I try to avoid political discussions. Religions and politics tend to be topics where the arguments are filled with passion and blind faith backed by little factual evidence, and convincing the other party to change his or her mind has an almost infinitesimal chance of success. Typically, when the conversation turns to politics, I turn away.
So why write about my choice for President of the United States of America and start this conversation? It’s not for the undecided voters – if you still haven’t made up your mind about where your vote is going, you’re an idiot. It’s not for the decided voters – as I said above, I’m not going to change your mind if you disagree. It’s for me.
This post is the beginning, the end, and the extent of my political conversation. I’m going to vote, I know who is getting my vote, and here’s why. I’m not going to argue about it, and I’m not going to engage you in any other way beyond this post and its comments. Read my words and react how you will – agree, disagree, be indifferent, get enraged, whatever. I’m making my opinion clear and I’m leaving it at that.
At first glance, I would seem to be the perfect Republican. I am a highly educated single white heterosexual male who owns a small business and earns an upper middle class income. I come from a traditional family with a mother and father who are still happily married after thirty-seven years. I want to get remarried someday and have children of my own, and I want them to grow up in a world of security and prosperity.
However, I place more importance on my children growing up in a world of tolerance and unconditional love where we respect the differences of others, not fear and hate them. Where someone’s race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation doesn’t make them an object of ridicule or prejudice. Where the Bible isn’t used inappropriately and inaccurately as a weapon of hate. A world that prides itself on being a global community of human beings, not a jingoistic xenophobe’s paradise comprised of us versus them.
I want a government that is there to support me, not tell me what I can or cannot do in my own home and bedroom. I want to know that if I were to become destitute, I could count on my government to make sure I stayed healthy, nourished, and motivated to change my situation. And I want a government that actually works together to improve our way of life instead of engaging in ideological saber rattling that hurts us all.
Over the past four years, I have seen President Obama try to compromise and work with Congress to help this country, and I have seen his opponents act ignorantly and prevent him from accomplishing as much as he could, just because they are from a different political party. Who are these people that are so arrogant that they put their own ideology ahead of the desperate needs of the American people? When did the welfare of our own country become second to the aspirations of those in Washington?
I remain impressed that, despite the blatant bigotry, machinations and illogical actions of an opposing party that has gone off the rails, President Obama managed to stop our economy in mid-freefall and reverse its direction. He has demonstrated a foresight and wisdom that saved both the automotive and banking industries even while fighting an uphill battle against members of both parties who were focused purely on re-election. But that’s not why I’m voting for Barack Obama in November.
I am voting to re-elect President Obama because of the future. Years from now, I want to be able to tell my child that yes, there was a time when some Americans were treated like second-class citizens and provided fewer rights just because they happened to be homosexual. And yes, all Muslims used to be called terrorists even though the religion of Islam is a peaceful one. And yes, as strange as it may seem, in the past, you could actually go bankrupt and die from a perfectly treatable illness because not every American had comprehensive medical coverage. I want my child to be able to look in my eyes and see that during that time of ignorance, intolerance, and blind hatred, I voted with my heart and my conscience, not, as some will this November, with irrational fear and misplaced indignation.
Our world will never be a perfect one. It can, however, be a tolerant and loving one, and in my opinion, that’s the only type of world to vote for.