Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Who is getting your vote?

Posted in politics by Kathy on September 10, 2012

I agree with this article, “A Response to the ‘No Lesser of Two Evils’ Crowd“. This part is especially thought-provoking:

“What’s so irritating about those pushing a third party is that they never really do it. The presidency is the last political office they should be pursuing. If the no lesser than two evils crowd were really serious, they would be putting up local candidates in elections all across the country. They should have been doing it for 30 years. If you can’t win locally, you’re not going to win nationally. If there is no broad-based national grassroots support and a demonstration of success politically,what do the critics of the ‘Republicrats’ expect to accomplish at the top of the ticket?”

The problem is that too many people who are dissatisfied with the GOP for being not libertarian, Constitutionalist, and/or conservative enough… only really seem to be bothered with it at election time, when it’s too late to do anything except for split the libertarian, Constitutionalist, and/or conservative vote between the GOP candidate and some third party or write-in candidate, allowing the least l/C/c person to win, which moves our country inexorably further away from what the l/C/c folks (and most who vote GOP regardless of label) want.

Fight and argue about it some other time. Get involved in local and state elections — maybe even run for office yourself! — make the changes during the off-years so that it will make a real change during election years. Waiting until 2012 to try to change the 2012 elections is just too little too late. Refusing to vote for Romney because “the lesser of two evils is still evil” — well, news flash! — Jesus isn’t running for President, so ***everybody*** (including Ron Paul) is “the lesser of two evils”.

Romney has faults — no argument here! He was my least favorite GOP candidate in the field. I know his faults, and don’t need to be reminded of them. — And that’s another thing! Why do these folks who are anti-Romney because he’s “too liberal” don’t expend at least as much time, energy, and effort in exposing Obama’s faults, which are even greater than Romney’s? Much like Ron Paul during the debates never criticized Mitt Romney, but went about criticizing everybody else who was closer to his own position than Romney, these folks are criticizing the better candidate while leaving the worst candidate unscathed. And for what? Oh, I understand their stated purpose, but the actual outcome is far different. All they will do is end up getting Obama elected, as the anti-Obama crowd will have their vote split — I don’t know what Romney will do as President, but I can guarantee he will disappoint all of us. And so would any other candidate. I don’t know what Romney will do, but I *DO* know what Obama will do — this past four years has shown some of what he is capable of; if he is reelected, the veil will be taken off and he will go into overdrive — and that is enough reason to vote for the guy who is the only one who can stop him. Work on building grassroots support for third parties and Constitutionalist, libertarian, and/or conservative folks *after* Nov. 6, so that they can win the next election, since they can’t possibly win this year. Live to fight another day.

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Who would I vote for (GOP nominee) today?

Posted in politics by Kathy on January 29, 2012

My top choice was Herman Cain, but sadly, he is not running any more. Of the remaining candidates, Rick Santorum is at the top of my list. If he weren’t running, I’d have to go Ron Paul, even though his foreign policy scares me. If Paul had a different foreign policy, he would be my top choice, or very close to it (although I do disagree with him on some other issues as well).

I don’t trust Romney — he was a liberal for far too many years, and (imo) became “conservative” only when it was politically expedient to do so — and that about sums up his character, imo — political expedience, rather than character and backbone. Besides, I think he is least likely to win against Obama, because he’ll be like McCain, only worse — even less likeable, and also bland. He won’t get conservatives fired up and lining up to go to the ballot boxes.

Newt… he’s an excellent debater, but I think he is too much of a “say what I need to get elected” kinda guy (like Romney, but not quite as bad, because Newt does at least have a conservative background and record). But he seems to be pandering to get elected. I think he would be the most effective President, because he knows how Washington works and can get things done… but I’m not sure if I’d always like what he could get done. Plus, he has character issues, and I don’t fully trust him. If he can’t be trusted to take his marriage vows seriously, why should I trust him to take his Oath of Office seriously?

