This is a quick note of encouragement for everyone to get out there and vote on Tuesday. I have already voted by absentee and even though I was not crazy about either candidate I finally made a determination. As much as I respect Barack Obama (and will be actually kind of excited if he wins) I decided to vote for John McCain for one basic reason- he is more likely to appoint judges that I agree with and support. In particular I feel that abortion is a very important issue. I am pro-life and would be happy if Roe v Wade was overturned. I believe it was founded on faulty notions of the freedom of women. The pro-choice team would have you believe that abortions were somehow liberating. On my mission I met several woman who had abortions years before and the memory was continually haunting them. Where was the supposed independence from the burden of a baby that these women were supposed to achieve? The pro-choice movement would have you believe that abortion is a matter of female choice and that to violate such freedom is wrong. What about the freedom of the baby? What about the right to life?
Anyway, I know this is a very touchy issue and I don’t want to ostracize people from my blog. I merely wanted to explain my reason for voting for John McCain. I decided that McCain is more likely to select Supreme Court and other judges that are pro-life. I know it may be a mistake to vote on one issue but I felt so divided on every other issue- some going for McCain, others to Obama, that finally my choice came to abortion and that was the tipping point.
Regardless of my vote it looks like Obama is going to win the election. If he does, it will be a marvelous day for our country. It is hard to believe that as late as 1965 Jim Crow laws were officially banned by the Civil Rights Act. Now 43 years later we will probably have an African American as a president. It’s very exciting. I have read Barack Obama’s books and feel he is a good man who will do his best as president. I don’t agree with him on everything, but I think he will attempt to develop a political discourse in this country that we haven’t had with Bush. I look forward to that. I also agree with him on the war and am glad he supports charter schools. Health care and taxes I am more with McCain. They were honestly about equal in my mind except for the abortion discussion.
I would like to make one more statement about the election. All of my friends in California- please go out and vote for proposition 8. I wish I was in California just so I could vote for it. I am a great supporter of equal treatment for all including all of us that favor traditional marriage. Tolerance does not mean adopting other’s moral codes- it means learning to acknowledge those differences and treating people with kindness. This is true for both sides of the debate. I support proposition 8 because I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is sacred, special, important to society and it is fundamental to the health of children. I completely support giving domestic partnerships rights but not at the cost of harming traditional marriage. That’s just the way I feel.
My brother in law wrote an essay on proposition 8 that I feel is quite brilliant; however, it is kind of long for the blog. Here is one section:
“While much could be said about whether same-sex unions should or should not be granted civil marriage, the core of this issue is really about the right of private individuals to make a distinction between same-sex unions and traditional marriage. If Proposition 8 fails, this right will, at the very least, be restricted.
Though distinguish and discriminate seem similar, they represent two very different ideas. Discrimination refers to a separation made solely on the basis of a category or class without regard to individual merit. This type of distinction rightfully has no protection under the law. On the other hand, we all regularly make and rely on merit-based distinctions. These are value judgments we make based on, for example, the actions of two competing individuals in order to decide between them. Individuals do have the right to make this type of distinction between same-sex unions and traditional marriage. Such a distinction can be understood as follows. Every individual involved in a same-sex union, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other classification is engaging in homosexual activity. To many, engaging in homosexual activity is morally wrong. Based on the believed lack of value in these actions, a distinction is drawn between same-sex unions and traditional marriage. Note that this valuation is solely about the actions committed and the types of unions formed, not about any individual who engages in such actions or forms such unions. This is a clear departure from the oft-drawn analogy of interracial marriage. In the case of interracial marriage there is no way to make such a distinction that does not rely on an underlying valuation about the classes of individuals who commit such acts, which is discrimination.
Obviously and understandably, many people oppose this distinction. Nevertheless, our country is built on the freedom of individuals and groups to make exactly such declarations. In fact, a distinction between traditional marriage and same-sex unions has been publicly endorsed by both main presidential candidates and their running mates. Though their opinions on Prop. 8 differ, all four political candidates have stated that they define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. Vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden has also stated in reference to gay marriage that “Barack Obama nor I support redefining, from a civil side, what constitutes marriage. We do not support that.”
Given that some people make this distinction while others do not, what should be the government’s role? The answer is essentially none. To the extent that homosexual activities are committed by consenting adults the United States Supreme Court has rightfully determined that the government has no place to question their legality. In the same vein, even though some feel that same-sex unions are immoral, there is no room for the government to make that distinction. This is why the formation of civil unions and similar institutions to protect the rights of individuals in same-sex unions should, for the most part, be applauded. But the government should also not prevent anyone from making that distinction. By granting same-sex unions access to the traditional institution of marriage there are clear signs that this is exactly what the government is doing.”
I may add more to this tomorrow, but I wanted to do my part before the election day on Tuesday. Hopefully nobody will be offended by my stating positions. They are just that my positions and shouldn’t bother anyone. I also promise that my blog will be mostly free of politics after this. Call it a rare exception. Go out and vote! I have never missed an election (even on my mission) since I turned 18. Don’t miss out on your chance to make a difference.