Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why I support Senator Obama

As much as I want this campaign to be about the issues, I have spent most of my time complaining about how Senator McCain is running his campaign. For me though, I am not voting against Senator McCain, what ever I think about how he is running his campaign. I am voting for Senator Obama. And here's why!

Senator Obama and I basically share the same belief that government can be a force for good in the world.

I believe that unfettered free markets are inherently unstable and they will almost always lead to an excessive concentration of wealth. Senator Obama and I believe that markets need an appropriate level of regulation to prevent the kinds of excesses that lead to the worst of the bust and boom cycle.

Senator Obama agree that the Iraq war was a Strategic Mistake. I believe that it is the most disastorous foriegn policy mistake in our history. I support his plan for a responsible withdrawl of our forces from Iraq and the addition of some forces to Afghanistan.

I agree with Senator Obama that we must talk to our enemies as well as our friends. However inartfully he expressed it in the debate with Hillary Clinton, attempts to isolate those we disagreement have almost always failed. Under President Bush the policy of not talking to our enemies has been part and parcel of the most incompetent and damaging foriegn policy in our history.

We share a belief in the value and even necessity of improving the quality of public education.

We both believe that much of the speed of global warming is caused by human activity, mostly the production of CO2 in industrial and power applications.

We both believe that the government must be fiscally responsible. That long term huge deficits are unsustainable. He might not phrase it this way, but I believe it is immoral for us to pass on to our children and their children the bill for what we are spending today.

We both believe that it is almost insane that there are 50 million uninsured people in the richest country in the world. Universal Health Care should be a right.

I also see in Senator Obama a man who can inspire and lead. A man who has tried to keep this campaign civil, even friendly, and a discussion of the issues, not a set of personal attacks.

I am excited about the prospect of an Obama Presidency. Combine that with strong majorities in both houses and we can accomplish great things.

I also believe that Senator Obama will appoint judges to the bench that will protect my civil liberties from the excesses any government will go to if not properly constrained by a strong judiciary.

Senator Obama largely agree on the right of a woman to control her body. I am probably more of an absolutist than he is. I would oppose laws that restrict that right in any way. It is to me a given that children lack the emotional or intellectual ability to make their own decisions. I do believe that parents should be involved when a pregnant minor is facing the incredible decision whether or not to carry an unplanned pregnancy to term. There needs to be some mechanism, some sort of judicial override, to mediate or even decide the issue if the pregnant minor and her parents cannot agree. Its not a simple issue and the solutions to issues like this tend to be complex and full of nuance.

As a nation, we face huge challenges. The current financial crisis is only the most recent. I see in his ability to inspire and lead the hope that he can truly bring sides together on the issues we must confront.

For these reasons, I support Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States.


Matty said...

Well stated. I oppose you on some points for which you both stand, question whether some of his stated policies will achieve what he thinks they will and question some of the stances that you attribute to him but I cannot argue with the positive presentation and thoughtful manner in which you wrote this.

In some ways this comment represents a tiring of the divisiveness (from both sides) this has brought into my personal communications and in another sense it the beginning of me being resigned to an Obama presidency.

Here's hoping he turns out to be more like Clinton and moves towards the right (in this center-right nation) in his desire to be loved and doesn't do as much damage as he is capable of doing with the help of this worthless Dem congress... the only entity in America less popular than Bush.

Uncle Walt said...

I hope he governs from where he campaigned. We need our President to lead, to stick to his positions, to drive this country forward.

As an aside, I don't know that this country can accurately be described as Center-Right. By any measure, this country has embraced the Democratic Party. The drop in Congressional popularity precedes the Democratic take over in 2006 and many of the failures of the Democratic congress of the last 2 years are due to Republican's use of the fillibuster more than any minority party in history.

Speaker Pelosi has not been a strong leader but the House passed most of the bills they promised to pass. They just couldn't get them through the Senate with their 1 vote margin even if you count Senator Lieberman.

I do fault the Democrats in both houses to caving to the President on the NSA eavesdropping program with retroactive immunity for the telecoms.

Democrats will have strong majorities in both houses and can work together with a President elected by a large majority to make major changes.

Matty said...

I guess we can have different interpretations of the same events but I would say that Congressional popularity dropped due to Dem filibusters and declined further with their majority. The GOP congress also held a relatively low approval from my side of the isle because they weren't conservative enough on the immigration issue.

Also, don't confuse a marginal majority of the Democratic party as an embrace of liberal ideals. The take over in '06 was a combination of perceived ethics problems and a massive influx of conservative (even pro-life) Dems in tradition GOP districts. It was going to right that gave your party the majority, not the nation going left.

Much of the Democratic coalition is actually center to center-right on social issues. The African-American evangelical community can be described as socially conservative as can the Catholic Hispanic community. The union vote is also working class and socially conservative but vote their party line for personal fiscal reasons.

That leaves a sizable majority of the nation as socially conservative and slight majority who are all-around conservative with some voting otherwise for identity reasons.

Here's my further proof. Nearly every Dem candidate runs left in the primary to energize the most vocal fringe of their base and upon winning, runs straight to the center. I read this complaint on Kos and others all the time. Conversely, GOP candidates tend to go right and stay center right. Polls tell both parties that to win you go just right of center.