Move Over Mary Poppins!

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Going to the Candidates Debate

...and here's to you, Mrs. Robinson...

OK, so it's the primary, and not the debate, but that's the song in my head right now.

I've been on the fence for so long, I think my spine has fused with a post. I can't decide whether to announce myself Democrat or Republican, and even if I could, I can't find a candidate in either party to soundly endorse.

I'm a moderate kind of gal. I feel the way I feel, regardless of traditional party lines. I fall somewhere between idealism and the reality of my own family life. I worry about illegal immigration, since cheap, illegal labor cuts into the market for both my own and my husband's services. That said, neither of is directly threatened as of yet, so I'm more concerned at this point about seeing that folks are documented and set on a path to citizenship, complete with all its privileges, including taxes, etc...

I worry about the planet. I try to do a little myself. I drive a smaller, high mileage car. I recycle and compost. I use compact fluorescent lights where I can. I keep my home around 65 degrees in winter to reduce heating oil use (and cost, these days!). I teach teach kids not to litter, and not to waste resources (sometimes tough in a home that is heated, air conditioned, and lit up 24/7, but I try. I'm not sure that the Federal government should be controlling the expansion of alternate fuel use, but I do think it should be providing research grants, and perhaps business incentives to those who would push us away from fossil fuel use, both foreign and domestic.

I worry deeply about the mixing of extremist faith (from the Taliban right on through to seemingly nice guys like Mike Huckabee) and broad political influence.

I hate that one of my favorite cousins has to leave his family in Georgia and drive trucks for the Army in Iraq, just because he wanted to join the Air Force five and a half years ago. (As an aside, I hate that he cannot wear the decorations he has earned, because he earned then under Army contract, but wears an Air Force rank and uniform.) I hate that my brother-in-law will be shipped over there in about six weeks. I want them home. I don't think we ever belonged in Iraq, and I feel like we need to get the hell out. To those who say there's too much invested, I say, perhaps it wasn't a wise investment, and we should cut our losses before we have to hand over our shirt. This is a war we can never definitively win, and even if we could, what kind of victory would we face?

I dislike the mismanagement of my tax dollars, especially when I could be putting that money to just fine uses at home. I want to waste less of my life searching for the best deal in health care. I want these at every level: town, county, state, federal. I would like to think that my parents, myself, and my children will have access to Social Security benefits, since I imagine we will have all paid it in over our lifetimes.

My ideology is largely Democratic, but I recognize the rightish leanings I have on certain subjects. So where to cast a vote tomorrow?

I just took the quiz on the Washington Post's web site. I took both quizzes, looking for some direction. I've been reading blogs, news articles, watching television coverage, and still, I'm undecided.



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