Monday, November 03, 2008

Voting for President: Part Two

OK, so here it goes.

I voted for Barack Obama, but I'm not an Obama supporter.

Let me explain.

Yes, I voted for the Democrat this time around, but it wasn't out of some passionate, enthusiastic, messianic motivation. But it also wasn't a protest vote against John McCain as an individual candidate or leader.

I've had a peculiarly high interest from friends (especially on Facebook) on my voting plans this year. Maybe some people really care. I think others are just bored or bizarrely curious. I've held off from writing about it because I don't really feel it's appropriate to share that kind of info when serving on a church staff. It's too easy for people to confuse Rob the Voter with Rob the Pastor (who are both different from Joe the Plumber).

In any case, I know that I won't affect anyone's vote by discussing how I voted for president. And if it does, well, you probably need to do more research and analysis on your own, instead of using me as a guide.

These are some of the main reasons I made my decision for president. I will not attempt to pre-battle any of my more conservative friends, some of whom will berate me for my choice. But here are the highlights:

BUSH'S LEGACY
George W. Bush has been a horrible president. Our international reputation and influence have been diminished, largely because of military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Going into Iraq was a mistake, even if Bush will never admit it. When it comes to domestic issues, Bush has failed to live out his self-described "compassionate conservative" agenda. I'm no historian, and I don't even pretend to play one on TV, but I doubt Bush will be viewed too highly down the road. And I don't buy the argument that John McCain is such a maverick that he won't continue many of the Bush failures. So this area shifted me toward Obama.

FAITH FORUM AT SADDLEBACK
I needed to watch this event on TV because I wanted to hear what Obama said in the areas of faith. Yes, I know his answers didn't appease all evangelicals (especially when talking about abortion), but I was impressed. McCain offered a bunch of sound bites and lines that were targeted to evangelicals. Obama proved that he had actually thought through his ideas and opinions. In other words, I'd like a president who demonstrates intellectual capability (more than our current one) and the willingness to speak in nuances and thought-filled sentences (unlike what I heard from McCain).

VP CHOICES
This is easy. Sarah Palin is not qualified to be vice president (or president) of the United States. Plain and simple. And anyone who'd pick her as a running mate wouldn't get my vote. Joe Biden was a safe choice for Obama, but it wasn't a dumb one.

McCAIN OF 2000 VS McCAIN OF 2008
I liked McCain back in 2000. He was more independent and less bound to the GOP power base -- which is why he lost in the primaries, of course. This year's McCain has sounded too much like a GOP boombox.

THE FEAR ISSUE
Sorry, folks, I'm not going to vote for McCain just because of the fear or threat or danger of what might happen under a President Obama. That just strikes me as a small-minded approach to choosing a president.

THE CHANGE ISSUE
I think it's time for some change in the White House. I don't think Obama is the Messiah and I don't agree with him on every issue. But I just couldn't bring myself to vote for McCain or a third-party candidate. This was not a choice of the "lesser of two evils," but it certainly wasn't a choice of two perfect candidates. Still, I'm willing to take a chance on someone new at 1600 Pennsylvania for the next four years. And I know that many of my friends will disagree, but life will go on for all of us.

And if you'd like a nice biblical view on the election as a whole, without an endorsement or a slam, I'd encourage you to hop over to Mark Miller's website and read what he wrote earlier today.

13 comments:

goodfountain said...

Interesting, Rob.

My thought process is similar to yours.

Jennifer said...

Rob-
I had no doubt from the beginning who you would vote for. I did not vote for the same person you did, but not for many of the reasons people voted for McCain. I would disagree with you on one major thing. How can Palin not be qualified since she has more executive experience than Obama? She has been gov for two years and Obama was only a Senator for 144 days before he started running for Pres. I did vote for McCain either because of Palin like some. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. I hope Obama is the savior everyone thinks he will be.

Cory said...

Way to go Pastor Rob!! I agree very much so with a lot of what you had to say. Its hard to be a Christian and still vote for Obama. Especially when the Mccain camp was throwing words like "Terrorist" "Arab" "Abortion" and "Patriotism" around. They tryed to make you feel that if you vote for Obama you are un-american, which is not true at all. And on the subject of Palin... enough said, she is a joke with NO EXPERIENCE!! Executive experience my foot!!! Being Gov. of Alaska is like being the mayor of Rio Linda!!!

WAY TO GO ROB!

Cory V.

Jadee said...

Rob...this is Joy (aka Jadee on blogspot)

I also liked John McCain in 2000 but not in 2008.

I also agree that Bush was not a good president, but neither was Clinton.

I did choose to vote third-party because I voted for principle over popularity. I hate that the majority think there is only the two candidates as an option. I am glad you specified you researched ALL your options.

I think people will love Obama at first...he is very charismatic. So was Clinton. But people got tired of the drama with Clinton.

I also agree that voting Republican or Democrat or Third-party has nothing to do with Christianity. Christianity is/should be our RELATIONSHIP with CHRIST.

I believe their can be candidates that have a relationship with Christ, but I don't believe that there is a "Christian Candidate" that "Christians should vote for" over another.

Honestly, it is YOUR vote...You don't have to share...that's why election booths were used. However, it is honorable to be proud of whom you chose to cast your vote.

Steve said...

Very thoughtful and well presented, Rob.

Susie said...

kinda agree, mostly don't. Life was my #1. I could NEVER vote for a person that says the first thing that he will do is legalize all abortions. its a holocaust. And how do we know that Bush is a horrible President? I think you can only tell that with time. Who says Obama will be any better at all. Different isn't always good.

Susie said...

My bad a genocide not holocaust

Cory said...

LOL there are ppl blogging on here that say " how do we know Bush is a bad President"... Are you serious? Clinton was a great president!! Everyone had jobs! People are Crazy.

Susie said...

who said the economy was bush's problem. republicans are all about hands off economics... democrats are the ones that want to be all involved. ALSO, maybe you should try supporting your president once and a while, I wouldn't be surprised to find half the people supporting Obama on here bashing him 2 months after he takes office. Half of the country hated Lincoln at the time and now he considered one of the best Presidents ever... who says it cant happen again.

Susie said...

AND Cory don't belittle the state of Alaska. They have a lot of issues, AHUM oil AHUM. Gov. is not the easiest job in the world by any means. You think its such a joke why dont you try it out.

Anonymous said...

Dear Americans,

How many of you lived under a government who “took care” of the economy and all the rest of the issues of the country? I did. I lived in Europe most of my life. I traveled around Europe (western and eastern part) and I can only say that until now, there is not better place to live than America. But the winds are changing. And we can only wait and see.

Rob Cunningham said...

cory, i personally don't agree that clinton was a great president. but as much as it pains me to write it, he wasn't as bad as bush has been. (you would have needed to have known me in the '90s to understand why those words are tough for me to write!)

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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