CATEGORY: PoliticsLawGovernment

Mystery Unraveled: How a white, moderate, married, churchgoing, middle-class, middle-aged woman could vote for Obama

‘We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.” – Anais Nin

If there’s one word that seemed to characterize Romney supporters’ immediate reaction to Obama’s victory, it’s “shock.”

A conservative Facebook friend posted this status: “For the first time in my life I am at a loss for words…absolutely baffled by the electorate and the election results, especially considering the current state the country is in.”

A radio reporter interviewed a woman at the Romney campaign party in Denver shortly after the election was called. Her response simmered with anger as she pondered the reality of how more than half the nation had voted: “What don’t they see?? It’s mind-boggling!”

What they don’t see are people like me.

I’m a 50-year-old white woman who lives in the swing state of Colorado. I’m married, I’m a mom, I have a PhD, and I’m a Christian. In Boulder. I can’t imagine trying to explain the world without faith and science. I’m upper middle class, but I come from blue-collar stock. I believe in capitalism, but I also believe its inevitable excesses must be tempered with regulations – you know, Genesis, original sin, the human propensity for greed and all. I’m pro-life in the fullest sense of the term. I’m happy for my gay friends who want to marry – I’m all for commitment when it comes to sustaining the social fabric. My evangelical grandmother, whom I treasured, was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. I’m a Democrat who likes hymns and red wine. Try squaring all that when it comes to putting me in a political box.

Like a great many voters who helped tip the election to Obama, I see social complexity that the poles refuse to acknowledge. I’m a reasonable centrist. And I think Republicans write us off at their own expense.

If one had spent the campaign watching only Fox News, following only conservative pundits and pollsters, it’s no wonder the election results seemed so inscrutable. Daniel Larion, doing some Wednesday morning quarterbacking in The American Conservative, observed that the entire Romney campaign was organized on “flawed assumptions.”

“Romney and his allies not only didn’t understand their opponent, but they went out of their way to make sure they misunderstood him, and in any kind of contest that is usually a recipe for failure.”

Likewise, Romney supporters misunderstand many of us who sent Obama back for four more years. Why on earth, given this economy, would tens of millions of Americans choose to do that?

The right-wing radio blowhards think they have it figured out: we’re dupes of the mainstream media, a giant liberal-elite faction engaged in a conspiratorial embrace with the Left; Hurricane Sandy and turncoat Chris Christie joined forces in an eleventh-hour PR move for the president; or – and this is emerging as the dominant narrative – we simply want more stuff that we don’t have to work for. We’re takers, not makers. Romney was right when he talked about the 47 percent, only it was 51 percent – apparently there were more slackers in the country than he counted on.

All of those explanations are as wrong as they are offensive.

I would like for my bewildered Republican friends to know how I could possibly have voted for Obama without being a far-left ideologue who is simultaneously blind, immoral and lacking in patriotism.

Here are five reasons. And I’m pretty sure I speak for the bulk of the moderates who broke for the president on Tuesday night.

1) I don’t believe Obama is a closet Muslim with a radical socialist agenda to undermine America. I don’t believe he has a false birth certificate and a fake Social Security card. I think he is a deeply sincere, smart, principled man who is far from perfect but deserves a chance to continue what he has tried to begin.

2) I’m more comfortable taking a risk on Obama’s economic agenda than Romney’s. The numbers are starting to look up. I’d rather hedge my bets with Keynes than Adam Smith. Mitt wants to cut spending and slash taxes, and give most of those tax breaks to the richest Americans. That doesn’t square with my sense of what’s rational or what’s just. We’ve tried that before, and that Kool-Aid does not trickle down for me.

3) I’m willing to take a chance on Obamacare. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than a system that excludes millions and is dedicated to lining the pockets of insurance companies whose primary mission is not to cover care but to deny it. The Affordable Care Act is not “socialized medicine” in which the government dictates my health care. It’s a hybrid system that worked in Massachusetts; I’m ready to see how it goes in the rest of the U.S.

4) I care deeply about protecting this planet, our home. How could we elect a president who is so cavalier about God’s creation that he wants to dismantle the EPA? Really? The clean air and clean water acts established under Richard Nixon aren’t important to keep for our kids? I can’t imagine a world leader not grappling with the problem of global climate change. Solyndra was a debacle, but to suggest that we ought not to pursue green energy isn’t just short-sighted, it’s grave foolishness.

5) I believe a graduated tax system is the most moral means of structuring an economy. I think that rich folks who benefited so disproportionately from a wildly deregulated Wall Street need to return to shouldering more of our shared burden. Luke 12:48 says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Now, plenty of wealthy business owners are going to argue, ‘This wasn’t given to me, I built it.’ Yes, you did, with a public infrastructure supporting you. But until we have genuine equality of opportunity in this country – including equal pay for equal work – some people can build a lot more than others.

There are parents who hire me for $50 an hour here in wealthy Boulder to coach their kids on college application essays. They fly to visit schools so their kids can interview in person. You think that teenager of a single-mom Wal-Mart clerk struggling to pay her rent has the same crack at a premier college education and the connections that come with it? Where is the equal opportunity?

And don’t tell me that working woman is a sponger. Don’t tell me that Diego who painted my house or Beatriz who sometimes cleans it is a freeloader. As a Christian, I am told to care for the least of these. When I vote, their self-interest should be as important as my own. “Sink or swim,” or “Go home even though you’ve lived here since you were two” is no more a path to economic autonomy than a government check is.

The fact is, we are all in this country together, and we have different needs and means, and we have a lot in common when it comes to teaching kids, fighting fires, cleaning up after storms or caring for our national parks. Those who have more need to do more, as we work to give the rest not a handout, but a hand up. As for me, I went to college on Pell grants, work-study, scholarships and summer jobs. That combination of my own hard work and a little help from a society that supported my potential is what got me a college degree. That powerful model – public and private in synergy – remains most compelling to me and is the most fundamental reason I voted for President Obama.

Clearly, the Right and Left perceive the role of government differently. We may ultimately be captives of a postmodernist analysis that says there is no way outside our own subjectivity to view the world through another’s eyes. If that is so, then empathy is a casualty and our divisions rigidify.

I refuse to concede that. I’d rather share the prophetic words of Abraham Lincoln, speaking to a deeply divided America in his 1861 Inaugural Address:

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

May we each appeal to the better angels in one another as we start healing the wounds of this election season.

455 comments on “Mystery Unraveled: How a white, moderate, married, churchgoing, middle-class, middle-aged woman could vote for Obama

  1. We have been moderating these comments with a light hand because we encourage open, intelligent debate. However, comments have been degrading somewhat recently and as a result, we are going to start issuing warnings and moderating more aggressively when warranted.

    Please be aware of and conduct yourselves in accordance with S&R’s Comment Policy.

    • Whe Paul Ryan was selected as a running mate, I said that Romney didn’t want to be elected or Ryan wouldn’t be selected. I questioned it being stupidity or arrogance or both that put the right on the way to keep their war on women going full blast. Women are finally freeing themselves from the Stockholm Syndrome that held them prisoners for so many centuries. I’m not an Obama man, but bless you women.

      • She is voting in defense of not leaving her party. It shows a terrific lack of education on the candidates and education in general. It is the educational systems fault that these people happen. Sad!

        • How can you say it is the educational system’s fault? That would be an illogical and ignorant statement. The public education system has had various threats from our government throughout the century, for instance sputnik, communism (what a joke), “falling” behind and even obesity; I can even make an argument against big business who have infiltrated the walls of the public schools to push their own agendas. Yes, I said it, our government is too controlling of our educational systems. McCarthyism had a huge impact on how people think in this country; many people believe President Obama is a Communist AND a Socialist, yet they don’t know how to define those two terms. The government needs to fund public ed. but they need to take a step back and allow educators to make the important decisions of what knowledge if of most importance for their sect of the population. Blaming the educational system is just a way to find a scapegoat when the real culprit is lying dormant behind two curtains that are colored red and blue.

          I may have voted for Obama in 2008 and Stein in 2012, but I would have never supplied a vote for Romney. I still dig that Obama is representing Columbia University in the White House though.

        • Are you kidding me? I could not have written it better. It expresses my sentiments precisely and many other people’s obviously. It seems to me you are very uninformed and apathetic. I am so lifted that so many are waking up at long last. You are the sad one, my dear.

        • Trying to force women to have children they are not able to care for. Not loving the fetus after it takes its first breath. Being okay with women doing the same work as a man for less money. For starters.

        • To the Pro Choice: Since when is it good for us to enable people to not take responsibility for their actions? Is it okay for a rich person to speed down the highway at 100 mph because if they get a ticket they can easily pay it? Is it okay for a rich person to get locked up for a crime, but it is okay because they can make their own bail? The same principle goes for abortion. For those who willingly had sex with or without protection need to take responsibility for the actions they took. If they don’t want to keep the child, that is fine. There are many people out there who can’t have children (like my sister and brother in law) who would love and care for that child more than anything. By letting girls get away with abortion for no reason other than it was an accident or they can’t take care of the child or they won’t love the child after it was born is a terrible thing for this society to let loose. Are there certain circumstances where it could be allowed, perhaps so, but do not mistake those reasons for what is truly irresponsibility.

        • What I see is a self-admitted democrat ticking off democrat talking points to persuade her opposites that they should have voted her way. Pretty much a sludge of partisan political hackery, like the posts here from both sides. None offers an absolute, such as that no single partisan column will explain why the vote went the way it did, much less this one. The vote wasn’t a case of two monolithic entities but millions of unique individuals functioning, for the most part, independently. Point by point, her subjective alibis for the vote include: 1. I don’t believe; 2. Taking a risk; 3. Take a chance; 4. Care deeply; 5. I believe. This is what passes for an all-inclusive analysis of 150 million individual votes? It’s not even semi-scholarly, and sounds more like the shills who call talk radio shows and say, “ I’m a conservative/liberal, BUT….” She’s selling a lemon. Believe what you like, but don’t pimp faux analysis.

        • FOR FIONNA AND TIMMAY….I was a teenager in the fifties BEFORE birth control and before legalized abortion…you know…back in the days of the back alley abortions. It was that or the “girl” in question would go off and visit her “Aunt Mary”, give the child up for adoption, and come home and resume her life.

          NOW there are more methods for birth control than I can even list! WHY aren’t these girls using them? I volunteered in an abortion clinic. The girls are using abortion as BIRTH CONTROL! And, for the most part, are very offhand about the whole process! When asked what they planned to use for birth control in the future, they’d laugh and say, “Oh, I’m not going to do that anymore”. Really.
          Then why have there been almost FIFTY MILLION abortions in this country since Roe vs Wade? Can you imagine 50 million more unwanted children in the US?

          I realize that kids think they’re omnipotent and that it’s never going to happen to them….but it DOES. What do we, as a society, DO?

          I don’t believe anyone is trying to “force women to have children they don’t want”. I also am tired of women not taking responsibility for their bodies. Because it would be “against their civil rights” to force a Norplant in their arm, what would you suggest we do?

        • To Gloria: Education, education, education. I always found it shocking how my sister at age 17 was denied sexual education at her high school because it ‘might give her ideas’ luckily she was already eduacted by age 11 when she lived in Europe.

