Monday, November 03, 2008

Free The Hostages!

[Edited to add: Yay! I fixed the comments! My apologies to all of you who have tried unsuccessfully to comment since last night. Please try again.]


I am prolife.
I am a veteran.
I am a homeschooler.

And I am voting for Barack Obama.

In other words, hardly any of my friends are talking to me right now, save for last-ditch attempts to make me see reason. But I'm listening to other people right now. General Colin Powell, for instance; and The Economist. So, if you want to know why I am voting for a babykilling alleged socialist, please click on those 2 links. They say it much better than I can. (If you are too busy to click on both, read the second one.)

I am also listening to my heart, a heart sick of politicians capitalizing on the blue/red divide in this great country of ours. I'm purple, folks; solid purple. There are many others out there like me, and it is time that we make our voices heard. We want someone who, after winning a close presidential race, will not stand up there and say that he has a mandate (I'm looking at you, President George W. Bush). We want someone who will acknowledge that almost half the people didn't vote for him and who will pledge to seek compromise on the issues near and dear to all of us. Our country has been held hostage by extremists on either end for long enough.

In addition, our military is being held hostage in Iraq, while it is needed elsewhere. Pinned down between warring factions of a society rent by civil disorder, it is being drained of its ability to defend us from new threats which are emerging worldwide. The surge has "worked" not by reconciling these divisions, but by capitalizing on them. It was a wise strategy on General Petraeus' part, good for a short-term solution to escalating violence; but it brings us no closer to the stable pan-Iraqi government we claim as our ultimate goal. Senator Obama is not afraid to state this distasteful truth.

I voted for Senator McCain back in the 2000 primaries. I believe that if he had won that election, our country would be far better off than it is today. But my faith in him is shaken, because Senator McCain's campaign is being held hostage by the far right wing of the Republican party; and we have no assurances that the same would not happen to a McCain presidency. And should something, heaven forbid, happen to him while he is in office, we would be left with a president who is fairly identical to President George W. Bush. The neoconservatives would move right back in to advise Ms. Palin, putting our country at risk once again of a reckless foreign policy and a disregard for important domestic issues.

We prolife centrists have been held hostage by the prolife movement's insistence on a legislative solution to the abortion problem for the last 35 years or so. Women deserve better than abortion, and they deserve a prolife movement that will spend its resources (time, money, talent) on providing them with an alternative rather than on protracted legal wranglings and abortion clinic prayer vigils. A legislative solution to the abortion problem is a chimera - I don't believe abortion will ever be illegal again in the U.S., and (unfortunately) the hard-liners on the left are dead set against any reasonable legal restrictions. Prayer vigils are counterproductive - being raised outside the pro-life community, I am more aware than most in the movement how they do nothing but alienate the people we most want to help.

We need to give these women real help - medical care, a living wage, affordable housing - so that they are not scared to bring children into this world. Some of this help can be brought about by the stated domestic policies of the Democratic candidate. We also need to open even more crisis pregnancy clinics and pour our money and efforts into those. What we don't need is to pin all our hopes (and the future of our country) on voting for a candidate simply because he/she is pro-life.

No candidate is perfect. I am choosing the candidate who is most willing to look for that common ground which unites us as Americans and to build from that. I am choosing the candidate who, while left of center, is still closer to the center than his opponent. I am choosing the candidate who wants to be President of all of the US, not half of it.

Hello? Anyone still here?

Sigh. It's lonely at the center...

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55 comments:

  1. I heart you. I heart you a lot. No one's talking to me now that I came out of the closet as an Obama supporter either......I am a military wife and I voted for Obama.

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  2. De-lurking to say BRAVO!!!! Well said! I am on the opposite side from you on this issue, but in the same place. I am a prochoice centrist. I agree with much of what you said and believe it or not I would love to see abortion disappear from the world; just not by legislation, but by being an unneeded option.

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  3. I voted for Alan Keyes.

