Why I May Very Well Vote This Year

I'm told that as goes Barack Obama, so goes "his" Universal Health Care Plan. This may very well be enough to get me out to the votey-place-thing this year. But rather than explain precisely why -- as a citizen of Canada (thass right, suckahs, I be duelin') and ergo former beneficiary of Universal Health Care -- I'd be willing to go on anonymous-record for just this one issue, let me quote a guy named Fred quoting a guy named Michael, an Australian Christian conservative who thinks American evangelicals are loony on this one:
1. Beware of The Cult of the Individual and the Idolatry of Greed. American and evangelical opposition to universal healthcare has nothing to do with the Bible or Theology, but is driven purely by a cultural and economic ideological bias. …
2. Varieties of Universal Healthcare. A big problem is that Americans simply do not understand universal healthcare (hence the talk of these “death panels,” which incidentally do not exist). …
3. Christian Advocacy for Healthcare. Every western democracy from Norway to New Zealand has universal healthcare for its citizens except for the most prosperous nation on earth. Across the world this move to care for the sick has been driven by a Christian ethic of compassion and not by the pursuit of economic gain. …
4. The Testimony of Americans Who Have Shifted Their Views. [He provides examples.] …
5. The Example of Jesus. As one reads the Gospels one cannot help but notice that a central characteristic of Jesus’ ministry was offering healing for the sick and injured. …
Aren't Australian's nifty?


  1. So, you're gonna go all out this year to vote for Obama, because you like his healthcare plan. Who cares about about the candidate who upholds the sanctity of life, because that's what Jesus would think, right? Darn my right-wing upbringing and all it's anti-socialist healthcare agendas!

  2. Well... if you're voting for "sanctity of life," Jon, I think you'd have to look at what, exactly, our good buddy George W. accomplished with regard to that. He was supposedly against it, but nothing changed. You think Romney's gonna suddenly stop abortion in America? Not a chance.

    It's politics -- a nasty, dirty, corrupt little game. From what I understand, Obama's not anti-sanctity... he just thinks that making abortion illegal doesn't do anything to decrease abortion.

    What's more, I tend to think this argument depends on whose life you want to hold most sacred. By the last anti-abortion President's standards, it's certainly not some brown-skinned Iraqi child's, nor the primarily poor, uneducated American men and women forced to live with having taken that child's life.

    Besides... what's wrong with being a one-issue voter? That seems to be what you're advocating -- who's to say that your issue's more important than mine?

    Who's to say what's right, or how best to heal what ails us? Not me. But I like Universal Health Care, and if we fire Obama, the I'm-Against-Whatever-He's-For political Right is going to get rid of it, that much seems sure. So for my part, I may just vote to keep it.

    You want to change the world and help Americans begin to see life as more sacred? Well, there are a lot better ways to do it than take a placebo every four years by voting for a pandering political bloc that isn't going to change anything, anyways.

    1. Thank you Josh,
      This was such an intelligent and courageous response. I always wish I could give just such a reply to the people (whom I also love) who always whip out the 'Abortion' nuclear bomb as their reason not to weigh rationally the relative merits and detractions of a candidate. (Full disclosure: I used to blithely do this myself, so I'm complicit in this sort of deeply felt 'reasoning'.)

      I'm too 'chicken', sadly. Because I fear they will judge me, even hate me. So I just don't engage. There seems to be no room for conversation of this subject: only certain condemnation for those who differ in point-of-view, to to point of questioning faith conviction of those who disagree with the Party line.

      The sad fact is, a litmus test is such a powerful temptation: it replaces the need to undergo a discomforting nuanced process of weighing relative merits of a government for the false, yet comforting, patina of 'black and white' certainty that is never reflects the truth of the situation. Karl Rove is a stunning genius for figuring this out and using it as a spectacularly effective 'wedge' issue to hijack much of the evangelical 'vote' usually against the weight of their actual natural affinities (legislation that would protect the poor and vulnerable, for example.)

