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Monday, October 27, 2008

My First Vote

One year ago, I became a U.S. citizen. Today, I went down to the local poll for a chance to screw this country up.

Originally, I thought of romanticizing the event by voting on Election Day but realized that would mean waiting in long lines to get to the booth. That wasn't a very appealing idea considering the fickleness of my infant. I decided to vote early.

Throughout the campaigns, I listened open-mindedly to the arguments of the two major candidates. I didn't really know who I was going to vote for, but I was leaning towards McCain since I am not for "spreading the wealth."

Wealth is not like oxygen, where everyone is entitled to it just by virtue of being born. Wealth is more like a garden. Someone has to study the conditions, prepare a plan, put the work in, tend to it regularly, and defend it from the elements and pests before she is rewarded with a bumper crop. If the gardener wants to share the bounty with her neighbors, then she is free to do so from the place of generosity. She should not, however, be forced to give up half her crop to people who decided they didn't want to pick up a book on gardening because "I'm just not good at things like that." [/tangent]

I watched the vice-presidential debates and liked both candidates. I recognized Joe Biden's experience put him at a greater advantage than Sarah Palin, but overall, I found both of them to be well-qualified, so still, I was undecided.

I then watched the third and final presidential debate. At this debate, I paid most attention to how each candidate behaved when confronted by the opposition. Both candidates were obviously passionate about their stances, as they should be, however, the distinction between the candidates' "fighting styles" quickly became apparent to me. John McCain behaved quite childishly, nit-picked words, crudely twisted meanings, and kept bringing up issues that had been addressed already by the Democratic candidate. His tactics were transparent, scattered, and worn-out. I pictured McCain sitting down to discuss affairs with China, Iran, Venezuela, and Russia. There is no chance he would gain respect (much less, cooperation) from these countries using the tactics he was employing on this much smaller stage. On the other hand, even though apparently annoyed and confused by the Republican's persistence in matters already addressed, Barack Obama remained calm, addressed them again, and then laid out his own ideas in a clear and organized manner.

I began mulling things over. I can't vote for a man who can't keep himself civil under fire. After all, the President of the United States is constantly under pressure. I had to consider Obama. But how could I vote for him when I disagreed with his economics?

Does the President get to pass whatever law he wants?
Does the President fulfill all of his campaign promises?
May a President ignore the Constitution?

No, no, and no.

Thank goodness for our system of checks and balances! Considering that everything has to get through a Congress comprised of persons holding different ideologies and has to pass muster with a Supreme Court upholding the Constitution, I don't believe that some of Obama's plans will come to fruition (just as some of McCain's plans would not).

Based on this, I had to vote for the candidate with the higher character and who conducted himself best during this election season. (That's a challenge in its own for most of us.) But, first, I had to calm the crying baby in my left arm and move her so drool would not drizzle onto the voting screen. Then, I voted.

You may have your own system for selecting a candidate, and I encourage you to use it, even if it leads you to a different decision than mine. I just hope you will be grateful for your freedom to vote and respectfully use it.

And if you can, sneak a camera in and take a photo of your vote.


[Posted song: "America the Beautiful" by Ray Charles]


Heather said...

wow i didnt know first time voters would have the guts to snap a pic at the voting booth. Nice pick by the way!! Dont be fooled by the mocking for Halloween, I too believe he is the lesser fool out of the two. Poor man whomever gets the job, they are in for a fun ride!!

Sheree said...

I could have written your post! Like Obama, hate his economic policies, tax plans, etc. Think McCain is childish, and don't feel that I can vote for someone who called his wife the c-word.

Maybe I'll be crazy and vote for someone else entirely.

Joyful Mother of Children said...

After our conversation last night I believe I may be writing in Mitt Romney. I just can't get behind voting for a candidate that I can't get behind.

Sara Lynes said...

I would definately want Romney, but his name isn't on the ballad. I personally couln't vote for a man that I feel like can sweet talk his way to the Whitehouse. Barak seems to manipulate things to "appear" to his advantage. I feel like my opinions are far to different from Obama to vote for him despite McCain's obvious inadequaces. (i know I can't spell) Thank goodness we all have a choice. That we live in a free country. I am just afraid for what might become of that freedom whomever becomes the president. These really are perilus times we live in.

Sara Lynes said...
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Sara Lynes said...
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Lowdogg said...

Argh! AdHis! I have failed.

At least you live in Utah!

And Iran doesn't have to respect McCain, just the little bombs on our airplanes.