Any of them would be better than Obama, but here’s how I rank them:

Who I’d vote for — Santorum, Paul, Gingrich, Romney

Who would be most effective as President — Gingrich, Romney, Santorum, Paul (although perhaps I should bump Paul up a bit, because he’d veto probably 90% of legislation Congress passed, and that’s probably a good thing, and can be a measure of effectiveness)

Most likely to beat Obama in a general election — Paul, Gingrich, Santorum, Romney

  • Paul gets much of the youth vote, as well as brings in the most liberals, libertarians, and independents, without losing too many conservatives — his anti-government, pro-small government, cut-spending message will resonate with many of us, and hopefully his libertarianism on social matters and his isolationist foreign policy won’t turn off too many (if the choice was between Obama, Paul, and a handful of 3rd-party people).
  • Gingrich is a good campaigner and speaker, and he can get the conservative base fired up (even if it is somewhat empty words), and it’s votes that count, so getting voters fired up is key.
  • Santorum is a rock-solid conservative, so may lose a few independents and centrists, but he’s somewhat small-government (but who isn’t, compared to Obama?), so may keep some libertarians; but the biggest thing he has going for him, is his ability to keep and solidify the conservative base, more so than Paul, probably more so than Gingrich, and certainly more so than Romney. His biggest problem is that he doesn’t generate much enthusiasm from his manner and mannerisms. If he could change that (add a dose of Herman Cain, for instance), he’d probably be better even than Gingrich in this matter.
  • Romney is bland — he can’t get people fired up to vote for him (he’s even struggling in the primary, when he’s outspending his opponents right and left — how much worse will he do when he’s being outspent by the Obama machine?), and that’s a huge problem. McCain’s problem in 2008 was that he induced a yawn in the conservatives, and they didn’t so much vote *for him* as *against Obama*. That doesn’t win elections. From my understanding (and mostly memory) of past elections, the winner is the one who generates the most positive — the most people voting *for* him; and the nominee whose best selling point is, “Vote for me, I’m not the other guy”, loses every time. It happened in every election in my memory, but particularly Dole, Kerry, and McCain.

Did Sarah Palin help or hurt McCain’s bid?

Posted in politics by Kathy on November 7, 2008

I know that there were many people who did not like his choice for many reasons:

  • she is female, and “women should be keepers at home, so I can’t vote for him”
  • her experience was questionable (although I daresay she gave Obama a run for his money in this category, but of course the media found him eminently qualified with all of his months of experience)
  • while confident in several settings (prepared speeches, especially the RNC), she seemed too nervous or tense in others
  • it was merely a political choice, to try to get more female vote, and “we women are too smart to fall for that, and we’re insulted that you would attempt it” (despite the fact that more than one Hillary supporter tried to rally more women to her cause in the waning days of her bid simply because she also was female)
  • she was too conservative (but who are we fooling? Those who think she is too conservative were probably going to vote Obama anyway)

Perhaps there are others, but these are the ones that spring to mind. So, she may have cost him a few votes. Was it enough to make him lose? Tough question. The thing is, he could have picked far worse.

Had he chosen a white male, the media (and most certainly the Obama campaign) would have made much of the fact that it was just “politics as usual”, that Republicans didn’t offer anything new, yada, yada, yada. So, yes, I agree that his choice of Sarah Palin was more because she was a woman — to “shake things up a bit” perhaps — than because of what she brought to the ticket on other issues. Because he certainly could have found another governor with her qualifications and then some — my Governor, Haley Barbour (from Mississippi — yes, he’s a man, despite that “Haley” is almost always a female name nowadays!), was probably as strong a conservative as she was, and with much more experience, too.

Had he picked a someone like Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, J.C. Watts, Alan Keyes, or some other prominent person who was not white, he could have similarly “shaken things up” while choosing someone with more experience than Palin, and perhaps not running into some of the issues that were raised. (Of course, with the media in the tank for Obama, they would’ve found something else to complain about.)

Had McCain chosen some of the people whose names had been kicked around as possible VP candidates — Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Joe Lieberman (it would’ve been fun to have had two Joes for VP candidates — can’t you just imagine the debate? — “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” “No, Joe, I do say it’s so!”), or others who were on the liberal side of certain social issues — he certainly would have lost much of his base. As it was, he had to struggle to hold onto them, with a strong pro-life running mate. I, for one, could not have voted for him if he had picked one of those men.

