Election 2012: What Matters to Me {Tracy}

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Confession: I was pre-registered to vote 6 months before my 18th birthday.  I was SO excited to be a part of this democratic process that I marched myself down to the DMV and asked if I could pre-register.  I am pretty sure that the employees got a kick out of the “sweet girl” who obviously didn’t have a social life.  They smiled and obliged my request and my love for all things political at that point only became official.

You see I grew up in a family where it was fun to get quizzed on who our State Senator was and what Congressional district we lived in.  My Mom has made a career out of running the local offices for various elected officials and my parents were never one to shy away from hosting a political fundraiser, or bringing the whole family to attend one. I grew up immersed in politics and that had a profound influence on how I orient myself toward our government now.  I am more than happy to be involved and rally others to do so as well.

If you haven’t already, please read the earlier posts in this series: Joy’s is here, and Sarah’s is here. I’ll repeat the ground rules that Joy laid out last week and then I’ll share some of the issues influencing my decision next month.

  1. We will not endorse–or even mention–a political party or candidate.
  2. We will discuss our personal point of view and how that affects our decisions.
  3. This is not an opportunity for us to bash, belittle or argue why another side doesn’t have it right. We are simply opening up a discussion to present the different perspectives of moms who live in the Valley of the Sun.

These posts answer the questions (1) What do I see as the role of government? and (2) what will be the main issues that I will take into consideration when voting this November?

I believe the role of government is simple yet profound: protect the constitution and in doing so protect the establishments that our country was founded on: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The most important recognizing that we are one nation, under God and therefore all men are created equal.

The top 3 things that will influence my voting this election cycle are:

  1. A candidate whose values align with that of our founding Fathers.  This means that while I am absolutely in support of equal rights, (which I think the states should decide themselves and not be mandated by national policy) I am not interested in changing the constitution at all.  Once we open the can of worms that is amending the Constitution, I believe we won’t ever stop.  I am looking to get behind candidates who realize that our Constitution is a valuable and guiding document, not something to be toyed with.  As a conservative in my religious beliefs, I may surprise you that I do NOT want the government to blur the lines between governmental policy and religious doctrine.  I believe that when the Government ordains new laws that impose more reform it only hurts our nation, it doesn’t help it.  So, while I want my candidate to align with my value system, I don’t want him to make up laws in areas that government shouldn’t be involved.
  2. A candidate who is Pro-Business.  It is extremely important to me and my family that we don’t replace the debt with more debt.  I believe we need serious budget reform and we need a leader who will make smart, budget conscious monetary decisions.  I want someone to encourage entrepreneurial endeavors and support the rights of those that do so to run their business however they so choose.  I also want someone leading our country that knows that hard work should be rewarded from your own paycheck.
  3. 3. A candidate who will protect our safety, at home and internationally. Protecting our borders, not being afraid to deploy troops, and utilizing authoritative power (humbly and with wisdom) is extremely important to me.  I want the United States to remain the most powerful nation and I have no qualms in making sure we do what is necessary to remain in this position.   

While it is certainly challenging to talk politics virtually, this was a really healthy and fun exercise for me to go through in preparation for this article.  While you might not feel comfortable publishing your political beliefs online, I do want to encourage you to be able to know the reason why you are voting the way you are.  I take my boys with me every time I go to vote.  I talk them through the whole process and they love (and expect) to get a sticker at the end.  Politics are divisive, the democratic process shouldn’t be.  I hope you are able to enjoy exercising your right to vote this November regardless of whether your party takes home the winning ticket.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Tracy–Your email was forwarded to me and I read it with curiosity. I admire your goal of actually having a conversation without specifically endorsing a candidate and encouraging genuine thought about government. We need to have more honest discussions that are not polarized by vitriolic name calling and game playing. I believe that is your intent so I am willing to participate.

    I practiced law most of my career and studied political science and the history and development of the US Constitution at my university and law school so I would like to comment on the concepts you outlined.