          I suggest that when it comes to birth control and sexual education the Netherlands is a country that America may want to look to for some guidence. Yes the Netherlands do have free abortion clinics (not to mention legal drinking age at 16, decriminalised soft drugs, gay marriage and everything else that would make any republican shudder and Christan cross him / her self), but they also have a very low (I would like to say lowest but I am sure that if I use that someone will find some statistic somewhere to prove that there is an other country (vatican city?) with a lower teenage pregnancy rate) teenage pregancy rate in the western world.

        • Rufus, I think you miss the whole point of her story. She wasn’t trying to convince anyone of anything. She was simply stating the reasons she chose Obama over Romney. There hazs been disbelief from many Republicans as to why so many educated people voted for Obama, and the fact that you chose to categorize her as a democrat ticking off talking points rather than a well educated, well informed citizen casting a vote for whom she believes is best for the country is indicative of thepolitical divide we see today.

        • To Timmay above: what makes you think that abortion is not taking responsibility for your actions? if you think that a woman is too stupid to make her own medical decisions, know her own physical/mental/emotional/financial health, etc., why do you think she should be forced to have a child? If your sister and brother-in-law really want to adopt, there are hundreds of thousands of children out there *already* in need of loving, permanent homes. Most of those kids will “age out” of the system at 18 without ever having been adopted.

        • My point exactly. Usually, the people who scoff at the idea of a war on women are the same ones that are up in arms about a war against christians. The only conspiracies they can see are the ones that fit their ideology.

    • Well said, I agree with most of the main points of your essay. I am a white middle class working woman with a college degree. I also was an Obama supporter. I am praying that both sides of the aisle in Washington can learn that by working together, we as a nation can make real progress. When party politics are used to defeat good quality changes, we the people are the ones who suffer. If Congress will work with Obama, I believe some positive results will be made.

      • I totally agree with you, but until we get rid of the Grover Norquist pledges of the world I don’t think that is going to happen. Too many of the Republicans forgot that they are in the House or Senate because they pledged to help the American people, but have already pledged their loyalty to Grover Norquist so…..

        • I wonder how Grover would do today if he announced that he had “burned” all the old pledges and was going to collect fresh ones? I bet he would be afraid to try.

      • I don’t want my congressman or senators to compromise.

        The Democrats constituency mandates continual government intervention and implication of insurance of the general welfare of the people and their pandering representatives deliver the legislation to implement it. The fiscally conservative Republicans although 100% against most social spending must agree to half measures of all social spending proposals to avoid being villainized by the opposition as heartless because Republicans need the support of fiscally conservative, self reliant blue collar workers as well as the business community. The result of this kind of compromise is we always get half of something despite how ill conceived or the eventual cost of new bureaucratic bloat.

        • And here we have the problem in this country, arrogant, elderly white males not interested in compromise. Republicans are not the fiscally conservative party any longer. They are the party of the wealthy. They push failed economic policies that we ALL saw fail that benefit the rich and destroy the middle class. They don’t listen to real, every day people talk about the real issues they are facing daily. Until the baby boomers are dead and buried, we’re stuck with this illogical attitude that leads nowhere. Its really sad.

        • Depressing
          I am glad I’m not you! Me I’m on the lower side of middle class. I used to be a dump truck driver until my rheumatoid arthritis wouldn’t allow it any longer, then I drove a city bus until I couldn’t any longer, now I am a tour guide. You can hardly call me a rich guy. Many have recommended I go on disability but I don’t consider myself disabled yet. Republican policy creates jobs, democrat policy kills jobs. Democrat hand outs today bankrupt my children tomorrow.

          As I said I have rheumatoid arthritis, I don’t have insurance nor can I afford any but I don’t want to bankrupt my progeny just to put a bandaid on my problem. I have had a great life and my progenies well being is more important than mine.

          You and most democrats refuse to understand that reckless democrat housing policy (Community Reinvestment Act) was the foundation of the economic collapse. Freddy and Fanny, repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act which was ran through the legislature by Clinton’s secretary of treasury Robert Rubin and signed into law by Bill Clinton. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd roadblocked the reform Bush Treasury secretary John Snow tried multiple times to pass on Freddy an Fanny- I could go on but you aren’t interested in facts

          Now you likely have a hang nail you want your grandchildren to pay for when the note to china comes due for ObamaCare.

          You care about yourself, I care about posterity

          I am going to die a crippled up mess and I’m still glad I’m not going to die an envious liberal that is depressed because the “MAN” held you down. No wonder you are depressed, your socialist wet dream gets elected and you still aren’t happy.

          Democracy’s Achilles Heel
          http://www.free-press.biz/usa/achilles-heel.htm

    • Thank you for this wonderful, wonderful article.I am a white, moderate, churchgoing, middle-class, middle-aged woman who worked tirelessly to have President Obama re-elected. And, you summed up all the reasons I did so!!!

    • It’s a nice article, but I have some quibbles. “I’d rather hedge my bets with Keynes than Adam Smith.” I think you mean Milton Friedman or Ludwig von Mises, not Adam Smith. Smith was a humane man, and he favored a progressive tax system where the rich paid more.

      Obamacare is “better than a system that excludes millions and is dedicated to lining the pockets of insurance companies whose primary mission is not to cover care but to deny it.” Now, as you must know, the ACA is built upon a system whose primary mission is to line the pockets of insurance companies. It reforms the system slightly by putting some limits on what the insurance companies can do or not do, but it still leaves us with the wasteful, inefficient HMO-driven system that has been failing us for decades now. The main difference is that it will be wasteful and inefficient for people whom it didn’t cover before. Maybe it will be improved; I hope so; but the experience of the rest of the developed world indicates that we need more sweeping reforms.

      Finally, you speak of “poles” that caricature people like you,m and of the “Left and Right.” But you only mention *one* pole, the Right-wing Republican pole. You don’t think that Obama and the Democratic Leadership Committee are the “Left”, do you? Only in a narrow relative sense, that they are marginally to the left of the far right. The Left in this country is made up largely of people like you: married, often Christian, well-educated, and dedicated to the proposition that we are all in this together. The “middle” pole, including President Obama, has constantly caricatured the nation. He thinks that there are no “people of faith” in the Democratic Party, or among gay people, and that his mission is to keep “people of faith” in their own niche and gay people in ours.. I, a gay atheist leftist, could have told him better than that. I also have a lot more faith in the intelligence and empathy of ordinary people than Obama seems to have. I understand why you voted for him — I voted for him myself — but I think you’re seeing him as *you* are, not as he is. Which is a compliment he doesn’t deserve. But thanks again for writing your very thoughtful article.

      • I always wonder why people claim to “Know what the President Thinks” as you do and claim that other people are projecting their own beliefs onto him. Seems a bit of the pot calling kettle to me.

      • Duncan, I won’t say that I agreed w/ you, but you had me reading your rebuke of the points you mentioned w/ an OPEN MIND- until:
        ” He thinks that there are no “people of faith” in the Democratic Party, or among gay people, and that his mission is to keep “people of faith” in their own niche and gay people in ours”
        And you began so sanely!? When you inject your treatise w/ ridiculous generalizations and absolutes (“he thinks there are NO PEOPLE OF FAITH”) it undermines whatever seemingly thoughtful narrative you were attempting.

        As the author points out; in this President we’re dealing w/ a very smart, very thoughtful man who certainly does not allow his emotions to cloud his analysis to the point of any rash, mythos and claims of “all” this or none of these!

        Maybe if you adopt an open-mind yourself, and a simple ‘wait n see’ approach you’ll have a better more succinct post later….maybe 2014 or so :)

        • No, I think he probably meant exactly what he wrote, “poles.”

          Opposites. Think: magnetic poles – north pole / south pole, extreme right / extreme left….

    • I respect Wendy’s opinion. It is though out and informed–to some extent. I think we do need to be willing to admit the media bias in this country. I think Wendy was convinced by someone or something, unfortunately, that Romney wanted to get rid of the EPA. Simply not true. I am worried this came from MSNBC (abhorrently leftist) or some other left-leaning media source. I can only assume this came from the primaries. Ironically, it was everyone BUT Romney that wanted no EPA. While I have no problem with expiring Bush era tax cuts for wealthy Americans, Wendy and those who think like her need to understand that one of the few concrete facts Economics offers us is that you simply cant tax a nation into prosperity. It doesn’t work.

      • Alec, perhaps I resorted to a bit of hyperbole – but for all intents and purposes, Romney would get rid of the EPA’s purpose by gutting it so profoundly that it could no longer fulfill its watchdog role. He is on record all over the place in support of dialing regulations way back, opposing regulations on fracking, loosening up restrictions on the oil, gas and coal industries… It would be a completely emasculated EPA in a Romney vision. The commitments that Richard Nixon made to clean air and clean water (under whose administratioin those acts were passed) look radical to today’s Republicans. And I do not watch MSNBC. I don’t watch television news at all, or very, very rarely.

      • I found Wendy to be informed to the extreme–probably because I largely agree with her. I suspect that you find her “uninformed” because you don’t agree with her.

        You can go back to the “most prosperous” times in our country and you will find that the tax rates were much higher than they are not. You have to structure the tax system so that the rich have to take risks to make money–they need to get out on the edge with the rest of us so that if either of us messes up we have a serious problem.

    • Thank you for this article. I am a white, moderate, churchgoing, middle-class, middle-aged man who totally agrees with everything previously stated, And, you summed up some of the reasons why I voted for Obama. I also want to give a thank-you to “Otherwise” for his comments that have been way overdue. When are the masses going to realize that party politics are used to defeat good quality changes, such as the other party made the suggestion, so our party has to disagree; resulting in the people they professed to do their best for, are the people who suffer. When our politicians get away from the “us and them syndrome” and become the representatives of the people, working together for the people; it will only be at this time that our elected officials will be truly the leaders that were elected by the people, for the good of all people.

    • I’m another pro-life person who voted for Obama. And here’s why: If the goal is to reduce and hopefully eliminate abortions, legislating against them will not work. It will simply send them underground. The way to reduce the number of abortions is to make them less necessary, with education and access to birth control, with excellent, available health care for pregnant women, and with adequate social support for families, especially single parent families.

    • I’ve seen inappropriate, hateful comments all across the web in response to people commending our President or explaining why they support him. It is the most un-Christian of attitudes, spouted by many who claim to be Christian, which is partly why I have not felt comfortable associating with any church, but choose to carry my faith in my heart and through my actions.

      Your post is intelligent and well-written, and bears so much more credibility — given your demographic — than my own similar writings. I say this because I am a divorced mother who lives in San Francisco, and I could be easily dismissed as a “taker” or a “wacko,” even though I am neither. Thank you for speaking out.