When is it that Republicans are going to realize that the problem is not that they are too conservative — it’s that they’re not conservative enough?? I voted for McCain, reluctantly, because I was more worried about an Obama presidency than a McCain presidency. But elections are not won on “beating the other guy” — they’re won on “voting for your guy.” This was proven in all of the elections I can remember (from Clinton’s first win on). I especially think about Bob Dole’s unsuccessful bid in ’96 — he never energized his base — those that voted for him primarily did so because he was the only one with a chance to beat Clinton. It’s a case of “Elect me, just because I’m not him,” and it doesn’t work.

One of McCain’s problems was that he was too liberal, and turned off a lot of his base. Part of that was re-energized with Palin’s candidacy — she brought a lot of spirit back to the Republican Party. Yeah, she turned off a few of the base, I’m sure; and with the help of the nonstop barrage from the media drove a few more independents away, but I think she probably helped him more than she hurt him. He hurt himself more than she hurt him, I’ll say that! Conservatives didn’t like the choice between the liberal candidate and the more-liberal candidate, plain and simple.

My hope now is that these next four years won’t be too bad, and at the end of them, a true conservative (following in the footsteps of Reagan) will emerge to run for President and win.

Problem with Polls

Posted in politics by Kathy on October 21, 2008

I’m signed up to do online polls, and usually they’re about different companies (do I have a positive or negative opinion of companies like T.J. Maxx or Budweiser; have I heard something positive or negative in the last week about FedEx or Starbucks; that sort of thing), but recently they’ve mostly been about politics.

One thing that bothers me about some of these questions — and it’s bothered me when I’ve heard poll results given in the past — is that there just aren’t enough choices given — there just isn’t enough information gleaned from the questions, usually.

There can be loaded questions like, “Is Barack Obama’s campaign more positive than most Presidential campaigns or about the same?” Well, what if you think it’s more negative?

Or, “Should abortion be completely illegal, or should there be some allowances?” Most if not all people think that there should be allowances to save the mother’s life (if the baby is too young to survive), and many other people think that there should be exceptions for pregnancies due to rape or incest, so to choose between the two would lead most if not all people to say that abortion should be legal. Of course, that doesn’t answer whether or not these people think it should be legal without any restrictions, such as the Freedom of Choice Act would guarantee, without any exceptions for parental consent, or viability, which Barack Obama has promised to sign should he become President.

If the question were asked, “Should abortion be legal without any restrictions?”, undoubtedly some people would agree with that statement, but most people think that there should be restrictions, for instance, laws concerning minors, or crossing state lines, or statutory rape, or viability. That’s why there should be plenty of options in these polls, otherwise they’re meaningless.

Also, sometimes the results are presented in a way that is confusing at best and down-right deceptive at worst. I remember reading that some advertising campaign (Levi’s 501 Jeans, back in the ’80s) said that “80% of college kids say that Levi’s 501 jeans are ‘the thing to wear’ on campus.” Well, the only options they had were 501 jeans and something like “skirts” or some other generic term. Another ad campaign said that “most people said that [X] beer was as good as or better than [Y] beer.” The deception? 50% of people said that the two beers were equal; 20% said that X was better; and 30% said that Y was better. The company combined the “as good as” as well as the “better” to come up with 70%; but actually, more people preferred Y to X.

Frequently — but more frequently during election times — there will be polls presented to the public that ask and answer the question, “Do you agree with the direction the country is taking?” or sometimes it’s more specifically about Congress or the President or whatever. That question is just simply too vague. I say that most people will answer “no” to that, but their reasoning will be vastly different. I’m on a few different email lists, and keep up with lots of people’s blogs. While most of the people I know in real life range from conservative to very conservative, my computer friends range from very conservative to very liberal, so I get to see a wide range of views this way. I don’t know a single person who thinks this country is heading in the right direction. Many people think it’s becoming too liberal, while many other people think it’s not becoming liberal enough. To hear the pro-abortion people talk, they won’t be happy until FOCA is signed; while to hear the pro-life people talk, they won’t be happy until Roe is overturned. So, if things remain as they are, as long as abortion is a vital issue to them, they will probably answer the question (is the country heading in the right direction?) in the negative. Other people may answer the question primarily on the economy, or terrorism, or the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, or how “green” we are, or this, or that, or the other.

