I wrote a similar post back in February when the Clinton/Obama primary was in full swing. Now the lovely Mrs. Flinger has issued a challenge for people on both sides to express why they are voting a certain way, and I felt it was a good time to update my Top Ten list for final stretch of the election.
TOP 10 REASONS
TO VOTE FOR
Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s his standard line. But it’s true. It’s not just about partisan “let’s get a Democrat in the office at all costs” tactics. It’s about getting someone with a fresh perspective, a fresh attitude, someone who hasn’t been dragged through the mud for the past 40 years. It’s someone who has shown, through his career and though his campaign, that he has something different to offer.
2. But! Obama still has the experience needed.
And while I want that fresh perspective, I still want someone who knows what they are doing. He worked tirelessly as a community organizer (since when did that become a dirty word, by the way?), was the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, was a civil rights attorney, taught constitutional law, served 3 terms as a State Senator, became a US Senator for Illinois, was on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans’ Affairs, and has now run a enormous campaign with an enormous budget with incredible efficiency and ease.
3. The Economy.
I love how that one little “spread the wealth” line at the end of that Joe the Plumber video has been blown completely out of proportion. If you watch the whole video, you see that Obama makes a WHOLE LOT OF SENSE. And actually, that video explains his tax plan a lot better than anything I have seen so far. Basically, Obama is against the standard Republican line of trickle down economics. Whereas Reagan pushed the idea that you give tax cuts to the rich, they have more money, they spend it on stuff, and thus it feeds the economy. Obama is more for trickle-UP economics. Where middle class and poor people have the same basic things they have to buy to survive as rich folks and those costs are increasing. But rich folks then have perks all over the place that pay for many of the things that poor people have to pay for as basics, like cell phones and travel. And also, as Obama points out in the video, when you give tax cuts to the middle class they can grow their businesses faster. Let’s face it, we are top heavy in the country. It’s time someone stood up for the little guy.
4. He was right about the war from the start.
I will let him speak for himself. This is a quote from a speech that Obama gave right around the October 2002 vote to invade Iraq. (Obama was not yet a Senator at the time and did not vote).
“I know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors… I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than the best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.”
5. Obama has a good health plan.
You can read the whole thing here, and also read the Wall Street Journal article on why Obama’s plan is better. Employers would still offer coverage as they have, or they would contribute to the national plan. All children would be required to have coverage. And if your employer does not have coverage, you buy into the national plan, which provides the same benefits goverment workers have. He estimates his plan would lower costs by $2,500 on average annually per family. Let’s be clear: This is NOT universal coverage! I find it a good hybrid plan that addresses some very severe issues we face in health care.
6. Obama has always worked for the environment.
He gets the environment. It’s not just talk. During his undergrad at Columbia, he worked with a Ralph Nader offshoot organization trying to convince minority students at City College in Harlem to recycle. In 2004, the the League of Conservation Voters named him an Environmental Champion, one of only 18 members of Congress to receive the award.
7. Obama gets technology.
And email flew around my office last month (shall I remind you we build web sites?) where some programmers compared the code of Obama’s site and McCain’s site. I promised Leslie I would not bash McCain, but let’s just say she can take a look herself since she is a code girl and see what I mean. Obama’s? All standards-based and even the Spanish version has tags in Spanish. This is a very small example of the big picture here. Technology, my friends, is the key to our future. Both in the crises of economy and energy. To think we will drill our way out is ludicrous. We MUST become energy independent, and technology is the only way to make it so. It’s been reported that Obama has talked of making a cabinet level technology position if he is elected, a CTO for our country, if you will. DAMN STRAIGHT.
8. Obama will overhaul No Child Left Behind.
Let’s face it, No Child Left Behind sucks eggs. It “teaches to the test” and penalizes schools that started out as lower performers to begin with. Obama still would expect excellence from our schools, but he wants to grade on progress, not some imaginary line in a sand. That way, if a child is 3 years behind in reading and makes up 2, that school is recognized for their efforts, not penalized as they are now.
9. He is pro-choice.
There. I said it. The dirtiest word of all when talking politics and probably not going to win over any hard-core conservative votes, but it’s not like those votes are going to be won anyway. But yes, I am pro-choice. I personally have never had an abortion nor am I sure I could make that choice. But I also believe it is a decision between a woman, the father, her doctor and their god. And while, personally, I don’t understand how this can be a single-issue for people, i.e. the only thing they vote on in either direction, I do feel good that Obama has braved these waters with a clear position. That I happen to agree with.
10. Judgment + Optimism
Kind of along the lines of my grateful post, I am looking for a leader who mixes both the ability to look out for our interests, but also listen to us, and the rest of the world, and then expect the best, and do his best. Kind of like what Joe Biden said in his debate about never assuming what anyone’s motives are. I want our leaders to listen more, assume less, and HOPE MORE. When I listen to Obama, I hear hope. I feel like HERE is a person who can make the world respect us again. HERE is a person who is ready to go, do what he needs to – he’s energized! So, LET’S. LET. HIM. GO!