Because my roots are deep in conservative Utah Mormon territory, many of my readers identify as Republicans. You guys can stop reading this post now if you want. I am going to lay out the hows and whys of what I plan to voice at the caucus today.
My gut feeling all along has been to lean away from Clinton. Why? This business of Presidential dynasties has got to stop. We are not a banana republic. In the last debate she was asked about that and she said in this country we are all judged by our own merits and that is what she was running on, not those of her husband. Whatever. That is like asking a jury to strike a remark from the record. Doesn't mean they never heard it. That said, I still wanted to give her a shot based on what she had to say. I do think that she has something to offer in the way of experience. I feel that the policies she puts forward are well thought out and take into account what she has learned over the years. Take healthcare for example. She failed spectacularly when she put forward her plan as first lady but she tweaked and learned and moved forward with a revised plan. I also agree with her thoughts on the economy and immigration. In the last debate where the candidates were allowed to speak w/out time limits her carefully thought out ideas moved beyond sound bites into plans I could really get behind. That said, I am having trouble with her inability to own up to her votes to give W carte blanche on the war. And she also wasted a bunch of time in video game legislation when, to my eye, the walls were falling down all around in regards to all the big issues.
Well, the reality is that he and Clinton are not so different in policy. It's all in the minutia. His plans seem more like "elect me" soundbites rather than Clinton's more thought out road maps. Does that matter? I don't know. We all know that when presidents, senators, representatives, etc, get elected things never go as they promise in elections. It's not usually due to lies during the campaign. It is simply that the system is divided, complicated and fraught with lobbyists that it seems impossible to make any forward progress. He is less experienced that Clinton but I believe that he is smart enough to learn on the fly. (please, please, please, let us have a smart president on this next go around - I just can't deal with this "aw shucks" good, ol country boy shtick anymore.) But when he speaks - Oh when he speaks! He makes me want to be a better citizen. He makes me want to help others. Over the last 7 years I have wondered what happened to the country I love. Why have we become mean? To those who are different, to those who need help? To those who are living in different cultures? I know, we were attacked but our response has been black and white and this world and our country are painted in every shade of grey and the rainbow. When Obama speaks I believe that we can be better. I believe that we can lift up those who are struggling and reach out to the world with a broader mindset. I believe that we can attempt diplomacy before bombs.
I want to BELIEVE again.
"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what can you do for your country."
"My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
President John F. Kennedy