Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Voting 2008

Warning this is a political post! Yes, I have political views. However, I hate political blogs because they only show the naivety of the speakers. (As this post will do to me.) So unlike most people I know they all stink so I try to keep them to myself but for one day a year.
First, most of my biases are based around the fact that I really don’t like political parties. Actually, I hate them. has anyone ever heard of someone going into the voting booth and voting the party ticket to get rid of government corruption? Is there really anyone that thinks that all the issues in the world can be boiled down to one of two sides? Has anything been “one for the history book” when the vote in congress is split along party lines? (I am well aware we are doomed to a two party system as long as the constitution allows for “winner take all” voting.)
I watched all three presidential debates and the one vice-president one. Really, I didn’t even see two people arguing, much less debate. There was two people saying talking points at the camera. There is a real chicken and egg problem of not letting any 3rd party candidates debate. Without national exposure they will never get votes but without votes they will never get the debate entrance. People think that by putting two people on the stand will debate both sides of a topic. It seems like a lot of topics were never even brought up because they were not derisive enough to split voters. The closest thing to a technology question is when Palin declared she didn’t think humans were the cause of global warming.
I didn’t like the candidates quoting voting records. There are a hundred reasons why someone in congress votes for/against a bill and the spin the other candidate puts on it only confuses and repels voters.
I do like that both sides did try to stay out of negative politics. Of course when McCain was loosing all bets are out the window and seriously I had to laugh at the people that were claiming that comparing McCain to Bush was negative campaigning. (If even his own party thinks Bush is a bad word then it is their fault for supporting him.)
I do not see flip-flopping on issues as a bad thing. I would hope every leader will keep open the choice to change the plan of action should the situation or information change. I think failure to follow this advice is one of the reason that got this country into the trouble it is in now.
The president does not handle the budget that closely. So the biggest voting issue this election, the economy, really says more about who to vote for in Congress. Yet both sides felt the need to describe all the things they would propose... to congress. As if someone else in their party couldn’t also propose the same thing.
I really think McCain got some bad luck, enough for him to want to hire a hitman on Bush. After loosing to Bush because of dirty tricks in 2000 he has to deal with the low view of the Republican party here and internationally to the point that a Republican win would anger the world. But by trying to pander to the base by saying they are “real Americans” that means anyone who doesn’t vote Republican isn’t a real American? So the American way is a one party state? I also think that by repeatedly saying he was a maverick at the same time as completely changing his positions to get more votes was pretty scary.
Yes racism is alive and well. I heard it every time someone used the excuse they really didn’t know what Obama stood for, or didn’t want to vote because of Hussain as a middle name. Lets follow that to the conclusion and say he was Muslim. What is the problem of having a Muslim president? That being said Obama did spend more time saying happy thoughts and McCain=Bush rather than concrete positions. (Both of them had more facts on their websites. I guess TV news is always looking for soundbites over substance.) It is scary to see how much money Obama raised and spent but I get comfort from it being from individual donors instead of PAC’s.
Really I see the biggest problem is the people who want it to be over. With the crumbling of rights by the current president, I’m curious what it would take for them to want to be involved instead of just something to get past so they can return to their regularly scheduled programming.
So who am I going to vote for? As long as I make an informed decision (which means not listening to advertising and actually taking 5 minutes to look at their platform on their website. Personally I use Open Secrets( too. Being able to tell who they accept money from tells a lot more what they will do than campaign promises.) The most important thing is that I will vote, and that will take power away from lobbyists. And that is all I need to know to put a smile on my face on election day.

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