    Myself, I'm tired of being blasted for being an Undecided. I think it's a very important decision, and I'm taking it very seriously, therefore I am taking my time and researching. But all the radio stations and news agents keep saying that anyone that's Undecided must be mentally incompetent. Arseholes.

    Don't see why people can't disagree and still be friends.

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  4. Thanks for taking the time to write this.
    I will eagerly await the results tomorrow. I am hoping that Obama wins but, I wonder if it will really play out that way?

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  5. Wow!! Someone else who thinks like me?? Amazing :)

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  6. Right there with you. I voted for McCain in the 2000 primaries, too. I wrote him in two elections in a row, but I didn't vote for him this year. By the way, my husband and I are not voting for the same candidate. If WE'RE still talking, what's up with your friends?

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  7. So well said. I think your stance is inspired.

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  8. Give Governor Palin her due and call her Governor, not Ms. She deserves that much respect!

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  9. I wish we had more choices. I hate this two party system. It seems I'm voting for the lesser of two evils. I end up voting against someone rather for the other person. Oh well I'm still voting.

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  10. I am disappointed, but you have done your research and made your choice. Commendable!

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  11. You're not alone. There are a lot of people out there (including me) who are tired of the division, the "I'm right, so you must be wrong" logic, and the bullying by those in power. We deserve better. Here's hoping we get it tomorrow. Keep the faith...

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  12. I'm sure that any arguements that I would have for McCain, you have already heard. I just have to say that I don't believe that an Obama presidency will be 'reaching across the aisle.' With a probable democratic congress, filled with a house speaker with her own agenda (I'm talking about YOU, Nancy Pelosi) and perhaps enough seats in the Senate to prevent the filibuster, you can't tell me that Democrats will not believe that the country has given them a mandate. I will support whoever becomes our next president, but I don't believe for a minute that agendas won't be pushed through, regardless of what the other half was hoping for.

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  13. Uhmm...but Barak is not known for looking for that "common ground" and has the MOST PARTISAN voting record in the Senate, whereas McCain is known on both sides for his bi-partisanship.

    Okay...enough politics for me.

    I still like you! *smile, wink*

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  14. One of my favorite political posts of this election season. I'm a little left of center but close enough to hold your hand.

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  15. That it is. I do not disclose my vote for any particular candidate. That stays between me and the booth. I don't even tell my husband. I don't have a party affiliation because I disagree with plenty of aspects of both parties. I also don't want to get pinned into one sterotype or another. Just because I'm a woman doesn't entirely mean I am pro-life or pro-choice. Just because I'm a woman doesn't mean I want to get messages of fear, hate-mongering, and threats. I've spent countless amounts of energy trying to teach my children that this behavior is unacceptable. Nor do I want get at least 50 (minimum) postcards over time, increasing in size as the election has neared, in my mailbox spouting the neener-neener-boo-boo they both have been sending me. I'm sooo tired of election season.
    I've said it numerous times before...we need a genuine Stay-at-home-mother running for office. If she can balance a family budget and feed the masses on what pittance is left, I feel confident she can run a bigger operation.

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  16. Thanks for explaining your perspective. I've refrained on commenting recently because we don't see "eye to eye" on the issues, but I respect that you took time to share your reasons - all the while acknowledging the imperfections of each candidate.

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  17. You have described a pro-life position that a pro-choice person agrees with wholeheartedly. Lets put our resources into making sure fewer women have to consider abortion.

    You've also made an eloquent argument in support of Barack Obama and the problems with the McCain/Palin campaign. Fingers crossed as I wait with bated breath for tomorrow's results.

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  18. Delurking to say AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!!!! I could write an entire post in your comments about how I agree with you, but suffice it to say that I, too, have plenty of people attempting to help me "see the light" of McCain and save me from voting for Obama. Sigh. I am your sister in purplehood (purpleosity? purpleness? whatever...I'm purple, too)!!!

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  19. Not so lonely.

    Intelligent, thoughtful post. Thank you.

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  20. I'm here and singing Amen. I am really hoping that the polls are right. I think it's the only chance we have for real change in this country. We need real change in this country.

