This post has been percolating in my head for awhile--let's see if I can get it out.
I voted for Barack Obama because I'm tired of the terrible turn that political discourse has taken in this country. And during the past eight years, I can count myself among the people who have, at times, been blinded by anger and intolerance when discussing politics, even with people that I love and value dearly.
I voted for Barack Obama because I want my country back--the country that I believe in. The country in which we don't torture people, no matter who they are, because it's wrong. Because it's immoral. Because how can we lead by the power of our example when we're on the wrong side of the argument? It doesn't matter whether the people we're torturing are terrorists or really, really bad people, or whether they really might be the key to that elusive ticking time bomb. Did you ever stop to think that some of them are most definitely innocent? Torture is wrong. America is better than that.
I voted for Barack Obama because I firmly believe that health care is a right, not a privilege for only those who can afford it. It's wrong to let children suffer without health care. It's wrong to let the working poor suffer. It's wrong to let even those who won't help themselves suffer. I don't buy the argument that no one in the U.S. is denied health coverage--that may be true if you're dying and show up at the emergency room, but we could do so much more. And I truly don't understand why anyone would want to deny health care to a child, even if it meant a few extra dollars out of your pocket.
I voted for Barack Obama because I firmly believe that a quality education is a right, not a privilege. As someone who grew up in an affluent area of Georgia, where public schools were plentiful and highly functional, I'm shocked and appalled at the educational options that are available to the poor, the working poor, and even the moderately comfortable population in a major city like New Orleans. How can you honestly look at a child, regardless of whether his or her parents work, and decide that that child isn't worthy of a good education? How do you expect children to even have a chance of lifting themselves up out of poverty if you won't give them a chance?
I voted for Barack Obama because of Katrina, and FEMA, and the Corps of Engineers.
I voted for Barack Obama because I don't think that Muslim is a dirty word--a word that should be used as a smear, a word that has become synonymous with terrorist for some.
I voted for Barack Obama because Joe the Plumber is an asshole.
I voted for Barack Obama because I believe that gays and lesbians have just as much right as I do to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I have yet to meet a person that can convincingly tell me how my marriage is endangered by granting that right to others.
I voted for Barack Obama because I am pro-choice, not pro-abortion. And because, as a woman, I think that the decision of whether or not to bring a child into this world should be between me and my family, not between me and my government.
I voted for Barack Obama because I believe that we are stewards of this earth and have a responsibility to protect it.
I voted for Barack Obama because I believe that we should work toward solving our differences with other countries through negotiation and diplomacy, using war only as a last resort. Terrorists will always exist. We will never be safe simply by waging perpetual war on those we disagree with.
I voted for Barack Obama because I did not believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, nor did I believe that Saddam Hussein was a legitimate threat.
I voted for Barack Obama and I still believe in the right of Americans to bear arms, although I have to draw the line at assault rifles. Surely you could find just as much enjoyment killing a deer with some other weapon?
I voted for Barack Obama not because I'm a socialist and want to spread the wealth, but because I believe in social justice.
I voted for Barack Obama because I live in a glass house and should therefore not throw stones.
I voted for Barack Obama because I think that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
I voted for Barack Obama because I think that even if we're not judged by how we treat the lesser among us, we should be.