Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Political Meme

As my first post for the month of November, I thought I would finally complete the Political Meme that Spartacus tagged me with way back in September. This meme was originated by Katie Schwartz and it is a good way to sum up my feelings on the upcoming election on Tuesday. Plus it gave me an easy way to complete my first post for the 30-day marathon of posting that is required for the November NaBloPoMo event! With no further ado, here is the meme and my answers:

1) What is your name (nickname, whatever you're comfortable sharing), your age (range), gender, occupation, income bracket (range), how you identify (gay/straight/whatever)? Married/Single/Divorced? Kids (how many)?

My name is Mauigirl, I'm 55, I'm female, work in market research at a Big Corporation, and our household income puts us in the upper middle class bracket. I'm straight (strongly pro gay-rights), married to my husband DH, and we have no kids, just our dog Diva and our cat, Baxter, whose posts you will often read here.

2) What are the most important issues to you in this presidential election and why?

There are so many, it's hard to know where to begin. One huge issue for me is the Supreme Court. The next president will probably be appointing 2 or 3 new justices to the Court and it is crucial that these justices are not people like Antonin Scalia or the other right-wing appointees. It's not just Roe v. Wade that is at stake, although that too is an important issue for me. It is our entire system of government, the checks and balances, the issues of privacy and civil rights, that are at stake here.

Beyond those key issues, there are also more day-to-day concerns, including the economy. I am tired of the gap growing larger between rich and poor, the CEOs getting their golden parachutes, the stock market being turned into a Las Vegas casino. I want to see the middle class maintained so that we don't turn into a third world country with the well-to-do blocked off from the angry poor by electric fences and vicious dogs roaming their grounds. I want to see children grow up with the right to a good education, proper healthcare and a real ability to pursue happiness. Right now, some have it all, and some have none of it.

I'm tired of this country wasting money on a war that didn't have to be fought, and in fact represents the first time this country has actually invaded another sovereign nation without provocation, as far as I know. I am tired of this country being looked down on by the rest of the world for our actions, which do not live up in any way to the founding fathers' ideals.

3) Why do you think voters should vote for Obama/Biden, what differentiates this ticket from McCain/Palin?

Where do I begin? In every way, the two tickets couldn't be more different. John McCain, whom I once respected, has disappointed me deeply by completely going over to the side of the right-wing base in his stances. Suddenly he is right along with them on the racial and class divisiveness that the GOP has been using in the past several elections. I had expected better from him. To have picked Palin is a sign of very poor judgment and I feel she is not only unqualified, but a slap in the face to all women. In addition I am very concerned about her far-right, "Biblical" views about gay rights, abortion, and science.

What I love about Obama is his judgment, his sense of fairness, his philosophy of looking at more than one side of an issue before making his decisions. I think his priorities are right, and he goes about things in a non-divisive way that is a refreshing change. I am not concerned about his "lack of experience." This is a man who reads, who has traveled much in his life, unlike the current president who hadn't been out of North America before being elected president. If there are any pockets of inexperience in Obama's background, he will make it up by choosing good advisers, knowledgeable people who are competent in their fields. Joe Biden is a good example of this type of choice. He is experienced, well-traveled, understands international affairs and never forgot where his roots were. They would be an excellent combination for the next four (and hopefully eight) years.

4) If McCain/Palin wins this election, where do you see our country going in the next four years?

Simply: Down the tubes! I think we would have more economic distress, more wars, more gaps between rich and poor. I don't think I could stand to even live through it. I'd have to go live in the Adirondacks in hiding, holed up in our cabin with enough canned goods and alcohol to get me through the next four years!

5) Economically, where do you think this country is today and how do you think Obama/Biden can make a positive impact?

We are at a crossroads economically. The stock market doesn't work anymore, it has become a roulette wheel. People are losing their life-savings and are afraid to retire. I read that the sale of in-home safes is through the roof - people don't even trust the banks. The government is deeply in debt due to the bailouts and the Iraq war and it won't go away anytime soon. I fear for the future if we don't elect Obama/Biden. They will be able to have the intelligence and knowledge to make the needed reforms that we need. The GOP would just give us more of the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.

6) In the past 8-years, how do you think this country has changed under the Bush regime? Have you been affected by these changes? If so, in what ways?

We have lost many freedoms in the past eight years - we have been illegally monitored by government agencies, the president and vice president have gained unprecedented powers, we have gone from having a budget surplus to a huge budget deficit. My retirement fund has lost over 40% of its value and that is probably the biggest effect I've experienced personally.

7) I have read that Palin is considered the new voice of feminism, which is offensive in my opinion. Of equal concern are her views on abortion and the removal of books from libraries. I'd like to know what you think about all of that and how you feel about McCain choosing Palin as a running mate. And what kind of message you think that sends to women?