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  21. Anonymous - In past posts I have made a point of using the title of governor in front of VP nominee Palin's name. This time, however, I was confused; in the situation I was describing, she would no longer be governor. Do you see what I mean? If I had wanted to be disrespectful, I would have called her Sarah (like some of her own campaign material does!) or Caribou Barbie.

    But I'm above that.

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  22. I am not Anonymous, but in the situation you would be describing, she would be President Palin, not Ms. Palin.

    And my heart is very, very heavy.

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  23. P.S. Not brava because we are voting for the same candidate, I should have clarified because you took so much care to say something so important so well. Brava because you took so much care to say something so important so well. Brava.

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  24. Thank you for spelling out your position with such clarity and grace.

    I'm a prolife Independent, and I believe there's more to being prolife than being against Roe v. Wade. There's this war we're fighting against people who didn't attack us, for instance.

    That said, I'm about 8 hours away from going to vote and I still haven't made peace with voting for Obama or McCain. I live in a state where there are no reasonable third party candidates on the ballot. Unless I get a real peace and/or a slap upside the head from God about this between then and now my plan is to abstain from voting for president and concentrate on the local races.

    75% of me really wants Obama to win, but 25% is worried about some of the policies of the Democratic party. Don't know if I can take responsibility for voting for them...but I also know I definitely cannot vote the other side in. Bleahh... I'm praying for wisdom, that's all I can do right now.

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  25. Of course we're still here! And the majority of the country is lurking around the center.

    I'm amazed at how people treat others based on their politics. Around here it's overwhelmingly liberal, and I heard one woman talking trash about another mother, calling her a "Republican bitch".

    It astounds me that this stuff still occurs after 9/11. C'mon people. We're all parents, neighbors, humans. Look past the politics, at how people conduct their lives.

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  26. I understand your position. I chose to write in a candidate--Mitt Romney. I went with what felt right for me. Frankly, we all have choices and because I didn't go with the mainstream doesn't make me crazy, but American who is using her right to vote for who she wants. I'll admit, however, that as an African American, I am really proud to see that Obama could possibly be our next president. For me, there is a sense that the tides are changing and America can be a melting pot and not a tossed salad. It is sort of symbolic his heritage and family diversity.

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  27. If Obama wins today I don't think I'll ever be able to read your blog again.

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  28. That sort of confuses me. It's the same blog, no matter who wins. I, for one, am anxious to get back to my regularly scheduled coverage of kids, and vomit, and mice, actually.

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  29. Although I must here more stories about grumpy teenage duaghtrs! Can't... resist... the... urge...

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  30. Not the least bit loney....can't vote...but I'm with you in spirit!

    ....and eloquently put as usual!

    I liked Mrs G's multi party cupcakes though!

    x

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  31. Caribou Barbie.

    *snort*

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  32. i had no choice in the matter, being a christian i felt compelled to vote with who i thought would carry out God's will the best.
    no matter what, it will all work out, parents will continue raising their children how they see is best, and we can all start getting along again.

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  33. I agree with you on most thing you have addressed, especially with the pro-life part of it. It would be nice to have a president you have described, I just don't think that Obama is the answer.

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  34. Beautiful, authentic, brilliant post.

    And i think you finally said what everyone (on both side of the aisle) feel. We are sick of the polarizing sides, the bickering. Despite our differences, we all just want to be one country, one America.

    This is the greatest country in the world and we deserve great leadership.

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  35. I am Canadian so kinda removed from all of this but just wanted to say I am impressed by your thoughtful and measured approach.

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  36. Oh honey, you're not the only one at the center. Okay, so I'm probably still left of center...but still.

    Oh, and you messed it up.

    He's a "Muslim babykilling socialist"

    :-)

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  37. I don't come to this blog to read political rhetoric. I come to laugh. And I'm never disappointed. That being said, I am digging the political rhetoric!

    Nicely done and I give you props for being willing to lay it all on the table. I wish I had half of your gumption but, alas, I think my family might disown me!