    • I’m another white, moderate, church-going, middle-class, middle-aged woman. Up to a point, the author makes sense. But as another one who believes that science and faith go hand in hand (in fact, I spent a 20-year career in medicine, and am now in a second career as a pastor), I am appalled at the pseudo-science that is currently driving the energy policies and the so-called environmental agenda put forth by the Democrats, from Gore right on down to Obama. What I see is a short-term view of climate change that does not take into account the long-term history of the earth, the warnings of the serious scientists who tell us that most of the increase of carbon is coming from the earth itself (not from humanity), and the huge numbers of meteorologists and earth scientists who are telling us that global warming is leveling off and that the changes we are seeing are the early warnings of the next cooling phase. As a Christian, I am alarmed that we are narcissistic enough to think we are in command of the environment, and as a scientist, I am alarmed that we are preparing for the wrong climate change. How could we continue to support a faux environmental agenda that has lined the pockets of its perpetrator (Al Gore) to the tune of 10x his previous wealth, and that so totally overlooks the need to prepare to feed and clothe humanity not only in the face of the changes of a warming cycle, but also so severely puts a lid on the options needed when that trend reverses (I’ve seen credible science suggesting that we will be plunging in the other direction somewhere in the next 5 to 50 years).

      Also, here in the West, we’ve seen the “legitimate rape” of our forest resources, thanks to so-called environmentalism that precludes any attempt at reasonable forest management. Yes, it’s every bit as much a “rape” as the sort we talk about being perpetrated on women. And it is no more conscionable or “legitimate” than the pseudo-science and chauvinism of an extremist like Akin with his skewed notion of female biology. Thanks to 30 years of no logging sales and no management, the ladder fuels in our forests here were just poised waiting for the right lightning strikes–and they happened this past summer. Over 1.5 million acres of my state burned up–including over half a million acres in our particular forest alone. Do we need regulations to ensure that logging is done properly and that resources are managed in perpetuity? Certainly. But the two months of intolerable air quality in my community (including 19 days of “red” and “purple” ratings on the AQI–I never even KNEW there was a purple zone until this summer!) should have been sufficient evidence that the current approach to caring for the environment is NOT working!

      As for sharing the wealth–the best way to do it is through opportunities for employment, not through government hand-outs. Government does not create jobs–people with money to spend create jobs, either by investing or by spending. Again, do we need regulations? Sure! We need to make sure that banking and mortgage practices are honest. We need to make sure that there is a balance between the power of wealth and the power of the blue-collar laborer. But simply making the wealthy hand their money over to the government does little to stimulate the economy or create that balance.

      With regard to ObamaCare, one reason why the Massachusetts system is working is that it is a state system, not a federal one. The more local the unit of government, the more responsive it is to specific contexts. I’m glad to see state-wide health-care initiatives–but I’ve seen the decay in service that results in federalizing all sorts of things, from the aforementioned land use issues right on down the line. It isn’t “government” per se that is bad–it is a centralized government that is so far away from so many of its people that it can’t comprehend what the needs are in specific regions. Going beyond the state level in most areas where government regulation is necessary becomes cumbersome and counterproductive–and usually much more expensive to achieve the desired goal.

      I’m jaded by the extremes on both sides. I don’t believe the extremist rhetoric about Obama, either. That said, neither do I believe the extremist rhetoric about Romney. But a federal socialism isn’t the answer! I’m not particularly enamored with Romney, either. But I hope this helps to explain why many of us are petrified of another four years of attempts to bring our lives under increasingly-centralized federal control! It is no accident that when one looks at a map of the votes, most of the nation is red–if the land could vote, it would beg for a more realistic approach to resource management and a much more scientific approach to environmental issues and climate change. Those who live on the land know that. And in the end, it will be the health of the land that dictates our fate as a nation.

      • Heidi, I’d been able to not bring industrial climate disruption into this discussion, but now that you have, allow me to suggest that you have been misled. Industrial climate disruption is real, happening, and supported by not only the overwhelming data but also by 150 years of thoroughly tested physics. Not only that, but there are thousands of technologies that wouldn’t work if the scientific theories that underlie the greenhouse effect were wrong, ranging from heat-seeking missiles to carbon dioxide lasers to microwave ovens to the MODIS satellite that monitors plant life (via chlorophyll) from orbit.

        Climate disruption due to emissions of greenhouse gases from human industry is nearly as close to a scientific fact as there is given the complexity of the subject. I invite you to read the several hundred posts on the subject I have written here at S&R over the last 5 years.

      • Heidi — About your argument regarding climate change and maybe we are preparing for the wrong change. So, what are you saying — instead of acting to reduce our pollution output we should crank UP our production of fossil fuel gasses to prepare for the big cooling that is coming?

        Second, you live in an area with forests. They have fires and it makes the air bad for a time. Fires happen everywhere, regardless of management or mismanagement of the forest.

        You claim it is narcissistic to claim “control” of the environment, but desire that those forests must be “managed”.

    • The choice is not between Keynes and Adam Smith, but Keynes and Ayn Rand. Smith observed the “invisible hand” and sought to merely harness it. Rand on the other hand, chose to deify it.

    • As the author noted many conservatives were “shocked” and I mean “shocked” that Obama was reelected. Well, I too was “shocked” when George W. was reelected over a more qualified Kerry in 2004. I mean it was a no-brainer….yet it happened and no one came around asking me why…So , I for one was happy Obama won…think it was the right thing …Karma..and I could care less if the right is “shocked”

    • This was so well said! That is exactly how I feel about the election. I am so tired of all the insults hurled at people who voted for Obama. Very well said.

    • Thank you for this gentle, thoughtful, well-reasoned, fair-minded, and articulate explanation of why you voted for Obama. I’m not so much of a church-going person anymore, but otherwise, you might have been describing me and why I voted for Obama. I think Obama is a flawed politician but basically a good person. Same for Romney. I’m a white, 50-something, middle-class, Ph.D. professor, Christian who pays nearly 30% of my income in taxes. I believe in the social contract and I’m deeply hungry to find middle ground among Americans. Bless you for writing this.

    • I too want to start healing and not let the passions strain.
      Where then, is the ‘healing’ note in this article when talking of those who voted for Romney? I too am a 52 year old white, middle class, christian woman.
      – I’m pro-choice but voted for Romney because I believed his tax system was the best.
      – As a christian, if I cared about Obama’s religion, why would I vote for a Mormon? It’s irrelevant.
      – I think you’re talking to the 2% tea-partiers. Don’t group other believers in there with them. I resent the broad stroke you & others use when you obviously don’t appreciate the same.
      – I live in DC, not in the clean crisp air of Colorado. But we all want a cleaner, healthier, more protected earth. It’s ignorant to say Romney would do away with the EPA because he doesn’t care (ditto to PBS). He was trying to find the money to pay for the homeless, the indigent, the motherless and the immigrant. Not perfect, but it was his plan. Don’t agree with the plan? Fine, but don’t attack his character. Your political bias then takes center stage. I don’t agree with Obama’s tax plan but I don’t malign him for it. It’s hard enough to lead.
      – You use a broad, political stroke angled in a way that makes Republicans look indifferent & selfish. Your very tone sets an ‘us versus them’ theme. It doesn’t sound like you want to get along…it sounds like you just want to be right. And clever.
      It’s not a mystery but a conundrum to be a MISunderstood centrist that didn’t vote for Obama this time around.

    • Her “five reasons for voting for Obama” couldn’t be said any better. Wish I was that eloquent! Guess I’ll just have to plagarize her!

    • It appears the writer of this article voted for Obama to support Obamacare. Hence she is a taker. She is taking from those better off than her to give to herself something she didn’t work for, earn or achieve. She is not honest enought to admit it. We are becoming like Greece more every day. Look at the people there, they still don’t get it.

      • This is one of those talking-out-your-ass comments that happen when people presume to know things they don’t know. See, I know the writer and her family. Know them quite well, in fact. I promise you, when it comes to impact on the federal budget they’re not only not takers, they’re givers and it isn’t close.

        These discussions will go so much better if you can avoid projecting your negative qualities onto those with whom you disagree.

  2. Obviously the author not a math or economics major. Or even much of a business person. Runaway inflation, a de-valued dollar and one month with a fraction of a percent ‘improvement’ in the job sector… after pumping trillions of dollars onto the problem is not “looking up.” That is simply choosing to believe with the democrats want you to believe without facts. The numbers don’t lie.

    The Massachusetts equivalent of Obamacare only works because that is one of the wealthiest states in the country. It does nothing to make healthcare more affordable and it’s primary function has been to increase the size and profitability of the insurance industry. We would actually be better off with socialized healthcare than what we got.

    I can’t argue with the author’s point on protecting the earth, and don’t agree with dismantling the EPA, but restructuring it. What we’ve got not is bureaucrats making decisions without proper oversite.

    Since the author believes that the wealthy don’t pay their fair share, and she’s complaining about the disparity between what families can afford, I certainly hope she gives away at least 35% of her services to those who can’t afford to pay for them, after all that would be doing what she’s asking the wealthy to do.

    The reality is in the long run, where you went to school has very little to do with success except in a few fields where one can’t practice without a specialized degree. Oddly, those people aren’t the top earners in this country. Most of the millionaires in the USA are not ivy league graduates. Ambition, vision, hard work are the traits of most financially successful people.

    • Ahhh, but Valerie I am a math and economics major, more or less–an undergrad in engineering and a masters in finance with honors from the University of Chicago no less. I have sat on boards, been a C-level officer in a multi-billion dollar company, built and sold a business, written three books and dozens of articles on business in the WSJ, FT, etc, consulted to over a dozen of the Fortune 50, etc, etc. Am I enough of a business person for you?

      Here’s what a business person thinks of your post. Your arguments are foolish. Here’s an example. Just a guess, but I suspect that over my career I have paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 mil in taxes of all kinds. That was not given away. For my 35% I got roads, security, schools, airports, and subsidized food, energy, etc. Most of what is “given away” is given away to the defense industry, agribusiness, etc. The amount that is “given away” as you likely mean it is miniscule.

      You should not be participating in discussions you cannot understand.

      • Dear,dear Otherwise. Thank you for saying the things that Must be said to those staunch ,closed minded,inaccurate, misinformed, and probably sheilded from
        reality,citizens of this beautiful country!!! Thank you for the work you performed in your business ventures,The taxes you paid -without complaint….for our infrastructure, And the very eloquent lashing of our Romney numbed brethren!!! May you live long ,and continue with your editorials!!! Much love, Dave Turner!!

      • Dear Otherwise, if you are more intelligent than the blogger, why do you not realize that putting your resume in your post (the blogger has an impressive resume too, but didn’t trot it out) and insulting the intelligence of people who disagree with you, meanwhile summing up the social contract as “greediness for all,” is not a persuasive argument?

        • Otherwise isn’t ” insulting the intelligence of people who disagree.” You’re insulted and you disagree because you are wrong. You don’t get to have an opinion that’s contrary to fact and then be offended when you’re wrong.

      • Well said and the essay was beautifully argued. I have a similar background/education etc. and I, too, voted for Obama for the same reasons the author cited.

