Friday, February 01, 2008

Primary School

Presidential primary season is in full swing and with Super Tuesday around the corner it is time to make a very tough decision; which party’s caucus should I vote in. Rules for primary/caucus participation vary state by state. In my former home state of New York it is required to declare your party affiliation when registering to vote and voters can only participate in that party’s primary election. Until moving to Minnesota, which allows voters to choose a caucus of their liking, I was unable to cast a primary vote. Although being a declared independent in New York restricted my ability to vote prior to November elections I could not in good conscious have my name officially tied to any given political party. Now that I can vote in a primary without carrying around a card emblazoned with a donkey or elephant it is time for a tough decision; what party’s caucus is worth participating in?

Why I am not a Republican:
A typical trademark of the Republican Party is their belief in small government, but the past few decades have seen the GOP wavering from this stance. The influence of religious organizations on the Republican Party has increased their involvement in a wide variety of “social issues” that they would once have chalked up matters outside the realm of government intervention or in the jurisdiction of state rights. The military budget demonstrates just how the party is no longer that of a small, mean and lean spending machine. While I do see healthy businesses as being key in providing jobs and stimulating economic growth, the Republican Party has truly forgotten about the people who work for those big companies, further driving an unhealthy and unbalanced culture where people are expected to make their employers richer while reaping very little of the financial rewards themselves. The Republican’s positions on (or against) the rights of people other then rich, white men are my reason not to vote the party line. The faces of the candidates themselves say it all; I am too female to be a Republican.

Why I am not a Democrat?
As someone working hard to make my own dime the economic policies favored by the Democrats sound socialistic. The little time I did spend on the inside working for the US government formed my opinion that the best government is a small government. Anyone who thinks that large scale programs like healthcare and retirement are best run by the government has never had the pleasure of working inside of it; bureaucratic red tape, decisions at the speed of molasses, lack of understanding on how anything outside Washington actually operates. My somewhat negative view of humanity drives my opposition to most democratic programs designed to help people in “need.” It is not my responsibility to take care of the “needs” of people who have the physical ability to work and do not, who choose to use their money on non-essential purchases when they live in subsidized housing, who drop out of school, who choose to use drugs, who believe they are somehow entitled to have the government pay for their existence because they blessed us with 9 children from 8 different fathers; if you can’t feed them, don’t breed them. As a New Yorker who saw her city attacked and her wedding almost ruined by 19 Muslim men commandeering airplanes I cannot help but support some levels of racial profiling and US Immigration control. I drive a SUV, clawed my way through college without help from Uncle Sam, work for a Fortune 50 healthcare company, and think I can take much better care of myself then any government babysitter; I am too successful to be a Democrat.

A few days before I can cast my first vote in the 2008 Presidential Elections I must decide if there is any party or candidate I can get behind since none of them have a platform worth supporting. The departure of both Rudolph Giuliani of the Republican Party and Bill Richardson of the Democratic Party from the Presidential Race was sad and unfortunate. Both these candidates had an understanding on the role of government; protecting citizens, stimulating the economy, promoting equality through opportunities and empowerment and not handouts and programs, restoring our diplomatic position abroad, focusing our military on important matters. The rest of the candidates are in the race for less then noble reasons and more equipped to run a campaign then a country, but that’s a topic for another day. The choice of candidates left in this year’s elections are just as bad as the teams in the Super Bowl; with no one to root for it is hard to get into the game.


husband said...

If I can ever get around to finishing my latest article on Morality for my own website my next one will be on this very topic.
Some thoughts that will serve as notes for myself for that time:
Why I am a republican: I too believe is small government. I believe in States' Rights. I believe in low taxes (but not this flat tax crap, I'm willing to pay my graduated share). I don't believe in Affirmative Action. I believe in fewew (if not "no") subsidies for business (although I'm no longer sure that is a tenant of either party)
Why I am a democrat: I believe in civil/gender/gay rights. I believe in in helping my fellow man (which includes helping those who are poor and able, as well as diabled). I believe in universal healthcare (not government run healthcare mind you, but healthcare coverage for all children and those unable to work). I believe in the right to abortion.
In actuality, I'm probably a Socialist Libertarian. Maybe if Bill Richardson and Ron Paul ran as Prez and Veep I might vote for that ticket.
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Nursedude said...

'Chelle, I used to be a Democrat when I was in college and even when I was in the USAF during the Reagan years-albeit, a more conservative democrat.(I actually voted for Wellstone in 1988) My first year as a nurse working in an inner city hospital pushed me over the edge. So much of what goes on in the inner city has NOTHING to do with what "The Man" has done to people of color. Most of the problems in the inner city, to be blunt, are self-inflicted.

I am one conservative who is dismayed at what the Bush administration has done in almost 8 years. The level of debt we have accrued is mind-blowing. I am even more dismayed that when hard questions were asked about the Iraq war, he changed to subject to Gay Marriage. The amazing thing was, that political slight of hand actually WORKED.

I'm an NRA member, but I am pro choice and think Gays should be able to have civil unions and adopt kids. I really find myself walking between two worlds these days.

I think people should be held accountable and not have government bail them out. That said, politicians don't belong in the bedroom or a woman's womb. To be honest, I am pretty disgusted with both parties, and have no idea who I am going to vote for...just anybody BUT Hilary.