Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Why I didn't vote for Barack Obama

My friend Tim unknowingly extended his sympathy to me for my failure to vote for Barack Obama. Somehow that has compelled me to explain why I didn't vote for Obama.

My primary reason was that he didn't need my vote. Even when I filled in my absentee ballot two weeks ahead of time, it was pretty obvious that Obama was going to win. Some people watch sports; I read electoral college prediction drivel. Regardless of whether I desired him as president, I was convinced my vote wasn't going to decide who sat at 1600. Consequently, I decided to spend my vote to send a message.

I abhor the Bush administration and all other Republicans who speak of limited government, fiscal conservatism, and personal rights, yet have supported or claimed unitary executive power, have overseen the increase of the national debt to GDP ratio through the last 20 years of Republican presidency, and supported the USA PATRIOT Act.

It was clear that the Republicans would be the minority party for a while. I cast a vote to say to them, when you come back, please stick to the ideals that you claim. The Democrats will do a fine job of being a big government party that socializes. They will tax and spend. The nation does not need a borrow-and-spend party. The nation needs a conservative party that's actually conservative and does not lead the way in nationalizing industries. I expect the Democrats to do that. I expect them to do it in a competent, punitive way. I am embarrassed of a Republican President and his Treasury Secretary demanding 5% of our GDP be borrowed and given to one man to spend without oversight. I am shamed that he would spend that money to nationalize in a way that effectively gave those recklessly self-destructive corporations handouts equal in size to the equity stake required of them. Shame.

I am appalled by conservatives who see education as elitist, learning as suspect, and science as untrustworthy. They extol the virtues of our Founding Fathers, but they reject the life-long-learning ethic of those men. (c.f. 1776) The Bush-Palin wing of the party seems to value ignorance, instead. They seem to believe that current events have a clear liberal bias and should, therefore, not be understood. They value technology and its wealth-building, military-power-extending, nation-glorifying, life-preserving benefits, but revile as wasteful and immoral the basic research which produces those innovations.

While Obama did not need my vote, the Republican party desperately needed what little guidance I could offer by voting for a member of their party who is actually a conservative; who believes in listening to those with whom he disagrees in order to be informed; who defends balanced budgets as fervently as other Republicans clung to spending more than a bailout's worth on spreading Democracy in the Middle East.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Recommended: Absentee Voting

I voted absentee this year for the first time. It was fantastic.

In the past I’ve dug around, found a sample ballot, researched the issues, filled in my sample appropriately, taken the sample to the polls, waited in line, and copied from the the sample to the actual.

This year I sat down at the kitchen table with my notebook, the Google, and my actual ballot. Then I researched, filled, and mailed.

Montana lets you check a box on your absentee ballot that causes the clerk to send you an absentee ballot for all future elections. Of course, I checked it.

The only downside of voting absentee in Montana is that you can only request such a ballot in the window of 75 days before to 0.5 days before an election. Now that you too may want to vote absentee, you'll just have to wait until the next election to remember to apply.


Quote o' the Day

This is a crisis spawned, in large part, by our own delusion.

We wanted to believe in ever-rising stocks, in a shop-till-the-terrorists-are-defeated foreign policy and homes that were worth whatever our mortgage broker told us.

For eight years, our government borrowed to pay for wars, tax cuts and prescription drugs, while we borrowed to pay for HDTVs, iPhones and Xboxes. Buy now, pay later wasn’t just a sales pitch, it was fiscal policy.

Later is now. To fix our economy we first must change our views of debt and savings.

That will take sacrifice, the one word from the president-elect’s speech that we must hear before all others.

-- Loren Steffy opining for the Houston Chronicle.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?