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The Vote - It's time to decide


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#1
Atnevon

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Up until now I've been for the most part very quiet about the election here in the states. By now I'm sure that no matter what country you're living in and no matter how distant you are from the political system, you've probably still heard almost no end to the arguments on each side of the McCain vs. Obama decision.

Today I'm not here to tell you how to vote. I'm not here to sway your opinion one way or the other. Chances are that you've already made your decision and no matter what I say, it's not going to change that choice. What I do want to do, however, is to give just a little extra perspective on why people might vote the way they do. Maybe you've considered these things, maybe you haven't. The sad fact though is that the U.S. right now is suffering from a very deep political divide and it's making it harder and harder for people to see across whichever line they happen to be sitting behind without seeing a distortion of what the other side really represents.

If someone votes differently than you do, they're not evil. They're not supporting an evil agenda, and they aren't out to ruin the country. They're making the choice that they really believe is the best one for the country and the people in it. There is more than enough mudslinging being done by the campaigns of each candidate. We don't need to add to it and make things any worse than they already are.

So, why would someone vote the way they do? Really, there are way too many reasons to ever hope to list out, but here are just a few from each side.

VOTE MCCAIN

You can say what you will about McCain, but he has a very good record backing him up. He also has had a more intimate experience with war and torture than anyone should ever have to go through. Surviving through a POW camp not only gives him that first hand knowledge, but it also makes him one tough son of... well, you get the idea.

McCain also has a pretty distinctive habit of reaching out across party lines to get things done as a senator. It's the kind of thing that I think all of us are looking for the next president to be able to do. It's also this very same reason that Obama became so popular so quickly, when he gave the speech that set off his path to president, proclaiming that we are not two separate Americas, but that we are the United States of America. People want someone who can unite the parties, and McCain has proven he can do it.

Honestly, I am absolutely certain that I would have voted for McCain 3 years ago, before he started running this most recent campaign. This is despite the fact that I have quite a few differences of opinion with him on a number of issues where he sides conservative. When he spoke up against the Jerry Falwells and the Pat Robertsons of America as being part of the problem, it really gave me a lot of respect for the man and those times where he has had the courage to fight his own party have really been something worth commending in my book.

Now, that being said, I can't give the positive without the negative, and there is a pretty fair amount of negative here. McCain, in this run for president has gone back on so many of the things that he has said and done that it is extremely disconcerting to me. He even went as far as to speak at Falwell's University. His conservative viewpoints have become more and more conservative since 2006 and they have taken him farther and farther from the middle.

This could all be a ploy by him to win the vote for president by drawing up the right wing conservative base for the votes he needs, and if McCain were to become 3 years ago John McCain after he's elected, honestly, I could be okay with that. Do I think it's a bit deceitful to campaign for one thing when supporting another? Yes, I do, but if he might not have had any other hope of winning than by doing this. Just look at his campaign in 2000 and how that ended up. It is sad, but running for the middle just won't work with the way our parties are setup.

The problem is that I don't know if this is all just a ploy or if 'Campaign McCain' will continue on as President McCain. And, to back up that possibility, he's chosen a Vice President that has forever supported all the hard core conservative values that he has been pushing with his campaign. She doesn't have the history of reaching for the middle that he does, and that worries me.

VOTE OBAMA

If you're looking for a change to the system, there is absolutely no one that can contest that Obama is probably the best bet to make that happen. He is by anyone's definition 'fresh blood' compared to just about anyone else in Washington, and with people as fed up as they are lately with the political system here in the U.S. it's hard to imagine change as a bad thing these days.

Back that up with a running mate that comes from middle class roots and has a good deal of experience at his backing, and you've got a pretty strong candidate for president.

Obama even went out of his way to give us a little more time with him in the half hour infomercial that he bought on a number of networks. I think that across the board, if you look deep down, you can acknowledge that Barak really does want to change things for the better. He has confidence in the fact that he can.

