Weighing the Options

August 28, 2008 at 8:15 am | Posted in Blogosphere, In the News, Life, Thoughts | 26 Comments
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This is such a sticky subject, but I am going there. I consider myself a pretty moderate person when it comes to politics. There are a few issues I am very passionate about. Just to mention a few: foreign affairs, the environment, the war, our veterans, family issues and healthcare. I was so impressed with the ability everyone had over at Alexa’s to nicely discuss their need or lack of party affiliation. It seems overwhelmingly that most of you are not connecting to a party but to the issues, which in my mind is very wise. I also was so relieved to see that most of us seem to really understand and are passionate enough to be educated about the issues that are deciding the course of the future of our country. No longer are we just voting a certain ticket because someone told us to or because our great great grandfather did, we are choosing based on our conscious and what will impact our future. Bravo!

It got me to wondering. If we are breaking the mold of generations and not necessarily choosing our candidate based on their party affiliation, what are the issues that will ultimately decide your choice for the next president? What do you do if you are like me and you find yourself supporting different platforms of both candidates? How do you weigh the importance of one issue versus another?

Like Alexa said, discuss nicely!



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  1. The main issue for me is abortion rights. I just can not get behind anyone who thinks that a woman should not have the right to choose what she does with her own body. Heaven forbid something happen in my life when I might need the option, I certainly want it there.

  2. I weigh the issues based on what I feel is best for everyone first.. and then based on what I’m personally all about.

    Y’see, I feel like my opinions are just that.. they’re mine. And some things I don’t like because *I* don’t like them.

    Other things I don’t get because they not only affect me and my family, but the ENTIRE planet.

    So, I give things weight based on scale.. if it’s something that affects a whole lotta folks (such as a war) then I weigh those issues heavily. And I base opinions on heavily weighted topics on the past. We’ve already gone through so, so, so many wars that it’s not hard to just look back and learn a plethora of lessons JUST from that.. and formulate and articulate a wise opinion on it.

    Ok, im starting to yammer and I’m not sure I”m giving my answer the eloquence I think it needs.

  3. I believe myself to be a moderate…I am willing to have my taxes raised to support healthcare..I am also willing keep gas prices high so we as Americans realize that foreign oil has us by the short hairs and can and will exact financial damage on the U.S. anytime they wish. I want Change…I know there will be a cost. Thanks for your post!

  4. Being an ex-teacher, I look at their educational goals. Who’s for/against No Child Left Behind (i’m firmly against it for many reasons). I look for their healthcare plans, as I do think our country needs a better system. I look for what they believe when it comes to abortion and gay marriages (i’m pro-choice and all for–respectively). I look at immigration ideas and so on and so forth. My thinking is very liberal and because of that, i always lean towards the democratic side. For this election, I am very much for Obama because he believes in change…and I do think our country needs a bit of that.

  5. I am like you..I like certain things from both. Loved this post…I’m having a tough time with this one too…I need one side to be completely crazy so I can make a easy choice!!!

  6. Dutchess- I know that is a deciding factor for many

    Duetlich- I think you explained very well. I find myself doing the same thing. I have to back the issues that affect the most people. Opinions are like noses, everyone has them and I can respect that other people’s differ from mine. That is very selfless of you, it can be so easy to vote selfishly. I wish other people would do the same.

    BB- I agree. I understand that change and progress can hurt a little and I am willing for it to hurt a little more to make the system better. If we can have universal healthcare and a better education system, I will not complain about my taxes being raised. What I don’t like is the people making over six figures getting the biggest tax cuts. I am def not in that tax bracket and I need everyone to dig deep, not just some of us.

    Lauren- every teacher I encounter says the same thing about No Child Left Behind. It is obviously not working and it is frustrating some of the best and most dedicated teachers out there. There needs to be a change in that area.

    Rosy-seriously, give them a few more months I think one of them will put their foot in their mouth!

  7. I always vote based on issues, but for every presidential election I’ve been able to vote in (1992), I’ve ended up voting Republican.

    The big issue for me is the ecomony. My state has the worst economy in the country, and my full time employment status has been at risk for a year.

    I find that the democratic platform has some great ideas regarding the economy, but I am a numbers person, and I don’t see how they can be implemented.

  8. One thing that you have to remember is that even if a candidate is for something or against it doesn’t mean that they are going to fix or even try to fix a problem that you want them to.

    But to answer your question I think you have to prioritize a little bit. What is the most important thing to you? What does each candidate say about that? And then you have to consider who the big players in the cabinet are potentially going to be.

    I have said it before and the President is more like a figurehead. He doesn’t make laws and he can’t do anything without congress’s approval. Which means that congress has more power in certain situations. And you also need to remember that the President has a list of advisors that are VERY INFLUENTIAL IN HIS DECISIONS.

    The most important thing to me is that I am not sure. Gun control is huge with me but it isn’t going to change. The war is a good topic but I think there are pluses to both sides and actually think that pulling out COULD worsen the situation. And the economy is in BAD shape right now…which candidate is best for that?

  9. i was surprised by how much everyone really did play nice.

    im still confused about a lot of things, it is hard to get through all the propaganda and find the real stuff.

  10. I have trouble weighing the issues because I think they’re all important. I do find that I align with Obama in quite a few of my views, which is nice. Abortion rights are very important to me, as are educational and environmental issues, strong social programs, and a policy of peace. I tend to vote for a candidate based mostly on big-picture things, because my feelings on the smaller, practical stuff is that a president’s advisors are more important on that stuff than the president himself. It’s the type of policy that the president will call on his advisors to enact that is most important to me.

