For me, it’s done. My ballot has been cast. Here’s a not-so-private recap of what I did within the privacy of the booth:
Barack Obama/Joseph Biden for President: This one goes without saying for those of you who have been following my blog over the past year. While I think the Obama and Biden both have some important questions that still need answering and I think they’ve been delivering many empty promises (as politicians always do), I simply could not look myself in the mirror had I voted any other way. For the first time in a long while, I truly believe in this ticket; flaws notwithstanding.
Carl Levin for U.S. Senate: Sen. Levin has been on my questionable list for a while. While I give him all the credit in the world for being a strong advocate for education, I can’t help but think he’s not using his position as chairman of the Armed Services Committee enough. As edcuational opportunities continue to diminish, people tend to lean on the military as a source of economic stability and opportunity. Those same enlistees are later fighting and dying in conflicts overseas. I would expect him to make that connnection and act accordingly.
I’m giving him one last chance to lead efforts in improving the educational system and ending this war. Anything less will ensure that I will not vote for him in 2014 (assuming he will run again and/or I’m still a Michigan resident).
Misc. candidates: Interestingly, with the exception of a few uncontested candidates, I voted along party lines with all the other contestants. I typically pride myself in learning about candidates before casting votes as opposed to blindly supporting Democrats. But I also admittedly also pay far more attention to national politics than I do on the local and state level. It’s safe to say that my liberal leanings motivated how I voted for the folks running on down tickets. Political scientists predict this kind of voting behavior all the time. I guess I didn’t fail to disappoint.
Proposition 1 for the use of Marijuana in medicine: “Yes”. Minus being overweight (and regaining some of the weight I loss) and having the occasional bad cold/pneumonia, I’m a very healthy person. But I’d like to think that if I was in a position where marijuana could preserve my health or save my life, it would be available.
On top of that, I’m hoping that the greater society finally gets off its moral soapbox and its cornered market on “legal” drugs, and simply remove the illegal ban on marijuana altogether. Alcohol poisoning and drunk driving kill people hand over fist. Cigarette-induced cancer has killed more people than the Black Plague. Yet they’re both completely legal. Meanwhile, marijuana continues to be illegal even when its only affects on people include creating insatiable cravings for White Castle, stirring up epiphanies that would make Socrates jealous, and providing medicinal aid.
Proposition 2 for Embryonic stem cell research: “Yes”. Unlike most Christians, I don’t believe that life starts at the moment of conception. I think the “life” for which we are called to be committed includes a central nervous system, neurological/cognitive development, functioning organs, etc. I should point out that I don’t claim to know a thing about science (you’d agree if you saw my undergraduate transcripts). And while can appreciate the rationale presented by those against this ballot (the Hippie Conservative, for instance, made a pretty convincing argument), I defer this discussion mostly to the experts; experts who – by the way – I believe God uses to make sense out of things here on Earth.
Had you asked me about embryonic stem cell research a few years back, I would have likely responded much differently. The emotional opposition to “creating life in order to destroy it” would have far exceeded any reasonable support for stem cell research. But using science and technology – to me – puts us in a better position to restore the well-being of our country through reason and logic.
From what I gathered in the Proposition’s language, the embryos in question would have all been donated specifically for routine ferility treatments. Those not accepted as viable samples are subsequently discarded as medical waste. Prop 2 would allow researchers to use discarded samples – which would otherwise get thrown out – for scientific testing purposes. If using embryos can take scientists a step further in finding cures that live, breathing, and feeling people need, I’m all for it.
The point of this post was not to lure you either way. Vote how you want. I just wanted to take a moment to share the outcome of one of the most important elections in which I’ll ever participate. If you feel so inclined, I’m curious to know what issues/candidates appear on your ballots and how you vote. But even if you don’t want to provide that information, the most important thing is that you VOTE!
Vote, vote, vote!