Now, the counter to this is that he really doesn't have the record that McCain does. A lot of this goes with the territory of being younger and newer to Washington, and that's not something he can change overnight. It does make him a much riskier candidate to elect though, because we don't know for sure just what he will really do when he gets in office. Everybody wants change, and they'll definitely have that, but it is hard to say that changing so many things at once won't have disastrous consequences as a result.

For example, I'm a big supporter of universal health care. I think it's one of those things that Canada has the right idea on, but as was pointed out to me, if we jump too quickly into it, as good a cause as it is, it could backfire on us completely and throw the system into chaos for a number of years. Mix those kinds of situations with a president that doesn't have as much experience at his backing and it would make it harder for us to dig ourselves out of holes like that.

We're also lacking details on exactly how he plans to make the changes he plans and still make everything fall into place like it should. Yes, most people want universal health care, they want that tax cut he's been talking about and they want change in Washington on a fundamental level. But, the sad truth of the matter is that just wanting it or implementing it without a good solid plan to make all the pieces fit like they should... well, that could end up badly. This is what people are scared of, and I don't blame them at all.

I think at the end of the day it's a pretty close wash between which candidate will do the best... or even which one will do the least badly. It's because of that wash that we have people so divided on who to elect for the next four years, so please please take this into consideration the next time you run into someone that votes a different way than you do. They have good reasons for feeling the way they do, just like you do. If we can acknowledge that as a nation I think we'll all be in a better place.

Now though, it's time to end the words and move to action. So, if you haven't cast your vote yet today, don't wait another minute. Head out now and know that you let your voice be heard.

If you need to find your local voting location, head to http://maps.google.com/vote and type in your address for the closest polling spot. I'll see you there :)

VOTE
The sky was the color of a television, tuned to a dead channel. - William Gibson

#2
Sanctuary

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You guys are so screwed. :(

(THough in fairness - no matter which way it went - the USA is in big trouble. :( :(

I watched his (Obama's speech from last night).

Am I the only one who read that harshness in his eyes? Cold.

and I wish people would stop calling him black and oh my favorite word in the word *rolls eyes* African American he's "mulatto" say it with me,

M-U-L-A-T-T-O

Half white half black. BOTH.


Should I introduce myself as Caucasian Celtic Canadian? It's really irritating. Seriously. People would have to be incredibly stupid not to see what race or color I am. It's pretty obvious when you see me. /end rant.

Sorry it just really annoys me to no end that people are still boxing each other in with "words" and creating those dividing lines and separation of people. BAH.
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#3
Atnevon

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It's a very good point you bring up Sanctuary and one that I think a lot of people don't really think about as much as they should before they use the now commonly PC terms for certain races.

In the states people get very sensitive about how people portray races and what names they give to them, and as a result we get things like 'African American' or 'Native American', and we end up with so many different classifications that it's hard to keep track of them all.

The first time that I took a standardized state test it asked me to fill in a circle next to my race and at the time I didn't know what 'Caucasian' meant. I raised my hand and asked the teacher where I was supposed to bubble in for 'American'. While at the time I wasn't making a statement or a protest (I was just young and confused), I think that we really should be at a point where we can just call ourselves Americans... or if we have to be politically correct on some level still 'American Americans'.

I do also have to say however that no matter what side of this election you're on, and no matter how good or bad the country ends up because of the choice we made, it is really nice that we have finally broken through that barrier and elected someone that wasn't 100% white. Maybe with that barrier down, we can now just start calling ourselves simply Americans, but thinking of ourselves that way as well.
The sky was the color of a television, tuned to a dead channel. - William Gibson

#4
Sanctuary

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I'm really scared for you guys honestly. But I would have felt the same way for McCain. It's moments like this where there really needs to be a viable 3rd option.

Canada has the same issue. There are really just two parties. Our last elections have been pretty much the same as yours - as in - you vote based on the least of the two evils. Which makes me sad because I really want to vote for someone I feel proud of and that I believe will make a difference. Not someone who will do "The least amount of harm." :(

"it is really nice that we have finally broken through that barrier and elected someone that wasn't 100% white."

Again I feel the same about Canada - Harper is one of the first that wasn't French - he's English. First time in a very long time we've had that. And he's on his second run.

