Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why I Wouldn't Vote For Obama - Even Though I Would - If I Could Vote on Tuesday

I messed up. The deadline for registering to vote was the 15th of October. I called to register on the 16th. I will therefore have no official voice in determining the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. Although I live in a state (MA) where that probably doesn’t make a difference, I am nonetheless frustrated at my incompetence in taking part in an important part of democratic life – an event that many have risked their lives to be a part of.

With that in mind, let me explain the rationale for the following post. I’ve come across some lists/articles of the reasons why you should vote for a particular candidate or party. Some of them have been entertaining. So I’ve decided to make my own. However, since I decided I would vote for Obama 2 years ago, I’ve run across some things that he stands for (or doesn’t) that trouble me. Any wise decision must take the negatives into account. Focusing only on the pros will lead to a rather uniformed position.

That being said, I am confident that Obama is the better candidate for president. The negatives have not outweighed the positives in my opinion. I am therefore not afraid to mention my concerns. Hence my Top 5 List:

The Top 5 Reasons I Would Not Vote For Barack Obama - Even Though I Would - If I Had a Vote: (drumroll please)

5. The time he doesn’t spend with his family. Call me traditional, but I don’t like the fact that he lives in D.C. and commutes back to Chicago on the weekends to see his family. Sure (presumably) his family would move to Washington but his ratio of time spent with family and spent working in my opinion is not healthy.

4. His rooting interest in Chicago. The White-Sox have won recently. Their manager is cocky, their stadium conventional, and league uses designated hitters. Rooting for the Cubs to win the World Series for the first time in 101 years? That’s real change.

3. His ties to Ayers. You’ve heard enough on that one.

2. The risk to his life after he assumes the presidency. On a very serious note, I hate to bring it up, but when liberals “hate on” Bush they do so because they “hate on” violence. Obama’s enemies include people who are racist and are only too happy to use violence to accomplish their goals. Some of the darkest days in America would follow if this kind of tragedy were to occur.

1. His complete inability to explain his stance(?) on abortion. In one interview he claimed that it’s “above my paygrade”, in another he mentioned that he wouldn’t want his daughters “punished with a child” if they had sex before marriage. Fortunately he’s more solid, articulate and forthright on many other issues, but his wishy-washiness on this one is less than impressive.

A “Part 2” post with a more traditional “why I would vote for Obama” will follow this one on Election Day – perhaps my attempt to actually have a voice in our democratic process.


Anonymous said...

are you serious? Many nonviolent people like or dislike Bush. The reason Obama can't take a stand on abortion is because his views are so unacceptable to most of Americans that he cannot bring himself to verbalize it. Voting for Obama is like voting for someone who has done absolutely nothing to make himself worthy of the office. Authoring memoirs but not authoring legislation or being around enough to vote for it does not qualify one for the highest office in the US. Obama is a great speaker, but I don't think that translates to a great leader. The main reason to not vote for Obama: he'll be nominating justices and he doesn't believe that justices interpret law, but rather make laws. His view of the constitution is downright scary! America is willing to experiment because her pockets aren't as full as she'd like.

Anonymous said...


Obama has very clearly defined his stance on abortion through his voting record and through his statement of full support for the Freedom of Choice Act which would basically take away state's rights to limit abortion in any way..and would use yours and my tax dollars to support it. The numbers of murdered babies are in the millions and growing. An Obama administration, by appointing leftist justices would secure Roe v. Wade as law for generations and America may not recover from that continued reign of the culture of death. My arguments are wider than just this issue...but this issue is big enough of an ethical one to trump all others.

Jeremy said...

Thank you for the responses! The common denominator between anonymous 1 and anon2 is the abortion debate so I'll respond to that:

To anon1 I would say that Obama is so ambiguous on his abortion stance that it's impossible to know whether or not his views are unnaceptable to most Americans. Regardless, they are unnaceptable to me. Although important (it's number 1 on my reasons why I wouldn't vote for him) I take many other issues into consideration when making such an important decision. We are not voting for the President of birth rights - we're voting for the President of the U.S. A well informed vote cannot just focus on one issue!

To anon2 I agree with you that Obama's general stance on abortion is defined - he's pro-choice. However I appreciate a candidate's ability to articulate why he would vote that way. Obama seems unable to do so.

I am pro-life but also believe that the abortion rate would drop if we keep it legal and use tax dollars (yours and mine) to support women who choose to keep their babies. Many women turn to abortion because they feel they have no other choice.

My question to you is if the abortion rate is increasing, what good did it do to have a pro-life president in office for the last 8 years?

Jimmy Carter has best defended his pro-choice vote despite his pro-life stance. I'll use a post in the near-future to briefly explain his views. In a nutshell he correctly looks at countries where abortion is legal (Netherlands, Denmark, and other western EU countries) and finds that they have the lowest abortion rates in the world. Contrast that to a country like Brazil in which abortion is illegal but has the highest rate in the world.

Such a complicated issue cannot just be covered by a pro-life or pro-choice vote - there's much more to it.

Thank you again for your comments. You're always welcome!

Anonymous said...

So your logic is that if the practice of an immoral act is increasing, it is better to legalize or keep legal the immoral act in order to make it decrease? Plug in another immoral act and ask yourself if you agree with this formula. Murder? rape? wife abuse? infanticide? etc...? The democratic mantra is to keep abortions "safe, legal and rare". I think #'s 2 and 3 are simply not compatible when it comes to human vice. I'm not sure on your facts about whether or not abortions have or have not increased under a pro life president...I believe that is debatable. However, the root causes of abortions in the majority of cases are not lack of health care for poor mothers but rather the active promotion of sexual promiscuity by the left and the flippancy with which we treat what is scientifically (and Biblically, if we're even allowed anymore to introduce that argument) proven to be a human life. That is not simply just another issue, these are human lives, and human lives in the millions. If you don't really view an unborn baby as a human life, then that is different (though I would say you are wrong there) It is a major indicator of how important we view the most innocent and defenseless of human life and how and whether we view God as the author of that life. The supreme court vacancies to come will now be filled by judges who will need to pass the pro-choice litmus test of the Democratic party. My challenge to you now, and all evangelicals who have supported Obama, is will you challenge him on this issue? Will you now speak truth to power? By the way, Jeremy, this is Greg and I still think you're a great guy! Look forward to seeing you guys in a few months.

Grace and Peace in Our Lord Jesus,

Jeremy said...

Thanks for your comments! With all the responses I got (here and on facebook) I'll have to write a new post articulating exactly how I feel about the abortion issue. Until then here is a brief response to your response.
1. I believe life begins at conception. To take that life at any time is murder - clear and simple.
2. The logic for my stance on abortion (for it to be legal) admittedly doesn't work for other issues. Ie: Lying is legal, but it's still wrong. Abuse is illegal and it's wrong. My opinion is that aborion is a separate issue that should be dealt with by itself. The history, and social issues should be taken into consideration. Simply throwing legislation at it will not fix the problem.
3. Yes, we should speak truth to power - pastoral power, governing power and presidential power. The issue is not just a government issue - it's an issue the church must deal with thoughtfully and mercifully.

Greg, I appreciate your response. We are indeed on the same page - we love life - we just feel differently on how to preserve as many unborn lives as possible. I look forward to seeing you and possibly talking about it personally.