So, no, I don’t think the country is heading in the right direction — I wish it were more like it was in my childhood (under Reagan), or in the 50s (except for the racism). When I think of how much child porn there is and other forms of porn and sexual deviancy that is not just tolerated but promoted, I can’t think this country is heading in the right direction. But that doesn’t mean that I think Obama is going to be the savior of the country! — far from it! I think he’ll take us even further from my desire. I just read the Dr. Seuss story And to Think that I saw it on Mulberry Street to my kids, and it starts off with the little boy (Marco) walking “all the long way to school and the long way back” by himself. I wish we could go back to the time where we could send our kids out to play all day, or walk to school by themselves, without worry that something might happen. I hear stories of children who left their homes in the morning, and didn’t come back until supper or nightfall, and their parents never worried about them. I know that kidnapping is rare, as is pedophilia, and most of those happen in familial situations (ex-husbands taking the kids, or Uncle Joe touching his nieces), but I can’t take that chance.

 

The Barack Obama Test

Posted in politics by Kathy on October 4, 2008

This was an interesting set of questions, designed to help people decide if they agree or disagree with Barack Obama on most issues.

Ok, in trying to get the button to embed, I must have gotten the graphic but not the link. Oh, well. Click here, or on the button in the right-hand column.

Are Feminists Comfortable Being Women?

Posted in politics by Kathy on September 14, 2008

Seriously.

What has gotten this on my mind is Sarah Palin. I saw her give her VP acceptance speech (which was flawless), and I saw her interview with Charlie Gibson (click here for the full transcript, not the cut-and-paste job shown on TV), and a few other times, and she seems very comfortable as a woman. I think about the difference between her and, say, Hillary Clinton or other prominent liberal feminists, and it is striking. I remember the 80s “power suits” for women, and the shoulder pads to make women appear more like men, with masculine shoulders — strong and broad. I just looked on Google Images for pictures of Hillary Clinton, and while there were a few pictures on the first page or two of her in more feminine attire and/or with feminine hair, in the majority of the pictures she had hair and clothing that could only be called “masculinized.” Googling images of Sarah Palin brought page after page of her with hair and clothing that could never be confused with a man’s. And she seemed happy and comfortable, to boot; whereas so many of the pictures of Hillary showed her with stern expressions. It just makes me think that Hillary Clinton, like so many of her fellow liberals, is having to co-opt masculine qualities in order to “make it in a man’s world,” whereas Sarah Palin, like so many of her fellow conservatives, enjoys being a woman and enjoys being feminine, and feels quite comfortable bringing feminine qualities into areas dominated by men — and is succeeding in that world without giving up one feminine charm.

I’ve seen a “Piece of Flair” (if you’re on FaceBook, you probably know what I mean; if you don’t, it’s a little button with a picture or saying on it) that says, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people men?” And if you see enough feminists, you’ll see that so many of them seem to fulfill that. Not all of them, of course. I’m email friends with many women who would proclaim themselves to be feminists, and love being wives and mothers, and relish feminine qualities… but so many feminists don’t. They look like men, dress like men, act like men. But suggest that they’re looking, dressing, or acting like men, and watch out! “Oh, no,” they’d proclaim, “this is just who I am!” or “this is what I’ve got to do/be/look like to succeed — it’s a man’s world, and I’ve got to fit in.” Tell that to Sarah Palin, who could very easily become the first female U.S. President, without losing any of her femininity.

Oh, and I’m sure there are so many feminists who are going to vote for Gov. Palin simply because she’s a woman, just like I saw feminists urging other women to vote for Hillary Clinton over Barak Obama simply because she’s a woman. Yeah, right.

Racism and Sexism in Presidential Politics

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on June 16, 2008

Ok, so this post is just a tad out-dated, since Hilary Clinton has officially conceded defeat, but I should have written this some time ago, and am just now getting around to it.

Throughout the campaign, there has been talk about the sexism factor with Hilary’s Presidential bid, and the racism factor with Obama’s Presidential bid. I’m not discounting that there has been sexism or racism by some people in how they decided who to vote for in the primaries, nor how they may vote in the general election. But what gets me, is that it seems that these two candidates want(ed) it both ways. Or, at least, that Hilary was glad enough to get the women’s vote simply because she was a woman (which is as sexist as not voting for her simply because she was a woman), and that Obama didn’t decline any votes made by blacks simply because he is also black (which is equally racist as voting for John McCain simply because he is white).

