Monday, September 29, 2008

My Political Summary

Alright, so Lindsay called me out on this... I promise I was going to do a follow up to my political question, but there have been a few other things going on this week! (like a baby and my husband being out of town for 4 days)
If you haven't already, I highly recommend that you go back and read my first post. And the comments! It was so interesting to see the almost 50/50 split.

Also recommended: this website that lists where McCain and Obama stand on the issues side by side. Most of their stances are taken directly from their own campaign websites and speeches. It's pretty comprehensive!

Now, when it comes right down to it... I'm pretty sure I'll be voting for McCain. My reasons are these:

I don't think Obama has enough experience. I think McCain has a lot of experience and I believe he tries his best to work with both parties.

I don't trust Obama on foreign policy. But neither do I entirely trust McCain. This one is kind of up in the air for me (see below).

I don't like how Obama wants centralized healthcare and more government programs. In this I'm pretty die-hard Republican. In general I don't think more government is the answer. Beauracracy never solves anything! (just look at our schools)

And finally, while I don't believe you can legislate morality, I don't agree with Obama on a lot of moral issues. This leads me to believe that he won't put in place other policies that I would agree with.

I think my biggest "for" for McCain is his history of being moderate. I think this is what we need today and Obama for all his "working people" speech is extremely liberal. Even more so than Hilary. I can only hope that the rest of the world doesn't decide to quit their dealings with the US if McCain is elected simply because he's a Republican and they think he'll be like Bush.

Now, if you feel the need - the rest of this post might be what you would call my own campaign stances, if I were to be running for any public office!

On foreign policy: The US thinks we are the king of the world. We don't play fair and we think our system is best. For us, maybe, but that's like telling someone their way of cooking dinner is wrong simply because they're Indian and like different food. We don't allow for cultural differences in other countries. Simply put, I don't think democracy is the answer for every country. Obviously I don't think evil dictators are good, but....

guess what! The US has helped put in power evil dictators all over the world. I started learning about this in college and it totally shocked me. We've managed to gloss over it pretty easily... but our corporations have basically looted and pillaged other countries natural resourses at their people's expense. We have supported regimes (Chile? Nicauragua?) that systematically brutalize their population.

Personally I think the US needs to deal more with our own issues at home (hi, have we got issues) and leave other countries to deal with themselves. At the very least we need to quit going it alone and get the support of other nations. We do not have the "moral authority" in these other countries when they look at the havoc we have already wreaked on them. We need to treat them with respect before we go running all over their national sovreignity.

At home...

On education: Here's my soapbox! I am a teacher. My husband is a teacher. My mother is a teacher. Between us we have various experiences in public and private schools.

The amount of standardized testing we have today is KILLING our schools. It is not a good thing AT ALL. The teachers have to spend so much time preparing their students for these tests that other things get left out (like art for one). Whatever happened to preparing well rounded citizens? Do most of you take tests at least once a year to make sure you are competent to do your job? No? I didn't think so. Our school system as a whole definitely needs some revamping.
Also, if you work in an industry... when was the last time you had to pay for your continuing training? I'm not talking about training to get a better job (like management or something) I'm talking about training to keep the job you already have. Doesn't your company usually pay for that?
Well, guess what... teachers have to pay for their continuing training, their re-certification, their extra classes they have to take.

And... guess what again! The teachers are not wholly responsible for the things that students learn. They are there to impart the information and help, but it is also the student's reponsibility as well as... wait for it... the parents!

I recently heard of an instance where someone said to a parent, "well, when your child goes to school they are not your responsibility anymore". NOTHING could be farther from the truth! Speaking strictly as a teacher, we know exactly which kids are going to succeed (with about 99% accuracy) by which parents show up at conferences and open houses (or contact us in some way if they can't make a certain week night). These kids whose parents are involved will most of the time be the top students, or at least trying hard, even if they're not the brightest kid in the class.

Parents have the responsibility to make sure their child is doing well in school. That doesn't necessarily mean they must be a straight A student. But they should be a continual behavior problem, nor should they never turn in their homework. And if something isn't going right? FIRST STOP - talk to the teacher!!! Be involved. We love it when you are involved with your child's education. You know your child well (but don't discount that they may be somewhat different at school and we may have some insights as well) and we'd love to hear from you!

I think teachers should be paid more. Maybe not much more, but more. Perhaps this is the trade off for the summer "vacation" they get, but when you realize that teaching is not a 9-5 job... it's more like an 80 hour a week job... and the fact that the future of our country rests in their hands? I think you'd have better teachers and less burnout/turnover if they were paid more.
In fact I think this would probably go 50% of the way towards helping our schools improve. The other 50% being smaller class sizes (so we can actually do more individualized teaching) and just plain not expecting every student to be the same. Not every student will go on to college, and I think that's okay. We need more trade schools so that students who aren't "students" will still have a skill to get them through life.

Obviously I could go on about this subject, but I'll leave that for another day...

