BTW, my hypothesis on the quiz that was going around earlier was that most people would score in the range of 60-70% vs. 30-40%. I haven't gotten around to tallying up the results yet, but really, you guys didn't give me much to go on. It's probably wrong, anyway. I think it was more wishful thinking that I'm not the only person in the country who feels this torn about presidential elections.
So the polls are swinging back to Obama, and lately so is this swing voter in a big swing state. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE to lure me to your side. You know you want to. ;)
It might help if you know the things that resonate with me:
Critical issues that I believe need the most attention:
1. Pro-life (human life and basic human rights) issues
-I support a seamless garment ethic of life from conception to natural death.
-The most immediate priority regarding abortion should be abortion reduction through social support, contraceptive availability, comprehensive sex ed, and reasonable restrictions such as parental notification laws.
-Legal protection for the unborn—as well as the dying and disabled—is a pressing need and should be viewed as a fundamental human right. Defending human life is the most important cause for social action, and I resent efforts to ghettoize anti-abortion concerns as "moral issues" or "family values" (that goes for people on both sides).
-I support policies that combat poverty and human rights abuses at home and abroad, especially policies that are most likely to have long-term results. AIDS relief, poverty relief—we should all be concerned about these issues. And the madness in Darfur really needs to stop.
2. Pro-conservation and energy/climate issues
-Climate change and overuse of nonrenewable resources are pressing concerns that require an immediate, broad range of responses, including market controls such as a carbon tax.
-MOAR (and better) public transportation, plz.
Issues I take great interest in (mostly because they affect me personally):
1. Free culture issues
-I favor net neutrality and IT policy that encourages free culture.
-I favor more lenient and sensible copyright laws for the digital age.
2. School choice
-I favor vouchers, charter schools, etc. for healthy competition to boost the entire educational system.
3. Freedom of religion/conscience and separation of church and state
-Separation of church and state is necessary in a free society, but it should not be misapplied to suppress the right to practice traditional religions.
-Non-theists shouldn't be subjected to ceremonial deism (e.g. "under God" in the pledge).
-A pluralistic, inclusive view toward religious holidays is best. Let people celebrate Christmas (and Hanukkah, etc.), for goodness sake. Observance of religious holidays and traditions—especially Christian and Jewish ones, but increasingly others as well—is an inextricable part of our culture. And it doesn't hurt anyone!
-Evolution should be taught in public schools, but materialist/naturalist dogma shouldn't be forced on students or teachers. It wouldn’t hurt the biology textbook to just *mention* the fact that some people (yes, even some scientists—I know it's hard to believe!) don’t believe the mechanisms of evolution alone are enough to fully explain the origin and diversity of life on the planet. Throw the designists and the panspermists a bone, and while you're at it, give students a chance to integrate science concepts with other fields such as politics, sociology, and philosophy—not to mention debate and critical reasoning. "It's not science" whining FTL; integrated curriculum FTW!
Other issues I have fairly strong feelings about:
1. Civil liberties
-I'm a 1st-amendment absolutist. Every side should have a fair chance to make their case, even the ones I dislike.
-I'm disturbed by the civil liberties abuses that have occurred due to the war in Iraq. Please stop imprisoning people without a trial, kthnxbai.
2. Healthcare reform
-I lean toward major reforms that would move us closer to socialized healthcare, although I would hesitate to cross that line completely. We need to find a way to make sure people can get their basic healthcare needs met.
-I'm pro-preventative healthcare, and think we could do more to promote fitness and clean living in an effort to stop people from getting preventable illnesses that drain the system.
3. Read my lips: no new tax cuts
-Seriously, people. We need to balance the budget and get out of debt without completely destroying social services.
-Most tax cuts that politicians propose or support seem like frivolous pandering to me. And I don't believe in trickle-down economics anymore, at least not when it comes to tax breaks. (Thanks, angua9.)
-Tax cuts/incentives should be used sparingly to promote things that benefit the whole country as much as the tax revenue would—things like clean energy and preventative healthcare.
4. I hesitate to say I’m "pro-gay rights", but I'm okay with most issues so labeled.
-Hate crime prevention is needed.
-Anti-discrimination laws are fine as long as they don’t interfere with freedom of religion.
-Fighting gay marriage is a waste of time and energy for conservatives. And people need to stop saying "gay marriage" in the same breath as "abortion."
5. Don't be to Iraq what Chris was to Miss Saigon.
-The war was wrong, but we're in it now, and things have actually improved lately.
-A withdrawal timetable probably wouldn't hurt, but leaving too suddenly is likely to do more harm than good—we need to clean up our mess as best we can first.
On most other issues I am not sufficiently convinced which approach is right; in some cases, I don't feel I know enough to decide.
Is it possible for me to decide on one candidate with true peace of mind? Help me out, flist!
P.S. Be nice. More flies with honey, remember?