My niece is in high school. She has to have emails from 5 different people explaining who they're voting for and why tomorrow for class. She has to read one of them in front of the class. She asked me for one at the last minute. Below is the essay I sent her. I tried to keep from ranting and keep as PC and cool as I could.
Until recently I was undecided as to who to vote for. I'm an educator, so Obama's ideas about education and how it should be funded were appealing to me. McCain was appealing because for years he has advocated campaign finance reform and has co-authored many bills with notorious Democrats.
In 2000, I voted in Texas. We have a closed primary there and can select either a Republican or a Democrat nominee for President, not both. I was so excited about McCain that I voted for him in the Republican primary.
This year, I'm voting for Obama for a few reasons.
First, McCain has pandered to all the ultra-conservative groups that he avoided in 2000. I've seen him posing for photo ops and campaigning with Jerry Fallwell and many other extreme right wingers that I find unsavory due to their politics. I understand that the main reason that he failed to get the nomination in 2000 was lack of support from that far right part of the Republican Party. Now it seems to me that McCain has given up most of his "maverick appeal" by associating with and ingratiating himself to that aspect of the Republican Party.
Second, I am bothered by McCain’s choice of running mate. I feel that Palin thinks that it is appropriate to pass her personal religious beliefs into legislation. Once Pentecostal, now a bible literalist, Palin’s world view is very different from mine. As a science teacher, I have strong feelings about electing somebody to the executive branch that would prefer to have prayer in schools, have me teach “intelligent design” in my classroom, and want to pass a federal law to ban gay marriage. I prefer all politicians use research and judgment in their political decisions and rely less on what the bible says.
Lastly, although I’ve always considered myself an independent, I’ve been dissatisfied with the Republican White house over the last eight years. None of the bad executive decisions in the last eight years are McCain’s fault, but his entire party has to redeem themselves in my eyes. The passing of The Patriot Act, misrepresenting Iraq’s role in the Sept. 11th 2001 terrorist attack, exaggerating Iraq’s development of chemical and nuclear weapons, and awarding no-bid cost plus contracts to Halliburton in Iraqi reconstruction are all things that have made me distrust the Republican Party in general.
Negative campaign ads have been annoying on both sides, but McCain’s have been particularly low. Trying to portray Obama as a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer due to his association with Bill Ayers has really bothered me.