Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why Obama?

As most of you know now, I AM a Democrat and I AM voting for Obama in 13 days. I have been questioned about my views more times than I care to count over the past month or two. I'm fine talking about it in a civilized manner. What I'm not okay with is people who attack me and question my morality and judgment because they don't understand what exactly they are trying to defend (or attack.) They base their attacks on half-truths and plain out lies that they consider facts because they heard it from some guy who supposedly heard it from someone else. So, I guess it must be true... right??? I was told last week that Obama has lunch with Al Qaeda terrorists. Come on. Let the mud slinging begin. I'm not coming on here to say I'm better than everyone else and anyone who disagrees with me is a moron. I just want to say that if you disagree with me, at least come to the plate with facts. I'm fine with people supporting McCain. This is what democracy is all about, my right and your right to choose what we think is best for our country. I would just ask that you respect me and my decision to support who I want to support.

I was sent this article today by a friend: http://blog.dietoyourways.com/default.aspx It was supposed to be mind blowing and make America see "the light"... I think. Okay, a few words about it (and as a disclaimer, this is my blog so if you disagree with me, that's fine, but it's still MY blog.)

I think it's ridiculous and I think it is overly partisan. First off, we need to understand that it is okay to disagree with each others' opinions. Americans are smart enough to study the issues and choose the candidate they feel represents their beliefs the closest. And I disagree with some of Obama's beliefs. I think if you agree with one of the candidates 100% of the time you probably are not thinking critically. I'm not going to comment on all of the points in that article, especially as many of them are patently false or misleading, but the big one seems to be about the taxes.

This is an area that we are just going to have to disagree on. The richest 5% of Americans have had their taxes lowered (thereby increasing the burden on the poorer 95%) during the Republican leadership. At the same time the Republicans chose to start a costly war (billions every month) and allowed the financial system to deteriorate under deregulation which is now costing us hundreds of billions in bail-outs. So the rich have had it pretty good. Now their tax rates are going back up to what they used to be (still lower than under Republican demigod Ronald Reagan) and they complain. Most Americans don't feel bad. 95% of Americans are getting a tax cut. Of the 5% that aren't, a majority will vote for Obama. I'm not sure why we care so much about that miniscule portion of Americans who will have slightly higher taxes so that we can pay for their war, clean up their mess of a financial system, increased health care coverage (not universal health care, which no one is proposing), and increased availability of a college education.

So we disagree on that and a lot of issues, but Americans will choose based on informed opinions. The country won't be ruined. Obama will keep us safe just like McCain (really!), and we can attempt to have civil discussions above the "Obama pals around with terrorists" crap we are hearing.

I hope I didn't offend anyone. I just wanted to take a second and come out of my little hole and return a short rebuttal for those insisting on attacking with false reports, half-truths, and out-right lies. I told my dad today that I think everyone can agree on this one point, that whoever is elected will have a tough road ahead of them. The recession, mortgage crisis, the war, poverty rising, dependence on foreign oil, education, healthcare, and on and on. Who would want that job, trying to fix these solid issues that most likely cannot be fixed in 4 years, or even 8?! It's going to be hard. Mistakes will be made. In the end, though, it's a question of where you want our country to be headed. More of the same... or something different? I know where I want to be headed.

(Was that enough politics for one post?!)

23 comments:

Chad and Ashley said...

I will be voting for Obama as well! I really dislike the mud slinging that has been going on (both sides) for this election. I especially hate the claims about Obama fraternizing with terrorists.However, I really like that this election is getting people to actually care about their government.

Heidi said...

Here! Here!

Shellie said...

I'm glad you had the guts to say it. Amen.

Also, I receive lame political emails all the time that a third grader probably wrote and people actually believe them!

Thanks for actually thinking about politics and having the courage to say something about it.

Zach said...

politics... apparently George Washington thought that the two party system would be the downfall of our nation. I'm beginning to feel that he is right.

I registered independent a few years back and haven't had the stomach to choose a side. I don't know if that makes me cool and unbiased, or lame and wishy washy. Is it okay if both sides just make me want to puke?

I'd say that Obama makes me want to puke less... but is not puking a good enough reason to vote? who knows.

thanks for the thoughts Jamie.

Ksenia said...

Zach's a bit of a fence sitter, but I'm with you.

Karyn said...

