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What A World: Fill in the Planks

Our readers respond to ‘Palin Comparison.’

NancyFord at deskBy Nancy Ford

Thanks to all who wrote in response to last month’s What a World, “Palin Comparison,” about why I would not be voting for the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket in the presidential election.

Most responses, like those found in this month’s Letters department, were reasoned and measured regardless of whether they leaned to the left or the right. Others were a little scarier and have been placed in OutSmart’s ever-expanding “just in case” FBI file. (Thanks for the sleepless night, Ms. Anonymous, who has an aversion to spell check.)

In most cases, the responders asked why I had chosen to vote for Obama-Biden, as opposed to simply voting against McCain-Palin. Though the outcome of this historic election will likely be determined by the time you read this (please, God, no hanging chads), the question nonetheless deserves answering.

My decision to vote for Obama-Biden had nothing to do with the hysterical YouTube links that whizzed around the globe, poking fun at both candidates. My decision had nothing to do with Senator John McCain’s famous c-word nickname for his wife, and I don’t mean “Cindy-Pooh.” It even had nothing to do with Tina Fey. But truth be told, if Tina Fey asked me to vote a straight conjoined-twins ticket, I probably would.

Bottom line, I voted for Obama-Biden, the Democratic ticket, after reading the language in both parties’ platforms. As a died-in-the-flannel lesbian, I believe the Democratic Party gets it when it comes to having my best . . . okay, my better interest in mind. I also believe, as a human being, that based on the way global approval of the United States has tanked to alarming new lows under the Bush administration, U.S. citizens and the world are likely to be safer with a Democrat in the White House.

So let’s break it down. First, there’s the military question. The Democratic platform wisely recognizes the urgent need to maintain troop levels at their highest numbers possible, stating, “We support the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ and the implementation of policies to allow qualified men and women to serve openly regardless of sexual orientation.”

Contrary-wise, the GOP platform archaically affirms “the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.”

The Republicans disagree on this matter with their own late statesman, Barry Goldwater, who reasoned, “You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.” Unfortunately, Sen. Goldwater wasn’t a voting member of Congress at the time he made that lefty statement.

And what about marriage equality and the Federal Marriage Amendment? For me, the question of marriage equality is about just that: equality. Regardless of all the really cool shower gifts it brings, it strikes me as odd that gay folks should clamor after a tradition that has proved itself a huge, stinkin’, statistical failure. On the other hand, it’s always nice to be asked to dance even if you don’t like the song. The Democratic platform agrees, pledging support of “the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections.”

The Republicans, on the other hand, call for “a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it.” This plan is inclusive of gay folks only if you’re the newly out Clay Aiken who, under this paradigm, might one day legally marry himself.

Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin recently reiterated her pledge to secure marriage inequality at the highest level. On October 20, Gov. Palin told the Christian Broadcasting Network that she supports a federal amendment to the U.S. constitution limiting marriage to individuals of the opposite sex.

“In my own state, I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish on a federal level that that’s where we would go because I don’t support gay marriage.

“I’m not going to be out there judging individuals,” Gov. Palin ran on, “sitting in a seat of judgment telling what they can and can’t do, should and should not do, but I certainly can express my own opinion here and take actions that I believe would be best for traditional marriage and that’s casting my votes and speaking up for traditional marriage that, that instrument that it’s the foundation of our society is that strong family and that’s based on that traditional definition of marriage, so I do support that.”

Deep breath, anyone?

So there you have it. I voted for Obama-Biden, for the Democrats, because I support equality. And because I believe war should be an absolute last resort to conflict. And because I earn well under $250,000 per year. And because I am approaching an age where I’m pricing replacement body parts faster than you can say, “Pass the healthcare reform.”

Hopefully this clears up any questions for those who craved more of an answer about my thought process in this electoral cycle. Thank you for asking. And thank you for your own passion, regardless of your choice of candidate. That’s what makes this country great.

Here’s further hope that, as you read this, President-elect Barack Obama is putting the final flourishes on his inaugural address. Or if it’s President-elect John McCain we wake up to on November 5, I wish him the best of luck, and the very, very best of health.

Keep those cards and letters coming in!


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