family outing

As those of you who have not recently been in a coma, had memories erased during an alien abduction, or who have other reasons for not being aware of it know, the political primaries are in full swing here in the US. (I realize that quite a few of you who tend to read this are not from the US, but I’m assuming that you have not managed to escape some of the US-centered news.) Today is Super Tuesday, a day when 24 states are holding primary elections. My state is one of them. And I’m happy to say that I voted.

John and I went together, and we brought Phoebe along. (She didn’t get to vote.) I’m not sure I’ve ever voted in a primary before. It seems not in this town, at least. I was a bit startled that they shout out your party affiliation as they cross off your name and give you your ballot. It was a bit disconcerting to hear the shouts of “name name, number blah street, Republican” for the 3 people in line ahead of us. I was afraid they were going to turn on us when they heard that we were (gasp) Democrats. I was heartened by hearing a couple of other shouts of “Democrat” while we were there, though. I suspect that we are not in the majority in this town.

It’s been a difficult process for me to choose a candidate. There were a number of candidates I could get behind. Just over a year ago, I mentioned that I was excited that Hillary Clinton had announced her candidacy. I was practically giddy from the thought that there were people who truly believed that she had a chance at the presidency, that people believed a woman could be US president not only in my lifetime, but now. But even though I wanted to support her for a number of reasons, I’ve continued to be unhappy with her position on the war in Iraq.

We can’t really know how Obama would have voted on the war had he been in the Senate in 2003. But we do know that at that time, he spoke out against what he considered to be an unneccessary war. (Thanks to TIV for posting his speech from that time.)

So I’ve been leaning more and more towards Obama. I was considering Edwards. Various quizzes I took told me that my views most closely matched Kucinich. (But of course those quizzes didn’t take into account views on UFOs. I think mine differ somewhat.) A couple of quizzes showed my views as overlapping roughly the same amount for Obama and Clinton. A quiz I found more recently, via pgoodness (and possibly some other places that I’m not recalling now) was the electoral compass. I like this one in that it showed how it placed the candidates on a map of social and economic issues, and gave links about how it calculated those positions. I was able to see how my views overlapped and diverged from theirs on particular issues. Looking at these questions really helped me to consider the candidates more objectively. (And holy crap, I’m frightened by what I saw in the Republican camp.)

If you haven’t voted already, vote when your time comes. (BipolarLawyerCook wrote a great call-to-polls post you should check out, too.)

11 thoughts on “family outing

  1. I actually stood in the voting booth for a couple of minutes staring at the ballot. So many good reasons to vote for just about all of them. Including Mike Gravel.

    The war ended up being a key part of my decision too. It’s true that we don’t know how Obama would have voted, at a time when anyone with their eye on the presidency wouldn’t have dreamed of voting against the war (except for Kucinich!). But as you’ve pointed out elsewhere, those months leading up to the war were a scary time, a time when people who opposed the war had reason to be concerned for their welfare for doing something as simple as putting an anti-war bumper sticker on their car. A speech like the one Obama gave was a tremendous act of courage, as far as I’m concerned.

    The prevailing attitude if the Democrats in Congress during that time seemed to be that they needed to lay low, not oppose the administration, and wait this one out, and that’s certainly understandable. But think how great it would have been if an outspoken, courageous leader had emerged during that time! Sadly, neither Clinton nor Edwards chose to be that leader. I wish I could believe that this was because they really were duped into thinking the war was a good idea, but I don’t think that’s the case. I don’t think it was a cold, calculated decision either (and I’d be pleased to see either of them in the White house!). But I do think they did what was safe, during one of the greatest tests of their leadership.

  2. THANK YOU for posting that Electoral Compass! Wow, that really helped me out. I knew I was voting democratic, but I honestly didn’t know who my beliefs favored. That was extremely informative. I think I’m going to send it to my husband, too.

  3. I’m hung up on the same point with Hillary. It is the major distinction in my mind because they are equally strong and weak on the other issues.

    Still waffling and have one more month to do so. And glad for the time to see what shakes out of the tree in that time.

    Also take my kids to vote.

  4. that’s really wierd how they called out the party affiliation. really wierd. of course they have to communicate it, but to announce it like that seems a bit devisive. too bad you weren’t registered as green or peace and freedom party members…then everybody would have looped around to see who the freaks were.

  5. bs-
    There has been a lot to think about. You bring up some good points.

    It does feel like a historic moment.

    I’m glad to hear that you’ll be voting! I keep thinking of the 2000 election, when things were so close that we were waiting to hear on results of absentee ballots.

    Voting with enthusiasm sounds great!

    I’ve done a bunch of those tests, and while they may not take all the factors into account, they at least help you sort out your own views on the issues.


    It will be interesting to see what happens when your state votes.

    Actually, Phoebe’s been to vote before, but she probably doesn’t remember it!

    It was a little unsettling. And yeah, Peace Party would have raised some eyebrows…

    Yes it is!

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