Very cool pic though!

chelon:) said...

yeah you can for the vote...hmmm :) love ya girl!! i need to get my hiney out to early voting...hurrah for early voting!

Jenn said...

I didn't know "CHUCK" was on the ticket. YEAH, I know who I will be voting for now.

Sunni said...

I too can see good and bad about each candidate, but I have a hard time with Obama's support of abortion and same sex marriage. And ahhh, the lovely economy right now, that's a whole different subject...

Heidi said...

Way to go! We had a HEATED discussion Sunday night at my sisters house. Her son just voted Obama and everyone acted like he had voted for Satan himself. (I didn't dare voice my vote at that point). Where did you go to vote early? I can't find the paper they sent me. Please let me know!

Kristen said...

Ew. I mean Oooh. I think there's something majorly illegal about taking a picture. Um, why? I guess there's probably not. But WHO does that?!?!?! =o)

Cunning, crafty, smooth with words. Wolf in sheep's clothing. I don't know. I wish we had other options myself. Our checks and balances system is what REALLY has me worried. That's where it gets scary. It's a great system, but run by dishonest leaders. The only checks are the ones going to bank accounts. Yikes.

I loved your gardening analogy. I liked how you chose the pronoun "she." =o) As a gardener, I HOPE my leader will get upset and defensive when someone threatens to take away MY harvest. Don't smile and explain it to me calmly - get in there and GET IT BACK. A universal principle in relationships: "He who cares the least has the most power."

But all that said (without mentioning any names, haha), I'm so proud of you for researching it and voting, even with a drooler on your arm. I respect everyone's right to vote, even if I disagree on the specifics. You're a true citizen. EVERYONE GO VOTE!!!

Adhis said...

HEATHER: You and Matt are awesome! I’m posting that photo tomorrow. Unless the world ends, then, I hope you’ll understand.

SHEREE: Yeah, for a brief moment I was tempted to write in Dell “Superdell” Schanze.
(Heavens to Betsy, I hope you know I’m joking.)

JOYFUL MAMA: When you were talking last night about how those who voted for Perot basically gave their votes to the Democrats, I thought you might end up writing in Romney. :)

SARA: Even though Romney is not on the ballot, you can write him in. I wish the economy went to pot when Romney was still in the running. I’m sure NOW people wish they could vote for a businessman.

LOWDOGG: I was waiting for you! (LoL) I’m pretty Republican in my economic views, but McCain’s behavior in the debates shooed me away (Bad, John!), and I have little tolerance for jerks at this point. I give you a slap on the back for all your hard work and campaigning though!

JENN: I chuckled at “Chuck.” Elsewhere on the ballot is “Dick Clark” and I almost voted for him because of my fond adolescent memories of his New Year Rockin’ Eve.

SUNNI: I have a hard time with both candidates. This election is kinda like finding a ball of lint, hair, and chewy candies in your couch cushions and trying to pick the delicious parts out of it.

HEIDI: That’s pretty much the sentiment in Utah and in almost any LDS ward boundary across the country. Obama=Satan=Armageddon=bump-up-your-food-and-gun-stash.

Oh, BTW, the two closest polling stations are the American Fork Library and the Saratoga Springs Utah Community Credit Union.

KRISTEN: I’m not scared. If everything collapses, I’ve got the Second Coming to look forward to! We thank Thee, Oh God, for a prophet…

I’m so happy to hear from many of you. I wrote and published this post giggling in my chair just waiting for the reactions. I’m grinning right now.

I wasn’t going to mention who I voted for because I relish in the privacy of the individual vote. However, I was tired of watching people leaning towards Obama getting bullied around here. This is one of my ways of yelling “HEY! Come pick on someone your own size!”

Ok, so I’m short-- but I’m FEISTY!

Kristen said...

Oh, that's what this was all about. If I'd known you were looking for a fight, I would have been a lot more mean!

How about this:


Have you ever noticed that all the bad guys in the BoM are the smooth-talking, say-what-you-want-to-hear, philisophical, I'm-looking-out-for you, strong-in-speech types? Not to say that McCain is the GOOD guy, but my DONT TRUST HIM radar is shooting through the roof with Obama. He's cool-headed yes, and he'll cool-headedly support things that I am 100% opposed to. I wouldn't compare him to Satan but I FEEL like he has very dangerous ideas.

But alas, if people are sticking up to friends and family on touchy issues, they're not going to listen to little old me.

I forgot to mention how GREAT your photo looks!

Sarah said...

