Dr. Monkey has challenged me to answer some very thought provoking questions about my views on Obama. Because he entertains me, regularly comments on my blog, and sends me gifts, I'm happy to answer him.
Note: I started this on Monday. It's now 1:30am on Wednesday morning. These questions were not easy. I won't tag anyone with this meme, but if you want to answer the questions, feel free and let me know because I'd be eager to read your opinions.
1) What is your name (nickname, whatever you're comfortable sharing), your age (range), gender, occupation, income bracket (range), how you identify (gay/straight/whatever)? Married/Single/Divorced? Kids (how many)?
Name: Little Merry Sunshine
Age: 37 (really that's my age)
Occupation: Self-employed, Mary Kay Consultant
How I Identify: Straight, but many of my friends are gay and I love them very much
Marital Status: Single
Kids: None that I know of
2) What are the most important issues to you in this presidential election and why?
The economy, health care, and the war.
And I can say that since Monday morning, I have become considerably more worried about the economy. The bank failures terrify me. Gas prices went up in my neighborhood 45 cents from Thursday through Saturday. I can't even look at the stock market. Unemployment is 6.1% and rising (it was 4.2% in Jan. 2001). Food prices are as bad as gas prices. And the GOP insists we're just a bunch of whiners and that the economy is fine. Too much has been deregulated and too much corporate welfare has been given out by the Bush Administration, all contributing to the bad economy.
Health care is vital. As a country, everyone pays for the uninsured through higher insurance premiums. We must focus more on prevention than treatment. As things stand now, insurance pays for treating illnesses, but not preventing them. It is always cheaper to prevent something from happening than to treat it after the fact. Keeping people healthy will keep them out of doctors' offices, increase productivity, and cost insurance companies and Medicare and Medicaid less. I believe that we have an obligation to provide health care for everyone. I'm not saying that everyone should have health care paid for by the government. I would like to see a mix of public and private health care - if your employer offers insurance great, but if not, you can get it through the government at a reasonable cost. And by "it," I mean heath insurance equal to what Congressmen and Senators get. The bottom line for me is that the way we run our health care system in this country needs to be completely overhauled.
We got into Iraq based on lies. Too many people, both military personnel and civilians, have died. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, no matter what John McCain or Sarah Palin would like us to believe. We need to refocus our energies on the real war on terror. I'm not sure that the answer is to simply pull out tomorrow, but we cannot stay in Iraq indefinitely. I also believe that we should be willing to talk to all countries unconditionally. Talk can't hurt.
3) Why do you think voters should vote for Obama/Biden, what differentiates this ticket from McCain/Palin?
Obama/Biden challenge people to be better. McCain/Palin believe in the politics of fear and 9/11 (TM). Obama/Biden believe that our best days are ahead, while McCain/Palin seem to believe they were somewhere around 1957. Obama/Biden would get the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed and let me have control of my body. Not to be funny, but McCain/Palin believe government should be small enough to fit inside my uterus. And McCain voted against Ledbetter. Obama/Biden know our economy has some serious problems. McCain/Palin believe our economy is strong.
For me, as a woman, I can't sit by idly and let McCain/Palin carry on about abortion, birth control, sex ed, and fair pay. McCain/Palin would make abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest. This makes my blood boil. Sarah Palin and her pregnant teenage daughter have been praised for their "courage" in deciding to keep their babies that I assume are as a result of consensual sex, but McCain/Palin would require me (and you and our daughters, granddaughters, etc.) to carry a baby to term that was conceived during rape or incest. How dare they.
In making his VP choice, John McCain showed us how he makes important decisions. John McCain had almost 6 months from the time he won the nomination until he announced his VP choice to interview, vet, and prepare his VP nominee. He did none of those things. He chose a running mate he had met exactly once and without ever vetting her. The most important decision of his campaign and he took the same amount of time making it as he does in choosing a pair of socks.
4) If McCain/Palin wins this election, where do you see our country going in the next four years?
The economy is clearly Issue #1 (TM). And McCain has repeatedly stated that (a) the economy isn't his strong suit and (b) the economy is strong (thus proving A). McCain and his advisers believe we are a "nation of whiners." We have many problems in this country, but McCain either doesn't know they exist or he refuses to acknowledge them. Either way, to me, that means he lives in a fantasy world. A dangerous fantasy world.
And Sarah Palin is no better. As we clearly saw in the ABC interviews last week, her cliff notes education on the campaign issues didn't work. She is clearly not knowledgeable enough to run this country, as Carly Fiorina stated yesterday.
If McCain/Palin win this election, I worry that we will not get out of this recession for many years. That the economic divide in our country will continue to get wider. That middle class people will not be able to send their kids to college. That the American Dream will never be achieved by too many. And that, as a country, we will lose even more of our standing in the world than we have over the last 8 years under Bush/Cheney.
5) Economically, where do you think this country is today and how do you think Obama/Biden can make a positive impact?
Clearly we are not in a good place. And I've written about it before on LMS. Lehman Brothers, gone. Merrill Lynch, gone. Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac now belong to the federal government. Unemployment is at 6.1%. And tonight, the feds announced they're taking over AIG. I am scared to know what will happen to the unemployment rate thanks to Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and AIG.
Simply understanding that the economy is not strong and is currently broken (as Obama/Biden does) is a vast improvement over Bush/Cheney and McCain/Palin. Obama/Biden will increase taxes on the rich, while giving tax breaks to over 90% of all Americans. They will bring back some of the regulation of the banking industry that was lost under Bush/Cheney. And ending our immoral war where we spend billions of dollars per month will allow us to invest that money into our country.
6) In the past 8-years, how do you think this country has changed under the Bush regime? Have you been affected by these changes? If so, in what ways?
Well, the most obvious change is that we are a nation at war, which we were not during the Clinton Administration. We have lost our civil liberties and are being held hostage by the fears instilled in us by the GOP. Domestic spying is now the norm and is acceptable.
Elections have become nastier than ever and I fear that good people will be driven away from a life of public service because of it.
Questioning our government is now seen as "unpatriotic."
7) I have read that Palin is considered the new voice of feminism, which is offensive in my opinion. Of equal concern are her views on abortion and the removal of books from libraries. I'd like to know what you think about all of that and how you feel about McCain choosing Palin as a running mate. And what kind of message you think that sends to women?
Sarah Palin is like no feminist I've ever met. She frightens me. And as a woman, I am highly offended that I should vote for her because we both have vaginas. From everything I've read about her and observed in her speeches and interviews (well, I guess that's just 1 interview), she has a very "my way or the highway" view of the world. There appears to be no room for alternative points of view. One of my strongest beliefs is that a good leader encourages her advisers to challenge her. Even if they are simply playing devil's advocate. I believe that hearing different points of view and looking at all options, allows for better decision making.
There are certainly books I find offensive, just as there are TV shows I believe are trash, movies that are insulting, music that is demeaning, etc., and that's my right. So I don't read, watch or listen to them. And that's what I would say to anyone. If you don't like what's on TV, change the channel. If you don't like some books in your library, don't check them out. But don't come tell me that just because you don't like something, I can't read it.
As for abortion, I feel the same way. If you don't like abortion, then don't get one. But don't come tell me that I couldn't get an abortion when I was raped (I didn't get pregnant, so no abortion was necessary).
Every rational thinking woman should be highly offended by the choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain's VP. She is not the simple "hockey mom" she portrays herself to be. She is manipulative, shrewd, shrill (yep, I said it), and uneducated on the major issues of our time.
Any woman who votes for McCain/Palin is simply irresponsible.