Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Confessions of an Undecided Voter

I was one of the Undecided Voters. I went into voting booth on Tuesday still unsure about who I was going to vote for, so I skipped the first question and filled out the rest of my ballot. Then I came back to the big decision. I seriously considered voting for the Libertarian Party of Ohio. (But I didn't.)

I still don't know what I would do if someone came up to me today and said, "You are responsible for casting the deciding vote. You alone have the power to decide who becomes the next President of the United States." I'd be in trouble. I really don't know if I would decide for Obama/Biden or McCain/Palin. In fact, if I had the power to do it, I would probably go back to the old method of picking the top candidate from one party as President and picking the top candidate from the other party as Vice President. I'd actually feel pretty good about that, except that I'd have a hard time deciding which of them should be Thing One and Thing Two.

In the end, the matter was decidedly settled by many people who are clearly more decisive than I am. (Despite the fact that Time magazine just published an article about how the Cincinnati area is a Republican County, the vote went to Obama by more than 5 percentage points-- 52% to 47%.)

The point is of this blog posting is that I'm not an Undecided Voter because I haven't given it serious thought. In fact, I'm probably guilty of over-thinking the whole situation.

Here are some of the reasons for my quandary:

  • I'm mostly a Republican.

    I believe that "Government is the least-efficient way to do just about anything," so obviously I believe in minimizing government programs and reducing taxes. I believe that our healthcare system is broken, but I don't think that socialized medicine is the best fix. I'm generally anti-abortion, although I can also see that sometimes painful decisions have to be made between the lesser of two evils. I wish that the Republican party would focus more on environmental issues and stop pandering to lobbyists for big industries, but overall, I'm much more of a Republican than a Democrat.

  • The Republican Primaries

    Early in the primaries, I was pulling for McCain. I liked the fact that he was an advocate for immigration reform. I agreed with most of his decisions about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • The Democratic Primaries

    I really don't like Hillary Clinton, so I thought that the Democrats made a good choice when they (finally) picked Obama.

  • The Presidential Debates

    When I watched the debates, I thought that Obama had more poise than McCain, and his statements were more coherent, but when I thought it over later, I agreed with more of John McCain's positions on the issues.

  • Sarah Palin

    When they introduced her, I had doubts about her qualifications. Two years ago, Sarah Palin was mayor of a township the size of my hometown, which is actually a village, technically. But I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. Then I watched the Vice Presidential debate, and I was appalled by her cutsey-ness.

    Ultimately, it comes down to this-- As a woman, I am offended by the fact that John McCain picked an under-qualified woman and expected us all to jump for joy over the blatent tokenism.

  • The McCain Campaign

    I grew increasingly cynical about McCain's campaign strategy, which seemed to consist exclusively of making up pseudo-facts about Obama's voting record. I think McCain has some good ideas, but I'm baffled as to why he never took the time to explain them in a rational manner.

  • The Phone Calls

    Because we live in a battle-ground state, we have been receiving 4-5 election-related phone calls every day for the past week. I work from home, so I was extremely annoyed by the constant distractions. By Monday, I was ready to scream, "I'M NOT VOTING FOR ANY OF YOU!!!" (But most of the calls were pre-recorded messages, so it wouldn't have done any good.)

  • The Dream

    I participate in a tutoring program for kids from Cincinnati Public Schools. On Monday night, all of the students were really excited about the election. It's so cool to be able to tell these kids, "You can grow up to be anything you want to be, if you're willing to work to make it happen." Barak Obama is exactly the kind of role model that these kids need to see, and I'm proud to live in a country where part of Martin Luther King's dream has finally come true:
    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

    Even if Barak Obama were to accomplish nothing else in his career, that's a truly awesome legacy.

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