experience upon which to fall back. (A grand total of 160 days on the senate floor in four years of office) In particular, his economic and foreign policies. Have you noticed recently (last week as an example) that when polls have been released that suggest that McCain has closed the gap the stock market soars. No matter how you slice it, even the lay American can discern that increasing taxes cannot stimulate an economy. He says that he's going to only increase taxation on the rich, but the Bush tax cuts incorporate far more than just those making more than 250K. Obama himself has voted to increase taxation on those making more 42K. How else will he fund a trillion dollars of new government spending? He has promised that the government will solve people's problems. Regardless of where you fall financially or what your stance is on the war or on the environment, etc, I think it is telling when you examine the principles that govern his policy: Tax and spend, let government fix your problems instead of promoting self-reliance and personal responsibility, let women do whatever may be convenient for them, redistribute wealth (which again, regardless of individual views, undermine capitalism and innovation and will squash an economy), sit down without precondition with leaders of countries who wish our demise, and play on the fears of the American public. The American president is not the right position for on-the-job training. And I haven't even mentioned his unbelievable relationships with William Ayers and a host of others who have alarmingly extremist views.
McCain was not my first choice. I don't agree with all of his policies. But he's morally right, he understands foreign policy, and he has political wisdom. Rebound relationships usually fail because they're built upon the principle of disgruntlement. The new guy gets the girl by being smooth and promising that things will be different with him. Grass isn't greener just because it's on the other side. But, I agree with Obama on one thing, it will definitely be different. Please call or email me if I can help substantiate any claims I have made that you may have questions with. Thanks for reading. John K