I re-read my post from November 2004 explaining why I think re-electing George Bush would be a mistake. I didn’t say anything about Kerry in that post and I remember not wanting to endorse Kerry, but also not wanting to have Bush. Kerry won my vote by default. I also peppered my plea to not vote for Bush with lots of tags. I won’t do that here (I don’t have time).
In 2008, I have a candidate that I am for, rather than one that I am against. I’m living in Poland and I voted by absentee ballot. I voted for Barack Hussein Obama.
There are many reasons why I voted for Obama, rather than simply against John Sidney McCain III. Obama believes that health care is a right. I agree. Obama will finally push hard for universal health care. I think there are plenty of good options for implementing health care for all in America while avoiding some of the problems of the health care systems in other well-developed nations. Obama is pro-choice and I believe it is a woman’s right to choose to have a child or to abort an unwanted pregnancy. I also support Obama’s push for equal pay for women. The long-standing fact that women are paid less than men in the same occupation — even the same job and many times, the same firm — has to end. Obama will expand faith-based initiatives in social services, one of the only things that Bush got right during his tenure. Obama says that he will end trickle down economic policy; actually, I believe he will slow this down, rather an end this economic policy, as the entrenched interests in trickle-down economic policies are too difficult to completely overcome. But this is a welcome step in the right direction. Obama wants to re-tool No Child Left Behind, a law that has had more problems than benefits thus far.
As for foreign policy, Obama will strengthen international relations, especially with “old Europe.” His economic plan includes partnering with the EU to reduce the effects of the global economic crisis. Obama’s presence has an indirect benefit here: I’m guessing European leaders would prefer to deal with a president who sees international relations as mutual benefits rather than as aggressive competition. Obama will promote new ideas on how to handle Iraq and Afghanistan beyond sending in more troops. I don’t think Obama can pull the troops out within the next two years, but I do think he will replace Bush’s foreign policy advisors with those who have new and better ideas.
Of the two candidates, I believe that Obama will promote creative domestic policies and will surround himself with similarly creative domestic and foreign policy advisors. Obama has shown that he prefers deliberation and debate about major issues, and I believe this way of thinking makes for sound decisions and good leadership.
Obama has been on the campaign trail for over a year and has answered just about every question that one can have about his capabilities to be a good president. He has good ideas and he has shown he can be a responsible leader. Beyond that, I agree with Obama’s position on most of the issues. An Obama administration could truly promote positive changes in this country.
And that’s why I voted for Obama.