Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Vote

In the fall of 1980, I cast the first vote of my life for Ronald Reagan. He was running at a time where runaway inflation and double digit interest rates had laid waste to the economy, America had suffered embarrassment on the international stage, and our national spirit was so low that an Olympic hockey victory was the only thing we had to cheer. Reagan optimistically declared that it was "Morning in America," and that our best days were ahead of us. With Paul Volcker's stewardship, Reagan righted the economy, and he used his moral authority and the force of his personality to stare down the Soviets, roll back the Iron Curtain, and get America believing in itself again. Reagan remains my modern-day political hero, and has even recently been adopted as such by many who so reviled him during his years in office.

I admired George H.W. Bush, was sorry he never became all he could have been, and watched with great contempt when he was defeated by Bill Clinton, and again when Bob Dole lost to Clinton in 1996. I made my first ever political contribution to John McCain during the primaries in 2000, and of all the political "could have beens" in my adult life, McCain's loss of the Republican nomination to George W. Bush is the most tragic of all, an impression rendered indelibly in the late morning of 9/11, and confirmed many times since. Still, Bush, for all his many significant faults, was a better choice than either Al Gore or John Kerry for the Presidency.

So why did I cast my ballot today for Barack Obama ?

The John McCain who ran in this election is not the maverick who barnstormed across America in the Straight Talk Express in 2000. He lurched so far to the right to win his party's nomination that he can't find his way back. And the Republican Party whose support he won is not Ronald Reagan's Republican Party. Blessed with the Presidency for the past 8 years and a majority in Congress for much of that time, it has not championed fiscal conservatism, small government and effective deregulation that enables the private sector to responsibly foster growth in our economy. Today's federal government more closely resembles that of the Carter years than Reagan's. McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential running mate is mind-boggling. It smacked of mindless pandering, and evinced bad judgment. I do not want this woman a heartbeat away from the Presidency, nor the presumptive Republican nominee in 2012.

Barack Obama gives us more reasons to hope than John McCain 2008, at a time when we again need a new President who declares that America's best days are ahead of it. Yes, he is unproven, untested, and has left a lot of questions unanswered, and indeed many unasked. Many in the media have uncritically coronated him in the way they did Eliot Spitzer, whose effectiveness was compromised long before that press conference. But Obama is highly intelligent. He appears to be a rare breed whose ego is not greater than his love for this country and its people. Bill Clinton spoke endlessly from his first days of wanting to building an extraordinary legacy, but was unwilling to make the well-considered, difficult and unpopular decisions to do so. Conversely, Obama appears to be an effective consensus builder who is wise enough to surround himself with the best and brightest of this country without regard to political affiliation, including Paul Volcker, and to make difficult and unpopular decisions for the long-term future of this country. And Obama appears to be a God-fearing man whose far-left votes on abortion, and shockingly, even care of infants born alive, reflect more of a gross political calculation than an ideological belief that will send us hurtling even further down the slippery slope of that debate.

And so I bought into this hope. Despite a lot of trepidation, I believe Barack Obama will prove to be a great President, and that young people who cast their first ballot today for him, and even those who vote against him and loudly revile him during his term, will be able to look back on his tenure as fondly as I and most others do on that of Ronald Reagan.

And if I am wrong, then the Republican Party will lick its wounds, regroup, and nominate someone in 2012, not named Sarah Palin, who will rescue it from what it has become over the past 8 years and help it take back the Oval Office.

10 comments:

Elizabeth said...

This is inspiring...it's not all about parties.

But I'm still in mourning for McCain 2000.

Amy Goldschlager said...

Yeah, I miss McCain 2000 also. THAT would have truly been an interesting faceoff.

David said...

It would have been interesting to see who McCain would have chosen as a running mate in 2000. It sure wouldn't have been Sarah Palin.

Grab-A-City said...

This guy, Moran, is a better man than most...you can tell that. Integrity is refreshing, but rare.

Anonymous said...

OK. Good, insightful, and honest and am sure many, many voters agree wholeheartedly. However, I take issue with one statement and that is: "IF" McCain/Palin should win, do an extraordinary job in making America a better place, etc., etc., etc., what makes one think that Sarah Palin could not have risen in that four years to become an excellent President of the U.S. in 2012? She would have much, much more experience than Obama has at this point. Just a thought.

Peej said...

Followed a similiar path this year and Palin was the deciding factor for me. Also, it is sad to hear people I know say they are confident people will vote differently than the polls suggest once they pull the curtain. This says more about them and their views.

Anonymous said...

I find it extremly disconserting that some one with your obvious intellagince would demine the heretage of Ronald Reagen by folding your tent and moving to Obomas camp.would Regan shower you with heroic accolades or would He have shed a tear? Rembver the old saying:" Heros are made,not born."
You have the pen, don"t roll over and play dead.Fight for a new Rep Party

111 said...
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ed said...
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Bruce said...
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