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one day left. November 3, 2008

Posted by Jordan in Politics.
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Tomorrow. The 2008 Presidential Election is TOMORROW. Holy crap. Can’t believe it’s been four years since I voted for the first time. Can’t believe we’re finally going to have a President who’s name doesn’t end with Bush or Clinton. I very much hope that we get a strong turnout tomorrow, regardless of who wins – America can do way better than the 64% of voting-age citizens that voted in 2004. For my part, I voted early several days ago. Wanted to vote to re-elect Randy Neugebauer, our district’s Congressman, as he voted against the bailout both times and generally seems like a reasonable dude, but I learned that he’s a big advocate against online poker, which I profoundly disagree with, so I couldn’t do it. After seeing some TV ads for John Cornyn, our Senator that’s up for re-election, I did some Googling and … Wikipediaing? No clue how to make that a verb. Anyway, I looked him up, checked some of the bills he’s sponsored, and discovered that back in 2005, he and a Senator from Arizona co-sponsored a bill that, if passed (it didn’t, thank God), would have required anyone arrested or detained by federal authorities to give a sample of their DNA to be kept in a central database (more info here). You could say that kind of made me less than thrilled about him, and you would be right. So, given that, I decided that even though he’ll win, I needed to throw him under the bus, and I voted Libertarian.

As far as the Presidency goes, I find the whole thing to be way more confusing and frustrating than it has any right to be. Even though I agree in principle with John McCain on some stuff, watching him trying to sell himself as an agent of change and thinking about how far away he is from non-interventionism does nothing at all for me. I probably sound like I’m drinking the New York Times Kool-Aid here, but Sarah Palin absolutely scares me, for multiple reasons. I continue to be amazed at how, to her, it’s apparently quite reasonable that you can be a staunch women’s rights advocate and yet not even support abortion rights for rape or incest victims. That, to me at least, is more frightening and more deserving of media scrutiny than Barack Obama’s connections to a guy like Bill Ayers, when it’s known that everyone has skeletons in their closets, especially politicians, and to try to single out the other guy’s past while also trying to completely absolve yourself is just absurdly transparent.

On the other side, I very much like Obama, just as a gut-feeling, instinctive, one-dude-to-another type of thing, and I’m currently in the process of reading The Audacity Of Hope. He’s intelligent, thoughtful, eloquent, balanced, calm, and you just get the feeling that he likes considering lots of possibilities before making a decision, but even if he was on a truncated timetable, he would still be supremely confident in whatever course he chose. I’m just not sure about how far to the Left he seems to be on certain things, and the idea of having him in the White House, along with a possible filibuster-proof Congress, does make me nervous. Not necessarily from the perspective of “OMG the Democrats are evil and will destroy us all”, but moreso that I’m not sure there has ever been a time in our history when one-party rule has been conducive to the marketplace of ideas. Variety, and our freedom to believe as we wish, is a beautiful thing, and I fear for our immediate future if one party gets drunk with the notion of, at least legally speaking, being able to invalidate, on a completely arbitrary basis, any concepts or legislation put forth from the other. I do like that his health care plan doesn’t mandate that everyone have the coverage, whereas Hillary Clinton’s would have. I’ve got to admit, it would be refreshing having someone as President who’s partisan yet not blinded by his ideology, and who is smart enough to admit that the other side might sometimes have a point. I just wish that grounded sense of policy would extend to his fellow Democrats.

Most polls have Obama ahead, and based on what I have seen and read, it looks like the election is his. I remain quite unsure of where we are going, but our nation is strong, and I do find a sense of satisfaction and happiness in our ability to have a black man in candidacy for the highest office in the land (I’m white, but I despise racism). I will also say that, despite ideological differences, the message he has been broadcasting is quite appealing, as he is correct in the notion that we are, in fact, a better nation than the one the rest of the world has seen the past few years. It was really quite interesting, as far as my voting experience is concerned – when I got to the machine, I found myself wanting to vote for him more than I had anticipated. I didn’t, and I didn’t vote for John McCain either, but just between us, I look forward to what Obama will be able to do for the psyche of our country.