However, I have to say, and this is no offense to you. But people really have to think - what does race or what not have to do with running a country? I don't care if they are purple and speak alien - as long as they have the best interests of the WHOLE country in mind when they make decisions. I want someone who's gonigto look after te interests of all it's citizens and take the direction of the country somewhere postive.
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#5
GeneviveRusset

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Outcome aside, I think Atnevon posting this was very noble. Eloquent and well written, it shows the type of respect we should have towards people, even beyond political arena. Atnevon, I comend you for seeing beyond the noise of the campaign, the one word labels. The world could use more people like you.

#6
Atnevon

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I'm really scared for you guys honestly. But I would have felt the same way for McCain. It's moments like this where there really needs to be a viable 3rd option.


Vote Bobette in 2012! She is clear victor over the pens that she attacks.

"it is really nice that we have finally broken through that barrier and elected someone that wasn't 100% white."

Again I feel the same about Canada - Harper is one of the first that wasn't French - he's English. First time in a very long time we've had that. And he's on his second run.

However, I have to say, and this is no offense to you. But people really have to think - what does race or what not have to do with running a country? I don't care if they are purple and speak alien - as long as they have the best interests of the WHOLE country in mind when they make decisions. I want someone who's gonigto look after te interests of all it's citizens and take the direction of the country somewhere postive.



No offense taken at all. I actually couldn't agree more. If we want to truly and honestly be an undivided nation, the *last* thing we should ever do is elect someone on the basis of race instead of their qualifications for the job. Racism gone the opposite direction is still racism, and for anyone that did let race influence their choice, I think it's the wrong way to think about things.

There is also a bigger picture involved here than just the seat of the president, and it's something that I don't think enough consideration was given to.

People may not like me for this, but I voted for a check of power in the white house against congress. It was not at all an easy call to make, and one that might even have me lose the respect of some people that I know, but knowing for certain that the democrats were going to retain power in the senate and the house and knowing that realistically, the candidates were a wash against each other in my book after all was said and done, I let my final decision rest on the idea that this country was founded on a check of powers between the congress and the white house. The fact that we didn't have that check of power, I believe, is one of the reasons that we're in the state that we're in right now. Even if it was the opposite party, I could see the same thing happening with the democrats as did with the republicans, which is why I put a circle next to M.

Do I agree with the principles that he has stood for over the past couple years while he has been running for 2008? No. Do I share Palin's stance on issues? Definitely not. On the same token though, I know that if you go by the numbers alone and not the electoral college, 50% of the country is still conservative. If we want to have a system that really works for all of the country, we need some powers in play that look out for that half of the people. Will less get done that way on the liberal front? Maybe, but then again more could get done in the middle too, and it could lead to the kind of compromise and reaching across the isle that we've needed for years.

Call me crazy, but it's the choice I thought was best for the country.
The sky was the color of a television, tuned to a dead channel. - William Gibson

#7
Starphoenix Koroias

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What we need is a demented bastard in office that will have an equally demented congress all agreeing with each other. That way there we know where they're going to go. Right up your ass with a razor bladed dildo.
But at least they'll use some K-Y to soften the blow.

Obama or McCain. Who cares? All the nation accomplished is voting in a non-white president. We're still going to the eight ring in a handbasket (and I've made room in hell for the entire USA there) regardless of the president. What you need is a Congress that actually gives a damned to go with the president that wants to try and make a change. And that's virtually impossible with our 500+ member congress. You need at least 67% of the congress to always agree with the president and the likelyhood of that happening is about the same as the Governator speaking proper and clear English English.

Nope. At this point the most fun you'll have with Obama is taking bets on how long he'll survive. Not that I wanna see harm come to him, but you know there's enough of the USA literally gunning for him now. And any idiot can obtain the parts for a high-powered sniper rifle on eBay now.

I went for McCain only cause I wanted to see how long it took Palin to start breeding carabou on the White House lawn. And then organizing vice-presidential hunting parties. It would've been a grand sight seeing her trotting down Pennsylvania avenue with a hunting rifle and a vial of "carabou in heat" dangling off her keychain.

