Friday, September 14, 2012

Get Out and Vote

I come from a Democratic family.  My Dad is a huge fan of President Kennedy.  He immigrated to the United States during the Johnson administration.  I don’t know how much of a factor Vietnam, Watergate or the 1970’s economic conditions were to his staying a Democrat.  However the legacy of Nixon and Ford is certainly not as empowering as that of Reagan.

I recall the Iran Hostage crisis, the high inflation of the 1980’s and the stock market crash of 1987.  I also recall Clinton’s attempt at overhauling health care.  Finally G. W. Bush’s pronunciation of everything is still funny to me. 

The first election I was eligible to vote in was the 1992 election between Bush and Clinton.  Being a college student, I was highly encouraged to vote and it was relatively easy to get registered and vote.  I recall voting more on social issues rather than economic or foreign policy issues.

I did not vote in the 1996, 2000 or 2004 elections.  The 1996 and 2000 elections were a time of great upheaval in my personal life and the national agenda did not really resonate with me.  In fact, I thought the two Bush’s in the white house were a coincidence.  I was later educated that “H.W.” was “W” Dad.

I met my wife in 2003 and was highly encouraged to vote in 2004.  I became registered, but never actually got out there.

In 2008, I was married and it was imperative that I voted.  Fortunately Colorado allows mail-in ballots so my wife highly influenced my vote.

I am not particularly enthusiastic about voting in 2012.  I think social issues could be an important consideration in this election.  Given the ages of Scalia, Ginsburg and Kennedy, the next Supreme Court appointment could have serious implications for the United States.  I think Romney could throw a serious wrench in the works for SCOTUS with a poor appointment.

In terms of foreign policy, I am pretty neutral.  I don’t think Obama or Romney will throw the United States into an ill advised overseas conflict.  I like the work Clinton has done as Secretary of State and I believe that Obama being able to pronounce names has gone a long way in terms of foreign policy.  I think Romney would be a slight step back in this regard.

In terms of economic policy, I think Obama will press down on the regulator in his second term.  He was less bold in his first term in order to get re-elected.  I believe that Romney will stand by the Republican party line of not raising taxes and I am not particularly concerned by high inflation or a ballooning national debt.  Like the majority of Americans, I am in a spot where I won’t be materially affected by entitlements or tax breaks aimed at the 1%.

The Republicans have already overtaken the House and this will not change in 2012.  The Senate races will be very important with 33 seats up for grabs.  There are 30 sitting Democrats and likely 7 of 33 seats will go to Democrats.  There are 37 sitting Republicans and likely 3 of 33 seats will go to Republicans.  Republicans need 11 of the remaining 23 to take over the Senate as well.  This will most likely lead to a lost term for Obama if elected.  If Romney were elected this would be a huge win for Republicans and either start a Reaganesque era or more likely a Fordesque era. 

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