This Utah Texan’s Voting for Obama

election_2008.pngI rarely pipe in with Political rants here because well, it’s a tech blog. However, with the change in the economy and lead-in to an election, politics seems to be the only thing people talk about these days. I’m going to make an exception today because I think, as an Independant, I’ve made a decision that is quite significant for me. For the first time, ever, I’m voting Democrat this election. Yes, “my friends”, I’m voting for Obama.

I grew up in a very Republican and conservative family. I have extended family that are very Democrat and liberal, but for the most part, my Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters all seemed pretty conservative growing up. I married a conservative, my brothers, father, father-in-law, and now sister are all accountants and for the most part, pretty fiscally conservative. I grew up in Houston, TX, and I currently live in Utah, 2 of the most Red states in the nation. So I’ve had conservatism all around me. I’ve always been a very “independant” person though. I hate the two-party system. To me, picking a candidate is about picking the best person for the job, not picking a person just because they belong to one party or the other. If I ever run for politics, then I’ll pick a party and pick where I stand on things. As a normal citizen, I get to be a learner, not pick sides, and choose the side that will be best for this nation. Why Obama? Let’s pick a few issues that have convinced me:

Healthcare

This was a big one for me. I used to work at UnitedHealth Group, and learned a lot about how large HealthCare companies work, and what the problems are that face this nation in regards to HealthCare technology.

What convinced me on Healthcare is in the last debate when Obama talked about “digitizing medical records in Doctors offices”. Obama, more than anyone else gets technology. His campaign has done an excellent job targeting people on Facebook, Twitter, via Youtube, and other means that McCain I imagine simply hasn’t touched. (Don’t get me started on McCain’s “disability” – if McCain really knew technology he’d know there are very good accessibility option on most Operating Systems these days. I know blind people better at computers than McCain.)

One of the largest and costliest issues facing our nation right now are old insurance companies and old doctors still using paper for most of their record-keeping. These papers at some point have to be converted to digital format, which in many cases leads to errors and costly mistakes. The large insurance companies are making money off of this, creating systems around leaving a flawed system in place. It’s wrong, and Obama understands this. Our economy will be better because of this. (and no, Obama isn’t doing “true” universal healthcare – he’s just keeping the stupid from costing us money by not having healthcare)

Economy

As a fiscally conservative individual, this was a big issue for me. Frankly, neither McCain nor Obama have good plans. The fact of the matter is, when Bush leaves office, our taxes are going to go up. Both Obama and McCain have ways to give back to the citizens, but economically speaking, they’re both the same. McCain gives back to everyone, keeping corporations from being taxed, and giving money back to the rich that may not need it as much.

Obama wants to do a weight-distribution of the money. He’ll tax corporations, which in turn will pass that cost onto the consumer. At the same time, the middle-to-low income consumer will have more money due to tax cuts and rebates given back to them. In the end, the rich still get paid because the consumers, now with more money, can spend money on their products. It’s simple economics – the wealth gets distributed either way. Both plans are near identical if you ask me so this isn’t a huge issue for either.

Abortion

As an Independant, I’m against the death penalty. I could never, in any way, imagine myself in a position to be responsible for someone else’s life, and for that reason I could never directly vote for it or agree with it. For that same reason, I’m against Abortion, except in the cases of rape or incest. I would never allow my daughter to have an abortion, would not support my wife in such a decision, except in very rare circumstances.

At the same time, it doesn’t affect me one way or another if you or your friend or your sister or mom get an abortion. That’s your business, not mine. Economically speaking, in Freakonomics it actually suggests that it is better for the nation to allow abortion – there has actually been less crime since Roe v. Wade than before. Allowing choice, statistically, has had an indirect affect on the crime-rate of this country. Again, I’m not saying I support it – I’m just saying it’s not that big of an issue for me.

For this reason, I don’t buy those that say bringing in a Liberal to lead the nation could enable the Supreme court to be tipped liberally, forcing Roe v. Wade to be enforced. One way or another, it’s your choice – we all have the responsibility to make that choice. IMO, this nation is not affected adversely by allowing it. So regardless of Obama’s stance, this is just a non-issue for me.

Foreign Policy

McCain scares the living daylights out of me in regards to Foreign Policy. ‘Nuf said.

