The Votes Are In…

Actually, just one vote that I can speak to — mine.  I just mailed in my absentee ballot, which sure beats waiting in line next Tuesday.  In case anyone cares to know, I cast my vote for president in the direction of Barack Obama.  Here were a few of the deciding factors for me:

Temperament – Obama is mild-mannered and calculated in his decisions.  McCain is a hot-head with a temper.  It is of paramount importance that a president can keep his cool in diplomatic scenarios.  I trust Obama to do this; not McCain.

Palin – she’s not prepared, and she’s too devisive.  McCain dropped the ball when he picked someone without proper vetting – or without even meeting that person more than once.  It shows poor judgment on his part, and the idea of “President Palin” is genuinely frightening to me.

Taxes – I’d pay about $1,000 less in taxes per year if Obama were president.  So would most of the working / middle class.  The moderate-conservative in me is just fine with that.

“Socialism” – I don’t think Obama is a socialist, but I really like the policies that have caused some people to label him as such.  (As an aside, I invite anyone to read Acts 2:43-47 and tell me if the early Christian church sounds more like “socialism” or “capitalism”…and then tell me why it’s unethical or irresponsible to expect those who have been blessed with an abundance to share with those who have little.  The assumption that all wealthy people work harder than all poor people – and, therefore, deserve more riches – is not only asenine but it’s unbiblical.)

Foreign Policy – most countries around the globe dislike the USA…and most of these countries really like Obama.  It’s essential for our country to repair its standing among the other nations, and I think Obama is extremely well-equipped to do that.

Intelligence – Obama is almost always the smartest person in the room, and he surrounds himself with other smart people.  I don’t think intellect can be undervalued as a voting criteria.

Iraq / Afghanistan – I don’t think we should remain in Iraq indefinately.  I also think we need to put more focus on radical fundamentalist Islam terror orgainzations…and many of these groups – including al Queda – are operating out of Afghanistan.  Obama seems to share my thoughts on these two issues…McCain doesn’t.

Those are my thoughts.  I’d love to hear yours.  I understand this is a potentially volatile topic, so I’d appreciate a modicum of tact and respect among those who are wish to leave comments.

I also thought the Obama “infomercial” last night was well done.  Here it is:

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9 Responses to The Votes Are In…

  1. I think you’ve thought your decision through unlike some of the Obama supporters I know who just want “change”.

    We are obviously in different camps this general election.

    For me abortion is my disqualifying issue – if a person is pro-choice then in my mind disqualifies them. Obama’s arguments that he would reduce abortions doesn’t sway me when he hasn’t been able to vote on measures that should have bipartisan support – Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act, partial birth abortion ban, and parental notification are just some common sense things that both parties should be able to agree on.

    I’m not thrilled with McCain’s position in this area like his support for embryonic stem cell research (which right now with advances in research with other stem cells should be a moot issue).

    Temperament – I’ll agree with you that Obama is more mellow than McCain. I just don’t believe it is going to be a problem. There is an aspect of needing to be decisive as the Commander-in-Chief that I feel McCain embodies where Obama does not.

    With Palin – she was vetted, Troopergate has been shown to be a partisan affair, she’s has done much to root out corruption in Alaska, and is wildly popular with an 80% approval rating. She has more executive experience than really any of the candidates and she is a quick study. She know a lot regarding energy and economic issues. I just don’t see how people can cite her experience as a problem when Obama is inexperienced as well and he is on the top of the ticket.

    Taxes – keep taxes low for everybody. I’d rather see a flat tax or fair tax personally (I originally supported Huckabee). I think that if you raise taxes on businesses (we already have the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the world), raise income tax on those who make over $250,000 – which has now been lowered to $150,000 it will hurt those in poverty and the middle class by job loss, through price increases. Also many small businesses would be impacted as they based on their incorporation pay income tax, not corporate tax.

    Also with the Bush tax cuts – I benefited nicely from that. The child tax credit was beneficial. Maybe you make that much more than me.

    The reality is that those who make $250,000 already have a greater tax burden than everybody else. Even if we had a flat tax they would still generate more revenue. There’s a poem that goes like this that really applies here:

    “Tax the rich and give to the poor, til the rich ain’t rich no more.”

    Redistribution or progressive tax just doesn’t make sense economically. Let’s cut spending instead. I think both were wrong on the bailout plan. Obama’s spending plan simply frightens me though. I agree with McCain that we need an across the board spending freeze until different programs can be evaluated. There is much that the federal government does that it doesn’t need to be doing.

    Socialism – Acts 2 and Acts 4 talk about charity which was voluntary. Acts 5:4 – Peter said to Ananias that he could have kept the proceeds, why he was judged was due to lying, not giving. Acts 2:42 – people still met in homes it meant that people still owned property. The big key difference between what you are reading in Acts and socialism is that socialism, wealth redistribution, isn’t voluntary. The state takes, people don’t freely give. In Acts they gave out of love of each other and for Christ. In socialism it is because they don’t have a choice.

    It is really government sanctioned stealing.

    Foreign Policy – I am worried about Obama’s position toward rogue states and terrorist organizations. There needs to be preconditions before he sits down with Iran, North Korea, Venuzela, etc. Sarkozy of France has said that Obama’s position lacks maturity. It took him three days to get his position on the Russia/Georgia conflict right – after two previous statements. I trust McCain.

    Intelligence – Obama is smart, and I know he had better grades in college than McCain did. McCain is also smart, and has experience which leads to wisdom. I also think that he’ll bring in strong advisors as well. Palin in his administration will advise him in areas of her strengths, not weaknesses.