Several months ago, I read a blog in which a feminist was beginning to whine and cry about how that Hilary was not further ahead, or wasn’t getting the female vote, or that Obama had just taken the lead — or whatever the thing was. She made some comment along the lines of, “Women should support Hilary, just because she’s a woman.” Blatant sexism!

And then there’s this article, which I just skimmed, that says that a lot of black conservatives want to vote for Obama simply because he’s black too…. but they don’t know if they can ignore his political views in order to do so. I can understand that. I disagree with it — profoundly — but I understand it.

Might John McCain need to pick a black running mate, so that black conservatives don’t jump ship? I mean, McCain needs all the votes he can get! There are so many conservatives (including myself) who are not at all thrilled with the possibility of voting for him, and may just sit out the election or vote for a third-party candidate. If McCain picks a conservative enough running mate, I might be able to vote for the ticket; but I’m pretty sick of voting for the lesser of two evils, because it seems that all we’ve gotten is more evil. I hope Obama loses (and when Hilary was still in it, I hoped she wouldn’t win the Presidency, either), but I can’t vote for McCain.

So, does racism come into play in this Presidential race? Yep. But it also works both ways! And I have yet to hear Barack Obama tell his fellow African-Americans not to vote for him because of his skin color, but to make their decision based solely on the politics and his political viewpoint. And while McCain may get some votes out of racism, I think that Obama will get just as many votes if not more, out of racism.

Some people may call it “reverse racism” or “reverse discrimination” or “reverse sexism,” but those are false terms. If it’s racism, discrimination, or sexism, then it is that thing regardless of who is doing the discrimination and who is being discriminated against. Here’s the way I look at things — if you reverse the races (for instance, white people voting for John McCain just because he’s white), and it sounds racist… then it’s just as racist for you to be voting for Obama simply because he’s black; and it’s just as sexist for you women to have voted for Hilary Clinton just because she’s female. If white people vote for McCain simply because he’s white, that’s as racist as black people voting for Obama simply because he’s black. Period. End of story.

And if you’re a black person (or African-American, if you prefer — I don’t want to offend either way) reading this blog, and you’re going to vote for Barack Obama simply because he’s black (even if you don’t agree with his politics), then you are perpetrating the very racism that you claim to hate and want to do away with.

I remember watching the Cosby Show, and A Different World when I was a kid and a teenager, and of course Oprah! (Actually, most of the shows that I liked then were black shows — Fresh Prince, Family Matters, Living Single…) And I remember a lot of talk about being “color-blind” and a series of shows Oprah did on racism. It had to be 15 years ago. But you know what? It still applies.

So, to you black conservatives who may be seriously considering voting for Barack Obama simply because he is black, even if you don’t like all of the liberal stuff he has voted for in his career, and all of the liberal stuff he’s advocating now as the Democratic candidate for President — I say you’re racist. Understandably so; but racist nonetheless.

The choice for President should be based on what the candidates stand for. When Alan Keyes or some other conservative black ran for office, I don’t recall hearing Republicans saying, “Black people just need to vote for him because he’s black.” I understand that Obama has a great amount of appeal, with his personality and presentation; plus, he is the Democratic candidate for President, so he has at least a 50-50 chance of winning, which is more than Alan Keyes or any other black person has been able to say. I understand it’s tempting to vote for him. But if you do, make sure it’s because you agree with him, and not just because of the color of his skin. Remember Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech? It included this famous line, “a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man’s skin determines the content of his character.” I’m afraid that some people are saying that the color of Barack Obama’s skin determines the content of his character, because some conservatives are courting the idea of voting for him despite his thoroughly consistent liberal views and voting record.

You don’t want to vote for John McCain? That’s fine — I don’t either. Depending on who he picks as his running mate, I may vote for him, but probably not (the names of potential running mates that I’ve heard have been kicked around are too liberal for me, as well). But I ain’t voting for Obama, either! I’m planning on trying to find who all the third-party candidates may be, and I’ll try to pick the best one of them — regardless of race or gender.

