Wednesday, October 06, 2010

an important election

first, some disclaimers

Obama was not my first choice in the Democratic primary. He wasn't even my second one. He was and is too centrist for me. Still, there was no Republican that I would have even considered voting for over any of the Democratic candidates and given the practicalities of our current system, I would not have considered a third party candidate.

I am terribly disappointed in the current congress. They wasted so many opportunities to do what really needed to be done and what they said they would do.

Even when I find the Republican party disgusting (which is much of the time), I admire the way they work together, if not to accomplish something, then to keep something they don't want from being accomplished.

The current administration has accomplished some significant things. True, we don't know what would have happened without the bailouts, but the non-partisan folk who study such things tell us again and again that things would be much much worse. We are sort of out of Iraq. There is a time table for Afghanistan. There are proposals to right the biggest economic divide in this country since the Great Depression (and it isn't a coincidence that the economy fell apart when the divide got that big again).

Historically, the times when there has been the most economic growth and income growth for all people have been under democratic administrations (check it out).

I will vote a straight Democratic ticket and, as much as is possible in any election, do that happily and proudly.

Now for the non-partisan part. This is a very important election. If the Democrats retain control of congress, we will see more of the change that Obama promised enacted. Maybe not all of it, but more of it. If any more Supreme Court Justices are chosen, there is a chance that Obama's choices would balance a very right wing leaning court. If you want that change, then you must vote for the Democratic candidates. If you do not vote, remember that the other side is highly energized and the far right will likely vote in droves so not voting is like voting for the following...

If you are against the change that Obama promises to continue and want to see the changes we have seen be repealed, vote for the Republican candidates. They are clearly calling for a return to the Bush era economic policies and more, including privatizing Social Security and cutting many of the safety net programs. Some/many of the Tea Party candidates are also calling for dismantling current government agencies like the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, even the Food and Drug Administration and others. A woman's right to choose could also be challenged. If a Supreme Court Justice position opened a Republican congress would ensure that the person be as centrist as possible. While there are some Tea Party candidates who are against the Republican establishment which they see as equally part of the problem, most who have won primaries have already turned color and become part of the Republican establishment (see Tea and Crackers in Rolling Stone for some examples).

The differences could not be more clear and there is no excuse for anyone, anywhere on the political spectrum not to vote and to do so intelligently. It is a critical election which will impact our lives for years to come.


roy said...

OK, it didn't sound very non-partisan. But I did mean that wherever you are on the political spectrum, this election offers clear choices and probably significant outcomes. so VOTE

Tod said...

hey roy,

guess you didn't see any value in continuing our discussion below. No surprise. Seems that discussion of facts is not part of your blog.

well, you play guitar (and no one who plays guitar can be all bad), and you have some moral values through your christian upbringing.

but, it's unfortunate that you blog your partisan opinion disguised as thoughtful discourse. if you would really engage in discussion, you might understand that there is more to the world than what you've been told by the current administration.

please roy, DON'T VOTE until you research your issues a little more and form an opinion that was not crafted for you by the media or by the leftist leadership.

for the record, i'm neither a republican nor exceptionally conservative. i identify myself more as a libertarian -- which is what used to be liberal until the democrats sold themselves out.

roy said...


it seemed clear in the previous discussion that we weren't going to agree and both got to say our piece... I do appreciate that you read my blog and leave comments in a civil way.

as to my blog being my "partisan opinion disguised as thoughtful discourse," there is no disguise. It's my blog so I get to say whatever I think. In general, it is partisan, even when I try to be less so. Whether it is thoughtful or I am open to real discourse, that is for my readers to decide.

more to the world than what I've been told by the current administration? As I said, the current administration was not my first choice. Tod, I've owned my political and social views for a long time... in part they are shaped by my background, I grew up in what was then blue collar, union run Pittsburgh, and more so by my theology and my reading of the gospels and the rest of the Bible, which were highly influenced by the Anabaptist movement and by liberation theology.

To imply that the media is somehow "liberal" is just silly. Who owns the media? Compare the number of conservative vs. liberal talkers.

FWIW, I haven't not voted in any election since 1972. This one is as clear as any have been and more so than many.

I wouldn't identify libertarianism with liberalism. There certainly is significant overlap where traditional liberalism has said that the "hot sins" are none of the governments business so it needs to stay out of personal decisions that do not impact the wider society. At the same time, liberalism has always called for a way of seeing the individual that puts the person squarely in community and requires acting communally. Libertarianism overlaps with conservatism at the other end of the spectrum where at least traditional business interests have said that government should allow the free market to run free and never interfere and that individuals sink or swim on their own. Of course, traditional business interests go further than libertarians and ask that the game be rigged in their favor.

If you haven't listened yet, check out the player in the right hand column to hear some of my guitar playing. ;-)

Tod said...


you know i don't agree with a lot of your politics, but i must say that i love exchanging comments with you. you are polite (a rare thing on the net these days) and you have a sense of humor about the whole thing.

i've always felt that if i could sit down and talk civilly with a liberal that i could better understand where they come from as they could better understand where i come from. i see that's probably not ever going to happen (the understanding part, that is).

i think sometimes that the political ideology divide is almost as great as the religious divide.

btw, your music sounds great. love the alanis-morrisette-like cadence and delivery in your daughter's voice. some shades of jewel too, but your daughter's got a fuller, "bassier" timbre. nice stuff.

roy said...


I feel, as you do Tod, that understanding is critical. And the only way to get there is to talk. agreement may not happen, but every time we talk in a civil manner and at least try to listen, understanding grows. and that is a very good thing.

thanks for the kind words re: the music too.