Saturday, June 28, 2008

Barack the Vote


So what business does a parenting blog have spouting off about politics? Shouldn’t I leave it to Daily Kos and Matt Drudge to duke it out? Uh, no. There is no more important bloc of voters in this election than parents. What happens in November will mean everything to my son and his future. But he’s only three and a half weeks old and not yet able to type, so I’m standing up on his behalf to tell you why he’s an Obama baby.

Let me be up front and tell you that I’ve voted with the Democrats in every Presidential election since 1984 (I voted for Reagan that year), and that I vote Democrat in most, though not all, local elections. My politics are left of center and can occasionally feel a bit Libertarian, though I don’t really like what that term connotes.

Let me also tell you that I have a lot of admiration and respect for John McCain. The guy seems to be a thoughtful, dedicated civil servant who has given far more to his country than yours truly. But he plays for the wrong team. He’s kind of like Derek Jeter; you can't help but like him, but there is just no way to root for someone wearing pinstripes.

“Okay, FTF,” you might be asking, “then what’s your problem with the Republicans? They’re for trusting people more than government, and for security, and for personal responsibility. What’s wrong with that?”

Hey, dear reader, that does sound good! Just as good as knowing that my local Wal-Mart really cares about the community, or that the Exxon/Mobil is committed to fighting climate change. In case the sarcasm isn’t coming through, the point is, the Republicans say one thing and do another.

Republicans say they want government to interfere less in the lives of citizens. A noble thought, but:

  • Republicans want to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. (Anit-choice)
  • Republicans want to legislate who can and cannot be married. (Anti-Gay rights)
  • Republicans want to suppress scientific discovery (stem cell research) and learning (evolution vs. Intelligent Design).
  • Republicans want to listen to my phone calls and read my emails. (Wiretapping bills)
  • Republicans want to suppress my right to express my displeasure with the government (Constitutional amendment to outlaw burning a U.S. Flag, even as a form of political protest)

The truth is, the Republicans only want smaller government when it comes to taxes, and when it comes to government oversight of big business. (The lower taxes would be fine if the Republicans – when they controlled the presidency, both houses of Congress, the judiciary, and a majority of state governments – didn’t outspend all of the Democrats that preceded them. You need only look at Senator Stevens “Bridge to Nowhere” to understand that the mantra of smaller government is an out and out lie.)

“Okay, FTF, but what about security? The Democrats are soft.” I guess reminding you that Democrats led us into and successfully navigated our way through WWI (Wilson) and WWII (FDR, Truman) won’t much matter. “Old news,” you’ll say. “Fine,” I’ll say back. “But ask yourself if you think the U.S. is safer after eight years of Republican rule.” It’s not. Our position in the world militarily, economically, and diplomatically is weaker than it was eight years ago. We’re mired in a war we had no business fighting (Iraq), never finished a war we had every right to fight (Afghanistan), and are beating the drums of war (Iran) that will further destabilize the Mideast and antagonize the other world powers (Russia, China, India).

“But FTF, the surge in Iraq is working.” Well, duh. Add tens of thousands of troops to any military theater and you’ll make it more secure. But what happens when those troops come home? As I say, well, duh.

Perhaps worst of all, the Republicans, who wrap themselves in the flag and call themselves patriots, are systematically trying to dismantle the Constitution. I’d spout on about Habeas Corpus, but Saramerica already said it better than I possibly could.

I could also go on about the environment and big oil; about the banking industry run amok; about lies and obfuscation of the Bush administration, and on and on and on and on about why I don’t want – can’t let – my son grow up in the world these yahoos want to create. But I think I’ve said enough. If you still don’t get it, maybe this video will help:

2 comments:

Always Home and Uncool said...

I could watch that video over and over again. It's much better than "Cats."

Manager Mom said...

You and Sarah are working me over but good. I have more or less decided to vote for the big O in the fall. But I must still have Republicanness in me, because I really do want to eavesdrop on your phone calls. Or maybe it's just good old fashioned nosiness.