Saturday, November 01, 2008

I'm Voting. I'm Voting For...























I'm going to vote this election. Even if I think the system has it faults it still is a way to be political. It might not be the most ethical method of engagement but within these confines there is an opportunity to engage the world. For some that is a non-vote, for me it is a vote.

So who am I voting for? I debated whether or not to post this. I thought about my future work in the ministry and how this post could haunt me for years, etc, etc. But that is the problem. Who we vote for has become so individual. So I am going to open it up because I want to be challenged, positively criticized and engaged on these issues. I am very limited and these are just my views. I'm open to others. So let me hear it.

The past 3 days I've done meticulous research. I stupidly put this off until the last minute so my homework has taken a back seat! I am voting third party because the two party system is defunct. Obama and McCain are both good candidates but I don't like this form of "democracy."

So I have been debating between Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, and Bob Barr. I love Nader and McKinney's (Green Party) focus on social issues. But the trump for me is Barr's focus on a smaller government (Libertarian Party) that provides an opportunity for people, not the government to intervene.

I think social issues are incredibly important but believe the people (more Libertarian/Barr), not the government (more Green/McKinney and Independent/Nader), should lead the way. (Specifically, the people should be the church).

Here is what I feel on the issues. Maybe this can help you if you are up in the air or ignorant (like I admittedly am).

What I like (for the most part)
Health Care- I like the idea of universal health care (Nader/McKinney) but I don't know if single payer health care is the best method. We all pay money to the government who then in turn regulates how that is distributed. I think Bob Barr's proposal to largely remove the government out of the health care industry makes better universal health care more possible. Especially because they encourage charitable organizations to step in and fill the void.

Social Security- Again I like the idea that elderly people are provided for, which has become the function of social security (Nader/McKinney support). Barr supports privatizing social security which worries me about those who can't personal provide. But what I like is that it encourages personal stewardship and (like Barr says) it encourages charities and people to help one another out.

Education- Barr wants to let local agencies and state governments have control of education. This would reform No Child Left Behind and place the power in the hands of the parents. I don't know if child vouchers would necessarily solve the problem of the inequality of education but I don't think that letting a centralized government distribute the resources is going to solve the crisis. Smaller scale is more effective and I think states should work with existing public schools/teachers unions to make education more effective.

Environment- Barr says that global warming is a myth. I don't know if it is a myth or not but I do know that we need to clean up the environment. He is right in saying that global warming has been abused as a platform for both Democrats and Republicans. Barr doesn't want the government to invest money into alternative forms of energy. Instead he wants people to invest into alternative forms of energy and to use the resources we have here. That's cool.

Oil- He believes that we should use the oil that is here in the United States. I suppose this is an option but what I like better is that the government, according to Barr, shouldn't be as controlling about our oil use/production. He instead wants to let the states impose regulations.

Iraq- He wants the U.S. out of Iraq. I agree. He wants us to cooperate with the U.N. in being invovled in the Middle East. I agree.

Foreign Policy- He believes that humanitarian aid is our best foreign policy. Not military intervention. I agree.

Abortion- From what i have read he is personally against it. But he recognizes that it is difficult to legislate morality so the answer isn't as simple as pro-life or pro-choice.

Social Justice Issues- They want to eliminate welfare, government subsidized housing, food stamps, etc. Instead they want to rely on " supportive family, church, community, or private charity to bridge the gap." I like that .

My Concerns

Guns-He doesn't want gun owners to register their weapons and is fairly lax about any regulations around weapons. For me, I think the less guns the better.

Crime-Barr is pushing for more jails and capital punishment. We have a lot of people in jail right now and instead of putting money for more bars I think we need to put more money into making bars uncessary. They want to eliminate over crowding of the prisons by lessening the laws on drug trafficking/use. I'm up in the air but I like that they are focused on eliminating the root causes of crime. As for capital punishment I'm not a big fan.

Flip-Floper- He was once a Republican but now a Libertarian. He has flipped on a lot of issues and I question why he is even registered as a Libertarian. But the diversity of the party is nice. It includes a lot of independents, ex-Republicans/Democrats and they work hand in hand with the Green Party.

I'm Probably Republican/Democrat/Libertarian/Green/Indpendent
The Libertarian Party is notorious for having people of opposite extremes in the party. I like that. I'm not the biggest fan of Bob Barr but I support the movement of the party's position. I really feel like I could vote for McKinney, Nader, even Obama and McCain and be comfrotable with a lot of their policies.

Conclusion
I don't think this party is anti-community. Yes, it wants to put the power back in the hands of the people. But I don't see "people" as being individuals, but as a whole. People worry that without the government intervening to distribute wealth, provide for social needs, and regulate our spending than we become more individualistic. For me, I see less government as opening up the doors for us to use our resources to bless people. That means it's up to me, not the government, to legislate how my money, resources, and time provide for the well-being of everyone.

Links
All the Canditates on all the Issues. Un-Biased Websites...

-www.votesmart.org
-www.glassbooth.org (great website)
-http://www.procon.org/

Libertarian Party
-www.lp.org


5 comments:

talesofaswallow said...

Nader all the way for me. He certainly has perseverance.

Mike Moore said...

I debated hard about Nader vs Barr. It came down to those two for me. I definitely like Nader's experience and bluntness and criticism of big money corporations/government.

talesofaswallow said...

i am so sick of the exorbitant amounts of money spent on campaigning. give me a politician who spends money on education and feeding the poor, rather than campaigns. that would get my vote.

Anonymous said...

In the world of reality, it comes down to this....we have an unfair system that caters to the wealthy and is driven by the powerful. Yes! Yet, it's the system we have. Thus, we know it's going to either be McCain or Obama. If Christians have a responsibility to work for the interest of the "community" and if we know that it's going to be one of these two candidates, then it makes sense to me that as a Christian, I need to select one of these two candidates. It is a foregone conclusion that one of them will win, whether I like it or not. Thus, my commitment to the broader community demands that I ask, "which will serve the community for the greater good?" To vote for a third party candidate may be an appropriate way to "vote my conscience" but it could lead to results which, if the wrong candidate wins, does more to harm the common good than to help.

Mike Moore said...

Anonymous

I don't see how voting for a third party doesn't qualify as "working for the common good." If I am "voting my conscience," in obedience to Christ than that is the greatest good I can do. I choose to vote according to my "conscience" rather than vote according to the "system" we have.