Over the past five years, I’ve trekked up to our middle school gym to vote in various elections with a baby strapped to my front, riding in a stroller, then holding my hand as I explained the importance of pulling levers in that funny booth drawn off by a curtain.
This year, it turns out I’ll be away on Election Day so Daughter and I made a special trip to Town Hall. We waited in line for my absentee ballot then sat at a large conference table while I filled in the circles for each of my chosen candidates. At two years old, she doesn’t understand the importance of this election – for her present and her future.
This year’s election is the first to draw me into the political process in such an engaged way. Barack Obama inspired me to reach into my wallet, pick up the phone and call strangers in another state, and eagerly await my nightly installation of Shields and Brooks on the News Hour.
Many months ago, I read his autobiography, Dreams from my Father, and this sealed my belief in the quality of his intellect, social insight, leadership, and ability and willingness to tackle steep challenges. Watching how well he’s run his campaign this last year and how expertly he’s crafted his policies; I’m convinced he is our children’s best hope for a brighter future than what lies before them today.
On the Economy
If your biggest worry is the economy: I’ll cite his tax plan, his regulatory stance, and his plans to build a new energy economy as the smartest solutions. A (wealthy) friend recently derided his tax policy that would have her family pay more money. Well, my friend, you are fortunate to make so much money that you received a tax cut from George W. Now it’s going to be taken away. You can choose to view that as having your taxes raised. However, the many millions of Americans who didn’t get a tax break then, justly deserve one. You claim your “trickle down” will drive the economy more. Ah, come on.
As for regulation, well, hopefully we’re all on the same page in seeing why more regulation is necessary because certain industries (and people) can’t control their excesses.
Next, Obama’s plan to build a new energy economy not only provides millions of new jobs, but has the best chance of saving our planet for our children’s future.
After the economy, his policies to stanch global warming are my second primary reason for supporting him as a candidate for President. I’ll say two things on this. One: If you don’t yet believe in global warming, go visit the North Pole or pay a visit to a bustling city in China. Second: Do a little reading and learn that there is not enough oil on our planet (let alone in the United States) to last the next generation’s lifetime. Add to that our melting glaciers and bizarre weather patterns (see Hurricane Katrina), and you hopefully understand our planet’s fragile condition and the need for urgent alternatives.
My third primary reason for supporting Obama is his gifted ability to rebuild our nation’s respect in the world. He has a gift for diplomacy and a willingness to understand his opponent’s position, even while continuing to oppose a position, belief or action. This gift will make a difference in our foreign policy. A big one. And, he is one of the few leaders to fully understand the threat and impact of Pakistan and Afghanistan to our nation and world peace.
Our Choice, Your Choice
So, if I haven’t sold you yet (if you’re undecided at this late date), I’ll make my final plea: As a woman, as a mother, it is imperative that we protect our right to choose. Even if you would never choose abortion for yourself, would you really take the right away from other women, from our daughters and their future peers, who may for whatever their own particular saddest reason, desperately need it?
Finally, as individuals and as a country; we can’t under value the opportunities made possible by a great leader. Obama has a rare gift for eloquently expressing ideas and hopes that inspire people to change and help make change. Think of the first great boss (or any other mentor/leader) you had who inspired you to work harder and better for your own and a greater good. Imagine what’s possible at a national level with a leader of Obama’s calibre? Then, we might have a country that our sons and daughters are thriving in, that respectfully leads in the world, and that their parents made the choice to give them.
Go vote on Tuesday!