Think Before You Vote

I ended up too busy with guests at home yesterday to post…so I’ll do it today.

I’ve talked before about the difference between thinking with one’s emotions and thinking with one’s logic.  Some of the conversations I’ve had lately have once again put this issue in the forefront of my mind, as I think there are still far too many people who base their reactions to certain things–such as politics–on their emotional feelings rather than logic.  I met a lady yesterday who is an absolute joy to spend time with, but one of the conversations we had reminded me starkly of the same conversation I’ve had with several people.

There are a handful of reasons why several of those I know are voting for Obama, but the same two keep being paraded out by everyone: abortion rights and “diplomacy”.  I have to say, there are many much larger reasons to consider before voting this year, and the diplomacy argument isn’t being considered past your own living room.  You have to really think, and genuinely expand what you know before you can say you really know why you’re voting a certain way this year.

Abortion is a big reason for a lot of women.  This, I say again, is NOT serious enough to be the sole reason to vote for any candidate, let alone our next President.  Personally, I believe abortion should be outlawed past a certain point; I believe partial-birth abortion should be outlawed as cruelty and there should be laws (ones that Obama has never supported) that protect babies delivered alive during certain abortion procedures.  I think the morning-after pill is perfectly acceptable.  Too many women, though, say they don’t want Palin to be one step away from the Presidency because they think her religion is her “agenda” somehow.

Let’s talk about Palin’s religious agenda.  That argument is stricken dead by Palin’s own record.  In her first year as governor of Alaska, the people of her state overwhelmingly voted to approve a ballot measure that would have banned gay partners of state employees from receiving benefits the way married couples do.  Yet when the resolution hit her desk, Palin unequivocally vetoed it.  If her religion is her agenda, she hasn’t shown it.  There’s no evidence of this.  Try again.

What about the War on Terror?  Has anyone considered this?  Another issue commonly raised is that we’re somehow not being “diplomatic” enough in our dealings with other countries.  I beg to differ.  We’ve been nothing but diplomatic with Iran.  Part of diplomacy means that when you’re done talking, if nothing has been accomplished, you let the other guy know that you will use force if necessary.  We’ve been very diplomatic with North Korea and Russia.  We’ve been diplomatic with everyone–even Iraq.  Bush gave Saddam the opportunity to snap to and start following the terms of surrender laid down for him in the first Gulf War, and he refused to do it.  So, Bush told him that he had until a certain date to have a change of heart, lest he be invaded.  Two days before we invaded, a massive movement of something into Syria was recorded by US military intel on satellite images.

We’ve tried diplomacy.  Where it doesn’t work, you have to be willing to stop talking, roll up your sleeves, and take a huge swing at the bad guy’s proverbial chin.  You can only talk so long before diplomacy becomes useless.  We tried diplomacy with Jimmy Carter back in the ’70’s, when Iranian radicals took the American Embassy in Tehran and held the employees hostage for over a year.  The day Reagan was inaugurated, they let the hostages go without precondition.  They knew that Reagan would beat them to death if they didn’t.  When diplomacy didn’t work with Moammar Quaddafhi, Reagan bombed the guy’s complex; he stopped supporting terrorism immediately because he knew we weren’t kidding.

Barack Obama wants to downscale our military the way Clinton did.  Clinton spent eight years downscaling our military; by the time he left office, military spending had been cut by more than 35%.  Nine months later we watched the towers fall in New York.  Coincidence?  I think not.

You have to stop feeling and start thinking.  You have to read both sides of every issue before making a decision based on a gut reaction.  If you’re not making an attempt to be logical about it, you may be making the most grave mistake of our generation.