In several hours, after my biology lab, I will be going down to the elementary school by my parent's house to vote. As a 20 year old, this is the first presidential election I will have the opportunity to vote for. It will also be the second time I have ever voted, as illness prevented me from doing so when I was 18.
And honestly? I have NO idea what I'm going to be doing when I get down there and stand at my place infront of the voting machine.
Yes, my friends, I am an undecided voter, and it's coming down to the wire.
I have little doubt that, knowing me, or just noting my age, most of you would assume I am an Obama supporter. Others may assume that I would support McCain, seeing as my parents are well off and TEND to lean slightly towards the republican (they're fairly moderate in most elections, but have a history of voting republican in presidential elections).
Now, my undecided status is not born of apathy, ignorance, lack of comprehension of the issues, or even indecisiveness.
I have done my part, researched the issues and platforms, listened to the speeches...And come to the conclusion that I hate BOTH options. And I won't vote for the unknown libertarian who has no chance in hell whether I vote for him or not.
Both Obama and McCain hold values and positions that go against my own core values and intrinsic beliefs. Voting for either of them would make me feel as though I were untrue to myself.
As a whole my political beliefs are very moderate. While my most VOCAL opinions would lead people to believe me a democrat (I strongly support gay rights, abortion, dislike war, and other similar values), my economic values are significantly more republican, and I dislike the democratic ideal of a highly involved federal government.
Now, what it boils down to:
Obama honestly bothers me with all this vague "Hope!" and "Change!" stuff. He keeps going on about redistributing wealth and other similar things, but I have yet to see any plan for such acheivements that actually seems feasible. He is very vocal about very general, and quite frankly inspiring, ideals- but I don't see as much substance behind it as some people seem to. Granted, for all I know, he may pull through and do the things he talks about, but I'm not sure. Additionally, despite being a democratic candidate and babbling about chance, diversity, and acceptance.. He is STILL against gay marriage. WTF?
However, all of that would not be enough to make me truly dislike him. No, the thing that clinched it for me, that took my vote away, was one of the few things he actually DID put forth a plan for, early on in all this campaign nonsense.
His education plan. Now, on the surface, there's not MUCH wrong with it. Restructuring budgeting to pump more money into education, and revamp the "No Child Left Behind" nonsense! How wonderful! Well, except for the fact that pumping money into things doesn't always work, but hey, it could. My PROBLEM with it came when I looked closely at what sort of budget changes he proposed. He wanted to cut funding from the constellation program
. For those of you who don't know, my father is on the Lockheed Martin team that has been contracted by NASA to design and build the Orion Crew Transport Vehicle that is the first step of the program. It will replace the shuttle. And the shuttles are being decomissioned in 2010, whether or not there is a replacement. They just aren't safe anymore. Now, though it would suck to have my dad stop working on the project because it gets delayed due to funding issues, he wouldn't lose his job or anything. But his involvement with the space program for most of my life has left me deeply in awe of the wonderful wide universe out there and all the amazing things that could be learned from it. Continued space exploration is something I value VERY DEEPLY. I cannot countenance cutting funding from a program designed to educate the world and humanity as a whole, to transfer it to another area that's kind of screwed ANYWAY.
Now, Obama has more recently retracted some of those plans, amidst criticism and public outcry, but he still thought it was a good idea. I cannot allow a man that thinks that way to be MY president. I cannot bring myself to vote for him. Honestly, I'd probably lean towards him otherwise. I'd not be a rabid supporter, but he'd still be better than McCain. Except...>.<
On to McCain. There's a lot less to say on this one- He's Bush Lite. Most of his social and moral values go against my own. Gay marriage. Abortion. War. Etc. While he MIGHT be closer to my values regarding economics and such, he's still in violation of other core values.. I cannot allow myself to vote for him.
Plus, the man is old as sin, has skin cancer and might drop dead in office. And Palin's a *#@%ing idiot.
So what the hell do I do?
Two days ago, I had resolved to not even bother with voting at all. I knew very little about any of the other elections besides the presidential, so I would be incapable of making an informed choice.
Then I found out about the District 6 State Board of Education Trustee candidates from my parents. Now, neither of them exactly shine out... But one, Terri Leo (R), is a batshit crazy creationist, and is on the board that decides what textbooks are used. Being a scientist, and the CHILD of scientists, I must do my part to prevent this woman from being elected. Even if it means voting FOR the completely nondescript libertarian candidate that is running against her, Mary Ann Bryan. I plead with all you out there who have NOT yet voted to take this bit of information with you to the voter's booth, and do the right thing. For science. I will not quibble with families that choose to teach their own children creationism, no matter how fervently I disagree with the viewpoint, but PLEASE keep it out of science, textbooks and public schools. It's only place is in church or private living room discussions.
But seriously....The way it's looking, that's the ONLY race I'll be voting in. How wrong is that? It's a presidential election year, and the only race I actually feel passionately about is... State Board of Education Trustee?