Thanks for sharing your opinions on all of this. Are people really giving you a hard time? This election is really a tough one for me. I do not care for the candidates in either party. But the thing I love about this country is our right to choose. We are so incredibly lucky to have that!!

Mindurs said...

Well said and thought out, my thoughts exactly! I voted for Obama yesterday and it felt good. Come 12 days from now we both are going to burn in hell for voting for a democrat. At least that is what I have been told on numerous occasions by silly ignorant people. Got to love being one of the few Mormon democrats in the state!

Woodruff Family said...

I am not very educated when it comes to politics. I am not a registered voter, but Matt is so i usually watch all the debates on t.v. and here a fair share of what is going on. I have to admit that I have been more intrigued this year than any other.Matt is voting Obama ( and proud of it) and if I were gonna vote, I would too. I was having a "discussion" with my friend who is for McCain and all I felt was contention. It's so hard for me to talk what I do know and feel, because it I hate confrontaion and I freeze up and get mad. I am going to forward your post to her because you said it much better than I could have. Thanks for being a role model. Go Obama!

Chelsea said...

It's very admirable that you are politically active and feel good about your choice. I encourage all to vote regardless of who they vote for. BTW you looked super skinny on TV!

Brian said...

Don't look at me, I voted for Ron Paul.

Jeremy and Naomi said...

Bravo for researching the issues and facts!
I'm not thrilled with anyone and at this point I just want all the mudslinging crap to be over. Every commercial is something bad about someone else and it seems you can't believe anyone anymore. It comes in the mail too! It's too bad they can't just focus on the positive things they can do instead of bringing down their opponent. I'll be glad when Nov 4 comes!

Iliana said...

You know we don't agree on who to vote for, but I agree that ignorant people (on both ends) who spout out silliness, and are serious about it, sure are annoying. And awesome about your heart!! I bet my heart would be 10years older. Good job!

hotmama said...

Its always nice to be able to be informed about a decision and have the confidence to stick with that decision. I'm NOT voting for Obama for many reasons, but I'm proud to have the right to vote, and make a choice as to who will help lead our country. Just don't forget all those local leaders too- they are the ones that affect most of what happens in our lives, towns, work etc. I'll be glad when the election is over, that's for sure!! I'm with you when you say this country will be ok-- that's a promise from the Lord, as long as we are righteous we will be blessed.

Cansas said...

Although I don't agree with you on all your arguments, I appreciate your views. I get so tired of hearing people say that Obama is a terrorist...it just sounds so unintelligent and, well crazy! I have a really hard time with politics because I never know what the real truth is. I don't believe any one party has all the answers and when they stand up and make claims that the can "fix" everything and people actually believe it....well it makes me crazy. I think our country is in a major mess and I think it's easy to place all the blame on the Republican party right now. In my humble opinion I think it's been a crisis decades in the making and both parties are to blame, but what do I know. Anyway, that's my two cents.

Julie G. said...

I hear you. I have received many of the same emails and comments on my face book page. I just think it is irresponsible to send out emails like that! As I am also a Democrat and voting for Obama. It is great to be a Democrat in Utah!

Grays said...

I teach American Government and I couldn't agree more with you. I tell my students that I don't care who they vote for as long as they educate themselves - only a handful listen. I think the problem is that is easier to rely on half-truths and scare tactics than to do any real thinking on an issue. I'll be voting for Obama -although I'm officially an independent.

I get really sick of people making party politics about one or two issues and defending their morality on that. I think it is an excuse for not actually thinking.

Angie Prusse said...

You go girl!! We get a load of crap from people out here in Omaha, when we say we are voting for Obama. In fact, politics came up in church and a guy just started bashing on Obama in Sunday School. I don't normally do this, but I interuppted him and told him to stop talking politics in church. One, because it isn't the place, and two is because he didn't have the correct facts. As you said, he heard it from Joe Schmoe on the street and didn't have the truth. I can't wait for this election to be over...but think it is one of the most important events that will take place. Thanks for sharing your views and being an example to me!

Greg Blaisdell said...

