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January 05, 2008

How I choose

Votee3 Recently, at my regular blog, I posted about the so-called "undecided" voter, and my post drew a great response... not just from the people that left comments, but also from many people that chose to email their thoughts, instead.

The overarching theme that I have been hearing is that people either can't decide between a certain few candidates, or that they are concerned with their privacy. Some have said that no candidate represents their desires or concerns.

Having asked about the reasons why people are undecided, I'd like to know what your selection processes are... WHY do you vote for a candidate? What are your core issues? What is your personal winnowing process?

You all know that I'm not at all shy about my political thoughts, so I have no problem sharing. For me, this particular Presidential election cycle will come down to a the following core issues, which are In no particular order, except for the first one:

The war in Iraq. I'm not voting for anyone who voted to authorize military action against Iraq. Period. The invasion of Iraq was legally and morally indefensible. I won't support anyone that voted for it either because they thought it was right or, worse, because they thought that the vote would be popular and therefore politically expedient. That criteria automatically eliminates all of the Republicans with the exception of Ron Paul. It also eliminates Democrats Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Joe Biden.

Labor Issues:  I won't support any candidate that doesn't back Union labor. ***NO UNION BUSTERS***, which again, eliminates the Republicans.

Education: I won't support any candidate that supports reducing the amount of the federal budget that is spent on education, or who supports using any federal monies to support private schools (so-called "vouchers"), or home-schooling (I think home-schooling is fine, but if you want to do it, spend your own money).  Likewise, I won't vote for anyone that advocates the abolition of the Department of Education.

Taxes: I can't support a candidate that believes that cutting taxes in the middle of two wars is feasible or reasonable. Look, kids, Americans expect things... things like roads, air traffic control, safe drinking water, and a powerful military. Those things cost a lot of money. You can't have all of them and cut your taxes in half at the same time.

Military: I won't support any candidate that thinks that the "war on terror" can be fought and won with conventional military forces. It can't. Just like you'd have a tough time killing a butterfly with an ax.

Healthcare: I won't support any candidate that believes our healthcare system is just fine. You'd have to be some sort of freakin' idiot to believe that our system works well, for everyone. Additionally, I won't support any candidate that believe overturning Roe v. Wade is an issue that will define the motral character of this nation.

Religion:  I won't support any candidate that plans to turn the White House into the bully pulpit for the adherents of his or her faith alone. I have no problem with a politician being guided by the foundations of his or her faith... that's just the way people are. I do, however have a problem with narrow views being enacted into law.

Social issues: I won't support any candidate that espouses homophobic policies, especially the Constitutional amendment defining marriage. You see, those same people that would have you believe that gay marriage is a moral and biblical evil are the same people that said the same things about de-segregation, and interracial marriage. Those are the same people that used to lynch people for looking at the wrong woman. They are the same people that used to persecute Catholics and Jews.

Immigration: I won't support any candidate that supports a "round em up and kick 'em out" policy regarding illegal immigrants. Politicians mouth that crap for their idiot adherents, but they don't really mean it, you know. So don't be fooled. Our economy is increasingly built on that particular labor pool. If you don't believe me, look around at who does most of certain kinds of labor where you live. I don't need to say what kinds of labor, it's likely you know exactly what I am talking about.

Ok... so who does that leave me with?

Dennis Kucinich
Barack Obama
Bill Richardson

Of the three of them, I think that Dennis Kucinich 's thoughts on policy most closely match my own. It's unfortunate, but Kucinich hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell of getting the nomination. For me, this doesn't matter, I'm not going to fail to support him in the primaries for that reason. If he is still in the race when the Virginia primaries happen on February 12th, he will get my vote. If he isn't still in the race, my vote will go to Obama.  I have no reservations about Richardson, and I really hoped that he would have had more momentum than he currently has... but that's politics.

Regarding Barack Obama, I have heard a rather disturbing trend emerge in this race. I keep hearing "I like Obama, but he doesn't have enough experience". I would like to ask you: Who DOES have enough experience? what is enough experience? Where does one get the experience to be one of the most powerful people on earth? Who? Hillary Clinton? Duncan Hunter? Rudy Giuliani? Who? Why is it that I don't hear that argument about anyone else?

Anyway, there you have it.

Either Dennis Kucinich or Barack Obama. If neither of them get the Democratic Nomination, I'll write someone in, and feel that I have done the best and most honest thing that I can do.

It's going to be a bumpy ride, friends... better put on your helmets.

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