  11. Let me dig deep on this one:

    Important issues for me personally are (in to particular order):

    Healthcare (universal)
    Environment ( alternative energy)
    War (when is it going to end)
    Foreign policy (how other countries react and view the US)
    Public Education
    Rights for same sex couples
    Women’s personal rights

    It just so happens that everything I have a valued importance on swings to the left. Before the primaries started I took each and every candidate on both ends of the political spectrum into consideration. I took online quizzes, read foreign policy reports, paid attention to voting habits…I did it all.

    And the candidate of my choice during the primaries did not make it on the ballot. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I feel that our generation is much more educated and in tune with what is going on in the world because it’s friends and family OUR age who over seas fighting, it’s OUR generation who is going to benefit from alternative fuels, it’s generation who is seeing other countries progress faster and more efficiently than ours.
    I think this group of 20somethings are turning out to be a very influential generation.

  12. The debate over at Alexa’s blog was indeed interesting. For me, I consider the decisions this president could make that will affect the rest of my life (and the lives of those I love dearly). His stance on things such as same sex marriage, abortion, healthcare. Education, the arts and taxes. And so on.

    While I do not believe he has the ability or authority to decide the exact manner in which to resolve these issues, his set of decisions over four (or eight) years will definitely have a heavy influence over how those issues are eventually resolved. What bills he votes for, which ones he vetoes. Which person or people he chooses for the Supreme Court bench. And so on.

    Our country has checks and balances for a reason, so to assume the next President can solve each and every problem is delusional. However, to know the country is headed in a general direction in which I agree is incredibly important.

  13. i’m going to skip out of this conversation.. politics can get nasty.. LOL

  14. I’m a bit of a hippie when it comes to politics. My major issues are war (no, thank you), women’s rights (birth control and abortion rights), health care (for everyone!), and gay marriage.

  15. I’m really stuck in the middle when it comes to politics, and I do not affiliate myself with any particular party. I’m actually really excited about this election because I don’t hate the candidates. I’m excited to actually feel like I have a real choice, rather than chooser the lesser of two evils!

  16. I don’t know where to start there’s so many. The environment, war/foreign policy, health care…those are probably the big ones for me.

  17. I am Independent. While I tend to be more liberal when it comes to social views, I am more conservative on my business views. For me, it’s honestly picking the lessor of the evils. It sounds awful, but they are politicians afterall. I try and pick the person who I think has the strongest character and will not fold under pressure but one who will not be overly cocky (aka Bush). I also will pick based on their views of what they think this country needs to be turned around.

  18. I’m a registered independent. The war/foreign policy, women’s rights, health care and the environment are all big things for me. I’ve only been able to vote in one presidential election, and I felt like I was picking the lesser of two evils. This year, I feel passionate about one candidate, and that’s a HUGE deal considering I was never into politics.

  19. I think environment is the biggie for me! I tend to be more on the liberal side.

  20. I don’t think I can do this complex subject justice in the comments section…

    I’m really passionate about education, poverty, the environment, nonviolence, and tons more.

    I used to identify with “liberals” more on some issues, and “conservatives” more on “family values,” but over the past few years – I’ve shifted my priorities, and I tend to favor more liberal than conservative stances on issues.

    My faith has played a huge role in my political persuasion, so it’s hard for me when people assume that religious = right. It’s also unfair. 🙂

    But I will end there. Because I know sometimes political differences can be hard to swallow!

  21. I’m a crazy mix of things, but my committment to the environment, women’s rights, and children’s education lead me to support more Liberal (as in the party in Canada) candidates than not.

    I’m not pro or anti life, but for someone not to even consider exceptions in case of rape or incest is very scary ~ Palin scares me.

  22. see, I consider myself so different and so passionate about things that are not on just one side. For example, I am anti abortion, definitely pro-life, but not because I don’t think a woman has a right to her own body, which she does, but because I believe a child deserves rights of it’s own even in the womb and since conception. That being said, I am against the war. I think it was unnecessary, simple as that. I guess I’m figuring out my party. I’m registered republican though, voting for Obama. Confused, much? ha!

  23. This was a really interesting post to read. I voted for Kerry in the last presidential election because my dad is a democrat and has always encouraged the rest of my family to follow in suit. But this is the first election where I’ve really looked at the issues and the candidates.

    Politics have never been especially interesting to me but I think it’s because I always thought that politics revolved around issues that didn’t affect me. But just because certain issues don’t impact me directly every day, they are certainly leaving a large mark on the world and indirectly, my own life.

    Until this election I guess I’ve been naive about politics and thought “my vote is only one vote, so what does it really matter?” but it’s more of a personal choice that I will live with regardless of who winds up running our country.

    Even though I was brought up by a man who treated being a democrat with as much sacrilege as if it were a religion, I surprisingly find myself leaning a little to the right. Only slightly, but a lean nonetheless!

    The only issue I disagree strongly on is abortion; I absolutely think that women SHOULD have the right to choose no matter what the circumstance. But aside from that, I think that the country doesn’t necessarily need a big change. It took us awhile to wind up in the recession we’re in now so we should expect a fairly steep uphill slope as well.

  24. I am so majorly undecided at this moment- like someone else mentioned, I want one of the candidates to do something completely insane so that I will know exactly what I should do!

    I have watched both conventions now, and all the major speeches, and I really feel like what is going to decide it for me is watching the debates. That is when they get down to business and discuss policy, and I am hoping that will guide me in one direction or another.

    Coming from a very conservative background and going through somewhat of a growth process over the last few years, as well as my faith playing a big role, are all reasons for me being at a stalemate at the moment. There are things I like and dislike about both candidates- I guess I just need to decide which issues matter more.

  25. that was me above by the way 🙂

  26. […] Again, you can find that (and other musings by the same blogger) here. […]

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