Friday, October 10, 2008

Mark Writes a Political Rant

We got into a discussion about who we would vote for in the up coming election on my Team Fortress 2 message board.  I wrote "a little" essay outlining my political beliefs.

I will be voting for Obama.   I entered the election process not 100% certain about who would receive my vote, but strongly suspected that I would end up leaning in the direction of Obama.  I can honestly admit that went through some serious back and forth over the issue.  I have always held a great deal of respect for John McCain as a politician and as a person, and there was a time 8 or 9 years ago when he might have easily have received my vote.   Ultimately Obama appeals to me more.   Allow me to elaborate on a few points why I find Obama more appealing.

Foreign Affairs - Foreign affairs is supposed to be McCain's strong point.  He brings to the table a distinguished military career, and has been involved in the process of determining our nation's foreign policy for a considerably longer time the Obama has.   In spite of this inherent advantage in this arena McCain's stance to me shows little understanding of what I believe the true role of a President as Commander and Chief truly is.   As the CiC of our armed forces I feel the president's greatest responsibility is in the determination where and when the application of American military resources should be appropriate.   The use of our nation's military should always be an action of last resort.   Obama seams to understand that better then McCain.  I like that Obama is willing to meet with foreign leaders to try and broker understandings between our differing view points.   There is no doubt in my mind that Obama would not hesitate to do so should the situation require actions of this nature to defend our nation, people or interests.   I feel that restraint in this manner speaks volumes more toward the power of a nation then a bombastic and antagonistic  stance.   A stance that McCain seams to cling to very strongly.   Our nation is stronger, when our population is engaged here in our country and not over seas.   As a nation we have never been shy to go to the aid in a crisis.   It is one of the things that historically has contributed to our moral imperative as a nation.  A moral imperative that has eroded dramatically as of late and needs to be restored.   One of the surest ways to do this in my mind is to ensure, that when someone in a foreign country sees an American soldier deployed in their country they know without a doubt that person is there because there was no other, better option.  I think Obama understands this concept better then McCain. 

Economics - Obama's focus on the middle class is my key factor here.  This is not just because I happen to be a member of said middle class, but also when comparing the two over arching economic philosophies of the candidates this makes more sense to me.  I have never been a believer in the effectiveness of "trickle-down" economics, as I don't believe it is as effective as it's proponents believe it to be.   I think that one of the truest way to stimulate an economy is to put more money into the hands of the largest section of your population.  I know that the more money I have available to spend, the more money I am going to spend to buy things that I need.   Logically, this would seam to benefit everyone around me.   The wealthy people will still remain wealthy, because they are getting the benefit of my increased ability to spend money on things at their businesses and make them wealthy.   Giving me more money to spend means that I need more options as far as how I am going to spend that money, thus creating more opportunities for new business to develop and new jobs to form so that I may give this extra money I have to someone for something I want.  This I think is what truly drives a country's economy to grow.   If there are tax cuts provided to the wealthy and to business owners where is their incentive to innovate?  If they are already being given the extra money they might receive from me buying something where is the incentive to find new ways to make me spend my money that I don't even have to spend because you already gave my extra portion to the place where it would have ended up had I spent it.   The only problem is that if this money doesn't go into my wallet first and instead directly into the wallet of a wealthy business, then it has missed passing through a few vital stages of economy that can provide jobs.

Domestic Affairs - We live in a very divided and sadly segregated society here in America.   The Republicans to me seam more focused upon exploiting and emphasizing these differences then instead working to find the commonalities that should exist between all people.  Wether they be citizens of our nation or some other country.   I think that it is time that our nation as a whole takes a stand to recognize that while we are a nation that houses a great number of people in various styles of life ultimately at the end of the day we all really want the same basic things for ourselves and our loved ones.   We all want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.   One of the strongest of all American ideals is the concept of all men being created equal.    Now by saying all men (and ladies) are equal, we need to realize what this concept really speaks to.   We are all equal in the fact that we should all be afforded the same opportunities to achieve how we define life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.   One of the key concepts that needs to be kept in mind in this regard though is that this is not a call for social anarchy.  A free pass to "just do it" if it feels good to you.   What people need to be conscious of is that my right to pursue happiness stops when it directly effects your ability to do the same.  This is why our society has laws governing what is or is not acceptable conduct between members of our society.   Those laws exist to protect my rights from you, and your rights from me.   If a transgression against these rules is committed, then the offender should be help accountable according to rules our society has established. 

Whew...sorry that was long winded.   Ultimately, my previous point was stated as an around about way of addressing two of the most interesting and divisive social issues that crops up time and time again in discussions of nation politics: abortion, and gay marriage.   Both of these issues can in fact be boiled down to a basic legality vs. morality argument.   I believe whole heartedly, that it is the responsibility of a government to protect the legal rights of it's citizens, while refraining from dictating to them on a moral level.   Morality is a personal decision.  Legality is a societal decision.   I firmly believe that a person should have the option to seek out a safe and legal abortion should their own personal morality allow for them to consider such an option.   That being said, I will also defend to my last breath your right to find abortion morally objectionable.   I defend your right to express such views and even to try and convince me to you point of view, so long as you do not cross that "magic line in the sand" protecting my rights from yours.  Personally, I think I do tend to fall on the side of Pro-life, as I would  have a very difficult time if placed in the situation of pondering an abortion, but that is not to say that I would not ultimately be able to support the decision to proceed with such a procedure should the situation warrant it.

On the issue of gay marriage, at first I am tempted to say that neither candidate goes far enough in regard to my views on marriage.   Upon reconsidering, I think that again the question of marriage as a legal institution vs. a social institution must be considered.   In my mind, one of the basic rights of a person in this country is the ability to choose a life that fits to their own personal definition of happiness.   I feel that as a society the core unit is the family, and a nation's strength as a whole stems directly from the strength of it's family units.   It is for this reason, that I feel that our government should not impose legal restrictions governing what can constitute a family from a legal stand point.   If two men or two women (especially if they're hot) want to form a family unit they should be able to do so.   Now if that union is recognized as a marriage I think more directly is a religious issue up to the discretion of the various faiths represented in our society.   Legally there should be no distinction between a man and a woman who want to share their lives and 2 members of the same sex.

Coming back to my original point, I feel that the democrats are more closely in line with this idea that what will strengthen our nation is the focus upon allow people to pursue the basic requirements of life that all people are entitled to according to our constitution.  I think if our country as a whole adopts an attitude of telling each other what we can do because we are similar as opposed to what we can't do because we are different we will all be in a better place.

Okay.  This concludes my rant.   Please note, that I wrote this not to try and sway you to my opinion, but rather to explain a view point I personally hold.  Should you read this and disagree please by all means do so.   If I raise some points that get you thinking cool.   Ultimately when it comes to who you vote for this election you should vote for the person that you feel will provide our nation with the best direction towards reestablishing it's self as one of the finest nations on the planet.   Just make sure you are making your decisions because it is what you believe.  This is an important moment in our nation's history, and ultimately we are the ones who have the power to choose the direction that the leadership of our nation takes.

Also, remember.  I'll be 35 the time next election rolls around.  Vote .theButterFly in 2016!

1 comment:

Mad Typist said...

Wow. That was an unexpected, but excellent bit of commentary there, sir. Well stated. Now I feel dorky for posting stupid crap about tv shows and such :)