    Iraq/Afghanistan – I don’t think we should be in Iraq indefinitely either, and if the Commander-in-Chief, military advisors along with the Iraqis want to come up with a time table fine. Just don’t make it public. McCain wants to stay there long enough to make sure Iraq won’t devolve into a civil war and that they are secure from without and within. Let’s not diminish the sacrifice our soldiers have made by leaving before the job is done.

    McCain has said nothing about Afghanistan not being a priority – not sure where you are getting your info on that. I think it is a both/and situation.

    Well I could say more, but this comment is horribly long already.

  2. Erik says:

    Thanks for your thorough comments, Shane. Hopefully the articulation of our two viewpoints demonstrates the ability for two devoted Christians to disagree on just about everything and still remain faithful to the gospel.

  3. scott schaffer says:

    Erik and Shane:
    I’m not sure I’ve ever heard two people with conflicting political view points be so articulate and open-minded to what the other has to say.
    Maybe I hang out with the wrong people…
    props to you both!

    I guess I really just wanted to put my 2 cents in about abortion.
    I care dearly for the sanctity of life and have (in the 2000 election) voted for a pro-life President of the United States.

    Since then I have come to the conclusion that, although there are laws written about it, to me, abortion is not a political issue, so it’s not a factor when I vote.
    If abortion were made illegal it wouldn’t stop abortions.
    Would it stop some abortions, undoubtedly it would. Could it stop most abortions, maybe, hopefully; but to stop abortion we Christians need to introduce Christ to a hurting America.

    I guess what I’m getting at is that sometimes you vote for a candidate that you feel will protect the sanctity of life and then the same guy who gets your vote, who’s against abortion, will send American forces into an (in my opinion) unnecessary war that will claim the lives of 3000+ soldiers.
    That didn’t add up for me and I’m probably a little jaded, but that’s what’s on my heart.

  4. @Erik – I hope so too.

    @Scott – I’m not sure I agree with abortion. Politics will not provide the ultimate solution for sure, but it is a political issue. When our taxes go to fund it, when abortion providers have access to our kids in public schools, and when parents don’t have a right to be notified we should all be concerned. Mostly the government’s role is to restrain – there needs to be limits.

    Where government falls short is that it can not change hearts. We need to instill in our culture a value for life. Teach our kids as parents, and speak prophetically as a Church. Minister to those who have had abortions (many of those who have had abortions also tend to repeat), and provide solutions and choices outside of abortion. Walk alongside of women who have unexpected pregnancies. There is much that can and should be done.

    Being a former member of the military I disagree on Iraq. Looking at Augustine’s Just War teachings I think this action lines up. Everybody thought they had WMDs. Nobody can say the Iraqis were better off with a mad dictator and his rape and torture gangs.

    As a solider I volunteered fully realizing that I could be called upon to serve. I just missed serving during Gulf War I, but would have been willing to go if called upon (I was Army National Guard).

    Where their mistakes made, sure. Hindsight is always 20/20. Other than helping us avoid mistakes it has little value to keep bringing this up. I want to honor the sacrifice of those who have died. I want us to leave Iraq in stability and better than how we found it. McCain has the experience and knowhow (through his military experience) to do that. Obama doesn’t.

    Also, while the deaths in Iraq have been tragic the scope of our casualties doesn’t even come close in comparison with World War I, World War II, Korea, or Vietnam. It helps to keep some perspective. Many of our younger generations don’t understand service and sacrifice like previous generations. We wouldn’t have had the freedom that we experience today if were not for their sacrifice and those who came before them.

    Linking this to abortion – a soldier can defend himself, an unborn baby can’t. A soldier has a voice, and unborn baby doesn’t.

    That is why abortion is an important issue for me. If I don’t speak for the unborn, who will?

  5. scott schaffer says:

    To Shane,
    Thanks for your response and I also thank you for your service to our country.
    Your feedback is much appreciated and helpful to me as I mull all this over.

  6. Kara says:

    Shane, I think it’s interesting as a man, that you are so interested in legislating over a woman’s body. The fact that this discussion has turned from Erik expressing why he is voting for Obama (none of which included his stance on abortion) to a discussion about abortion only just proves the fact that you need to feel power and control over women.

  7. SUPERNATURE says:

    Oh my what a lovely blog
    We know its late since we are 2 days from casting our ballots but the queer question or agenda is still un answered. Neither of future Gods of Rule seem to support the MOST important issue for GLBTQ community. The Gay marriage.
    and we as a couple think both candidates are hipocrits. Exspecially Mr Obama since he will get the GAY votes but will not do anything for those votes.

  8. […] to other states).  I’m glad there are only two more days left!  Check out a friend’s blog for a very good explanation of why he’s decided to vote for Obama.  And if you’re a […]

  9. katieannhouts says:

    Having had a baby myself, I know what a powerful connection the mother feels after carrying the baby to term and delivering. The mother’s life is changed forever. Because some women have become pregnant from acts of violence – rape, incest – I always think of them when the issue of abortion is raised. These women are too often forgotten as the focus stays on teenage pregnancy and unplanned pregnancies. I hope these women will always have the freedom to choose whether or not they feel capable – mentally, emotionally, physically – carrying a child conceived not of love and care, but disrespect and violence. Believe me – the woman will remember the 9 months for the rest of her life.
    Sorry to add to the tangent on abortion…just throwing my opinion into the pot.

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