Change

Obama’s “Change” theme has annoyed the heck out of me. However, I think I finally got it after this last debate. We are in a circumstance in this nation right now that is unprecedented. All of those running were not living the last time this happened. We simply don’t know how to solve it. Therefore, it requires an adaptive President to manage the situation. It takes someone who is willing to change and adapt with the circumstances. Obama showed that this last debate with some of his change in position. McCain is still doing the same things he always did. For this reason above all, I’m implementing “change” in my life and voting for Obama this election.

(Note, it’s not too late to convince me otherwise – if you think I’m wrong, and have solid reasons to back that up, I’m all ears! Again, I’m in this to learn!)

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9 thoughts on “This Utah Texan’s Voting for Obama

  1. I can only add two fairly amorphous reasons for voting for Obama: temperament and judgment, and how important those two qualities are for a President, particularly now. In my mind, demonstration of these two qualities has trumped whatever misgivings I might have had about his “experience,” an equally amorphous quality, as well.

    Temperament: The man is unflappable, cool, calm, not a hot-head, reasonable, listens wells, not apt to make quick decisions, willing to change his mind and explain why. Um, McCain?

    Judgment: Obama's early opposition to the Iraq War is only the most obvious example. Turns out that he also foresaw the subprime meltdown and tried to do something about it over a year ago. Wouldn't be nice to have a President in the White House who knows his stuff and can apply it to the real world? As well as being able to surround himself with good people who can fill in the gaps for him? And is that man McCain?

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  2. Those are all reasons that contributed to my decision. It's
    interested that none of the McCain supporters are trying to convince
    me otherwise. I wish someone would – I'm pretty convinced I'm voting
    for Obama.

    Like

  3. …some feedback from a “conservative”:
    Healthcare: With all due respect, there is a lot more to healthcare than technology. The current healthcare system in this country, although flawed, affords Americans with the best medical attention in the world. The healthcare issue is a scare tactic used by the democrats to make us feel like we are in a crisis. We are not. There are things that need to be fixed. But socializing medicine doesn't work, never has. That's Obama's plan. He wont / can't enforce technology on an industry. The technology argument is moot.

    Economy: Neither candidate is strong here. The biggest problem with Obama's plans aren't his economics plans, they are his plans to socialize more and more of our lives. Turning more control to the government will not help the economy in the long run.

    Abortion: Sorry Jesse, I respect you a lot for your candor here but I couldn't disagree with you more here. We have a responsibility as humans to stand and defend all human life. One of the great faults of mankind is to forfeit that responsibility under the guise of “It doesn't affect me”. So what if it doesn't. Don't we have the responsibility to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves? Isn't this the very base of our existence? Standing for the sanctity of life is a crucial and important role for those that think beyond themselves. Obama's thinking is critically flawed here. If he were to follow his voting history on this subject, there could be untold thousands of lives lost that could have been a blessing to families that cannot have children. McCain is right on on this one. Fight Roe v. Wade and encourage adoption.

    Foreign Policy: Not enough said. Obama will turn the Iraq war into another Vietnam. He's not interested in the war and he's not interested in winning and then getting out. Only in surrender. In addition, his lack of maturity when working with people that are out to kill us is what scares the living daylights out of me.

    Change: Obama will certainly bring change, but is it change for the better? With him in the oval office and a democratic majority in the house and senate we are almost certain to see the liberal agenda move forward in this country on a massive scale. It will be a move toward socialism that will be quick and decisive. If you are comfortable with that kind of change, then by all means, vote Obama.

    In summary: I respect that you have your own opinion and I'm grateful that there exists the freedom for us to vote according to our own conscience. I just wanted to provide a little feedback as to why this long time conservative thinks now is the time to stand for conservatism and capitalism more than ever. I hope America isn't blinded by the words and speeches given by a smooth talker. His principles and values aren't conservative in any way. Thanks for providing the forum for this discussion.

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  4. I'm only going to reply to the foreign policy part of your comment.

    The stated justification of invading Iraq from the Bush Administration has changed over time, revealing the deep disconnect between strategy and tactics. First, it was because of the threat of WMDs, which, we now know, were not there in the first place. Then to remove Hussein, which we did. Later, it was to create a self-sustaining democracy unlike any in the region.

