Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why I Voted for Barack Obama

I'm a moderate republican. I like the 2nd amendment, the death penalty, and Ayn Rand. I'm a capitalist at heart and I believe the best societies have more financial freedom. I'm also a woman, and some of my social views are pretty liberal. Because of this I spent a long time debating who I should vote for, making lists of the candidates' platforms and voting records, and trying to align those with my own views. Even though there were only two choices, I felt like who I picked would tell me a lot about myself and which views I found more important. For a long time, I couldn't make the decision. The answer easily came to me in early September, and my decision never wavered after that.

I chose to vote for Barack Obama because of the introduction of Sarah Palin as the Republican Vice Presidential pick. When I initially heard rumors of McCain's choice, I thought two things. 1) He is using her gender to get the female vote, and to compete with the fact that the democrats had a historical nominee. 2) It could be nice to have a female as second in command for a change. The second thought disappeared as soon as I discovered Sarah Palin in no way represented the values that I do, as a female, and Barack Obama absolutely did.

When I heard Palin say things like, "I'd oppose abortion even if my own daughter was raped," my feelings about guns and the free market were no longer important. When I found out about her desire to push an abstinence-only sex education on the nation's youth, it was like I had not even read The Fountainhead. Sarah Palin opposed expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation (I believe homosexuality is included in women's issues), and advocated making women buy their own rape kits, and just in general, seemed to oppose everything women activists have fought for for the past century.

2008 was my first presidential election, and it was certainly very interesting. What I took from it, more than anything, was that the economy will rise and fall as it normally does. I am always open to my political views changing, as they have in the past. I was not born a republican, but a woman, and I will die a woman, so I am a woman first, and my rights need to be protected. My right to govern my own body, my right to marry who I want, my right to not have to take out a loan to find out who raped me, my right to the knowledge about safe sex - all of these made Obama the right choice for a female who finds these issues important. Most of all I learned that the gender of an individual doesn't make them a feminist, their actions and choices do. If Sarah Palin had become the Vice President of the United States, I believe feminism would have lost a lot of hard-earned progress, and that is why I voted for Barack Obama.

No comments: