If all goes according to plan, I will wake up early tomorrow and go vote.
Or, more likely, I'll sleep until the last possible minute, slink into my chair at work a few minutes late, then go vote during an extra long lunch.
Does anyone care how I'm going to vote? Probably not, beyond the briefest But can we still be friends? glance. I've been on Facebook now for about 9 months and there is no lack of certainty there, and certainly none on the news channels. No one is waiting for me to wade into the murky waters and enlighten them.
So this is, for all intents and purposes, a writing exercise. I'm not going to link to anything because if you agree with me, it's likely you already read it and/or don't need it explained. If you don't agree, you probably stopped reading a paragraph ago.
Here's the thing: I work in a traditionally conservative industry for corporate America, right on the edge of the bible belt. I favor button down shirts and dark suits. I loathe "business casual". I send my son to Catholic school. My daughter was pre-natally diagnosed with Down syndrome and I did not terminate the pregnancy. Bet you think you know where this is going, don't you?
I believe in a strong military. I believe in tort reform, tax reform, and business friendly laws. I think it's asinine our border is as porous as it is. Not because I resent anyone trying to escape the cartels and corruption, but because I don't want it to be easy for my son to score blow on a street corner in 10 years. I don't actually believe the government can solve all our problems. I agree, especially after spending almost 40 minutes on a federal spreadsheet this afternoon, that government can be unwieldy and ridiculous. It is entirely possible I may be (*gasp!*) a moderate.
However, I do not believe a corporation, given the choice between paying millions to limit their emissions or paying nothing to freely dump waste in some unregulated Ayn Rand corpor-topia, will choose the greener path. I'll choose the EPA and FDA, corrupt and inefficient as they may be, over Love Canal and thalidomide. Everyday.
I believe in clean air, clean water, and national parks unmarred by oil drills. We can debate the merits and cost of any particular environmental law but I'd find it a lot easier to listen to you if I knew the first words weren't automatically going to be "job killing regulations".
I would find it easier buy the glories of a "limited government" if you didn't want to stick an ultrasound wand up my ladybits.
I also might believe you wanted to "preserve individual liberty" if you spent less time worrying about what John and Jack were doing in their bedroom.
I actually find it abhorrent that people who trumpet family values would bar a committed couple from forming a legal union, from forming a family. I find it reprehensible that you would prefer a parentless child remain in foster care instead of allowing John & Jack adopt. I fail to see how this weakens the family structure - John's & Jack's relationship has about as much bearing on the state of my marriage as Mitt's & Ann's does. Is God fallible? Did he make someone gay? If the source of your objection is biblical, I'm going to argue your refusal to allow legal access to hospital rooms for a gay couple is unkind and spiteful. What would Jesus do?
I find it puzzling that a party as focused as it is on abortion, doesn't believe insurance companies need to cover my little white pills (though his little blue pills are fine) and doesn't believe SexEd should be discussed in educational settings. We aren't going to provide you any education or means by which to prevent pregnancy, but if you're stupid enough to have sex anyway, you damn well will carry that baby to term. I find it puzzling that a party touting itself as "pro-life" assumes all those un-aborted babies are going to end up in stable, upper income homes - homes that have no need for Head Start or free clinics or subsidized day care while mom finishes school or works at her minimum wage job. But they WILL hand out partial vouchers for private school! ...so then all the smarter, richer kids around you will vanish because your dumb slut of a mother can't afford the book fees.
Just so we're all clear, I think abortion is a tragedy. The closest I'll ever get to feeling religious is when I contemplate two microscopic cells joining and forming an entirely new sentient being. Life is a miracle. But not every woman is financially, emotionally, or physically able to bring a baby into this world and how dare anyone tell her what she must do with her own self. I am and will always be pro-choice. I find it downright hypocritical that the party that touts itself as pro-life believes once born, those sentient beings must make their own way in the world, unencumbered by intrusive health care, financial aid, or any other social safety net. Advocacy for the fragile and weak seems to stop once you hit room air.
I find it downright depressing that your party believed it was acceptable for millions of Americans to live without health insurance. That it was better to use healthcare reform as a political cudgel and bemoan the loss of "freedom" in the hope of winning tomorrow's election. Freedom from what? Freedom from the fear your new un-aborted baby could end up in the NICU for six months, exhausting their lifetime coverage cap, and forcing a family into bankruptcy? Freedom from bumping your head in a car accident, getting a $800 ambulance ride, a $4000 ER visit, and a $3000 MRI, ruining both your credit and your children's Christmas?
I am tired of people earning $150k/year with employer provided coverage, wondering why "those people" just don't do the responsible thing and buy health insurance. With cash. On the open market. With that one thing the doctor noticed that one time burned for all eternity into their medical records: a pre-existing condition.
I am tired of the extended family lamenting the crushing monstrosity of Obama care while cooing over my otherwise uninsurable daughter. Would they have brought brownies to a bake sale to cover her fourth visit with the anesthesiologist? How about an extra batch of cookies to cover the surgeon?
Both my paternal great grandfathers were doctors in the same small Nebraska town. 100 years ago it might have been acceptable for a patient to pay off their $5 office visit with a share of the potato crop but office visits aren't $5 anymore and my doctors can easily get their potatoes at Schnucks.
[I am, however, deeply disappointed the message was so poorly delivered. My people are poor salesmen.]
I find it distasteful when the constitution, a document that originally allowed only white men to vote, is held to be inviolate and inflexible. I find it equally distasteful, that a mere 50 years after federal troops were required to squelch a state's "right" to bar a black man from going to college, the states are held to be vessels of light and freedom, whilst the federal government is oppressive and overreaching. The only overreaching I felt is when my state representative said some rape is legitimate.
I am tired of the unapologetically biased largest cable news outlet's vitriol and their snarky comments about "main stream media". If you are the biggest, you are the main stream. I am tired of an eavesdropping little old Australian's nasty divisive role in this country. I am tired of the willful blindness to the trainwreck this party's last leader left behind. Tired of the false outrage over Seal Team 6 leaks and Benghazi (anyone remember Valerie Plame or....I dunno, 9/11?)
I am tired of the party that seems to be made up only of millionaires from the Ivy Leagues and people who believe the earth is 9000 years old. Neither reflect my reality. I am tired of the party that thinks science and nature are for chumps, that dismisses rape, and that calls women sluts. I'm tired of a party that refuses to compromise with the other 47% and whose primary economic reform is to cut taxes for the very, very wealthy. No thank you.