- I am a liberal. That is to say, I believe that in addition to the tyranny of governments, there also the tyrannies of economics, of prejudice, and of religion. I believe that Liberalism is the route by which the indovidual is empowered to fight back against these oppressive forces and more importantly, take ownership of them and channel them.
- I am a pragmatic liberal interventionist. I believe that we have both a moral duty and a self-interest in using our national power – military and economic and social – to effect change around the world, to stop genocides and to encourage (but not impose) democracy’s flowering.
- I am an American patriot, and I believe that what makes this nation great is the fact that unlike almost every other nation in the history of the world, literally anyone can come here, and succeed. Obama is living proof. This is an immigrant nation and that is why our identity perseveres above and beyond race and religion.
- I believe that Obama’s solution to health care, while not perfect, goes in the right direction (PDF), with the most critical pieces being true universal coverage, and no denial for pre-existing conditions. McCain’s central promise of a $5,000 tax cut is useless given that health care premiums cost $12,000 and up.
- I believe that the tactical conflict in Iraq is winding down, and as such it is time to reorient on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, where we are losing the strategic war.The counter-insurgency methods that worked well in Iraq do not apply to Waziristan. Obama’s selection of Biden was absolutely superlative in this regard, since few Senators have as much knowledge of Afghanstan and Pakistan.
- I believe that energy independence is the central challenge of our century ahead, with all other major issues – security, economy, environment – tied to it in a fundamental way.McCain talks a great game on supporting alternate energy sources but in 26 years in the Senate, he’s shown no leadership on the issue – and in fact been AWOL on it this year. And “drill baby drill” sloganeering betrays a fossil-fuel centric worldview that does not bode well for understanding how to proceed forward.
- Obama has a genuine record of reform-minded legislation in the Illinois legislature and in the US Senate. I’ve looked at the record in detail and it belies the rhetoric of the right that he’s done little. Obama’s record is in fact superlative on reform.
- I cannot countenance how McCain has changed from a true maverick candidate I’d have voted for over Gore in 2000 to the Republicanist loyalist in 2008 that he has become – with dozens of flip flops along the way. This isn’t the McCain I knew.
- I believe that the Republican party orthodoxy is dangerously wrong with respect to science, with the prevalent orthodoxy completely wrong on climate change, evolution, and stem cells, to name the major issues. The GOP dogma on these issues seems to be motivated by political ideology rather than any commitment to scientific method.
- I consider the general Republican disdain towards the judiciary, and the alarming increase in executive power at the expense of the other branches of government (including outright dismantling of the traditional checks and balances), poses a fundamental structural threat to our American government. Since 9/11, the GOP has embraced an ideological, authoritarian, and crony-capitalist approach to government that is at odds with the duty of governing well, as the response to Hurricane Katrina woefully illustrated.
- I am tired of red-state-blue-state politics. It is time to go purple. Obama may be a liberal, but his policies for the middle class and the nation are deep-hued purple indeed.
These are the major issues for me, as best as I can recall. Some of these are ideological, others a critique of John McCain on the merits of his proposals, and others a dissatisfaction and anger at the evolution of the Republican Party as a whole. If you agree with me that Barack Obama is the change we need, then join me in making a small contribution to his campaign:
It’s time to step up.