Palin is the antithesis of everything I believe in. She is "pro-life" at the expense of the lives of the existing women who would be affected if Roe v. Wade were repealed. She is anti-science and anti-knowledge (believes in banning books, believes the earth is only 6000 years old, thinks dinosaurs co-existed with mankind, and is in favor of teaching creationism in schools). And her views on gay rights make McCain look liberal.

She is dangerous in her propensity to attack Obama and liberals in general, riling up her audiences to near-violence. McCain showed extremely poor judgment in choosing her and the message it sends to women is that he believed that just picking a woman VP candidate would get women to vote for him, which is the worst kind of sexism there is. I don't know any women who fell for it, either.

So that's it - I'm not going to tag anyone because I know a very large number of you have already responded to this meme. But if anyone out there hasn't yet been tagged with it, please consider this your tag and go for it!

Three more days till election day. The suspense is killing me.


PunditMom said...

Excellent summation!

Daisy said...

we are kindred spirits politically! I, too, am very disappointed in McCain. He worked with my state senator Russ Feingolf to create a campaign finance reform bill. But since then, he's gone back to the womb of the party to gain enough favor to run for President.
That's not the kind of leader I want.

Dave Dubya said...


You said it for so many of us.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I especially appreciated your analysis of Palin.

Farrell said...

wow, Mauigirl, u like many libw have a verrrrry short memory. Don't you remember Clinton and Carter? Both men deliberative and therefore unable to make substantive decisions so instead of using their innate intelligence they got paralyzed with analysis. Do u really think that in a moment of crisis that B.Huessein Obama has the intestinal fortitude to make a tough decision?

Anonymous said...

Great job, MG. Sorry I didn't get to read this sooner. I had a very busy weekend. I particularly liked your response on Palin being the new face of feminism. Like you, I believe that you can't call yourself a feminist and interpret the Bible literally. This is a fine line for me, being the atheist that I am, but as John Lennon once quipped, "Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

Rob said...

Just reading your post from 'the other side of the water'.
First of all we were in Boston when he gave that first stirring speech to the Democrats back in '04 and watched it on TV. Felt then that he is the man!
Want to let you know that the UK is holding its breath over this election result.
Bush has been an international disaster in almost every sense I can think of.
Your analysis is excellent.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

@farrell: IMHO i'd rather have a leader who is cautiously analytical rather than viscerally impulsive.. especially in a crisis.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am new to this blog. My daughter JennyDB turned me on to it and I like what I am reading.

It seems to me that perspective is everything. It was Niels Bohr that said, "The opposite of a fact is a falsehood. But the opposite of a profound truth is likely to be another profound truth". In other words, there ain't no black and white.

Anyway, today is November 3rd and my husband and I don't see eye to eye. He just sent me ANOTHER email AGAIN, telling me what I need to know to make the RIGHT decision. He likes to put posters in the back of his car too. So here are the three videos I received from him followed by my three responses to him. Obviously, we experience the three videos completely differently... it's perspective. So I guess we could call this My Notes To A Conservative

1. Video One

The first one... you have forwarded to me before. Civil rights=investment of formal rights in disenfranchised people. He is saying that this is one step but the legal process did not accomplish economic rights which are also a concern... He ends with, "in some ways we still suffer from that". I agree with that. And it is true that the courts are not structured in a way that can accomplish economic shifts. Obviously, he desires an economic change, and maybe that's what you disagree with? I don't think I do disagree. I don't want to "punish" success. I believe it is in everyone's interest that the huge disparity (resulting from capitalism as an end game) is reduced or compensated for in some way. I do not think the market is dealing with this and I don't think it CAN deal with this. Improved "economic access" can be brought about with an improved educational system (that works), with access to basic health care, with energy research and development that benefits the whole community and with the institution of regulations and standards in depressed economic areas (where poor people live) that improve water quality, air quality and access to life enhancing resources (in other words, clean up our inner cities).

2. Video Two

The second video... You might be disappointed to hear this, but I did not hear one word that offended me. I was not appalled by any remark made by him or Michelle. Actually, I believe their words were informed... by the truth and if anything, they are honest and brave enough to say it. Apparently these words resonate with many Americans! What they are referring to are many of the foundational/fundamental worldview type issues that are best addressed/named. Americans can refuse to acknowledge mistakes and insensitivities, whatever... and not learn or improve. Or we can humbly acknowledge and become immensely better. There is no shame in that.

3. Video Three

The third video is touching and I respect the kid's point of view. That one is all about perspective. His sacrifice is not a mistake. But I think the war itself is a mistake. It failed to accomplish the presumed objective of a safer world. There was another course we might have taken, a missed opportunity for more noble action. That choice was not the boy's to make!

Neither you nor I will make a wrong decision in our vote David and I would never characterize your decision as wrong, even if we vote for different candidates. There is a little (maybe even a whole lot) of George Dubbya in all of us. Now will you please stop sending me videos?

Miss Monica

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