    1. The Constitution. When the founding fathers crafted it women and blacks were not entitled to vote. In fact, only property owners were allowed to vote. The founding fathers knew that slavery was wrong and was a problem but didn’t believe they could have a country without it at the time America was formed. (Read biographies on Thomas Jefferson). Children were employed in sweat shops at the age of 8. Many businesses prospered at the expense of the poor who could not even participate in the democratic process by voting. Fortunately, our Constitution is a fluid document that allows for “amending” the laws and correcting inequities. The other institution that corrects those types of problems is our Supreme Court and many times throughout its history it has taken dramatic steps to reverse decades of law that have proven to be damaging to the economy and the people of the United States. These noteworthy cases usually are the result of large social and economic changes that are occurring in the country at the time. It is crucial that the justices in the Supreme Court have great integrity so that they will have the courage to resist political pressures, great vision, and great understanding of the needs of the country.

    2. Pro Business. We all want to see our businesses thrive. It makes me sad to see a business close its doors on main street. However, we are just recovering from a recession that was largely caused by deregulation of banks that permitted them to make loans without understanding them or really even the borrower’s checking credit. They just repackaged the loans and sold them as quickly as possible. That is just one example of the results of deregulation. I know that there are areas where the regulation hampers business and that could and should be streamlined–however, to simply state that a candidate needs to be pro business is to oversimplify the issue. Regulation is not an evil thing. Whether you are regulating banking, the quality of the water or the slope of a freeway, it is a necessary protection for the public. Without it many businesses just go for the quick buck like the banks did and the result is devastating to the general public and the country.

    3. Safety. Since when has safety meant deploying troops? The American public resisted WW I and WW II until attacked. When we went into Iran we basically went for the “bait” that Osama Bin Laden put out for us. He anticipated that the US would attack and that the Islamic world could use our overreaction as fodder against us. And they have. We have completely squandered all of the good will that the world felt for us when the twin towers went down. We are now hated for our military intervention where we are not wanted. We are now perceived as capitalist intruders who must be resisted and destroyed. This is not good for America and does not make our country or the world a safer place for our children.

    There are many ways to create safety. The initial response of the U. S. was just about right. The calibrated combination of CIA operatives, special forces and air power broke the Taliban in Afghanistan and sent bin Laden and the remnants of al-Qaeda scurrying across the border into Pakistan. The American reaction was quick, powerful and effective — a clear warning to any organization contemplating another terrorist attack against the United States. This is the point at which we should have declared “mission accomplished,” with the caveat that unspecified U.S. agencies and branches of the military would continue the hunt for al-Qaeda’s leader. The world would have understood, and most Americans would probably have been satisfied.

    However, the insidious thing about terrorism is that it provokes the contemplation of something worse to come. And then we start deploying troops everywhere-creating a backlash against the U.S. while at the same time our budget is strained to the breaking point. The result is an unstable world with terrorists fired up against us in many more countries and a broken U.S. budget.

    Does this help America and our children? We need to lead the world by investing in it, teaching and helping–not constantly deploying more troops. Think about it. Do your children learn better when you approach with love and respect or when you order them around without reason and fairness? Other countries that feel we are simply using our military troops to impose our will on them are seething with resentment that eventually emerges in the form of more terrorism.

    I know you love your children and your country. I do too. The question is, what policies will help your children, your country and your world thrive in a safer place. The answer is not simple. Simple platitudes are not sufficient to solve the problem. Turning blindly to big business and the military is a very dangerous proposition for our future.

    • Wow, Bonnie thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and interest in our political articles. If anything, I am so encouraged that you would take the time to write out your thoughts and express them here. This is the fabulous part about democracy that I love. We all care a tremendous amount about our country and that passion can be channeled for great good. I really appreciated how you expounded on some of my points and I hear where you are coming from. Thank you so much for engaging here on our site. Happy voting!

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