      • Otherwise
        Thanks for clearing up the muddied pool of Republican clouded waters. To coin an expression (I’m the language arts/social studies geek) you bleached the muddied waters of right-wing policy into clear and lucid statements. I love it. Your arguments are succinct and to the point. Yes, our taxes make sure that we have an infrastructure to utilize as needed. If paying some taxes will ensure better services for all then let’s get to it. I have two M.Eds and work in the public school system as a sped teacher as well as being adjunct faculty at our local university teaching student-teachers. And lest they forget, while welfare is seen as TANF, food stamps, and Medicaid there are also welfare programs of tax offsets, rebates, etc. for big business as well as the CEOs and other upper level officials of big business. They sure do not turn down any of these offsets. Rather they, in many instances, hold a community hostage to these offsets for them to even consider locating a business in the community. Amazing.

        Thanks for a great breakdown of things!

        EAS

      • I have a similar background in engineering and finance and find your conclusions flawed That does not mean people should not participate in the discussion. THAT is an elitist attitude. U of C explains your opinion and your attitude. I agreee it was a well written article. I simply disagree with the conclusions presented.

        Your 35% was not given, it was taken. We do not help our neighbors through the government. We help by giving our own talent and treasure, shaking their hand and asking what else may I do.
        I too believe we must protect our environment but firmly believe in our founding principles and fiscal constraint. Please tell me where Keynesian economics has ever worked.

        • Actually, Keynesian economics works a lot more often than not. New Keynesian economics (and economists like Paul Krugman) correctly predicted a lot of what’s happened in the run up to the recession and why we’ve been so slow coming out of it.

          If you think Keynesian economics has never succeeded, then might I suggest that you read a broader swath of economic theory and history.

        • It was given. You have a choice about where you live. If you don’t want to pay taxes in the US, you have the freedom to choose to go elsewhere in this world. I hear the taxes aren’t bad in Pakistan.

        • We own this country and we have to pay for its upkeep, the same as we paint our house, service our car etc. The stuff we can’t do as individuals. It’s what makes a society work.

      • That was not what she was saying. She was saying that she should “give away” 35% of her earnings to help people by tutoring. The person would be getting a service in return (the tutoring). She was just making the point that in order not to be hypocritical, she should be willing to do the same for someone less fortunate, which is what Obama is asking top earners to do. And I hardly think money going to the defense industry is “given away.” It provides an income for those in the military, those in manufacturing for weapons, steel, electronics, and all the other parts it takes to manufacture a product. It protects our country and the freedom we have to be writing these posts. Yes, it would be wonderful if we could eliminate war, but it seems to be that human beings cannot resolve their differences. Just look at all the replies on this message board.

    • Valerie you are `my heroine! Thanks for taking the time to post the truth. I hope it’s okay to repost to my friends who just don’t and won’t get it. They want to continue worshipping the tooth fairy.

    • The Wealthy are not wealthy because of their labor. They are wealthy because our banking system, wall street, and tax laws reward them for having money in the first place. Many of them live on their interest alone and never need to touch the principle let alone invest it in our national upkeep. They use our roads, airports, and other transport and trade facilities at a much higher level than the average person yet they pay a pittance of their upkeep. It is their speculation that has driven the price of gas/oil/water/power/food through the roof – they have no problem with playing games with commodities if it will make them a profit. We used to have tax laws that helped protect the nation from the money baron’s.and their family empires that have plagued Western Civilizations throughout history. They could only leave a portion to the next generation and the rest was put back into circulation supporting and maintaining the infrastructure and education and research that made the USA a shining beacon to the world. Money is not the measure of anything except privilege. Having 100 times what you need is a definition of gluttony not industry.

      • Good lord. You obviously didn’t get the part of the article about ‘viewing the world through another’s eyes’.

        The first half of your post is referring to the kids of the wealthy first generation, not that first generation itself, and even then you use all-encompassing phrases that don’t allow for accuracy. The first generation of rich people come from all walks of life, but they either work harder than or think so differently from their average neighbors that they climb to the top. IT IS MY OPINION that these people deserve everything they can manage to earn in whatever empire they create. However, their CHILDREN are the ones who are lucky enough to have everything they want and go to the best colleges, inherit the huge houses and nice cars and the sources of income that allow them to earn indefinitely without one iota of work. These people are the ones who end up with more than they have proven they deserve. Because of this, I agree that inherited assets should be taxed more heavily than they are now. The percent increase of this change would be up to the economists, but nowhere do I see anyone considering this avenue to fund America more successfully.

        To your second point, yes, the wealthy do manipulate the markets to eke out every last penny of money they can. But that’s the definition of a free market. If you don’t like that, don’t live in America, because that’s not going to go away any time soon. Investors earn way too much through shortcuts and deductions to lie down and play dead when it’s suggested these things should be taken away.

        Maybe the middle class should learn something from this behavior. After all, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And if you think it’s selfish or unfair to use the marketplace to the best of your advantage, then that’s your problem.

        Lastly, I don’t see one piece of proof in your post that anyone should take your theories as fact. Just in writing these paragraphs I’ve opened at least six tabs to research tax brackets, trends, and theories on taxing the wealthy in the U.S. and the world to make sure I’m not misinforming you, the person I’m arguing against. How’s that for fair? If you’re going to make a moral argument, at least have the facts to back yourself up, because the Wealthy aren’t influenced by your ideals.

        http://www.quora.com/Progressive-Taxes/Why-should-wealthy-people-pay-more-taxes#
        http://secularist10.hubpages.com/hub/Why-the-Rich-Should-be-Taxed-More
        http://www.moneychimp.com/features/tax_brackets.htm
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States
        http://www.businessinsider.com/how-rich-people-think-differently-from-the-poor-2012-8?op=1
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_gains_tax_in_the_United_States

        • “The first generation of rich people come from all walks of life, but they either work harder than or think so differently from their average neighbors that they climb to the top.” So there is absolutely no place for luck in your equation? Really? And your “if you don’t like it here then leave” argument is one thousand generations away from derivative to be original. And while admire the VERY HARD WORK you put into “researching” your ideas via the internet (and how did you survive the effort? Good God!!!!!!!! Make sure you have replenished your electrolytes you poor genius) you might read (or research the Cliff Notes online) of the Constitution and find for us the sentence within it that refers to “Free Market Capitalism” as being the official system of the United States….Putz…

        • Hey Katelyn, I hope you know that Wikipedia is an open blog where anyone can post their thoughts with out any guarantee of accuracy. I certainly hope you don’t get all your facts here!

        • You wrote what i wanted to say but i am not good at writing. what has happen to the USA that i wanted to grow up in that with hard work would come rewards. not sit back and let the government take care of me and let me be lazy.

      • I’d change that last line from having 100 times to having hundreds of thousands of times what you need! Because the top 1% has way more than 100 times what they truely need to live in this lifetime!

        • SteveCampsOut’s point about greed is maybe the most important point here (except the points about helping others which is not only a Christian ideal but also Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, etc etc etc).

    • Thank you, Valerie. I’d like to add to her point about those that can’t afford an education. What about those of us that have too light of skin and are not toting a child(ren) on our hips. So many are given FREE housing, education, utilities, food, and daycare while the rest of us are told we don’t qualify for any financial support for college because we worked and made too much money. Our country now rewards the lazy by stealing from the productive. Sad, sad, times in America.

      • ” the rest of us are told we don’t qualify for any financial support for college because we worked and made too much money.”
        ….um, I’m sorry. Is that a real argument or are yo joking? Where is the fiscal logic of offering the same financial support to someone w/ 100+k yearly income as you would to someone who barely makes ends meet with a minimum wage job?
        …Greedy much?

        • Dawn’s comment refers specifically to college financing. Just because someone makes enough money to keep their family solvent doesn’t mean that they make enough to have a cushion or pay for college without loans. Further, just because someone’s PARENTS make enough money to keep the family solvent does not mean that the STUDENT is in the same tax bracket, or has access to those funds.

        • Um that person who makes 100k probably lives in an extremely expensive state. Where rent can cost anywhere from $2,000-4,000 a month. (In other words just rent can be 24,000-50,000 a year!) If that person lives in New York City 100k is barely enough to get by. If they live in California (especially southern) it’s almost the same amount for rent. In California the property taxes can be around $10,000 a year(so people who own houses get raped in the rear end as well). Plus they will be taxed 35% of their income. That person most likely isn’t as “rich” as you think. They are living off of around $65,000-70,000 a year subtract anywhere from 24-50 thousand for rent. They are living off of 46,000-20,000 a year. Add in a monster college loan which depending on the school or if they’re married (if both spouses attended) can be insane! Plus factor in other costs of living, car insurance, medical insurance, gas, food, electric, water, and other expenses. This person isn’t as rich as one might think.

        • You obviously dont know your facts. I have worked with women (either single or divorced with deadbeat dads who did not support their children) who made just over minimum wage. They were denied assistance for education, utilities, food and daycare. Where does this 100+k a year come from in your mind.
          Dont think these women would love that income! They would not need any assistance but would feel wealthy. Please post where thay can get these jobs.

      • Did you not read the section about how small the giveaways to poor people are compared to the giveaways to the oil companies, agribusiness and rich people? Why should a rich person pay less taxes on money earned from capital gains than others have to pay on money earned by the sweat of your brow??? Why?? Because rich congressmen like it that way. NO OTHER REASON!!

      • Dawn, I agree with you even though my skin is brown. I have had my first and only job for the last twenty years and have never had to rely on public assistance (thank goodness) but I find it a bitter pill to swallow now that the new law allows undocumented immigrants to receive financial aid for secondary education and my children…natural born citizens… make “too much money”. High School friends whose mother has had the luxury of staying home to raise her children on public assistance are currently graduating from state and U.C. schools while my children are taking longer because they have to work and go to school at the same time to help pay their way through school without any financial aid… because their mom makes “too much money”. By the way….my husband I made 56K last year combined..”too much money”.

        • And might I add that it is making it more difficult for students who are paying their own way, instead of getting money from parents and or the government. So what is so terrible about learning self reliance?

        • Anna is correct. I’m a single mom with a college degree in a professional career, with an annual income of $60K per year. The value of my home tanked with the economy, leaving me no equity (my original plan) to pay for college expenses of two daughters in California colleges. I provide to them every penny that I can spare. My daughters are 6th generation Californians, whose ancestors paid taxes that were used to build the State’s UC system. Financial aid for deserving students, you say? After the Pell grants, the girls are offered loans. They each work part time jobs during the school year. To complete their education in four years, the girls will each acquire at least $60K in debt, and the outlook for finding a decent-paying job after graduation is bleak. Combined with this, the colleges are reducing classes, so the time needed to take the required courses is being extended by at least one year.

          I have a co-worker with a daughter that, at 18, started having children without the benefit of marriage. She receives aid for food, housing, and medical care, and her tuition and expenses at the local community college are paid by the government. She plans to transfer to a 4-year college next year, but she doesn’t have a major or career path in mind. She is not employed. The coworker’s salary is $70K/year, but he does not contribute to care for his descendants. Something is seriously wrong with this system, because it rewards irresponsible behavior.

          I understand that children raised in America should have opportunities, but the opportunities given to children of illegal immigrants really shouldn’t trump those of American citizens. Likewise, students that have demonstrated good decision making, dedication, and hard work should be the first to be helped. This is not currently the situation in California.

      • You believe that you have fewer options in America because you AREN’T a poor struggling single mother? Seriously? You think that you’re losing out because you “are not toting a child(ren) on our hips”.