      I never know how to explain what you just did very concisely: just because you don't vote to legislate against abortion, doesn't mean you're for it. It never ceases to amaze me how people allow that little emotional trigger to make the political decision for them. I am ADAMANTLY against abortion: I am convinced it hurts women. At an individual level, I do all I can to provide support, options, and help for those in a position to consider abortion as a 'solution'. However, I have room in my point of view for others to disagree, without thinking them evil of even 'wrong'. There are many reasons for taking another side than mine. And there is ample room in the Christian community for the idea that freedom to choose (last time I checked God himself is an most enthusiastic supporter of un-coerced freedom of choice, giving his own children the dignity of Free Will.)

    2. Ugh, sorry about the typos..I should have edited before sending. :
      "...conversation ON this topic..."
      "...that never reflects the truth of the situation."
      "...to the point of questioning..."
      "...Evil, or even 'wrong'...."
      "...idea OF freedom to choose..."

      But this is just among friends, right? Friends who will, with grace and imagination, read between the errors to parse out the substance therein, such as it is. Thank you!

    3. I can forgive almost anything... but typos? That's pushing it. I, of course, as a member of the One, True, Something-or-Other, NEVER make typos of any kindd.

  3. As much as I do not agree with abortion myself, I tend to think people forget is that abortion is one of the many enumerated things under the insurance. And there are simply so many people who could benefit from a healthcare system like that.

    If I could vote in this country, I would totally do that. But alas I do not have that right.

    (You know the funniest thing I've heard are people who say they hate this 'obama care' and if Obama gets reelected they are moving to Canada. It made me laugh...)

  4. I suppose there's nothing wrong with being a one-issue voter. I'm just surprised that's the one you chose. That one in particular is not what drives me.. I don't have a strong opinion based on my little knowledge of the subject.

    The abortion thing is only one of the many I would choose to vote against Obama for.

    love ya!

  5. I love that, Da-Cheong. When I first moved here and was working in a restaurant, several servers (single moms) asked me why in the world I'd move away from Canada... My impression is that, with the exception of the really avid Fox News watchers, it's not poor or struggling people who are pushing the "Kill Obamacare" agenda.

    Jon, Perhaps I should watch more Fox News (and by "more," I mean other than the clips I see on the rare occasions when I watch Jon Stewart :), so I can see things in more of a Jonreid way ;) Love you, too.

  6. Along the same lines as the Josh Barkey - July 5, 2012 6:50 AM response, I think it would be nice if people who claim the status of "pro-life" and who "uphold the sanctity of life", would recognize the need to apply those standards a bit more evenly. In my (not always as humble as it should be) opinion, the ideals of life's sacredness should extend into espousing a pro-peace, non-violence, anti-death penalty, and pro-health care for all stance. Are these things not all about being pro-life as much as being against abortion?

    1. I agree witcha there, Cousin-O-Mine. Which is why I espouse a pro-peace, non-violent, anti-death-penalty, pro-health-care-stance; in addition to being against abortion. Most of those positions I hold in an extremely non-political way. I think the only reason I care enough to vote on the health care issue is that it's easy for me to see how it will directly effect me, DURING the next four years of the presidency.

      Puh-thetic. I'm such a dork. And exceptionally lazy, too - unlike April C, I don't do much at all on a personal level. So I write a blog.

      I will pull the "introvert" card, though, and say that it's my hobbit-tendencies that keep me from getting out enough to confront this on a personal level. I'd venture a guess that I'm in pretty good company on my laziness and self-excuses, and that most of us DO use the presidential elections as a once-every-four-years-trick-myself-into-feeling-good placebo.

      I'll just have to knuckle down and someday write a movie that's as effective a propaganda-piece for MY position on abortion as CIDER HOUSE RULES was for those with whom I disagree. Then Jon will have reason to love me even more than he already does, as my Unofficial-Bro-for-Life.

      One thing CIDER HOUSE RULES helped teach me, though, was that people who disagree with me are often doing so in good faith, and that stories are far more effective than polemics.


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