31 October 2008

Why I'm Voting for Obama

Well, not exactly...this morning on one of my message boards there was a discussion brewing about who was voting for whom, something that NEVER ends well. I think that for once I was able to make my point clearly and without too much stupidity, so I wanted to share. Also, I'm concerned that some of my readers aren't getting enough sleep, so I wanted to provide you with something other than Tylenol PM to try if that doesn't work for you.
I'm a liberal. I'm probably a socialist.

But part of the reason I am, I think, is because of the way I was raised and the field in which I work. My father is a United Methodist minister. I can remember more times than I can count that he went out in the middle of the night to the police station (in the town where we lived when I was a teenager) to give money and food to "transients" that turned up there for whatever reason. That came from a church program, not from our pockets, but it was a church program that he and several other area ministers were instrumental in heading up.

It came to be, though, that he was going out more and more. When I asked why he was always "on call" to help, he usually answered that the other ministers couldn't be reached or that we lived (literally) across the street from the PD so he just went. Was it because he was the only one that went? To that, my father said something that has shaped the person I've become: He reminded me that we can't change anyone but ourselves, and we have to lead by example and not by refusing to help. As long as he did what needed to be done to help those who had less than we did (without asking questions, just helping) then he had done all he could do. At the time I thought that people were taking advantage of my father, but now I understand that for me, he's right.

I work in a field where I see people everyday try to make their way in our country. They try to get jobs. They try to make a living for their families or just themselves. And they can't, because they don't speak English or don't speak clearly enough to be understood or are just too sick with mental illness to be able to maintain. I don't make a lot of money...thought I did because in my profession I'm one of the higher paid interpreters in my area...but compared to others I don't. But I stay doing what I do because of what I learned from my father. To me, it doesn't really matter what other people do or don't do for themselves. Some can help themselves and some can't. All I can do is keep doing what I feel is right and let them sort themselves out. I feel that because I was born able to hear and speak English, because I don't have voices telling me to kill myself or am so afraid of the world that I lock myself in my house and hide under my bed that I have a responsibility to be of whatever help I can be to those that ARE in those positions. I've stayed in a civil service job (state department of mental health) for 10 years because of that. I did have some things handed to me, so to speak...my parents paid for my education which to me is even more reason why I have to use what I have to help as many people as I can, regardless. They paid ME forward, I guess.

Anyway, that's why I'm a socialist leaning liberal, and why I'm voting the way I am. There are other reasons, like Roe v. Wade and such that I don't want to get into here because I don't find those kinds of arguments to be productive.

7 comments:

K-Bear said...

Is it sad that I think of psychology when discussing politics? People's nature, etc...

I'm a McCain fan. Surprising for me, huh? Just so you know, don't really worry about my generation. There was kids voting at my school. 800 people voted Obama, and 300 or so for McCain [apparently a LOT of people didn't vote]. My generation is definitely liberal, but I have a lot of friends that go both ways, you know?
I've just changed a lot. Especially in the past year. I'm no liberal/democrat anymore-- I'm definitely republican. Sad? Maybe. But I have valid reasons, just like you do.

I just hate the people who can't open their minds and just have an open discussion. I'm lucky to have friends that I can discuss politics with, even some that are my age. I'm open-minded, and understanding, even if I don't agree. I wish that other people could be that way, you know?

K-Bear said...

*were kids, not was. OH GOSH MY GRAMMARRRRRRRRRRR. :/

Elizabeth said...

So - 'k-bear'.. what are your reasons for becoming Republican and voting McCain... would you share?
:)
Elizabeth
(who voted for Obama because I believe in gun control, stem cell research, reproductive rights and ending the war in Iraq)

K-Bear said...

I would vote for McCain, but I can't thanks to age, because I agree with his view on reproductive rights, upholding the right of the 2nd amendment [the implied right], his views on education, and his view on when to withdraw troops. Oh, I definitely agree on the stem-cell front.
If you're interested in a laugh, you can go to youtube and search Howard Stern interviews Obama fans, it's amusing [I did support Obama at one point].

eegads, I should go and get ready to leave for the SAT.

Nan said...

McCain lost my support concerning reproductive rights when he said that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Funny, that a republican (traditionally the party of the hands off government) wants to the government to have a say in what I can do with my body. Also, in the third debate, when he made a mockery of the democratic platform concerning abortion being legal when the pregnancy threatens the health of the mother...those air quotes he so thoughtfully placed around "health of the mother" pretty much spoke volumes about his attitudes toward women.

As far as withdrawing the troops, he doesn't have a plan for that other than "we stay till we win." Which at this point could be forever...or until we don't have any troops left.

And anyone that knows me knows that I am for tighter gun control...and that I'm a left leaning democrat. :)

Amy said...

Here's the thing: I strongly believe in giving to those in need. This year, I have donated my money to United Way and to my church, my clothing to Safe Harbor Women's Shelter and my time to Meals on Wheels through volunteer work.
What I vehemently oppose is the government telling me how much and to whom I need to give my money. It's my money. I earned it. I will do with it as I please.
I also work in social services, and I see the same exact things that you do. However, in many cases, my clients could get better jobs and make more money, but they don't, because they dropped out of school, or because they continue to use drugs, or because they're just plain lazy after generations and generations of their families have been fed, clothed and housed by the government. (i.e., by you and me, the taxpayers)
Socialism simply DOES NOT WORK, and I'm disturbed by the number of people who, despite all facts and history, refuse to believe it simply because they like the idea of it.
It's fine to like the idea - in a perfect world, nobody would be homeless or hungry. But socialism is not the answer to poverty - if it were, you would see no homeless people in Canada or most of Europe.

Nan said...

Amy said: I also work in social services, and I see the same exact things that you do. However, in many cases, my clients could get better jobs and make more money, but they don't, because they dropped out of school, or because they continue to use drugs, or because they're just plain lazy after generations and generations of their families have been fed, clothed and housed by the government. (i.e., by you and me, the taxpayers)

Most of the clients I saw while working with mental health don't fit into those categories.

I agree, pure socialism doesn't work. We need to work toward a system that does...though I really shouldn't be commenting since I'll be voting absentee from now on, I suppose.

On nostalgia and panic attacks...

So I'm sitting here at my desk, minding my own business and thinking it is about time to heat up my lunch when I hear a sound that imm...