        You must never have known anyone who faced this situation.

        I will not even address your implication that our society steals from the productive to give to the “lazy”, and that you cannot qualify as lazy because you have “too light of skin”. If you cannot see for yourself why that attitude is horrifying, no one will ever be able to explain it to you.

        I will pray for you.

      • Dawn, you’re drawing conclusions based on a dearth of facts. I’m going to use the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities as my source.

        First, only 13% of the federal budget goes to “safety net” programs, which include “the refundable portion of the earned-income and child tax credits, which assist low- and moderate-income working families through the tax code; programs that provide cash payments to eligible individuals or households, including Supplemental Security Income for the elderly or disabled poor and unemployment insurance; various forms of in-kind assistance for low-income families and individuals, including food stamps, school meals, low-income housing assistance, child-care assistance, and assistance in meeting home energy bills; and various other programs such as those that aid abused and neglected children.”

        Second, the idea that tons of people are getting everything given to them–child care, utilities, housing, and food–is sadly minisformed. The amount of benefits varies greatly from one state to another, so I’ll give an example of someone I know personally. Due to a number of health problems, she’s on Social Security disability. And yes, she does get free housing–a tiny, functional if rather dreay apartment . . . but not utilities. Those come out of the $455 she gets in SSI every month. No free child care, but then, she never had children–those health problems again–so she doesn’t miss it. As for food . . . . she gets about $50 in what used to be called food stamps every month. The rest of her food budget comes from whatever is left from that $455 after paying her utilities. By managing her money very carefully, she is able to buy clothes now and then.

        She would much rather work. She can’t.

        Third, your premise that only dark-skinned people are getting all these free goodies from the government is as wrong as it is offensive. Over half of SNAP (used to be called food stamps) recipients are under 18. Kids, in other words. 41% of them work–they just don’t make enough to survive without help. 35.7% of participants are white (non-Hispanic); 22% of participants are African-American (non-Hispanic); and 10% of participants are Hispanic.

        Oh, and if it matters–it shouldn’t, but I gather it does, to you–my disabled friend is white.

        • And don’t forget, lots of military families receive food stamps too because they don’t make enough. There’s something seriously wrong when active duty military have to be on food stamps. And thanks for pointing out the real reason the writer thinks only dark skinned people get aid.

        • Eileen you rock, because you have actual data and stats! Thank you for setting those straight who don’t take the time to be informed!

        • Brilliant! I’m black and I get no aid. I have a masters degree and I work at a college. I’m a single mother of two, a home owner and I get 0 child support. I so look forward to the day the people stop thinking all single black mothers and their children are the only people who get food stamps. Because, news flash, some of us don’t. Most of us work, many of us are educated people. I also care for my mother who is disabled. Because she doesn’t get much money I only charge her little or nothing for room and board. Another thing, why is it people who are not down on their luck don’t realize they are just one big/small loss away from government assistance? If your business fails or you lose your job and can’t find another, YOU are just as likely to become a person who gets food stamps, free housing, etc. I don’t know any one who views being on food stamps as an ideal situation for themselves. It is just what they are doing at the time to survive.

          I am so pleased to know that some white people get it. I am so bothered by these last two elections being so much about race and not about policies and ideas. I often wonder if Obama would have had such a hard time if he had been a white man. Fear of people that don’t look like you is holding the USA captive in a very negative way. I hope we can get over it before we self-destruct. Thank you for your comments.

      • Please tell me exactly where you can get free housing, education, utilities, food and daycare. You know you can’t because it doesn’t exist.

      • And many many whites benefit from social programs. We have some of the lowest taxes in the industrialized nations. The wealthy being able to sneak and work the tax system to be able to pay a lower tax percentage versus the rest of us is disgusting. And this is why I believe in a federal sales tax. You want to buy a $5M yacht? Good for you – here’s the 20 or 25% tax that accompanies it. :-D

      • “Too light of skin and are not toting child(dren) on our hips”?

        Wow. Dawn, you are horribly uninformed about who actually receives “free” housing, etc. The vast majority of individuals receiving benefits are seniors, disabled, or mentally ill, and….(wait for it)….look exactly like YOU, not me or anyone in my family (an African-American female attorney with a middle class background). I also find it ironic that you’re complaining about not qualifying for financial support while, in the same exact sentence, looking down on others for needing it.

        I also find it curious when arguments are made from conservatives about how the government “rewards the lazy.” Why would any nation do that? Just give money away to non-working people for giggles? And, by the way Dawn, even though I came from a middle class family, I still qualified for financial assistance, just not grants – people oftentimes conveniently forget that part – while attended college and law school. That type of assistance I received came in the form of scholarships and loans (for some reason, conservatives aren’t too good for grants but are too good to take out loans??). I wasn’t expecting grants because those were reserved for less fortunate students. And you know what? I didn’t think twice about it or complain, BECAUSE I WASN’T EXPECTING FREE STUFF.

      • So you were told you don’t qualify for any financial support, huh. Which kind of implies that you applied for such financial support? Does that make you a freeloather? Just pissed you didn’ qualify? Answer me this. If you had qualified, would you have taken it?

    • And what percent tax did Romney pay? No one and I mean no one pays 35%. your arguments are so tired and have been rebutted over and over.

      • According to CBS news, Romney paid about 14% taxes in 2011. I hit a tax calculator, and I did misspeak about my own effective tax rate – it was nearly 18%, not double as I initially said.

        My point still stands, however – Romney’s effective tax rate is lower than mine, and I make orders of magnitude less money than he does.

        • People, including you, Romney, and others, already paid income tax on the money that is earning interest. The rate on investment income is the same for everyone. Those with investment income have no special tax rate that isn’t the same for everyone.

        • In the sense that my investment income is taxed at the same rate as Romney’s investment income, you’re correct, Jon. But my payroll income is taxed at a higher rate than investment income is. So wealthy people who live on their investments pay lower taxes than people who, you know, actually work for a living.

          I reject the idea that moving money around within the economy is sufficiently more important to the the US economy than the creation of goods, services, and knowledge that it should be subsidized via a lower tax rate.

      • Respectfully,regarding the percentage he paid was on investment income and that is set by the IRS.That rate is different than income taxes as you and I pay.

        • Yes I think that is part of the argument. Romney was able to convert all of his income to “carried interest” and investment income so he was only on the hook for paying 14% of his income. While the people with “productive” employment for the most part pay a much larger effective tax rate on much less income. It is just another example of our country valuing capital over labor.

        • So what? I don’t see why investment income should be taxed so much lower than regular income is anyway. The arguments in favor of doing so have always seemed like wishful thinking to me, and there is precious little evidence that lower top tax rates actually stimulates economic growth when you look at the data from the last 50+ years.

        • Thank you Matt and Cowboy because last time I looked (since I ws 16 and now am 54), I paid about 24% income tax every year.

    • First of all, let me say that I am in favor of a flat tax with no deductions. Then no one can complain that someone else is getting off light.

      But the economy isn’t the only issue, despite how the campaigns framed it. I am a Christian. Episcopal, not evangelical. I was a born and raised Republican, but left the party a dozen years ago when the religious right took over. Having added the Tea Party to the mix does not encourage me to come back. I am a fiscal moderate and a social liberal. Since no one can seem to find a fiscally moderate candidate, I will continue to vote on the left. I can’t bring myself to vote with a party which is made up of people against anyone who differs from themselves, be it racially, economically, religiously, sexually, etc. I can’t vote for a philosophy of ‘I got mine, screw you.’

      • Thank you David! Well said. I was raised a Democrat by my mother. Her father was an evangelical preacher and never voted Republican. He was an Independent who felt that church and state should be seperate. He believed that we all make our choices. He never preached politics from the pulpit! I feel exactly the way you do. It is morally unconscionable and against the teachings of Jesus Christ to believe and act the way the Republican Party and the religious right has in the past 20 yrs and it gets worse. This article does speak for me!!!

      • David – we’re twins! I just posted a comment about a federal sales tax. I too am Episcopalian with a socially liberal, fiscal moderate mindset. I am disgusted by the Tea Party and the right wing Evangelical Christians that think that Jesus would be OK with our only investing in Defense and not helping the least of us. The notion that the Republicans try to pawn off that they want a smaller government all while wanting to legislate morality is disconcerting to say the least. I’ve never voted for a Republican president, however.

      • A flat tax still creates iniquities and people can still complain that someone else is getting off light.

        Let’s say the flat rate is 30%. Well 30% of $50,000 is $15,000, which means that person takes home and has to live on $35,000. Thirty percent of $25,000 (and, yes, some people do make that little) is $7,500, which means that person has to live on $17,500.

        A person who makes $500,000 pay $150,000 at a 30-percent flat rate, and still has $350,000 to live on. A person who makes $250,000 has $175,000.

        Sure, you could argue that the people who make $500K and $250K have greater expenses and therefore it all evens out. I argue that if you’re making $500K or $250K and your take-home dropped by a few thousand, you still have plenty of wiggle room to make a adjustments.

        For someone making 10 times less, there is considerably less wiggle room. So it’s better to have a graduated tax rate where those who make the least have the opportunity to take home and keep more of the money they earn than those who make the most.

        Right now, with tax loopholes and such, those that make the most pay the least because they end up with a lower tax rate AND the amount that is being taxed is significantly larger.

        • INEQUITIES-DISPARITIES-THINGS NOT BEING EQUAL.
          INIQUITIES-SINS OR WRONGDOINGS

          Watch the words as they mean very different things thought, on the other hand, I do believe too much money can lead to wrongdoing and sinning! :)

        • I think most flat tax proposals include a base amount of income that all people would be exempt from paying taxes on. Maybe something like $15,000 so everyone has their first $15,000 tax free to live off of. This includes really rich people (who could probably care less about the difference) and poor people who would possibly be unable to survive without that break. At least if I correctly understand the policies I have looked at.

        • Thanks for the explanation, but I understand how percentages work. Used them all the way through grad school. My intent would not be to punish the wealthy. If I have to pay a bit more with a flat rate, I’m okay with that. I just don’t like the loopholes that deductions and the various tax codes create. Everybody should pay.

          That being said, I don’t mind paying a bit more to support public services and social programs. I would like them to be efficiently and intelligently run, but nobody seems to think that way. All they talk about is eliminating programs, not fixing them. Just want to take their ball and go home.

        • i disagree. if you don’t like your income then make it better. i have no collage degree and have made it work with two kids. and i pay for my son’s collage. would i like it easy, sure. but once again i make it work. flat tax rate is what i want.

      • Well said, David. Your backround is very similar to mine an I have slowly gravitated to the liberal side of the past serveral decades.

        • What I would really like to see, aside from a moderate candidate, is some cooperation from both parties in DC. They have run off all of the old guard that knew how to get things done. They weren’t ideologically pure enough for the extremists in their respective parties. Now we have a bunch of useless ideologues. They are no longer a legislature, they are an ill-mannered debating society.