Vote your conscience, not your skin color.

Politics

Posted in abortion, politics by Kathy on February 5, 2008

Ah, yes, “Super Tuesday.” The blogs are all popping about political things, I’m sure. If the lead-up to today has been any clue, it’s going to be a very interesting Presidential race, with lots of mud-slinging and posturing….but what else is new?

Recently, I’ve read a couple of posts from Christians and non-Christians that wonder out loud how Christians should vote, or why we pay so much attention to a candidate’s position on abortion or homosexual “unions” or “marriage”, to the exclusion of everything else….. yet I’m sure there are as many posts (if not more) from proponents of abortion and/or homosexual marriage who are single-issue voters, and no one thinks to question their logic on that. But of course, Christians make their decisions based on their religion, which is offensive and scary to some who would rather believe that they are making their decisions based on their brilliance, with great logic and thought, and coming to the best answer based on just themselves, without any outside influence. As if that’s a better method of reaching a decision.

But the recurring theme has basically been, “How do Christians justify voting for a candidate [or supporting our current President] just because he is pro-life, regardless of how he views the other issues?” Each person will have to answer that question for himself. For me, it would be absolutely immoral to vote for someone who thinks it is perfectly fine for a mother to kill the baby that is in her womb. Do these supporters of abortion not realize that a live baby is sucked out of the womb in pieces? or else that the sterile amniotic fluid surrounding, supporting, and protecting the baby is drained and a high-saline solution is put in, chemically burning the baby to death? (Click on the “Abortion Facts” link over on the right for more info.) Back when Rudy Giuliani was the front-runner, I declared that if he won the Republican nomination, I could not vote for him (and of course, all of the Democratic contenders were pro-abortion). Mitt Romney’s “pro-life conversion” does not sit well with me–I think it’s fake, to be blunt; and I think he’s too liberal in most other things. Mike Huckabee is strongly pro-life, but I’m afraid he will govern too liberally. Ron Paul isn’t strong enough against abortion, which bothers me, but I daresay he’s pretty good on most other things. The fact that he side-steps the issue by saying he’s against it but thinks it’s a state’s-rights issue is bothersome. If he’s against abortion because it is murder, then how can that be a state’s-rights issue? The right to life is in the Constitution, the document which he seems to revere above all else. It would be very interesting if he became President, to see what all he would veto….but I’m not sure all of his strategies and idealized Constitutionalism would work very well in the world in which we live. We are a global society now. What happens on the other side of the globe does matter, and does affect us. We cannot be Neville Chamberlain while Hitlers assume power, and we just sit and wait for them to attack us even though they’ve already taken over several other countries. As far as John McCain, I’ll have to read up more on him; I’m afraid he’s generally too liberal for me. Honestly, I didn’t think he’d have much of a chance, so haven’t paid much attention to him. Earlier in the campaign, I took a few of those “select a candidate” questionnaires, and found that Duncan Hunter & Fred Thompson were my top choices (usually tied), but both of those candidates have dropped out before I have even had a chance to vote.

So enough of that rabbit-chasing. Right now, my choices are between Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul, with John McCain as a possibility until and unless I find out more about him that I don’t like. If Mitt Romney wins, I’m probably going to have to sit out the general election, unfortunately (or cast a write-in vote). As much as I dislike the idea of someone as liberal as either Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama, I don’t think I can in good conscience vote for someone who is just a notch above them. Does that make me a single-issue voter? To some people, it probably does. I formulate my vote on a lot of different factors, and it may very be that my vote will end up being “none of the above,” because there is no one close enough to my views without being too distasteful on other issues that are very important to me.

What is the most important issue to you? Does that not affect your vote? There are people who are committed to voting for the most pro-abortion or pro-environmental or pro-education or pro-homosexual or this or that other issue. Does that make them a single-issue voter? Does it devalue their vote or their thinking and/or reasoning process? I may very well have to shut my eyes, pinch my nose and vote for somebody who is less than my ideal candidate. We’ll see who’s still around by the time my state votes, and then further refine it when we see who the top candidate is from each party (as well as any third-party candidates that might have jumped in the race).