Why I'm voting for Obama

Actually, I already voted via mail-in voting a couple weeks ago as well as donated more money than I’ve ever donated to any political campaign. I was originally a Hillary Clinton supporter and I still think she would have made the best President. Obama has different strengths, but I think he’s just as intelligent and rational as Hillary. Hillary is still far more attractive, however.

I’m a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. That means that I agree, in general, with Republicans on the free market, lower taxes and smaller government. The problem I have with Republicans is that I think they like those things because they’re greedy and selfish, but I like them because I think they foster a healthier economy, increases prosperity and benefits society. Democrats agree with Republicans on a free-market, low taxes and small government, they just aren’t as extremist. Republicans believe that the free-market solves _all_ problems, Democrats believe it solves _most_ problems.

Being a “social liberal” means that I believe that everyone has a right to live their own life any way they see fit (as long as they don’t inflict direct harm on someone else, of course) and everyone has a right to the same opportunities. I believe that government can and should guarantee both of these. Democrats believe this, while Republicans tend to want the government to control how other people live, especially if those people have different views then they do, and even restrict rights of some citizens. I also think that Republicans preach anger, fear and hatred while Democrats encourage unity and optimism.

On my fiscal conservative-ness, or economics, Obama understands economics and, more importantly, surrounded himself with the best economists in the country. McCain used Carly Fiorina (not an economist by any stretch of the imagination) as his economic advisor and, only after much criticism by the smart Republicans, he finally hired a single economist to advise him weeks before the election. And this was years after he admitted several times that he doesn’t understand economics as well as he should — that’s irresponsible. Obama will raise my taxes because I’m in the top 0.1% (poor me!), but I believe his policies will spur economic growth which will increase my income. I’ll pay a higher tax on higher income any day over a lower tax on lower income.

For my social liberal-ness, Obama agrees with me on almost every issue. McCain disagrees with me on almost every issue…

The Iraq War. That’s easy. Obama wants to end the war, the longest war we’ve ever been in. McCain has no interest in ending it and even wants to start more wars — he’s a Cold War guy, he loves to play with tanks and missiles.

Healthcare. Obama has a fair plan that makes sense: make it easier to afford quality healthcare for everyone. McCain has a nonsense plan: end employer-subsidized healthcare and force everyone to find quality healthcare for less than half of what it costs today or go without.

Economy. Obama understands the problems and has meaningful plans to improve it. McCain doesn’t care to understand the problems and just wants to let the free-market run its course and see what happens.

Education. Obama plans to put money into education. In my opinion, there are two things you can’t throw too much money at: education and research. McCain favors vouchers, which is the great economist Milton Friedman’s best ideas but biggest failings — they don’t work, wake up, McCain.

Energy. Obama wants to invest heavily in research for alternative energy. This is the only way to do it. Startups and big corporations simply can’t afford to invest the billions of dollars necessary for the research and the long time horizon this will require. Government spending, like the Space Race of the 1960s, is the only way this will happen. McCain wants to drill for oil in America.

Foreign Policy. Obama is willing to use diplomacy to resolve problems around the world. McCain wants to use tanks and missiles.

If McCain wasn’t on the wrong side of all the issues, he selected Sarah Palin as his Vice President. He picked her solely to appeal to the Jesus Freaks and, inexplicably, to Hillary Clinton supporters (of which I am one). Given his age, he was irresponsible to put someone so unqualified to be President so close to the Presidency — he did it to win the election, America be damned. He showed poor judgment all around on that, his first meaningful decision as a President. His judgment can only get worse from there.

Finally, running the campaign itself shows a stark difference in competence between the two. Obama’s campaign was nearly flawless and incredibly well-organized. McCain’s campaign was bankrupt at one point, he threw almost everyone out (showing he made the wrong decisions), replaced them with just as inept people (the same mistake twice), and made mistake after mistake.

The Economist “explained why Obama is leading”:http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12511205:

bq. Mr Obama’s critics argued that he was only good at giving “pretty speeches”. But the reason that he is the clear favourite is that he has such a wide range of strengths. He has created the most innovative machine in recent political history. He has produced detailed policy proposals on everything from health insurance to Russia (he has a brain-bank of 200 foreign-policy experts). He has displayed grace under pressure when confronted with everything from Jeremiah Wright’s anti-American rants to the Wall Street meltdown. Mr Obama is a decathlete not a one-trick pony.

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