Sunday, October 28, 2007

Indecision 2008

Please grant me this post--I promise it will be my ONLY politically motivated post of the "season".

Is anyone else having a difficult time deciding who to vote for this next election? I am in a HUGE quandary. Many of my liberal friends call me a closet liberal, although I am a registered Republican. I often find that my ideals as a teacher conflict with my conservative views. If someone were to ask, I would consider myself an independent, but I like to vote in the primaries; so Republican I am. Today, a good friend sent me the following link:

Select the Candidate Quiz

I encourage everyone to complete it before reading on…..

I am not going to reveal who the quiz decided I should vote for. I am just rebellious enough to confess the candidate selected for me doesn’t have a prayer, but… this quiz ignited quite the discussion in my household tonight. First, I took the quiz and revealed my candidate. Then, Kent took the test and revealed his candidate. Finally, Chandler, my 11-year-old came up from playing downstairs and asked if he could take the test. For the next 30 minutes or so, we discussed abortion, taxes, death penalty, gay marriages and immigration. I don’t think I have ever discussed these topics with my son beyond the casual blurb here and there. It was interesting to read the questions with him, discuss what they meant, and then allow him to make the decision for himself. It was enlightening to have such deep discussions with one so young. Though I could easily have swayed his vote, I tried to be as “fair-minded” as possible and give him the information without the editorial—though I will admit on certain issues I expounded far more than necessary.

What makes up our moral compass when it comes to those we elect into office? As I watched my 11-year-old, I could see he answered from the “gut”. He has no experience with taxes or immigration and was simply concerned with the “people”—until we got to absolutes like the death penalty and abortion. On those issues he tended, like many folks, to be inconsistent with his decision. Someday someone will explain to me the “consistency” of being pro-life and pro-death penalty (when does life cease to have potential-but I will save that for another day).

Seems our political climate can be summed up in the following topics: the war, immigration, taxes, stem-cell research, health care, abortion, social security, line-item veto, energy, marriage and the death penalty. This list seems too small to encompass the values of an entire country. I wonder how many people truly understand the “issues”. I suspect many vote instead for the charismatic or the “popular”. I am more challenged than ever to explore where I stand on these questions. I need to ask myself more relevant questions such as what effects Presidential decisions will have on my life as well as upon the lives of the American community. I am energized to deliberately become more informed and to choose a Presidential candidate based on, not only my “gut” (or an on-line survey) but rational examination and discourse.

This I know for sure…

3 comments:

Annie said...

I'm a flaming liberal. Not a surprise. I was a teacher after all. I do have a few conservative streaks but none that are being touched on in this election. Trouble really is that I am a realist. The world can't be properly run from the far left or the far right and it isn't a good idea to cater to minority groups on any issue.

My top two "picks" couldn't win if they were they only two running. Edwards was the third and I have always liked the guy though I am not certain how I feel about his impending widowhood meshing with his ability to take on such a hard job. I guess that shouldn't be a consideration, but how can I not wonder and worry about that given what I know?

Being an immigrant now (and having worked with kids who were illegal by their parents choice really) I have a softer view than most.

I don't believe in abortion as birth control but I think the mother's life always trumps in matters of her health. Still, I find the back door assault on birth control to be a more insidious problem at the moment.

Death penalty. I can't support it. True there are people who can't be rehabilitated but killing them sets the state up as a poor moral example.

Taxes? We are in such a fiscal hole. We can't spend and not save. We should have sucked it up a long time ago on a lot of money issues and didn't. Sucks to be us now, I guess but can we really dump our troubles on our children and grandchildren?

Interesting as always.

Linda said...

I suspect many vote instead for the charismatic or the “popular”.

Well said, and I couldn't agree with you more! It drives me crazy!

Of the top five or six candidates that matched my views, only one has a chance, and the poll #'s are not very strong.

Hmmm ... you have given me something to ponder, my dear. That was an interesting quiz!

Marsha said...

Yipeee!!! Linda is pondering, Annie is pondering-----Marsha continuously ponders---
It's a ponder party!!!!!
Everyone is invited.
Marsha