    • I agree with your reasoning. Due to human nature, as the previous author alluded, humans do not always act with ideal motives. To motivate people, there must be incentives, both intrinsic and extrinsic. Capitalism, with appropriate regulations, is freedom to achieve the American dream. I only have two bachelor degrees and some graduate courses – no heavy weight intellectual. But Obama’s agenda flies in the face of Christian morality and economic common sense. His stance on abortion is far left of left. And the gay agenda? This is a social experiment and, if the writer were truly a Christian, she would understand that homosexuality goes against the Bible, very clearly. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Do not legitimize it as equal to marriage – you are then bringing children into the mix and then there will be pressure placed on adoption agencies to place a certain percentage of children into homosexual “marriages”, etc. Then – what about those who state they were born with the need to have multiple partners? What’s to prevent polygamy from being legitimized? In the same way you will always have sin – lying, murder, gluttony, rape, pornography, adultery, theft, etc. – you will always have perversions of God’s plan, including homosexuality. This doesn’t mean you embrace it in society and give it legal status. When has this worked in history? The embrace of such historically has signaled the end of a culture. Last I read, anyway.

      • Speaking of sins in the bible, Leviticus spells out some pretty specific dietary restrictions. I’m pretty sure society has embraced the cheeseburger anyway.

      • Pam, your claim that homosexuality is a perversion of God’s plan doesn’t withstand logical or scientific scrutiny. On the scientific side, homosexuality is present throughout the animal kingdom. To the best of my knowledge, God doesn’t destroy homosexual animals.

        On the logic side, God is omnipotent and thus God is responsible for creating homosexual people, either by manipulation of genes via mutations or by the activation of latent genes via environmental factors. Since God is responsible for the creation of homosexual people, homosexuality must logically be part of His plan. You may not know what part it is, but homosexuality must be part of it. QED.

        Personally, I don’t think the state has any business saying who can or cannot wed, and if consenting adults want to be polyamorous, that’s fine with me. The state of someone else’s marriage does not impact the state of my own (or yours, or anyone’s but their’s) in any way.

      • Yes. And I suppose you throw pigs blood on people who wear blended fabric and hold picket signs outside red lobster because they serve shellfish. Interestingly enough one of the major sins in the bible was charging interest on loans (usury), we as a society have conveniently gotten around that one. (I wouldn’t mind as much seeing evangelical Christians demonizing that though)

        The difference is these are PEOPLE you are talking about and you are using scripture to judge them. I am not a biblical scholar but I am pretty sure Christians aren’t supposed to do that either.

    • I totally agree with you on this posting. We are in for some very difficult times ahead. Maybe obama can spend our way out of this.

    • We don’t have runaway inflation. We actually had a slight deflation in 2010, but now it is stabilized. Stock market had been enjoying really high returns as well. Only reason unemployment is higher than we would like is Government sector is not hiring and all the job bills – including one for Veterans- were turned down by the GOP in the House of Representatives. Our tax rates are the lowest in decades, we need revenues and cuts to balance the budget, or we will need to borrow more. You are so uninformed.

    • I notice that the author talks about the poor moms who can’t afford her $50 rates.

      Someone care to explain to me why the author can help pre-college kids for free?

      Or are you all going to cynically argue that her time is valuable and she should be paid for it.

      Only in the mind of liberals is it “charity” to get paid for a service…

      • Actually, I have helped college-bound kids with their essays both for free, or for reduced rates, depending on their situations. I only quoted the ‘standard’ $50 per-hour fee to make a point that there are many parents in my wealthy town for whom this is a pittance; they pay much more than that for SAT & ACT coaching. Many kids here receive regular tutoring at $50 an hour or more. While there are definitely plenty of Americans, first-generation immigrants or otherwise, who have scratched their way up from nothing, the case remains that those whose families have means have a much greater leg-up to start with.

        • Well, the wealthy are definitely “sharing their wealth” with you and helping to put food on your table. Wealth is relative. To someone making $10 an hour, $50 an hour is a fortune. I know. Personally.

        • Regarding Barb’s comment here about the “wealthy” sharing the $50/hr fee with Wendy.

          Joke, right? Sharing means you are “GIVING” something to somebody rather than them charging a fee for a service rendered! Wendy renders a service for these students and their parents pay for this service. I taught this same kind of class at Slyvan Learning Center for a while and parents thought nothing of dropping $400 or so to get these essay-writing classes for their children. In the pursuit of the child getting into a “good” university. They didn’t send them just to learn how to write better essays. It was/is a totally self-serving process in which they are definitely not “sharing” the fees for this service. If that child didn’t get accepted to the institutions of their choice the parents would be screeching bloody murder about them not getting the expected value for what they paid out.

          AIN’T NO SHARING FROM THESE WELL-T0-DO PARENTS GOING ON AT ALL TO WENDY!! IT IS ALL ABOUT THE PRODUCT AND THE MARKET FOR THE PRODUCT FOR WHICH THEY ARE WILLING TO PAY.

        • Elizabeth, you obviously don’t understand “sarcasm.” What I meant was that she is making money from the very wealthy people she is demonizing. Of course they are getting something in return. That’s how capitalism works. And those parents dropping the $400 bucks at Sylvan to teach their kids are helping to put food on your table, too. That was my point. People who own businesses hire people and they pay them for their services rendered. When you work to be able to buy goods and food, is that not self serving? That’s how people make a living. That is what stimulates the economy. What I was also trying to say is that to someone making $10 an hour, $50 is a lot. So shouldn’t she be willing to help those less fortunate by charging them less, like she wants those who may be making $100 to? It is all relative.

        • Barb, you seem to be missing my point. I wasn’t contending that charging $50/hour is just or unjust, or that it’s a lot more than someone making $10/hour makes – I see that. My point is that when we have a society that is as unequal as ours is – I was using my little privileged enclave of Boulder, Colorado, to illustrate this – we do not have the vaunted equality of opportunity that conservatives so often tout. People who can pay me the going rate for such services, or who can buy their kids extra help at Sylvan Learning Center, are going to have a leg up over those who are struggling just to put food on their kids’ tables. I am using this example, of which I am a part, to demonstrate the inequality of opportunity that comes when some people can afford to give their kids a lot bigger ‘boost’ than others can.

    • Valerie,

      Understanding statistics, such as the unemployment rate, is a meaningless statement if you throw data out as “facts.” I’ve studied math, and also physics. The Unemployment rate was lower when Obama took affice than when he was re-elected, and to a surface thinker like you that means he failed. But a rate, like unemployment statistics, is subject to “trending.” That means, simply, that 7.8% is better than 8.2%; but if 7.8% is a quanta sampled during a freefall to 10.2% then 8.2% is not a decline of .4%…It is an improvement of 2%…So you are right…Numbers don’t lie, but apparently you personally don’t understand them.

    • Are you saying that the rich give 35% of their services directly to people who can’t afford them? That doesn’t even make any sense. That’s not how taxes or the welfare system work at all.

    • Sorry Valerie. You are either wrong or deluded on most fronts. And if you think Romney’s “we’ll make the numbers up as we go” solution to our financial situation was better than what we’ve got you’re really deluded. If you want to look for villians here, look at your Republican congress. What a bunch of takers they are. They get paid well and get great bnefits to, in essence, do nothing. Therein lies the bulk of the problem. As far as the rich being asked to pay more, most won’t or don’t pay 35%, nor will they pay 39%. They have helped rig the deck so that reallyrich guys like Romney pay 14 or less (I question whether Romney evenpaid that much). ANd finally, if ambition, vision, and hard work are really the only requisites for success, then the gardeners who spend 10 hours in the heat working in my yard should be ruling the world. They work a hell of a lot harder than most all of the financial wizards I know. I do wonder where guys like ROmney or Bush would have ended up if their last names weren’t Romney or Bush. Keep deluding yourself, lady. I’m sure it makes you feel better and smarter than the 47% of takers in this country.

      • So why don’t you pay your gardeners better. I couldn’t even afford a gardener. It is a “pass the buck” philosophy. You always want someone else to share the wealth.

        • That is the question, Barb. Why don’t we pay the gardeners, teachers, care-givers, soldiers, and such more? Why is it that the bankers, financial gurus and such are the ones making six to eight figure salaries while the rest of us slave for five?

          And that’s the point of the argument, for which the answer is: that’s what’s valued commercially. Socially, however, I bet most of us value the lower paid lot far, far more. A government’s job is to even out the interests of commercial value with those of social value.

    • Your comment, “Ambition, vision, hard work are the traits of most financially successful people” is true, but extremely closed minded. Those of us who work in more service related industries, like say teaching your children, make absolutely NOTHING. Nothing, do you understand that? We give 100% of our time, energy, and soul to teaching our young adults to think for themselves and gain a higher level of education. We make roughly $35,000 a year for this. Giving35% of this amount is a great deal more to us than it would be to those who work on Wall Street. Please. We’re loosing our homes while we try to serve our communities and instill morals and values and critical thinking into our children. How dare you ask for us to foot the bill as well. We don’t get rewarded financially like most, in case you haven’t hear. They’re cutting education funds.

    • Runaway inflation? Inflation is so low that there is risk of deflation in the economy! The money multiplier component of the money supply is hovering at about .75 – do you know anything about money or economics yourself? Perhaps you hear that the Fed is printing money like crazy – and they are! – and think that means inflation is inevitable. Unfortunately, the massive deleveraging is still underway, and banks with $$$ far in excess of reserves still aren’t lending – they’d rather buy buildings for cash and get 12% return. This all means that spending has retracted so far that the government MUST spend in order to keep the economy afloat.

      The problem with the wealthy is simply the accumulation of a concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few, and this makes them a natural enemy of democracy. If you get your news from Rupert Murdoch’s media, you might be fooled again and again into voting against your own interests. The middle class has disappeared. In 1960 a plumber could buy a home, send his kids to college, and retire comfortably – on a single income. Try that today. The reason?

    • Actually, I disagree with the school bit. I went to a mid level public university. I am consistently passed over, not because of my talents or my qualifications, but where I went to school. I will soon be applying for law school. Will I get in over an Ivy League graduate with the same test scores? I think not.

      To think that the trickle down theory actually works is further proof of your naivete. We tried trickle down with Bush and all I got was a gallon of sh*t. And one final thing, proofreading is your friend.

    • The rich are to be taxed at 35% only on their top tier earnings. Up to that amount, they pay the same percentage as Americans less fortunate than they are. So the percentage of their earnings they will pay in tax is far less than 35%. You should know that, or respectfully, knowing that, admit it, or at least not mislead about it.

    • I’m a Democrat, a social liberal, and a business owner. In fact I own two businesses and I don’t agree with you, nor do I understand the psychology behind defending the wealthiest American’s from paying a bit more taxes- when you, yourself are not one of them?! (Wealthy)
      What Romney illuminated for all of us was the irony of the fact that most truly wealthy folks- like him- pay very little in taxes. Why? Because they don’t ‘claim a salary’ of over $1 million, or even over $250,000. Their money is funneled to their accounts via Capital Gains which are taxed at a much lower rate.

      For those actual wage-earners, that make more than $250,000 per yr- paying a little over 3% more in taxes isn’t that much to ask. Under Clinton, I made that much and paid that exact tax-rate and although I don’t like taxes any more than anyone, I also know that when you earn that kind of income and attain that level of success and social-strata you also have yourself a mighty competent CPA and you don’t see “35%” when all is said and done.

