Thursday, January 24, 2008

We take a break from our regularly scheduled programing

This isn't a political blog. It never has been, and I don't imagine it will become one. However, the fact of the upcoming primary, with a wide open field of dissimilar candidates, none of whom is an obvious choice and half of whom have won primaries already, is making me do an awful lot of hard thinking about my choice. Because the day is coming way too soon when I have to make that decision.

I never thought I'd say that. I've been complaining since last spring about the fact that everyone was already out campaigning. "Leave me alone!" I said crossly, "I'll pay attention next winter." Yet here it is next winter and I am still horribly undecided.

There are such large issues at stake. Abortion. Taxes. Foreign policy. Torture and how we handle "enemy combatants" when they aren't in uniform. Illegal immigration. How we view the Constitution. What role faith has (and/or should have) in policy and presidents. Health care. Perhaps the vast number of candidates is simply a reflection of the vast number of problems we face and the myriad of views on how they should be solved.

People often deride "single issue voters". I can see their point, but until this year I have always been a single issue voter. I have always, always, always voted Republican because they were always on the right side of the abortion controversy. It was actually pretty simple to vote, back then.

I'm still a single issue voter - of a sort. The problem is that now I have a whole host of "single issues" on which I do not believe I can compromise. I can't vote for someone who believes abortion is ok. I can't vote for someone who thinks that torture is appropriate, ever. I can't vote for someone who thinks we should pull out of Iraq immediately, and to hell with the consequences for the Iraqi people.

Less important, but still central to my thinking: How can I vote for someone who wants to raise taxes, when our taxes are already 1/3 of our income (at least) and are subsidizing organizations like Planned Parenthood? I have no problem paying for roads and schools, but really, how many of my dollars are being used that way? How can I vote for someone who thinks enforcing our current immigration laws is impossible - so we ought to ignore the laws and let illegals stay? How horribly unfair to those who tried to do it right! How can I vote for someone who thinks a few thousand dollars in a tax credit is enough to take care of the health care problem?

How can I vote for someone who shares my convictions but hasn't a prayer of winning a general election? Am I not then functionally voting for the democratic nominee, who shares even fewer of my values?

How can I vote for any of the candidates running?


Sylvia said...

Amen & Amen. I share your pain!

Ma Torg said...

I have found myself getting way too emotionally involved in this election for the same reasons. I finally decided that it really boils down to voting for the lesser of two evils (I still frankly think the values of any of the democratic candidates are still much worse than the wishy-washyness of some of the republicans). As Reynolds once said, "Let's not give Stalin his guns." so, it isn't as bad as that but the values of our culture are quickly degrading and we must do as much as we can to uphold them. So my struggle is whether or not to vote over domestic or international policies. I'm leaning towards American 'ethics' in Iraq and thinking of McCain in this regard (and he is pro-life). We'll see if I stick though.

P.S. I'll add you to my blog roll later today. Thanks for the blog etiquette posts.

Amber said...

I really understand where you're coming from in your post! I've about thrown up my hands in utter despair at this point. I have no idea who I'll vote for in the primaries (although I have some strong feelings about who I won't vote for!) but I really need to figure it out soon.

Linds said...

Ah, the glory of modern (and probably always) politics. :) I'm so sorry for your frustration! You're right - it's a weird year, especially for Republicans. I feel for you. I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the abortion tragedy won't be stopped in the political arena, or at the least, in the presidential election. Them's that have otherwise good ethics are pro-choice, and them's that are pro-life aren't pro-life enough, or don't seem capable of doing enough to fix it.

And Mama Torg - Stalin? Really? Overexaggerating much? :)

Ma Torg said...

Yes, Lindsay. I am really over exaggerating. I thought you'd appreciate it! (and, yes, I knew you'd check this eventually)

And I do agree with you that I think a lot of the values that are the Republican parties 'tickets' just aren't things that can be solved in the political arena. I really think that a lot of our issues with governemnt are issues because churches aren't taking care of our poor, our unwed mothers, our widows, our sick and our elderly.

