I know, I know… the election is over. Let’s just say I’m getting ready early for 2012. Or, I’m doing a little do-it-yourself psychoanalysis about my reaction to the election.
The title of this post comes from something I read several weeks ago. It defined electile dysfunction as, “the inability to become aroused over any of the choices for President put forth by either party in the 2008 election year.” That’s how I felt.
I don’t vote by party. I vote issues. There was no single candidate who I felt spoke for me, who would support the issues that matter to me. My main voting issues are limited to just four. My ideal candidate would be:
2. Pro-Gun Rights
4. Pro-Gay Marriage
It’s pretty easy until you get to number four. Most conservative candidates are pro-defense, pro-gun rights, and pro-life. No one seems to want to stand up and say they support gay marriage.
McCain? I like mavericks. I think he’s an amazing man who doesn’t get nearly enough credit for everything he’s done (and sacrificed) for this country.
When Palin was chosen as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republicans, I was kind of excited. No, I didn’t necessarily think she’d be a great VP but I didn’t think she’d be any worse than the other choices. I was excited because she was different. She wasn’t afraid to go against her party. She didn’t seem to be intimidated by the whole process.
Still, I wasn’t going to vote Republican because… well, I’ll explain that in a little while.
Obama. Obama wasn’t going to get my vote because he threatens my paycheck, my right to own guns, and the right-to-life movement. He’s also pretty wishy-washy on the gay marriage issue.
Biden? Barely a blip on my radar. From what I’ve observed, read, and heard - he’s your standard Democrat-politician type. Not too much to get excited about there.
I’ve often said that if I was forced to choose a political party, it would be Libertarian. They believe in smaller government, lower taxes, and more freedom. That’s the short version. If you’d like to read more, check out the Libertarian Party Platform (It’s a link! Go ahead! Click it!)
Still, their candidate didn’t excite me all that much. Bob Barr seemed to be, again, more of the same stuff we’ve always had but in a shiny, new Libertarian package. Bob was a Republican until 2004 although he did, frequently, opposed several Republican-sponsored actions. He didn’t really appeal to me that much but he did get my vote.
Why, you ask?
I live in Alabama. McCain was going to win Alabama. I could live with that. What I wanted was for my vote to make a difference.
I admit it. I was a bit jealous of my liberal and Democrat friends who had a candidate who made them feel excited and passionate.
I want to be excited about an election and a candidate during my lifetime. The only way I’m ever going to have that feeling is if there’s a viable candidate who isn’t part of the Republican or Democratic sameness. The only way we’re going to see other candidates is if the people who fund them believe they stand a chance.
Barr got my vote* because I wanted other Libertarian and Independent candidates to step forward in the years to come. I hope that if Independents get enough votes that, during the next election and the ones after that, there will be more choices. It won’t happen soon but maybe, someday, there will be a candidate for me.
Call me an optimist.
Over the next few posts, I plan to talk a little bit about my political issues. I’m not planning on beating anyone over the head with my beliefs; however, I’ve learned that simply understanding where someone else is coming from (even if you never feel the way they do) goes a very long way. Understanding, even with disagreement, leads to peaceful discussion.
*My vote was one of 4,991 for Bob Barr in Alabama. Other candidate totals: McCain – 1,266,546; Obama – 813,479; Nader – 6,788; Baldwin – 4,310. Just think! If I hadn’t voted for Barr, he would have only received 4,990 votes. It’s hard being an optimist some days.