      Let me add though- Europeans pay more than 50% in taxes and love their countries too.

      Stop protecting people that not only don’t need your defense but for the greatest part ALSO disagree w/ your premise.

    • I don’t know any people of considerable wealth that pay 35%. People fail to recognize that there is a difference between “earned income” taxes and “investment income” taxes. Earned income refers to income earned in a year actually working a job. Investment income is from Capital Gains and Dividends. Most wealthy pay far less than 35% (the reason why Mitt paid only 12-15%) because they pay only 15% on Capital Gains and Dividend taxes. Mitt wanted to eliminate these taxes all together, essentially eliminating taxes for himself since his income was from investments. Plenty of very wealthy people live off this kind of income and know how to “work it” to lessen their tax burden. The average working American only has about 10K in investments. The notion that eliminating dividend and capital gains taxes would benefit the “middle class” is absurd, which was Mitt’s pitch. His proposal would overwhelmingly favor the rich. I am amazed that more people are not aware of this. Currently, someone earning 60K a year working their butt off as a nurse pays a higher percentage than a wealthy heir. Silly working people voting for Mitt….you were being duped by rich people, don’t ya see?! I can only imagine the massive bubble his plan would have created while poor folks tried to get in on the game before it burst. And people like me who inherited stocks would be laughing all the way to the bank, that is, if I was a greedy jerk.

    • Well said. We don’t need to watch Fox or the leftist media to make up our minds, the numbers speak for themselves. Obama’s excuse was the big mess that Bush left him, what can we expect now, that he is inheriting a mess that is many times worse than the original??? we should have put someone up there with a lifetime experience and succesful results. The definition of insanity is keep doing the same thing again and expecting different results…

    • I seem to know a whole lot more about economics than you do, it seems. When the wealthy pay the same percentage of their income that the poor do (say 50% including social security and sales taxes) then you and they can start complaining. Today we have a virtual free ride for unearned income! No sales tax on stock market transactions. Pay 35% on unearned income and 8% on a stock transaction and I’ll start listening to you.

      Until then, you seem to have very little contact with reality and I’ll ignore your ignorance.

    • And all of that is a result of Presidential actions in the last four years ? Or, perhaps, supposed inactions ? The Tea Party/Norquist congress has done everything it can to make Obama appear ineffective, and people like you capitalize on that. Oh yes, ‘government’ will work MUCH more efficiently when the unprecedented impediments to Democracy that are in place (American Crossroads,etc) vet the President they want,
      and it can even be a chimpanzee like Dubya – at the least, they only need a hood ornament for agendas carried out by brighter and more power-addicted men, who will at least step out of the way and make attempts to make it look like America is ‘on track’.

    • Thank you, Valerie. I too questioned the tiny upward “blip” in the job market as being too modest to even mention when those numbers have been skewed AND are almost embarrassing to mention in the same sentence as our ever spiraling trillions of national debt.

      My husband was a first generation American who came out of an orphanage and worked his way through school by washing dishes. Yes, he became successful but it was only by being conservative, saving his money, investing small amounts from time to time and living modestly. I do not know ONE young person today who is working their way through college, including my own grandchildren. Most kids don’t have jobs during high school and depend on their parents for everything. This is NOT what built America.

      My husband paid much more than 35% in income taxes in years gone by. People tend to forget the costly AMT addition! So he ALWAYS paid 5% more, no matter what his earnings were.

      And while I’m here….WHO is it that supports the thousands of charities across our nation? The wealthy. Can you imagine what will happen to all those charities when taxes are raised on the wealthy? They just might not have as much to donate. And THEN who will pay for the food and clothing for the poor children and elderly? What about environmental projects, the disabled, the homeless, animal shelters, Meal on Wheels and all the others who depend on the money they can gather?

      The wealthy ALREADY pay a greater percentage than any other taxpayer. I don’t mind paying taxes to live in the greatest country on earth but I DO mind constantly reading about how greedy we are and how we know all the loopholes!

      God bless America.

    • Valerie, you are obviously not an English major. When deriding someone’s POV based on their supposed lack of education, please make sure that your grammar is impeccable.

  3. I disagree strongly with many of your points, but thank you for taking the time to explain. As a moderate, do you sometimes vote Republican?

      • Thanks, Wendy for writing and posting this. The “source” and “facts” that so many have based their beliefs and decisions/voting upon are just appalling to me, but I couldn’t have said it as well as you did. Great essay.

      • Wendy
        I, as you, have voted for some Republican candidates, especially when I knew of or personally knew that person and knew their true values. Voting strictly one party all the way only leaves you no ability to exercise some critical thinking and decision making skills. Thanks for your article. It is very articulate and does an excellent job of explaining what people are really thinking. Hats off, :).

        Elizabeth

  4. I appreciate your passion and your mostly-successful attempt to not excoriate anyone. But your five points are based upon a vast ignorance of the facts.
    1. Although there are right-wingers who think Obama is a Muslim without an American birth certificate, they are part of the fringe, not the conservative mainstream that apparently represents almost half the country.
    3. Every time significant tax cuts have been enacted, two things have happened: a. The economy has grown. b. Government revenues have increased. Every.Time. Do your research. Obama has increased the national debt at more than twice the rate as Bush. He has never passed a budget, even with super-majorities in congress. This economic disaster is now his, and his alone.
    3. Obama care actually transfers billions of dollars around the economy, much of it to insurance companies. If everyone is required by law to buy health insurance — how does that hurt insurance companies? In fact my own health insurance has increased by 20% due directly to the “affordable care act, which is not even entirely in effect yet.” This is true for most people. Obamacare did nothing to address the core problems of sky-rocketing health-CARE costs or the arcane billing systems that allows billions in fraud. In fact, it made these worse. It might be worth doing a little study on the subject from objective sources.
    4. If you truly believe that Romney would destroy the environment and ignore green energy, you have drunk deeply of the partisan coolaid. They said Bush would roll back civil rights and turn national forests into wastelands. Even with majorities in congress, Bush did not. Come back to reality — the environment is a straw man.
    5. What is unfair about paying the same percentage as everyone else? Jesus taught the concept of proportional giving.

    It disturbs me that pro-life and Christian, you have paid no attention to the attacks on religious liberty made by this administration. Obama used Obama care to force Roman Catholics to violate their moral conscience. How can you support that?

    I encourage you to be more thoughtful next you vote.

    • Pastor Tom: You need to go look up some of the words you use. Like “supermajority.” At no point has Obama ever had a Congressional majority that fits any accepted definition of the term. He had 58-59% majorities in Congress the first two years, and neither of those numbers allowed him to execute his policies regardless of GOP will. Further, Senate rules (and the GOP use thereof) these days such that it takes very little to hijack a bill. You’d know this if you were even a little concerned with facts.

      It would take the rest of the day to address all the errors you commit in this post. I respect Wendy’s diplomatic skills, but some of us have suffered enough fools for awhile. That fringe vs. conservative mainstream horseshit you try and trot out would be a lot more compelling if those of us reviewing your blog were able to find any evidence that you have spoken out against that ugly fringe – people like the rape-is-god’s-will crowd, for instance.

      As for the mainstream thing specifically, if it’s the mainstream, doesn’t that sort of imply a voting majority? Here’s the problem you face: nutbags have become the mainstream of American Christianity. Sadly, people of genuine intellect and goodwill like Dr. Redal are the exceptions.

      Do shut the fuck up and go away.

      • Sam, play fair and don’t use your naughty words when you cannot win an arguement(discussion), By the way I’m so glad that we don’t have to worry about a conservative government, but look forward to one who has lived as a “regular” american does!! Just listening to those who are deluded by the “rights” rhetoric,…is maddening!!! So you shut the “F”up!!!!

      • I thought we had free speech Samuel. You sound like a bully. This was not a rebuttal of the pastor, but hate-flinging. I didn’t learn a thing from you except that you have a hate problem. I am not a nutbag, myself. I have core values in which I believe deeply and they are based on the Bible – at one time they were the values America held to and took for granted.

        • Pam, I am an American and Bible based stories are not my values. My core values allow equality of all Americans, allow women to have control over their bodies and certainly do not judge those who choose to use birth control. Any person who says they should control the aforementioned actions of another is a slaver. Why not just shackle those who are gay so they cannot marry, shackle those women who would have control of their body so you can FORCE them to give birth and shackle those who would use birth control and FORCE them to have as many children as nature would allow. In other words, you are trying to enslave those of us who do not believe as you do. BTW, I do not understand a church which does not condone birth control when the world knows that most Catholics use it…,.if they did not then all Catholics of child bearing age would have a dozen or so kids. Plus, how can some Catholics call themselves Americans governed by the US Constitution and then not follow its laws but those laws of another country half way around the world.

      • Pastor Tom will not go away, neither will the rest of us!

        Tom was correct when he said Obama increased the Debt at twice the rate of Bush

        When Bush took office the national debt was $5,727,776,738,304 (5.7 trillion dollars) when he left office 8 years later the national debt was 10,626,877,048,913 (10.6 Trillion Dollars), granted a terrible increase. A net gain of a shameful 4,899,100,310,609 (4.9 Trillion Dollars)

        When Obama took office the national debt was $10,626,877,048,913 (10.6 Trillion Dollars). As of today (11/13/2012) it is 16,244,708,707,467 (16.2 Trillion Dollars) a net gain of $5,617,831,658,554 (5.6 Trillion Dollars)

        Now Bush’s reckless spending happened over an 8 year term and Obama’s even more reckless spending occurred in less than four years yet Obama to date has spent $718,731,337,945 (718.7 Billion Dollars) more than Bush. What kind of number will that be by the time Obama gets done doing my children under?

        One of my nicknames for the democrats is the “mathematically challenged” Now Sam I’d like you to take a look at those numbers and point out where Pastor Tom was wrong.

        Don’t believe me? go to the governments website and add it up for yourself, our children need voters that understand numbers because it is these numbers were are sticking to our children.

        http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/NPGateway

        Who are suffering fools – our children are ~

        • And who faced the worst economy since the Great Depression and is in the process of digging us out of it? Obama. How much of that added debt is because of two wars (one of which I initially supported, I’ll admit) and subsequent occupations that Bush started and that Obama is only now getting us mostly out of? It’s hard to find good data (although this study out of Brown University is a good starting point), but I’d guess about a trillion of that debt and dropping.

          Debt goes up during recessions, Daryl, as it should. The debt supports jobs, unemployment insurance, and the increasing number of people who go from having employer-based medical coverage to needing Medicaid or Medicare. The bigger the recession, the larger the debt that’s required to prevent the recession from being a full on depression (and we’re not out of the woods yet).