I'm impressed with your honesty! Of course, no one ever said you were afraid to express your opinion! I like your lint-in-the-couch analogy. That's exactly how I feel about the candidates. I have to agree with Kristen though, Obama is too slick. Not to mention I don't agree with him on ANY topic. I'm especially worried about who he'd put in the Supreme Court if one of them kicks the bucket. That's when the whole checks and balances gets really screwed up.

kristen said...

Checks and balances are great, but when congress is controlled by ONE party that stands for nothing (gay rights,abortion, retreating from valid military conflicts because it gets a little tough, anti-gun, global warming? etc), checks and balances mean ZERO. It will be nice for our kids to learn about gay marriage in kindergarten, thats CHANGE for ya. Greg M

Adhis said...

Greg, did you vote for Obama, too?
Gimme a high five, brotha!

Heather said...

UH-OH someone found something naughty! but boy oh boy i had a great laugh! thanks

kristen said...

Negatory on the Obama vote from me. I respect your bravery. Putting your vote on your blog, crazy. Adhis, have nice day.

islandgirl said...

Adhis, you are one brave woman, first to take the pic, but second to stand up for your vote. I have family that leads both ways. My vote will still go to the candidate that most represents my values, but that doesn't mean I'm afraid of what might happen if I don't get it my way. I purposefully didn't watch the debates because I knew I wouldn't be able to stand watching people ridicule one another. I've actually had a hard time finding unbiased views with this whole thing. People assume you have to love one and hate the other. I'll try to see the best in both.

ctrmind said...

Well, well. I should just keep it all to myself but we're talking about you Adhis. Hmmmm, I knew I should've sent you a link to a BYU devotional I just heard yesterday. I sent it to everyone else I knew. Then again, I don't know if it would've persuaded you otherwise. It was very brilliantly done and you can listen to it right here You have to download the free MP3 to listen to it, there's no print version right now. As for your post, I like the garden analogy, exactly how I picture things should be. And you're right, people will have their own ways and methods of choosing. Everyone's priorities and what they feel is important will be all over the place. I'm not going to write them down here but that talk I just told you about, I could've written... almost. Now I just wonder if you took that pic having marked that choice, and then changed it afterwards. I wouldn't put it past you to do that for kicks. : )

ctrmind said...

One more thing, and anyone else can answer if they like, how were the following issues prioritized in your mind when making your decision -
the economy
national security
sanctity of life
traditional marriage
health care
and environment.
No need to answer that either. Just curious only if you care to share and add to or omit from that list.

islandgirl said...

FYI, that was my husband who just posted, Adhis :)

Adhis said...

Clarice, did you tell me that so I wouldn’t hurt him? ;)

Ken, I considered taking a photo of a fake vote, specifically, one of my voting for Superdell, but the camera was hard to handle already with a cranky baby.

In my decision-making, I steered away from pundits, media reports, and political ads (a little easier to do with no TV). I even steered away from the impassioned summaries of friends and family. All that information is a copy of a copy of a copy and is often delivered with bias and selective memory.

I did not consider either candidate based on their claims of understanding what “the people” really want. I do not think either candidate is evil or ungrateful or un-American or a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Such comments and quick labels are small-minded and am betting most supported by hear-say, soundbites, and impulsiveness.

Upon watching the debates, I realized that neither candidate would in reality be able to accomplish their goals in the way they want them done. I disagree with both candidates, disagree more with Obama, and strongly disagree with many of the plans described, but like I mentioned, I had to ultimately choose the candidate with the productive communication style, mental stability, and greater consistency based on MY observations. My choice isn’t perfect because neither candidate is perfect.

I’ve basically been Republican all my U.S. life and lean toward Republican ideals, ESPECIALLY in regards to economics. (I'm a Ramsey girl!) A lot of Obama fanatics are going to be disappointed when he gets in office because they’re not picking up on his undertones regarding personal financial responsibility. Much of the fiscally poor flocking to him as a savior don’t want to hear that.

In case there's any question:
Marriage should be defined only by a consenting man and consenting woman. Abortions should only be used for the purposes outlined by the LDS church. We need to eliminate our dependency on foreign fuel. The wealthy should not be punished for having the guts and ingenuity to generate wealth. And the list goes on.

I also believe that courtesy and civility are currently going the way of customer service and the dodo. I prefer to take a chance on Obama negotiating with world leaders, for example, than have McCain foolishly manifest Chavez' claims of American propaganda.

Man, this turned out to be a lengthy, boring comment. I apologize to myself for doing that.
Well, there's nothing else for me to say about this election, except it's almost over!

Kristen said...