    That democracy is there, in its infancy, and they want us out. So either we abide by our stated goals or we renew the idea of an American empire. I see no other courses of action or justifications for those courses. And here's where I suppose we must disagree. I don't think the U.S. can afford empire, in any shaded meaning of that term. Not economically, not ideologically. Not if we want to restore our soft and hard power in the world. We've already given Iran and al Queda the biggest gifts we ever could have given them: America's military might stretched to the breaking point and no longer focused on international terrorism, plus Iran a far bigger player in the region than it was before the invasion. How will staying in Iraq change any of that?

    Only one candidate sees the situation as I do, and incidentally, as many independents and conservatives see it as well. That's Obama. McCain, like you, sees the current situation in Iraq as analogous to Vietnam. A dangerous comparison. Obama is not restricted by that ideological vision. McCain is. The safer vote, in my opinion.

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  5. I wholeheartedly agree with Mike.

    On the issue of “Economy”: You're right taxes will probably go up with both candidates, but they will go up more with Obama. One thing I like about the McCain plan is his refunds based on Children; That, to me, says he's making an investment in the future. Obama's plan for the economy is to socialize everything, I think that will only make things worse.

    Like

  6. I'm only going to reply to the foreign policy part of your comment.

    The stated justification of invading Iraq from the Bush Administration has changed over time, revealing the deep disconnect between strategy and tactics. First, it was because of the threat of WMDs, which, we now know, were not there in the first place. Then to remove Hussein, which we did. Later, it was to create a self-sustaining democracy unlike any in the region.

    That democracy is there, in its infancy, and they want us out. So either we abide by our stated goals or we renew the idea of an American empire. I see no other courses of action or justifications for those courses. And here's where I suppose we must disagree. I don't think the U.S. can afford empire, in any shaded meaning of that term. Not economically, not ideologically. Not if we want to restore our soft and hard power in the world. We've already given Iran and al Queda the biggest gifts we ever could have given them: America's military might stretched to the breaking point and no longer focused on international terrorism, plus Iran a far bigger player in the region than it was before the invasion. How will staying in Iraq change any of that?

    Only one candidate sees the situation as I do, and incidentally, as many independents and conservatives see it as well. That's Obama. McCain, like you, sees the current situation in Iraq as analogous to Vietnam. A dangerous comparison. Obama is not restricted by that ideological vision. McCain is. The safer vote, in my opinion.

    Like

  7. …some feedback from a “conservative”:
    Healthcare: With all due respect, there is a lot more to healthcare than technology. The current healthcare system in this country, although flawed, affords Americans with the best medical attention in the world. The healthcare issue is a scare tactic used by the democrats to make us feel like we are in a crisis. We are not. There are things that need to be fixed. But socializing medicine doesn't work, never has. That's Obama's plan. He wont / can't enforce technology on an industry. The technology argument is moot.

    Economy: Neither candidate is strong here. The biggest problem with Obama's plans aren't his economics plans, they are his plans to socialize more and more of our lives. Turning more control to the government will not help the economy in the long run.

    Abortion: Sorry Jesse, I respect you a lot for your candor here but I couldn't disagree with you more here. We have a responsibility as humans to stand and defend all human life. One of the great faults of mankind is to forfeit that responsibility under the guise of “It doesn't affect me”. So what if it doesn't. Don't we have the responsibility to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves? Isn't this the very base of our existence? Standing for the sanctity of life is a crucial and important role for those that think beyond themselves. Obama's thinking is critically flawed here. If he were to follow his voting history on this subject, there could be untold thousands of lives lost that could have been a blessing to families that cannot have children. McCain is right on on this one. Fight Roe v. Wade and encourage adoption.

    Foreign Policy: Not enough said. Obama will turn the Iraq war into another Vietnam. He's not interested in the war and he's not interested in winning and then getting out. Only in surrender. In addition, his lack of maturity when working with people that are out to kill us is what scares the living daylights out of me.

    Change: Obama will certainly bring change, but is it change for the better? With him in the oval office and a democratic majority in the house and senate we are almost certain to see the liberal agenda move forward in this country on a massive scale. It will be a move toward socialism that will be quick and decisive. If you are comfortable with that kind of change, then by all means, vote Obama.

    In summary: I respect that you have your own opinion and I'm grateful that there exists the freedom for us to vote according to our own conscience. I just wanted to provide a little feedback as to why this long time conservative thinks now is the time to stand for conservatism and capitalism more than ever. I hope America isn't blinded by the words and speeches given by a smooth talker. His principles and values aren't conservative in any way. Thanks for providing the forum for this discussion.

    Like

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