Hey Jamie,

Just thought I'd say hi and give my two cents:

1st cent: I don't think it's right to imply higher tax percentages on either the "poor" or the "rich" however you may define those classifications. I wish it would just be flat, like 10% for everyone. The rich end up paying more, just because they make more. The idea of "spreading the wealth" based on a person's yearly income is not really "fair" as some have put it. Question: Who deserves to pay a higher tax %: A person who worked for Microsoft for the last 25 years and made an average of $150,000 a year during those 25 years, or a person who started his own business and spent 25 years in debt so that after 25 years he finally had a year that made him $250,000? The Microsoft guy is a lot richer, but the guy who started his own business and took a much bigger risk is the one who will be effected by Obama's tax increase.

If your goal is to take from the rich and give to the poor, why not just look into everyone's savings accounts and start taking from people who have too much and give it to those that have less? Maybe everyone in America should not be allowed more than a million dollars savings. How much success is too much success?

2nd Cent: About governement regulation: It was government that bullied banks into giving unwise loan programs in the first place, so now unfortunately it is the government trying to fix the problem it created. If the government had just let the private companies be private in the first place, then banks would have made less risky investments because their own financial butt would be on the line. But starting in the Clinton years, the government started pushing the banks into giving loans they did not feel safe giving, saying that withholding loans from those who could not afford it was a kind of descrimination, even racism. So banks started taking stupid risks and the gov. kept telling them to get stupider. It got worse during the Bush administration, and both Republicans and Democrats can be blamed, but John McCain tried to do something about it 2 years ago.

“I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.” --John McCain

The following quote is Barney Frank, 2003, in response to Bush administration overhaul plan.

“These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis, the more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

I LOVE you Jamie and I'm only writing this on your blog because I know you're nice enough to not hate me for it. I might be as ignorant and stupid as anyone else out there, but when you ask "Do you want more of the same, or something different?" I'd say I want more of the same America that we've had since the constitution was written (it may have problems that need addressing but it's a free capitalist society), and I fear a CHANGE that makes us more like France. I think Obama wants a different America than I want.

M-GemBlaisdell said...

I keep telling Greg to write a blog. Looks like this is his start.

It seems like you are Utah's own Mormon Maverick ;) You wouldn't be one in Oregon though. I think we have the most liberal ward in the whole world. I know very few Republicans over here, in and out of the church.

We have a few lawyers in our ward that Jake could start up a firm with. You guys belong in Hillsboro!

Jacob said...

A formidable debater! Very nice.

I don't have time to go too deep, but a couple comments. I'm not sure why we should treat the small business owner and the company man/woman any different from a tax standpoint. The small business owner voluntarily took on the risk. Furthermore, the small business owner that takes that risk has the potential reward of a higher ceiling as far as profits than the company worker who's salary is more or less static. Then there is the problem of what happens when the small business owner becomes a medium or large business owner and starts hiring those company workers.

Second, the income tax has always been progressive and is less progressive now, even under the Obama plan, than ever, including under Reagan's administration. A flat tax may work nicely for the Mormon Church, who's goals are vastly different than the government's goals, but not so much for Washington. It is a fact that it is harder for a person to pay 10% of their income if they make $50,000 a year than if they make $250,000 a year. It is more of a sacrifice. My view is that we succeed or fail together as a nation. It is not communist or socialist to suggest that true prosperity as a nation comes when collectively we are stronger. Suggesting we are this turns us into France is crazy because we aren't even close (I lived there for two years!) and no one is suggesting any of the more extreme policies of France.

Abbie Anna and Megan said...

We are also Obama supporters and I just have to laugh at the criticism we recieve because they haven't listened or UNDERSTOOD what they are talking about. (Ummm...since my family won't be reading this HOPEFULLY we'll just say them for starters) They just listen to the Hanedy (spelling?) show on the radio and decide that Obama is terrible. Anyway, lets see Obama win.

Dave said...

Jacob,

Your previous comment made me curious to have your opinion on the goals of the goverment? And I will have to repremand Jamie for doing what she accuses other's of when she says "I just want to say that if you disagree with me, at least come to the plate with facts". Great statement but you can see in a few sentences below she gets caught in hypocracy by saying "Of the 5% that aren't, a majority will vote for Obama". That's a pretty big assumption and I would love to see the facts!

Jacob S. said...

Dave, you can now find my incredible answer on my own blog, the link to which Jamie provided above. I think the point of the 5% thing was that voting is pretty evenly split between Democrat and Republican through all salary ranges, and that Obama is polling ahead of McCain by about 7% nationally. We may plausibly infer, then, that a slight majority of people making $250,000 or more per year will vote for Obama.