What I'm Voting For in November

Here are the reasons I’ll cast my vote in November, in order of importance for me. I list them here because it’s my blog, but also for clarity, because I’ve been asked about my support for the President when I’m opposed to some of his policies. Neither option is satisfactory (and the fact that there are only two options is incredibly unsatisfactory), but the vote is important because one of them will be the President for the next four years at least. The President’s powers are exaggerated and have expanded unconstitutionally in the last 12 years, but the office is important and therefore the choice, even when it’s between two less than ideal options, is important. So, here is my hierarchy.

1. Marriage Equality. - I was wrong on this issue. And so many well-meaning people are. It’s because we cannot naturally or easily and do not voluntarily put ourselves in others’ shoes. We cannot imagine the hardships and hurt the continued exclusion of a people because of who they are is doing, because it’s not being done to us. Empathize, my friends, for just a moment, and you’ll get on board here too. It’s the defining civil rights cause of our generation and it will be law. I for one want to be on the right side of history.

2. Education. - The Republican agenda has gutted education in the state of Louisiana after it was finally crawling out of the hole it’s been in since Reconstruction. The expansion of “Charter” schools based on religious dogma and quackery doesn’t help us build the next generation of engineers, scientists, doctors or entrepreneurs that we need to continue American prosperity. It will pump out a generation of people who stick their fingers in their ears whenever they’re not waving their American flag or picketing Gay parades. The public education system has problems, but cutting funding isn’t the answer. More teachers, more standards, more education, that’s what I’m for.

3. Women’s Health and Equality. - And don’t think they’re separate issues. Many people of conscience have mixed feelings on the question of abortion. I do. I don’t need to have another child, don’t want to and am not trying to, but abortion would not be an option I wanted to consider if another pregnancy occurred. But I don’t have to bear the child. My body won’t change, I won’t lose sleep or work, or my wardrobe, or possibly my life. I don’t have a uterus, and I don’t think it’s my business to legislate body parts I don’t have. For many, abortion is a moral issue, but for some it’s just another way to limit the power and autonomy of women. I say women should be in charge of their own bodies, and I’ll support the Presidential candidate that agrees.

4. Healthcare. - Every modern western nation in the world promises its’ citizens healthcare except for ours. How is that possible? How did we fall behind? And why is it wrong to want all Americans to benefit from the medical advances our wealthiest citizens enjoy? The Affordable Care Act is NOT a government takeover of healthcare. It’s a move to group purchasing and more consumer choice. Yes, pretty much everyone will have to have insurance. Again, why is that a bad thing? We want people to take individual responsibility, the individual mandate is something the Republicans pushed for (and rightfully so). I’ll take the candidate that still supports this good idea, rather than the one that changes his opinion on it depending on what the richest guy in the room (other than himself) thinks about it.

So, there’s my big 4. What are YOU voting for in November?