Friday, January 4, 2008

Why I Support Barack Obama

After the Iowa results came in I wanted to post my thoughts on Barack Obama's victory. Before I do this I want to explain why I support Barack Obama.

I consider myself an indepedent. While I believe that political parties are a necessary evil, I cannot morally align myself with either party because my political views don't fit in a small labled box.

I am strongly pro-life. I believe that abortion rights in this country have been abused and this has resulted in the brutal deaths of millions of unborn children. I cannot imagine the wrath of God we are incurring by this practice. But having a republican majority in power has not proven to overturn Rowe vs. Wade, so I do not consider it a primary issue when evaluating presidential candidates.

My views on homosexuality are in alliance with the LDS Church, but I have a hard time giving the Government power to define marriages. After all, was this not what the Government did when they used polygamy as a tool to confiscate Church property and inprison many of our pioneer forefathers?

I believe that morality is important and in a very restricted measure should be a focus of our government. But with a system in place that is simply corrupt and unjust I have a hard time believing that voting for a candidate based on the moral stances of the political party they are affiliated with is an effective way to cast your ballott.

I do not want to see my paycheck reduced by increasing taxes for ineffective government programs. But there are many social issues that the Bush administration has failed to get a handle on (healthcare, social security, etc.) , and I don't mind proposing social ideas and possible government programs to fix them. Who knows, maybe on of those government programs would be effective?

But most of all, I want change. Yes, change - the cliche of politics and the focus of Obama's campaign.

Of all the candidates, republican or democrat, that are proposing change I believe Obama has done the best job of explaining how this can be accomplished. To me, he has proven that his aspirations for change are more then just a political rally-cry to round up votes.

Foreign Policy - In my opinion, one of the biggest and most important hurdles the next President will have to jump over is foreign policy.

Republican candidates aren't willing to completely alienate themselves from the Bush administration by admitting that we have cut ourselves out of the global picture by our war efforts, refusing to talk to nations we disagree with and making decisions without the sanction and support of the UN.

Democratic candidates such as Clinton and Edwards have not presented an actual plan to reestablish our relationship with foreign nations. Clinton has often referred to her experience as a key strength in foreign policy. But Clinton has supported the government and voted for some of the very actions that have hurt our global image.

What Obama has said:

“When I am this party's nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don't like. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is ok for America to torture — because it is never ok… I will end the war in Iraq… I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century: nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, "You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.”

To read about his plan on foreign policy click here.

This plan includes forming a diplomatic effort to establish communication with current countries the Bush administration has decided to "cut off" including Iran and Syria offering economic gain for their cooperative efforts instead of empty threats.

I am not naive enough to think that by simply talking to these nations will we solve terrorism or other global challenges. But I do strongly feel that you have to start somewhere, and making the choice to discontinue communication with a nation because they aren't doing what we tell them is simply not a good start. Also, Obama has presented an extensive plan with many facets to restore our positive global image. I invite you to click the link above.

Politics As Usual, and Lobbying - America is sick of the government being run by lobbyists and special interest groups. As more Americans become educated on who is really behind the decisions being made in Washington our government will be weakened by cynicism, inaction, and anger. This will have a major impact on the stability of our nation. I believe it already has.

Somebody has to stand up and improve the situation. I believe that Obama will do so. I do not expect immediate overnight changes. But I do believe out of all of the candidates, again, he has done the most to show he is serious through his proposals.

Obama wants to do the following:

-Centralize Ethics and Lobbying Information for Voters: Obama will create a centralized Internet database of lobbying reports, ethics records, and campaign finance filings in a searchable, sortable and downloadable format.

-Require Independent Monitoring of Lobbying Laws and Ethics Rules: Obama will use the power of the presidency to fight for an independent watchdog agency to oversee the investigation of congressional ethics violations so that the public can be assured that ethics complaints will be investigated.

-Support Campaign Finance Reform: Obama supports public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests. Obama introduced public financing legislation in the Illinois State Senate, and is the only 2008 candidate to have sponsored Senator Russ Feingold's (D-WI) tough bill to reform the presidential public financing system.

Obama has presented an extensive plan to correct our current situation. I invite you to read about it by clicking here.

Healthcare - Is there anyone in America who is satisfied with the current healthcare and health insurance situation our country faces except that ones lining their pockets with the money of the American people while denying medical claim after claim?

Obama again has an extensive plan to overcome this serious problem -

Obama's Plan to Cover Uninsured Americans: Obama will make available a new national health plan to all Americans, including the self-employed and small businesses, to buy affordable health coverage that is similar to the plan available to members of Congress.

National Health Insurance Exchange: The Obama plan will create a National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals who wish to purchase a private insurance plan. The Exchange will act as a watchdog group and help reform the private insurance market by creating rules and standards for participating insurance plans to ensure fairness and to make individual coverage more affordable and accessible. Insurers would have to issue every applicant a policy, and charge fair and stable premiums that will not depend upon health status. The Exchange will require that all the plans offered are at least as generous as the new public plan and have the same standards for quality and efficiency. The Exchange would evaluate plans and make the differences among the plans, including cost of services, public.

Employer Contribution: Employers that do not offer or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the national plan. Small employers that meet certain revenue thresholds will be exempt.

Mandatory Coverage of Children: Obama will require that all children have health care coverage. Obama will expand the number of options for young adults to get coverage, including allowing young people up to age 25 to continue coverage through their parents' plans.

Expansion Of Medicaid and SCHIP: Obama will expand eligibility for the Medicaid and SCHIP programs and ensure that these programs continue to serve their critical safety net function.

Flexibility for State Plans: Due to federal inaction, some states have taken the lead in health care reform. The Obama plan builds on these efforts and does not replace what states are doing. States can continue to experiment, provided they meet the minimum standards of the national plan.

Okay...I could go on but this post is long enough. My overall reason for supporting Obama is not only does he recognize the problems America faces but he has taken the time to form and communicate his plan to overcome them. All other candidates, in my opinion, have done a poor job of showing how they will turn this nation around. All they have provided are the nice polished PR snippets to win votes.

That is why I am for Obama.


jjohnsen said...

Great post, many of the ideas you've written about are why I'm leaning toward Obama as well. He represents something that seems truly different in politics. Of course all of that could change once he enters office, but I'm willing to give it a chance.

Drew E said...

jjohnsen -

I agree and it could all change once Obama is in office. But at least he has done the best job of "convincing me" that he will try to make a difference. I feel a true sincerity when I listen to him or read his political ideas and policies. I do not feel that with any other candidate.