But if you want to chat about it over a beer, I'm all in favor. This post is designed to outline why I'm voting for Barack Obama for President in a little less than a month. It's not designed to tell you to do the same, nor is it intended to sway your opinions. These are my opinions, and if there's anything in the world I'm an expert on, it's my opinion. Feel free to leave comments, but don't waste your time in silly attacks. If they annoy me, I'll delete them. It's my blog, after all :).
There are a few reasons that I'm supporting Obama in this election, and I probably won't get to all of them here, but I'll try.
1) He comes across as a real person. Yeah, I know the classic line "sincerity? I can fake that." But Obama presents a sincere face. He has me convinced that he still remembers what it was like to be poor. I also remember what it was like to be poor. Yesterday. And maybe again tomorrow. I can relate to this guy, and that counts for a lot with me. After years and years of political figures that seemed so detached, having a candidate who seems much more down-to-earth is huge.
2) He's eloquent. I'm sorry, but the last two presidents we've had either were (W) or sounded like (Clinton) stupid rednecks. There's no question in my mind that Bill Clinton is a very intelligent man, but he frequently sounded stupid. There's no question in my mind that W has the IQ of a houseplant, and he frequently fails to live up to that low standard. I want someone who can stand up in front of the world and present himself well. He's put-together, clear-spoken and eloquent.
3) He's willing to sit down with bad guys before we bomb the shit out of them. War is, in my opinion, the ultimate failure of diplomacy, and someone who comes out and says "Yes, I will sit down and talk with _________________" insert name of despotic dickweed here. Is the kind of leader I want. I don't want a leader that will commit the lives of our troops without exhausting every single diplomatic alternative first. If we are attacked, then bomb 'em back to the stone age. But if not, then I want someone who will talk first, and shoot later.
4) He's young and healthy. I don't think a man who is 10 years past the age of his first Social Security check has the stamina to run our country. Almost every president we've had looked like death warmed over by the time they left office. McCain is a cancer survivor, POW survivor and generally an old man. Regardless of running mate, I want the candidate I vote for to have as good a chance as possible of living out the full term. And there are some sectors of public careers where 72 is the mandatory retirement age, not the time to start a new career.
5) He's willing to look at alternative energy sources. I'm tired of hearing all this stuff about drilling. By the time we can get new wells built, we could have spent that money building wind farms, solar farms and other alternative fuel methods and it'll take the same time and money! I'm enough of a hippie to want cleaner air, so that means less oil, domestic or otherwise.
6) He wants to end the war in Iraq. And fast. Since I was never in support of the war in the first place, obviously that's gonna be a big one with me.
7) He favors stem cell research, which is huge with me. Too much Alzheimer's in my family for me to not pay attention to this as an issue.
8) My taxes would not increase under Obama's plan. I don't make more than $250K in a year, so my income tax wouldn't go up. I also wouldn't see any breaks, since I itemize and don't have any kids in college. But my taxes wouldn't increase. According to the Tax Policy Center, my taxes would actually decrease under both candidates' plans, but Obama's plan would save me about $200 each year. I got that from CNN/Money, so insert liberal bias statement here.
9) Better backup. This isn't a huge point with me, since I'm voting for a president and not a VP, but I think Biden is a political lifer and no better or worse than most of them. I think Sarah Palin is an abject idiot who should never be allowed back into the contiguous states, so it matters a little.
10) I do believe in change. And I used to think John McCain would be the guy to do it. Before his own party killed him off in SC in 2000, I was a big McCain supporter. But after the Republicans killed his campaign, he stepped into line with whatever the big boys told him to do, and has done so for the past 8 years. He used to be a maverick, now he's just another old rich white guy ready to fuck up my country. So I'm gonna give the brotha from Chi-Town a shot. Seriously, it can't get any worse than the past 8 years.
These opinions are completely mine, and they're my opinions, so you don't really even get to tell my I'm wrong. You can tell me you disagree, but it won't matter. I'm not an undecided, so unless video shows up in the next few days of Bill Ayers teaching Obama how to build pipe bombs in his den, I'll pretty much stick with this plan.