On healthcare: I think we need something. I'm not entirely sure what, but I don't think a universal healthy care system run by the government is a good idea. Do they ever manage anything well? I'd rather be able to choose my own doctor and see them tomorrow if need be than have to wait 3 months.
I do think we need to put a limit on frivolous lawsuits, which would in turn lower doctor's insurance and they wouldn't have to charge as much. However, to counteract that perhaps we need stronger ethics boards. Doctors are human too. Yes, they make mistakes. Yes, that sometimes hurts people.

But.

Would you rather not have a doctor at all? There needs to be a balance and right now I think it's swung too far into the area of holding doctors responsible for every last little thing that happens to go wrong.

I also think the health insurance industry needs to be reined in. They should be non-profit. From where I'm standing they dis-allow more charges than anything and then will only pay doctors a set rate (usually at least 25% less than the billed charges). The doctors are not allowed to charge you the difference so they end up eating it.
Also another reason why doctors can't afford to have small hometown practices. Since they're not getting paid as much and still having to pay exorbitant insurance themselves they can't have their own practice as the overhead would be too high.

However, if a doctor makes a bad ethical decision, ie is inebriated in the OR, or disregards patients wishes, or simply does something that most people would look at and call him a bad person then there needs to be a strong ethics board that can either discipline with teeth or strip licenses all together and quickly.

And to pay for all this...

On taxes: I think we should have a flat tax. There should be an exemption for anyone below the poverty line and then a sliding scale (perhaps up to where we are? we don't make a lot - one income and it's a teacher - but we can afford to pay some taxes) and after that you get your personal exemptions for family members and that's it. No "loopholes" that the wealthy can find by hiring a personal accountant. I might make one exception and that being if your business assets aren't separate from your personal then you would have to allow for those, but that's not going to affect the big guys who take advantage of the system already.


Finally, I do have a problem with abortion and gay marriage. I'm sure this will get me some flamage. The biggest problem I have with abortion is that it's the taking of a life for someone's irresponsible decision. I actually wrote a post about this awhile ago, but never posted it because I figured it was too inflammatory.
Basically in our country I think we've decided that the "me" life is more important than anything else. We don't want to be responsible for our actions. Now, don't go yelling at me about rape and abuse. That accounts for a pretty small percentage of abortions. And there are other options, how many couples are on waiting lists to adopt a child to love because they can't have their own?

My other problem with abortion is almost philosophical. The same people who are for abortion are usually for welfare and more government programs. They're all about supporting the people who are down and out. No problem with that... but aren't the unborn the ones who need the most protection and support? On the other hand, most pro-life people don't give a second thought to what happens to these "unwanted" babies when they are born. Obviously not okay either. (maybe the two camps should get together and try supporting all life?)

And well, thirdly, there's a problem my brain has with the idea of killing babies. When do you draw the line and say that one life is worth preserving and another is not? How do you not slide right down into euthenasia and other forms of "mercy" killing?

As far as gay rights go, I'm all for them. As long as the exact same rights are given to every single other person. There should be no preferential treatment here. If gay people want to have the same priveledges as heterosexual couples then I think they should be allowed to have civil unions. As long as any two people are allowed to have a civil union for whatever reason. The one thing I'm not okay with is gay marriage. Marriage is a God sanctioned ceremony. God flatly calls the homosexual lifestyle sin. No matter what our culture, or even some churches want to say, I don't think two homosexuals getting married are doing it in God's sight.
Please hear me out on this. I have nothing against gay people. What I have a problem with is their trying to force their sinful lifestyle on me and my family. Especially when the gay lifestyle can be taught at school, but Christianity can't. ;)

Now, if I could find a candidate who feels the same way I do about these issues...

8 comments:

  1. I agree with so much of what you've said--you've obviously really thought about the issues and candidates. I expect this election will be exciting right up until that day in November!

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  2. I watched something this week that I think you'll enjoy - even though it doesn't give any hard answers. It is actually journalistic (meaning: Sicko was not very journalistic! ha!): http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

    The following post has also helped me to better understand the pro-life people who totally support Obama: http://willzhead.typepad.com/willzhead/2008/09/pro-life-and-pr.html

    I love how you point out the fact that most of our major issues do not have any hard-and-fast solutions. It takes a lot of learning on all our parts, so we can push toward actual solutions. Nothing will be perfect - ever - but pushing for "better" ... well, I think that's good! :)

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  3. Tanya @ texastanya.net2:56 PM

    Well said. I'm not really a politico, but I enjoyed reading this post. I appreciate your well thought out and written opinions. Of course, it probably helps that my political views are very similar to yours. :)

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  4. Anonymous7:58 PM

    Hey Krista :)

    I agree and am glad to see you are leaning towards McCain. As a Christian I have a hard time voting for Obama due to moral issues like abortion. I am sure he is a fine guy, but he doesn't represent me or my morals.

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  5. I agree with everything you said. Great post!

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  6. I love your views on education. I pretty much agree with it all, but I especially enjoyed hearing that from an educator's perspective.

    btw, thanks for stopping by my blog tonight.
    Always good to hear from you.

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  7. thank you krista, great post! I agree with you on practically everything! Thanks for taking the time to type it out.

    Melissa

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