Small-minded? Ouch! I think you'd be surprised by the actual research "people" do to make their decisions. (For example, some people have studied enough BEFORE debates to already know the issues and know when candidates are lying. If voters know their stuff, a courteous answer doesn't cover a lie.)

Minority opinions seem to think that everyone else is just going along with the crowd and hearsay - after all it's easy and popular. But perhaps the majority [in a given area] really DOES know the issues and the facts and thinks for themselves. Consider that before we cross the line from "commenting" to "insulting." Or maybe you're right - if someone disagrees with you, they're small-minded.

Might I say again, that the most dangerous leaders in history have been successful because of their strong leadership qualities like communication and appearances.It's their ideas/plans/issues that make them dangerous. What it sounds like to me (I could be wrong) is that you completely disagree with his ideas but you're glad that he'll do a good job carrying them out. Hmmm.

Sorry for not letting you have the last word on your own blog. Everyone go back and read what Adhis wrote now! I love you Adhis, I really do.

Adhis said...

"Such comments and quick labels are small-minded"

Yes, labels are small-minded. I admit to using small-minded labels in my weak moments. I am referring to a behavior and not an intrinsic quality; I never said anything about small-minded persons.

I have no problem with people debating (and actually, I encourage it), but I do cringe when the debate gets lazy and labels come out. Labels prove or retort nothing (unless I'm rubber and you're glue).

I am not a I-voted-for-him-so-the-other-guy-sucks kinda girl, I have no lawn sign, I don't shout out for Obama, I don't shout for McCain. I just call out behavior, and that's what I base almost all of my opinions. And, really, I'm pretty calm when I do.

If you ever hear me say "he's a jerk" or "what an idiot," you betcha I'm engaging in small-minded behavior.

Jackie said...


Props girl on your courage! Not many people in this area would be able to publicly declare voting for Obama.I think I will be sitting out this election. I still feel very uncomfortable with each candidate.I got the same impression you did about McCain during the debates.Josh is voting for Obama, you guys should protect each other from the angry mobs.

Kristen said...

Small-minded for using labels. If you want to get technical, all words are labels. (Took a whole class on it. What was it Romeo said about roses?) But even with your definition, it seems that "small-minded" is just as good of a label as "jerk."

But my endless analyzing, which I usually keep to myself, seems to be coming across as debating so I'll stop being a jerk (persistent debator) for today.

Thank heavens huh - sorry for clogging up your comments.

Joyful Mother of Children said...

Personally I think this debate has been better than the presidential ones.

Adhis said...

Kristen, did you get riled up?
Just wait until my SECOND vote in four years!


Adhis said...

BTW, I love comments. You can come clog up my comments any time!

Sunni said...

So wait a second, you disagree MORE with Obama, (on issues such as "spreading the wealth", abortion, same sex marriage, our dependency on foreign fuel...) but you voted for him because you see him as the "candidate with the productive communication style"? It seems to me like a candidates fundamental ideas/policies are more important than their communication style.
BTW, I love this political comment debate. My blog is so boring compared to this one...

Sunni said...

So wait a second, you disagree MORE with Obama, (on issues such as "spreading the wealth", abortion, same sex marriage, our dependency on foreign fuel...) but you voted for him because you see him as the "candidate with the productive communication style"? It seems to me like a candidates fundamental ideas/policies are more important than their communication style.
BTW, I love this political comment debate. My blog is so boring compared to this one...

Sunni said...

oops, I didn't mean to post that twice....

Kristen said...

Nah, I didn't get riled up. A little baffled maybe but not upset.

Mostly I'm having one of my grumpy pregnant days... the ones where I know I'll feel better the next day and I just try to keep my mouth shut in the meantime.... I kept my mouth shut but apparently I need to ban myself from blogs too. =o)

Not that I don't mean what I wrote. I'll stand behind that on a non-grumpy day too. I think, we'll see.

Adhis said...

I’m chuckling because I just realized why all the hullabaloo over my little post. Y’all have focused on my vote as a vote for Obama instead of as a vote against McCain. My list in favor of Obama may seem short, but my list in favor of McCain is even shorter, thus my choice. A lot of you have said why "NOT Obama," but no one has instinctively mentioned why "YES to McCain."

And this, my friends, is why Obama will win this election. It is his name that is uttered, either in favor of or in repulsion. Obama this, Obama that. McCain and Palin mention Obama’s name so many times that sometimes I question who they're really campaigning for. This happened in 2004 when everyone was either for or against Bush, instead of for or against… what was the other guy’s name? ;)