21 October 2008

Election 2008 from Michelle's Eyes

I don't care to have any debates here, so I'm turning off comments. If you are a family member or friend who really wants to tell me something about the election, email me. I just want you to know that I'm trying to become an informed voter, but I find that many times, both sides are unsatisfactory in an issue. Last week, I used Vote Gopher's "My Ballot" function to compare issues and pick candidates. Here's what I came up with. First I'll list the issue, then the candidate I like the best with that issue, and then my reasoning. At the very end are the totals and my lack of conclusion:


Obama 1
I like the idea of getting out of Iraq now.


Obama 2
Increasing U.S. involvement in U.N. and NATo is good, as are talking to any head of state without preconditions (forgiveness) and working toward a world without nuclear weapons. Why do we even have restrictions on family travel to Cuba? Don't we believe in family, no matter what their government is like?

Terrorism and Homeland Security

McCain 1
Shouldn't the CIA and the military have the same standards? However, I think NATO should send more troops to Afghanistan. With American troops going places, people are just hating America more and more. But if other groups join in and are responsible, a difference can be made.

Middle East

Obama 3
Meeting directly with Iranian leaders--awesome. It seems ridiculous to try to solve problems without working with the people involved. Doesn't that sound tyrannical?

Economic Recovery

Obama 4
How does McCain expect to balance the budget with tax cuts? That doesn't make sense.

Taxes and Spending

No Preference 1
This is a tough one because Obama's plan for increases and cuts is good, but he hasn't pledged to balance the budget. 5-minute filing sounds good, but that shouldn't be something to change someone's mind on who to vote for. Naturally spending has to increase for the healthcare and energy crises.

Trade and Globalization

Obama 5
NAFTA needs those environmental standards. It makes sense to reward businesses keeping American jobs (to help the economy).

Labor and Business Regulations

No Preference 2
Why does it matter if people's votes are private or public with the Employee Free Choice Act? Why does it matter how long the period is when women can file claims of pay discrimination?


Obama 6
Hello! America is not a third world country! How can we be a good example of a world leader when such a high percentage of people are without health insurance? Widespread healthcare has worked in other modern countries. McCain thinking that individual responsibility will lower costs has not seen how many times my parents have had to go without care despite being covered by health insurance and how often they've had to change insurances because of increasing costs.


No Preference 3
Energy is a huge issue in my mind, which makes this one tricky. It is good that McCain wants to build nuclear plants (which are safer and cleaner than people think) while Obama just would "consider it." Fuel economy standards need to be stricter. Oil drilling should be reduced and lots of focus should be put on using other sources of energy (wind, water, and solar especially). But putting money into researching it isn't enough (doing it is better), but simply tax breaks for alternative sources isn't enough either.


Obama 7
Emissions have to go down. Way down. The fancy way of life needs to be limited so it is less selfish.


Obama 8
I don't necessarily agree with the fencing thing, but I also have mixed feelings about guest worker programs. I definitely think there should be an immediate and clear path for illegal immigrants to become citizens if they meet condition. Job-based immigration should not be increased at the expense of family reunification.


No Preference 4
Another tricky one. More funding to schools is never going to be the key to meeting testing standards. Until someone finds a way to make all parents better parents, and to really expect accomplishments from student, testing standards are never going to be better. More pay for performing teachers is good. However, I feel like vouchers might be a good idea. If I lived in a neighborhood with a crappy school for my kids, I might first try to work with the school and my kids, but if that didn't work, I'd definitely want to send them somewhere else. Tuition tax credit for college students sounds nice. Race-based affirmative action for colleges is ridiculous. What year is it? 2008? Aren't we done with discrimination? Now we're just discriminating in the opposite direction.

Social Security

No Preference 5
Who knows? Perhaps the system should be continued but changed, perhaps privatization is the way to go. However, any social security money that has been taken out of people's pay checks ought to, at one time or another, be repaid to THOSE WHO HAVE PAID IT.

Abortion and Stem Cells

McCain 2
Abortion is a lame excuse to get out of responsibility for a choice already made. If it was a bad choice, then why don't they make it a good one by allowing someone unable to have a child adopt it instead of making another bad choice by killing it? Stem cell research is good (both candidates support it, just thought I’d mention it).

Gun Policy and Crime

No Preference 6
I don't understand why anyone would need some types of guns, like machine guns or something. But I see how America was greatly founded on this freedom. Drugs are bad. But any sentencing isn't going to change anyone's habits.

Gay Rights

No Preference 7
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" seems very illogical to me. People who have homosexual feelings should be loved, but not rewarded for acting on those feelings, just like kleptomaniacs.


No Preference 8
Affordable housing sounds good. But so does having charities and communities playing a big anti-poverty role. However, creating a task force on unfair lending practices isn't promising any accomplishments and probably won't see any.

The Courts

McCain 3
Judges should never be appointed because of their biases. Ever. That's what laws are for. If they're not true to the law, they don't deserve to be judges. Don't they make some kind of covenant about that when they finish law school?

Government Reform

No Preference 9
I don't know. I just know there's too much spent on lame things. I bet even if all candidates had a ton less money in the running, the media would spend their own money talking about them anyway.


No Preference 10
Biden's foreign relations experience is good. Palin's pro-life social conservativeness is good.

Experience and Background

Obama 9
I'm not sure why some of these background things should matter, like where they were born. But I guess McCain's stress on his experience, (which is too war-related) is bad when we want a change from a war focus to an international focus.


No Preference 11
Uuuuh, I have no idea who all these people are or why they matter, though they’re probably the ones doing the real work. Sorry, guys.


Obama 10
Change from President Bush is what the world needs. Poor guy. Political consensus and compromise sound good. National unity and voter empowerment sound even better.


No Preference 12
Oh brother, everyone knows someone who did something crazy. Bitter small-town people do cling to guns and religion. Why is that controversial? And why is it controversial that a peaceful U.S. could last for 100 years in Iraq? Any peaceful country could last for a 100 years somewhere else.

Obama 10
McCain 3
No Preference 12

That doesn't help me for the final decision. If even 7 of those "no preference" issues were to convert to McCain, there would be a tie between the candidates. Oh brother. Now you see why politics and I don't understand each other. I just looked at my absentee ballot. Oh great. I'm supposed to know about Utah politicians and judges too! Yikes.