Mary Davies: Why this lifelong Republican is voting for Obama
Vail CO, Colorado
I recently put a “Women for Obama” bumper sticker on my car (much to my husbands dismay ” not because he doesn’t support Obama, he just hates bumper stickers in general and knows that it will be up to him to remove it someday). Ever since I made this proud display, I have been frequently questioned, Guantanamo-style, about my choice for president from a number of people I consider friends, but who also seem to believe that owning an impressive portfolio means you must be a Republican and (absurdly) still watch the Fox News channel believing you are getting “fair and balanced news.”
Most of my friends know that I have been a lifelong Republican. I have served in numerous leadership positions over the years within the party, actively campaigning and fundraising for Republican candidates and dedicating significant time to helping George H.W. Bush become president. I served as chairman of Colorado Women for Bush during the first campaign and served on the executive committee of Republicans Abroad in Switzerland when I lived overseas. Like any relationship, however, if your partner betrays you, he or she no longer deserves your trust or loyalty.
At the Republican Convention that just concluded, John McCain said this election would be decided not on the issues, but on “personalities.” Well, I disagree, Senator McCain. The issues are too numbered, the challenges too great and the suffering too unacceptable. Health care, the economy, education, the Iraq war ” these are things that will decide this election no matter how hard you try to distract from them.
I have grown weary of those who start any discussion of politics these days with, “Oh, so you must support higher taxes and terrorists” and continue on to stalwartly defend what I consider to be one of the most incompetent administrations ever ” an administration whose policies mirrored those that John McCain outlined in his acceptance speech last evening. To those who keep asking with incredulous snarls how I can vote for Barack Obama, I ask only that you read the rest of this article before erroneously concluding that I must hate both money and my country.
I will vote for Barack Obama because I know that my life will not change dramatically if I don’t receive another upper-income bracket tax cut, yet I am certain that my child who is a teacher or my nephew who is a fireman would benefit from a middle-income tax break.
I will vote for Barack Obama because my experience living outside of the United States has made me painfully aware of the growing animosity toward our government’s policies, our loss of respect in the world community and the subsequent danger exposing our citizens both here and abroad.
I will vote for Barack Obama because I realize that America is made safer by closer cooperation with our allies and greater diplomatic engagement with our enemies.
I will vote for Barack Obama because I do not believe in sending our children into a war of choice without first ensuring they have every available piece of equipment necessary to protect them from harms way.
I will vote for Barack Obama because I am proud of our country’s tradition of supporting those that have served us in the military with health and educational benefits. The 50,000-plus men and women injured and disabled as a result of the Afghan and Iraq wars deserve this same support, as do their families.
I will vote for Barack Obama because I am proud that we are a nation of immigrants, whose strengths and talents have resulted in the strongest and most diverse society on earth – and because I know that we will not be stronger tomorrow by building fences and jails for those who seek a better life in our country.
I will vote for Barack Obama because it is undeniably clear to me that equal justice, protection of the consumer and correction of corporate misdeeds can only be enforced by strong and fair government regulation.
I will vote for Barack Obama because I worked for Exxon the last time they made record profits, followed by a dip in oil prices – 5,000 people out of work in Colorado; Western Slope towns devastated. They took their profits and their tax breaks, and ran. History will repeat itself if we do not act.
I will vote for Barack Obama because our country’s competitiveness and quality of life have been defined by our innovation. No leader should impede any life-saving science or be dismissive of life-threatening environmental problems.
I will vote for Barack Obama because of the overwhelming enthusiasm he has generated in the future leaders of this country. For the first time in my lifetime, my children and their friends are engaged, educated and articulate on the many issues facing our nation.
I will vote for Barack Obama because I know there is more power in hope than in fear.
And finally, I will vote for Barack Obama because at my fundamental core, I like people more than things.
If you don’t agree with me on any or all of my reasons for voting for Barack Obama, that’s not only perfectly fine, but it is also why we have a two party system and a First Amendment.
But, if you do feel empathy for my beliefs, the next time someone asks you, “How could you vote Democrat?” or “How could you vote for Barack Obama?” I only hope that you will answer them with an equal amount of conviction and pride … and then VOTE.
My heartfelt thanks to David Williams for his permission to use passages from his article, “Why I am a Democrat.”
Mary Davies is and Edwards resident and the co-chair of the Republicans for Obama. E-mail comments about this column to email@example.com.