I Voted Today

I voted today! James Pate, Ohio resident with an Indiana license, went to the polls to vote in the Ohio primary. Usually, I get up at the crack of dawn to go to the polls. Today, however, I didn’t have to go to class, so I slept in until 9 a.m. Actually, that was pretty smart, since there are more people at the polls when they are just opening. When I went in at 10:00, I didn’t have a long line waiting for me, so I was fortunate.

It was a tough decision, how I would vote, that is. I flipped a coin last night, but I wasn’t too comfortable with how the toss resulted. I had two options. At the risk of shocking and disappointing my conservative fans, I reluctantly reveal that I was thinking of voting for Barack Obama. I simply do not like the Clintons, with all their smugness and thinking that the rules do not apply to them. I can’t see what any decent female would see in Bill Clinton. Or maybe I can see and I’m jealous. Who knows? In any case, Bill Clinton does not strike me as a positive role model. To me, Barack Obama comes across as a decent guy, a likable and down-to-earth human being. I don’t understand why people are fainting at his speeches, but he does have a certain quality about him. I liked him in the last debate, when he admitted that there is a certain vanity and ego that is involved in political pursuits, but that there is also a desire to help people. I admire his honesty on that point! How many other politicians express the complexity of human motivations? So I like Obama, and I eagerly desired to wipe the Clintons out of politics forever.

I realize that Rush is telling Republicans to vote for Hillary in the primaries, since she will be easier for the Republicans to beat in November. But I could not bring myself to do that. I’d need to take a paper bag with me into the voting booth if I were to vote for Hillary Clinton.

And I had another choice: Vote for Ron Paul. Ron Paul is my favorite Republican candidate. I admire his staunch libertarian stance on government, in an age when both Republicans and Democrats are proposing all of these new government programs to “solve” the nation’s domestic problems. In the debates, Paul simply said that the government should not be involved in a lot of areas, and I was glad that this viewpoint got to be heard on a national scale. Ron Paul effectively argued that the government often does more harm than good. I remember when he was talking about this to a predominantly African-American audience at the Tavis Smiley debate. I hope that he gave them some food for thought. And, interestingly, he may have, since he managed to garner some African-American support.

I’m not sure if I’m with him on foreign policy, but, as regular readers of my blog know, he has caused me to think about it. I don’t know if I’d vote for him if there were an actual chance that he could win. He acknowledges the existence of radical Muslims, and, at times, he has even said that they are bad, but he does not offer a plan to deal with the threat that they can pose. For him, they are just a bunch of marginal crazies who can’t cause any real damage. In an age of nuclear weapons, I tend to disagree with him. So, if there actually were a chance that he could oversee our country’s security, I’d hesitate to vote for him. But McCain has pretty much sealed the nomination, so that’s not much of a problem, as far as I’m concerned.

But, at the same time, I wonder if the present course of foreign policy is the only way to do things. Does our beak have to be in the Middle East for Israel and the Arabs to arrive at a peace agreement? And, while I don’t think that we should have a cowardly obsession with whether or not our enemies like us, I do believe we should ask how much unnecessary resentment we have fed through our intervention in other countries. Government intervention in the domestic sphere has created a number of problems. Maybe our intervention throughout the world has done so as well.

Also, I like the fact that Ron Paul has explicitly criticized world government and the Council on Foreign Relations. I don’t entirely agree with the Birchers that the CFR is a monolithic organization, for it contains both conservatives and liberals. But a strong support for our nation’s sovereignty is important. Plus, I just like it when someone thumbs his nose at the establishment.

I also liked the way that Ron Paul stuck to his principles, even when other candidates laughed at him or challenged him, or when the audience booed him. Often, he got thunderous applause. For a while, he was the candidate who had raised the most amount of money. For a while, I had a lot of enthusiasm about Ron Paul, since he was somewhat of a phenomenon. But, eventually, he got less coverage in the news. He didn’t do as well in the primaries. There were no more Republican debates in which he could dazzle the audience. And so my enthusiasm waned, even though he was still my favorite candidate.

I decided that I could not vote in good conscience for Barack Obama. He is pro-abortion, to the point that he voted for a bill that would kill off babies who had survived the abortionist’s barbarity. He would appoint pro-choice, liberal activist judges to the Supreme Court and federal benches. His solution for every problem is more government spending and control (so, like most liberals, he’s pretty selective on where he is pro-choice). If I were to vote for him, I’d be swayed primarily by charisma, media hype, and my dislike for the Clintons. And I just think that other, more important factors should influence how I vote.

And so I voted for Ron Paul, even though he won’t win. But, you know something? I pray for Barack Obama. On a Christian dating site of which I am a member, a lady mentioned a prophecy she heard about the next election: She said that America will elect a liberal President who will convert to Christ and lead the nation on a path to moral renewal. If I recall correctly, one thing that this President will do is change from pro-choice to pro-life.

I don’t know how much credence I should give to modern day prophecies, since there are a lot of crazies out there. And I’m also not saying that Obama is not a Christian, for one can be a Christian and hold liberal positions, in the misguided belief that the government can actually do more good than harm. What I’m saying is this: Obama strikes me as a reasonable, down-to-earth, humble guy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God convicted him to become a truly great leader, one who respects the traditional family and values life even for the unborn? As far as I can see, Obama is already a family man with strong moral values. Imagine how he would be if he received righteous insight on a variety of crucial issues that dramatically affect the moral climate of this nation. Could he be another Josiah, one who heeds the word of God and follows it wherever it may lead?

I know that I’m probably scaring my fans who enjoy my critiques of evangelicalism, or even liberals who don’t want another President who supposedly hears from God. But that alleged prophecy really got to me because it revealed how a huge part of me feels about Barack Obama: He has the making of a great moral leader, but too bad he’s wrong on so many issues!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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2 Responses to I Voted Today

  1. weirdthinkers says:

    That pretty much sums up how I feel about Barack Obama. Well you know what the Clinton camp is chanting right now “4 more years, 4 more years…”

    RJ

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  2. James Pate says:

    Hey, RJ. 🙂

    Yeah, the Clintons are always acting like they have a mandate. When Bill Clinton won with only 43 per cent of the vote, he acted like he had a mandate to push for these radical ideas. But when George W. actually won with a majority, the Democrats were quick to say, “Well, he’d better not act like he has a mandate, since he only barely got a majority.” Go figure.

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