Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do You Have a One Issue?

As the election draws closer, I've been seeing a flurry of abortion talk from people on all sides of the issue. It doesn't matter who is talking or whether or not I agree with them, but when this issue comes up in relation to the election my stomach clenches up and I start feeling stressed.

Because it seems to me that a great deal of Americans vote on this issue alone regardless of their viewpoint.

I may be in the minority, but I really don't think whoever becomes president is going to truly affect anything in relation to abortion. I know those who support legalized abortion will say that if a conservative judge gets in, Roe v. Wade could be overturned. And those who oppose legalized abortion will say that a pro-life president can help guide legislation to reduce abortions.

I really truly feel in my heart that this is a battle fought locally, in your neighborhoods and schools, with the people you meet and the people you know.


It's really a post about how complicated it can be knowing how to vote. For those of you who are die-hard set on your team, this post is probably going to fly right over your head, but for me...for me it's not so simple. It's easy to pick one issue and make that issue the most important and disregard everything else. Or to happily go along with everything one candidate says b/c they are the captain of your team. But there are so many things to take into consideration, my own values and limited knowledge and experience to weigh and most of the important issues don't make it on the news or even on the pop blogs. They have nothing to do with how much money was spent on a wardrobe or the history of one's faith.

And at the end of the day, it's the realization that more important than the presidential vote are all those pesky propositions and local government workers I have to vote on. They will probably affect my life more directly, more immediately.

But that's just me....I've seen people say with impatience "how can anyone still be undecided?" And my response to that? How can anyone be so sure? Faith in a politician is not something I have mastered. Because believe me, the losing team will attack the winning team so hard for the next 4-8 years that we'll all be ready for a change when the time comes. At the rate we're going, hope will continue to dissolve and disunity will continue to grow.

In truth, I think I've decided. But I'm not telling you. :)

How about you? Are you on a team? Do you have a one issue? Or are you like me....totally unsure but willing to cast a vote anyway?


Sheri said...

No. I am still undecided. Can you believe it? I feel awful about it.


Running out of time.

Amy said...

Ha, my whole point was that you shouldn't feel awful about it! I totally understand. :)

Monica said...

"It's really a post about how complicated it can be knowing how to vote."

I agree a million times over. I'm in Canada, and this election (our Prime Minister) was the first time I was old enough to vote when an election was called. It is so difficult to weight what objectives I value over others... and to pick a candidate that *claims* they feel the same way. I'm worried I picked wrong... but I know it's not just up to me. We're having another By-Election in my riding tomorrow for a seat in Parliament. And on November 14th we pick a new Mayor & City Councillors.

It's all just so confusing!

Stephen said...

Okay, I tried posting a long comment and Blogger ate it. Here's another try:

I don't have one issue that determines my vote, but there is one thing that is very important to me, the matter of public discourse (along the lines of the David Dark quote I posted on my blog a while back). When you have one candidate who repeatedly talks about the common values of Americans and how both sides want what they think is best for America (though they differ on what that is) and both sides love America, and you have another candidate who spews the same b.s. as the talk show hosts on their side, claiming that only those who agree with them are "pro-America," are the "little pockets" of the "real America," then the choice is pretty clear to me which one will divide the country even more and represent another step backwards from us as a nation striving to love our neighbors and act charitably toward each other.

Lezlie said...

Well said, Stephen. That is exactly the part of this election that has made me so sad. I believe America is better than mean, petty rhetoric. We all want the same thing, we just disagree on how to best get there.

Michele said...

I do not have one issue, but many of my friends do. Whenever it's come up, I try to talk about all issues (or more than just the one) and noone wants to hear it. I don't understand that. I want to think about how the leaders of our country will affect the many areas that are important to me. I have been back and forth between the major candidates, trying to determine what they truly believe, think they want to accomplish etc. But I also am realistic in knowing it won't all happen. And I get frustrated when folks talk about the stupid stuff (middle names and clothing are two examples) and not what truly will affect us. Listening to their words, whether they truly answer questions, etc.

My daughter is in 6th grade and has had to visit the candidate's websites to find out their views on specific topics and decide which plan they prefer and why. Then at the end, they will figure out based on those individual issues which matter most to them and thus choose based on that. My question is - How many adults are choosing like my daughter and how many are choosing based on the stupid stuff? I think the answer would scare us all.

Jen said...

I really do try to keep an open mind and look at the issues and not the stuff the media likes to go on and on about. The fact that 150k was spent on Palin's wardrobe is pretty awful but it would never sway my vote. I have watched the debates, read a lot online and even take a few of those "Who Should You Vote For Quizzes" and it looks like Obama is going to be my choice. Do I really believe he is going to do all he says he is going to do? No, but I think his values/beliefs are a bit closer to mine. Now I just have to get my husband on board. He's still undecided but leaning toward McCain, so we will probably just cancel each other out yet again.

rjsbooklady said...

I don't have one issue, but I have a pretty solid set of fundamental issues, and though no one candidate is ever going to be a perfect match, I'm going to vote for the person whose values and positions on the issues most reflect my own and whom I trust to do the job with dignity, integrity, intelligence, and humility. I am admittedly (and happily) a voter who focuses on social issues rather than fiscal or defense issues, although I also take those into consideration. I believe in a woman's right to choose, in equal rights for people of all sexual orientations, in trusting individuals to know what is right for themselves, and in not regulating or legislating private behavior. I'll be Ba-rocking the vote on Tuesday, and I just hope my fellow voters know why they've voting for the person they're voting for. And that it's a good, well thought out, non-trivial reason. Thanks for a great post, Amy.