But now we gotta settle for a guy with bigger ears than Will Smith, and someone with more hair plugs than the Bosley Medical Group.

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#8
Menace

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I never registered to vote, and i'm not sure i will any time soon, but i would have deffinately voted for Obama. And not just cause he'd be the first black president or because of all the newly inspired dreams that -any- child can have now, such as being president, but because i certainly couldn't handle having to listen to another Bush for the next 4 years.

And for the Mcain supporters, I couldn't possibly imagine what kind of childhood trauma one would have to go through to grow up and vote for .. i'll just say the devil, but i respect your decision ;]
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#9
Sanctuary

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I never registered to vote, and i'm not sure i will any time soon, but i would have deffinately voted for Obama. And not just cause he'd be the first black president or because of all the newly inspired dreams that -any- child can have now, such as being president, but because i certainly couldn't handle having to listen to another Bush for the next 4 years.

And for the Mcain supporters, I couldn't possibly imagine what kind of childhood trauma one would have to go through to grow up and vote for .. i'll just say the devil, but i respect your decision ;]


Voting is really important as silly as that sounds. I started to vote several years after I was legally able to - as I really didn't think that my one little vote counted for much.

I've since volunteered on some political local campaigns for people I really believed in. Those were eye openers.

Think about it and maybe next time consider voting. It's really an experience to be part of it, even in a small way.

PS - Obama is not black dang nab it! . :P :P :P :P :P
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#10
Enki Anunaki

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Outcome aside, I think Atnevon posting this was very noble. Eloquent and well written, it shows the type of respect we should have towards people, even beyond political arena. Atnevon, I comend you for seeing beyond the noise of the campaign, the one word labels. The world could use more people like you.


I agree, GeneviveRusset. Well put, Aty.

It seems to me that few among my generation seem to care enough about politics to become knowledgeable on the issues or the candidates. My local peers have alot of steam to blow out their asses with no real informed perspective. I blame the media. Popular media seems to make light of the seriousness of the U.S.A.'s current position and of politics in general. Also, the media strongly skews the realities of our situation. Ignorance works in the favor of the mega-corps. Apathy is rampant and the desperate hope for change is a ghostly banner that the people of the nation are clinging, white-knuckled, to. Obama seems to represent the possibility for change and McCain represents the good ol' boys with a "business as usual" attitude. I voted for neither. McCain exhibits behaviors that verge on observable abnormal psychology, he was a P.O.W. after all. That kind of shit will drive any man insane. And Obama, oh Obama, he is a Manchurian if ever I have witnessed one. To me his voice oozes lies and I don't trust the intent within his eyes.

I tend to view politics in a similar fashion as the philosophies represented in the novel Starship Troopers. Didn't fight? Can't vote. Didn't vote? Can't bitch. The war-machine needs gears and nothing gains an empire cash-flow like war. I ask you this question, abject to the current discussion, why are we losing money whilst the war-machine rages? I digress.

I believe that in order to raise one's station from peasant to citizen one must be serious about one's government. Regardless of how removed from the situation you may feel you are a part of it. Take it from me, not only do I live in a place that's about as far from D.C. as you can get, but there are no roads that run to the capitol of Alaska. I know what it's like to feel like that [political] situation has no bearing on your life. Become involved, make your voice heard even if it seems like a tiny peep in the sea of din.

F.Y.I: I am, and have been since the age of eighteen, a registered member of the Alaskan Independence Party. As such, I voted duly on my primary ballot.

#11
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Frankly the president is a figurehead with veto power and a few discretionary abilities.

We wouldn't be any better or worse off no matter whether McCain or Obama won.


So very true. The president is not really much more than a public speaker and motivator, with the added bonus of being the fall guy to take the blame when things aren't going so well. It's the men and women behind the president that have the true power. Sure in the background there are decisions to be made, propositions to yes or no to, big red button orders to give, but the president isn't the one out there collating information and doing the real intense work. Just using the big rubber stamps of YES and NO. Though I don't really think the NO stamp gets used much.




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