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  38. Well, I could have tried to make it funny; but I think I wouldn't have done a good job at that. I'll have to leave that to SNL and Tina Fey.

    Don't worry - we will be returning (with relief) to our regular diet of kids, vomit, and mice (and refrigerators!) tomorrow.

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  39. I'm still talking, as I'm sure most people are. I'm purple as well and really tired of Republicans and Democrats. Frequently I find myself voting Republican in Oregon because we are so leftist. I'm sure I'll do the opposite when I move to AK because they are so far right.

    So, I appreciate you struggle and applaud your well thought out vote. I also agree with many of your statements regarding the abortion issue.

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  40. I voted for Santa. I'm hoping it yields a bigger present this Christmas...

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  41. I am a black sheep purple person in a literal sea of red, What should we call the purple party? I nominate you as our spokesperson.

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  42. a veteran? where and when did you serve?

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  43. I'm right there with you as a purple person....thank you for so eloquently putting so many of our thoughts in words!

    I've been loving your blog for several months....thanks for the fun and giggles!

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  44. Thanks for the eloquent post. I am pro-choice and I agree with you. Let's put our time, energy and money into education, support & alternatives. For my part, I am tired of having to squander our precious resources on fighting to keep abortion legal, I would much rather fight to prevent unwanted pregnancy and to giving a pregnant woman all the support & resources she needs to give her baby life. MIME

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  45. Color me purple too...Hate the 2 party system... it's just WRONG.

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  46. Holy cow.
    This is amazing.
    I know MANY people who agree with you.
    I TOTALLY respect this post and you.

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  47. I adore you for writing this post. Mr. D is a lot like you--although some of his reasons are economic-based as a business owner. He's never voted for a Democrat for president in his life and he told me afterward his heart was racing, but he knew he made the right choice.

    It surprises me that the hate-mongering and divisiveness doesn't offend more people. *sisgh*

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  48. I am surprised at how many people are not speaking to me as well. I agree with every single thing you said on this post. Down to the last word. I am purple as well and I also support Obama :)

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  49. Sorry I didn't read this sooner...because I agree with you on all of this. Of course, I didn't totally decide who I was voting for until Sunday night. Pooey on those who put down the "undecideds." I was certainly one of them, and it is because I was weighing my options and thinking deeply, NOT because I'm stupid.
    Even if I didn't agree with you, I'd still be coming here to read.

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  50. Well said.

    Although I do disagree to the degree he is off center versus John McCain.

    Time will tell though.

    His acceptance speech was nothing short of fabulous, though.

    And, no, he was not my man.

    All in all, I can't believe that of 300 million people, THESE were the top to choose from.

    Barak lacks the experience

    John has too much experience.

    I, honestly, didn't want to vote for either of them.

    But, Obama does scare me in his fame and popularity - much of which is not earned - simply media fed to an uneducated mass of anti-Bush people.

    Time will tell, though.

    KEEP BELIEVING

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  51. I find myself to be in much the same position you're in, and even though my circle tends towards the left (I live in Los Angeles, this is no surprise) I get much the same reaction when it surfaces that I'm in the center.

    Actually, the reaction I get from a few of the more vocal friends I have is the declaration that I am in fact not in the center, but am on whatever side is opposite who ever is speaking to me. I've been accused of being a Conservative nut and a Left-wing socialist radical this year by two different people for exactly the same reasons. LOL

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  52. Late to the party here after two weeks away from home and mostly away from computers, but I just had to say...Amen. And thank you.

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  53. Excellent post. I just may have to become an official follower. Even though you have plenty of 'em. I mean, SEVENTY? I'll just be a face in the crowd. But I promise I'll be laughing the loudest at your cleverness.

    I have great hope for the Obama administration. Especially when I read pieces like yours that demonstrate an open mind and heart. The past twelve years have been so divisive, and I was saddened that McCain and Palin actively continued to pit citizens against each other. Not only that - I was frightened that they'd succeed. I'm happy that the country seems to be coming together more than it has in a long time.

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