Wouldn't be something if our government offered churches and non profits incentives to taking on these roles of helping those in need (domestically)?

Dy said...

Oh, gosh. I have avoided these discussions out of sheer exhaustion this year. *sigh* My top two choices for the primaries have both dropped out. (Which makes it tempting to put my support behind McCain just to see if I can get him to bail. LOL! SO, well, now you know how I feel about McCain. But I'm from AZ, and there is simply no way I can vote for him. Ever. Just can't do it.)

I've long held the belief that the ultimate litmus test of any politician is whether he or she believes the American people can be trusted to govern themselves and be left to their own devices, or that the People need to be taken care of by someone who knows better. Unfortunately, there's not many among our choices who can pass that test.

ma torg, I just wanted to say that I agree w/ you so very much on the issue of the churches and volunteers taking care of the needs of those who cannot care for themselves. Unfortunately, gov't regulations have pretty much put a stranglehold on any private attempts to do so. From the lady who made sandwiches and handed them out to her low-income neighborhood children (she was shut down for "health code violations" - her residential kitchen didn't meet restaurant standards - she is now relegated to handing out cheese sticks and packaged crackers), to emergency relief efforts (when fires rampaged through Northern AZ one year, we were not allowed to invite homeless families to stay with us, to bring food for those at the shelters, or to offer manual labor to help with the situation - regulations only permitted cash donations and canned foods), the list of red tape regulations and restrictions we've allowed to be placed upon us have hindered our ability to help in the ways which we are able.

So, in order to help, we must give our money to someone else who will pay their overhead (b/c very few people will do it for free, for them) and then take what's left to do what they will. It's disgusting that it's become so difficult to help when help is needed, and we are instead told to let the gov't do it for us.

Um, ok. Rant over. (Emily, sorry for hijacking your post.)

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Hello Dy,
Don't apologize for hijacking - I love it when people leave meaty comments! :)
These examples you give leave me thinking "you have GOT to be kidding!!!" Do you know - were they shut down for state or federal violations? We just had raging wildfires here in CA this year, and one of the things that was highlighted on the radio was how people just dropped everything and came to help - bringing food, blankets, etc. It certainly wasn't a cash only response, but no one seemed to mind. And honestly, if I was the lady handing out sandwiches? I'd call it civil disobedience and keep feeding those poor kids. My WORD.

Also, I'm curious why you dislike McCain so much? I don't particularly like him, but my husband is leaning towards voting for him. What did he do in AZ that was so bad?

Thanks to everyone for the good comments...maybe I should start blogging politics more often! ;)

Dy said...

NP. From what I understand, a "concerned citizen" complained to the state health dept. about the lady handing out food. She wasn't prostelytizing or manipulating these children. It was just known that if you were hungry, you could show up at X place and she'd have food available. She is still passing out food, but it has to be pre-packed crap purchased from a store now. Nothing homemade at all.

As for McCain, I'll have to take some time to write to you about him this afternoon (we're heading out to the library this morning). There is so much - not just in AZ, although we were more intimately familiar w/ his antics. (Did you know there was a huge movement afoot to have him recalled in 2001, but it was tabled after the 9/11 attacks, "in the spirit of not being divisive" - he slipped out the back door, and the campaign lost enough momentum in the noise of the ensuing issues that sprang up - but he is not respected by many who have followed him over the years). Anyway, in the meantime, take a look at his voting record - not what he says, but what he does. I think you'll find he is not the voice of the people in any sense of the word.

HTH some!

Lisa Sharp said...

Have you looked at Ron Paul? He is very pro-life as he is an OB/GYN and very early on before he was finished with med school he saw some people doing an abortion and it make him sick and ever since has been very pro-life.

Also he would work to get rid of the IRS, has a great plan to fix the economy, being a doctor he knows first hand how messed up our health care is. Don't just listen to the media as we all know they aren't that fair these days and take just a few minutes to check out his website- I also have a blog about him on my page. :) If nothing else no one can say he flip-flops or votes differently than he says he will lol.