Susan B. Evans said...

I'm on a team, but I like to think that I'd vote for the other guy if I believed in him enough. For me though one team's overall platform is closer to my heart than the others, so it's usually pretty easy to make up my mind. In my county, the League of Women Voters puts together a free pamphlet that's available at all local libraries. It gives nonpartisan details about all the candidates for the local, state, and national elections, and gives details on most of the "hot-button" type issues. It's always been helpful to me.

Even though I live in a state where my vote for president has never really "mattered" (my state always votes contrary to me,) I feel that my vote is really important. So I'll be there, probably waiting in line next week to cast my vote. This is a pretty exciting election, and I hope whoever wins will be good for our country.

Alicia said...

I don't have one issue but I do have several issues that are important to me. I am very concerned about having the right to my own body; health care is a big concern for me as well. These aren't the only two and I did do all my research on Obama and McCain and my beliefs are very pro-Obama.

Anonymous said...

well, i thought i was leaning one way until i started reading a book by the guy and now i' m not so sure. . .

Yasmin said...

How about you? Are you on a team? Yep...I'm on a team and I'm LOVING IT!
Do you have a one issue? Nope and I don't vote based on bedroom issues either...I could care less what folks do in there personal/private space. ;)

Or are you like me....totally unsure but willing to cast a vote anyway? I'm definitely not unsure...I've read the platforms of both and know who I'm going to vote for on Tuesday...but in my case it's not really a big secret. ;)

Ronnica said...

Well, I'm one of those that have been talking about abortion lately, but I'll just leave it at as you're more than welcome to click over if you'd like.

I know some probably think I'm a one-issue voter, and I don't care. I know that I'm not really. There are MANY things that I care about, but one is the most pressing to me. I think we all have to prioritize.

That said, I'm semi-decided who I'm voting for president, govenor, and senator. I don't know beyond that, and I still plan on doing more research on those candidates, too. There have been very few times that I've ever been sure of who I was voting for more than a week out.

Amy said...

Aaargh! Blogger ate my comment too, I had responded to each of you!

Monica--I agree, it's hard to know if you are really making the right decision.

Stephen..good thoughts as always, thanks for chiming in twice. ;)


Michele...I hear you. The sad thing is when this started I liked both candidates, now I sort of don't trust either. I hope people vote carefully, too.

Jen..well at least you're happily married with different political beliefs :)

Rebecca..I'm surprised by how much we vote social values. but I agree that I want the govt. to have as little say in my life as possible. Sadly, this perspective is not well represented across all issues by either major party. Time for a third, cough, libertarian, cough party to grow bigger.

Susan..I'm not anti-team. I think the teams get a lot done, I just also think sometimes people get blinded by it. I hope you feel you are well represented by your candidate. :)

Alicia...I envy your certainty.


Yasmin...you're too cute! I think you're going to have a victory. ;)

Ronnica...I peeked at your posts and might be back for more discussion.

Please blogger don't eat the comment!

beauvallet said...

I'm not on a team, and I don't remember ever being a one-issue voter.

I like to think, though I may flatter myself, that I handle deciding my vote with as little emotion as possible. I started doing this back in 2000: Make a list of the issues most important to me and a list that of issues that matter but are not crucial to my vote. Then I go to the candidates' websites and I read their plans and views. Whichever candidate has a plan or opinion of which I most approve on those important issues, that's who gets my vote. If it's close, then the less crucial issues come into play. I consider that educating oneself is as important as the vote itself. And I mean pro-actively educating oneself, not letting the pundits and personalities and marketers control my vote.

Krista said...

I'm with Jen. My hubby and I are going to cancel each other out. :( But for me, I used to vote on THE one issue. Not anymore. I guess getting married does that to you! ;)
Now I'm just sad. I don't think either of these guys is a good solution. And I frankly think that one of them will win and it won't be the one I'm voting for. Oh well. What I truly hope for is that after it's all said and done we can work together to fix the things that are wrong with our country. That's what I don't think is going to happen.
And here's a wonderful article I came across this morning by John Piper.

Thomas said...

The last time I voted I did not fill out the whole ballot. There was stuff on the ballot I had not heard of before I came to vote. I felt it was better not voting for something I did not have a grasp over then voting for something I might regret latter.

When I was in college I belonged to the college republican club. The club brought in one of the leaders from the RNC. That person told us that we were suppose to vote straight party ticket. I told that person I registered republican because it represented most of the concepts that I thought were important. However, I would not vote straight party ticket. If I believed that the democrat or some independent was better, I would vote for that person. Lets just say that the conversation became a little heated and I was no longer part of that club after the conversation ended.


Michele said...

Your post inspired me to write on today. Thank you for giving me the umpf to put my thoughts out there.

Dawn said...

I'm not a one issue voter, but there are several issues that weigh more heavily when choosing who I vote for.

I know who I'm voting for, but I'm not over-enthusiastic about it. I wish I were.

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