    • Pastor Tom, I wanted to comment on something you said: “Obamacare actually transfers billions of dollars around the economy, much of it to insurance companies.” Precisely. It is not socialized medicine, as so many conservatives assert. Health care remains a largely private system, but with some critical checks. The federal health care law requires that insurers spend no more than 15 percent of the premiums they collect on overhead like salaries and advertising. It forces insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions, like my sister who has rheumatoid arthritis but ironically could not consider leaving her physically demanding job because she would lose her health care coverage. Obamacare is largely a regulated private system – just the kind of public-private initiative I am talking about. That said, not one of my many Canadian, Australian or British friends would trade their single-payer systems for ours, as it was or as it is now. What I said was that I am game for us to give it a try. Let’s see how it goes. If it isn’t working, it can be reformed — just as we need to do for Medicare and Social Security, to make them viable in the long term. But relying entirely on the private sector to do it fairly is not an option I have faith in.

    • Well said, Pastor Tom. I don’t understand how anyone can consider themselves a practicing Christian and ignore major issues like abortion, traditional marriage and religious liberty.

      • So would you argue that one must be a Republican to be a Christian? That is what it sounds like. What’s next, God is a Repbulican?

      • As a practicing Christian I don’t ignore the things you list. As a practicing Christian it is not my job to police what other people do or for me to judge them. I merely give them the opportunity to learn what I believe and if they choose to ignore these things then the consequences are theirs. I view that as the ultimate liberty of all.

        • Thank you Scooter! I believe that freedom OF religion also needs to mean freedom FROM religion. I would never insist that a church change their rules on such things, but they shouldn’t impose those restrictions on the rest of us who aren’t of their faith. What would they think if in 20 years Islam or some other non-Christian faith became the majority population and tried to have all of us live by their rules?

        • WOW Scooter!!
          How is it that there are not more “Christians” like yourself??

          I don’t particularly care what people believe, BUT DO NOT TRY TO FORCE YOUR BELIEFS DOWN MY THROAT!! Which completely discounts all the residents of this great country who are not Christian or do not believe in organized religion!!

          As the GREAT AMERICAN MELTING POT, how is it that in our political system we perilously continue to INJECT our religious beliefs into things we need to legislate to force all the residents of this great country to CONFORM to?? Has everyone forgotten what it means to keep things SEPARATE, as in the separation of church and state???

          The Right Wing Zealots have absolutely no basis for their stance on denying our LGTB brethren the exact same rights that they enjoy as heterosexuals. Nor do they have any basis for their position on abortion and denying each and every woman the right to control her own body. ( No one seems to be able to explain to me why a group of cells, that are essentially less complex than a potato, deserve more rights than the woman ((the VERY REASON that that group of cells even has the opportunity to evolve into more than just a group of dividing cells)) that is fully differentiated and sentient. A developing fetus is not a person until if can survive outside of the uterus it is developing in, NO MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE!!!

          By all means, believe what you want to believe, celebrate your beliefs with your friends and family, promote you beliefs to people who will listen to you, BUT NEVER FORCE THEM ONTO ANYONE ELSE IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM!!

          ADVOCATE, BUT NEVER FORCE!!!

      • Well, well, Shawn. Since you seem to be the arbiter of who can claim to be a Christian, let’s have that discussion. Let’s start with the last of your claims: Religious liberty. This is something that the Catholic Church, and indeed most Christian communities during the last 1500 years or so, have demanded for themselves and denied others. Rhode Island was founded by a Puritan Minister who got fed up with the strictures and atrocities of his own religion and left (or was thrown out, depending on what version you read). Christianity is great at playing a back game, pretending tolerance and inclusion when they are declining, then setting off on crusades and witchburnings when the tide is with them. You want religious tolerance? Then give it.

        Which brings us to the SECOND point of yours: “traditional” marriage. You know what “traditional” marriage is? It is polygamy. And the selling of daughters into arranged marriages. And women being legally and religiously treated as chattel. And marrying a woman to a dead man in a “ghost” marriage to artificially sustain a family line. And forcing a man to impregnate his brother’s wife so the his brother could “father a child” and retain primogeniture (look up the story of Onan… it ain’t about masturbation). You want to “defend” “traditional” marriage (I think I am using up my entire year’s quota of quotation marks…)? Great. End divorce entirely. Make entering into the bond of marriage as onerous as the institution often is. Change the economic policies that have forced families, in less than three generations, to go from living on one income to not being able to live on two. And understand that you don’t OWN marriage. Other churches, other communities, other philosophies get to enter into relationships, and have them recognized by society, not just yours, or the ones you approve of. And a society built on NOT having a sanctioned religion of the State doesn’t get to set up legal contracts that FAVOR one religion or set of religions.

        Which brings us to the first point: abortion. It is a sticky point, but one that the Catholic (and many other) religion is completely dishonest about. It is not about abortion, it is about controlling the way people inter into sexual relations, and punishing the ones that don’t do it “right”. This is the very heart of “original sin”… the concept that sex is both sacred and dirty… that improper sex is something that not even eternal punishment is a harsh enough judgement on… it must also be visited on every generation of mankind (but only on the women!). It is the very soul of the argument against condoms. Condoms have NEVER killed a zygote… I mean fetus… I mean child… I mean person. Condoms used by two men having (gasp) sex, don’t even stop the POTENTIAL of a pregnancy. And yet, when the AIDS crisis began and we discovered that stopping the transmission of a VIRUS could save a PERSON, the Catholic Church demanded that such things be banned, stopped, and that CERTAINLY no public money go to such things (a practice which ultimately failed here, but that the Church continued on with great success in the Bush policies towards the AIDS crisis in Africa. Some of us don’t believe that a zygote is a person. Some of us believe that you get a “soul” as you develop as a person. Some of us believe that the life and well-being and rights of a woman weigh more heavily than that of a collection of cells that have only the barest potential to become a person. (And some of us believe that you don’t actually become a person until you learn to appreciate Scotch…). And YOU don’t get to thrust your short-sighted religious beliefs on everyone else when you live in a society that is democratic and has religious freedom. That means, by the way, freedom FROM the imposition of YOUR religion on other people.

        Which brings us back, I believe, to your third point: religious freedom. Because I am sure that your complain there rests, currently, with the health care program and its mandate that insurance companies provide birth control to those women who request it as part of their coverage. You believe that the poor, beleaguered Catholic Church, with its own sovereign STATE (btw, if we recognize Vatican City, led by the Pope, as a Sovereign State, then why are its employees here – Arch-Bishops, Bishops, Priests at least – not required to register as agents of a foreign government?)… that THIS church is being denied its rights. Well, here is my thought on this. Operate as a church and you get the benefit of certain waivers under “religious freedom”. BUT, when you venture outside of your great brass doors and your stained glass windows and begin doing business in a free, pluralistic, CAPITALISTIC society, then you operate by the same rules as any other business owner. Either conduct your businesses by the rules of law, or sell them to someone else and retreat into the security of your dark sequestered halls.

        • Well, Douglas, I didn’t claim to be the arbiter of anything. I simply shared my thoughts that if you claim to be a Christian, then you will hold to the truths of scripture and, as such, would vote according to those beliefs.

          In terms of religious freedoms, you assume too much. My concerns there are as follows: I don’t believe that a government has the right to force private medical facilities to perform abortions. Whether they be Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or whatever. If it is against a religion’s beliefs to murder unborn children, the government should not force them to perform them. To do so takes away the rights of that faith in a country that is supposed to protect religious rights. The first amendment clearly states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” So, if the government is going to force religious medical institutions to perform medical procedures against their beliefs, this is a violation of the first amendment. To support a candidate who initiated such a practice one would have to be OK with government dictating to those of faith. I don’t believe a grounded Biblical Christian can do that.

          Abortion is not a grey issue to anyone who believes in Christianity as outlined in the Bible. God sees life beginning at conception. End of story. That is clear throughout scripture. Therefore, a Christian who holds to the Bible cannot support abortion.

          As far as marriage goes. “traditional” was a poor word to choose. Instead, I will use God’s view of marriage – a union between one man and one woman. That is God’s definition of marriage. If you believe in the Jesus Christ of the Bible, then you would hold that view. Any other is in contrast to scripture.

          You’re free to disagree. So far that’s still allowed in this country. But my point is simply that a true Bible believing Christian cannot compromise on scriptural principals. There are plenty of other varieties of christianity that may be able to do that. But not a Christian that believes in the truths of scripture.

        • I’m speechless and smiling from ear to ear. This has to be the best comment besides Wendy’s who is still running a close second to this one. I agree with you sir, carry on :)

        • Wow Doug!!! Wow. Thank you for that. That was incredible. I never really believed people existed like you or this author of this blog, but I will pray even more for our country. You scare me. I am frightened for my children after reading 90% of the comments on here. I am no longer a believer that things will work out. I cannot believe how many of my fellow Americans throw out the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. I am shocked and saddened by the hatred the left has for the truth. The poor of narcissism and self centeredness is alive and well. I hope I am wrong about the next 4 years and the 100 following it. I have studied societies and their life expectancies and what it takes to recreate a society. We are no doubt ending our great nation as a result of what the past 4 years have done and what the next 4 will do. Without a shred of doubt I believe wholeheartedly this once great nation will dissolve into just being a country in decay….Look at the devastation in other industrialized countries who have strayed from democracy based on capitalism or not accepted it’s foundation to root in their countries. Thank you Doug and Wendy for being so succinct. You leave no doubt that America is in deep trouble with thinking like yours.

          God Bless America and please ask God into your hearts and let him into your lives.

        • Funny, it was the math and science-based folk like Nate Silver who called the election right, not the pundits (Karl Rove, for one) who relied on their instincts and nebulous ideas like “momentum.” Seems like truth, as defined by facts that describe objective reality, is alive and well in the left, and perhaps a bit… fuzzy on the right.

        • DOUGLAS

          COULDN’T HAVE SAID (DIDN’T SAY) IT BETTER!!

          You even included a point I so badly wanted to make, in that the Catholic Church or any religious entity, should never be allowed to force their religious beliefs on us behind the veil of their “business ventures”!!

          AMAZING DOUGLAS!!

          HATS OFF!!!

        • shawn00m

          Your arguments are flawed on so many levels!!

          Voting according to your religious beliefs, expecting the person you vote for to implement your religious beliefs into law, is a violation of the separation of church and state. Obama has said on many occasions that he is pro-life but because he is unwilling to force his religious beliefs onto anyone else he believes it is more important to respect the rights of each and every PERSON, respecting that they may not believe what he believes.

          Regarding the government forcing private companies to perform services they fundamentally object to……. No one forced the Catholic Church to enter into medical care. What would your take be if Jehovah’s Witnesses decided to open a hospital in a rural community where the closest non-religious tertiary care center was over 2 hours away and you started hemorrhaging. The only thing that will keep you alive is a continuous transfusion of packed red cells and fresh frozen plasma until you can be rushed to the tertiary care center. OOPS!! Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in the transfusion of ANY BLOOD PRODUCTS!!! Where do you stand on that??
          If a religious entity decides to enter into a service industry, don’t you think that they should have to follow the standards of that industry to ensure that their customers get the best possible service, in a way that won’t jeopardize their lives?? That religious entity DOES NOT GET TO DICTATE THE RULES of the industry it has chosen to enter, ESPECIALLY IF IT CAN POTENTIALLY PUT THEIR CUSTOMERS LIVES AT RISK.
          Perfect example……A couple is planning the birth of their third and final child. They are visiting family when the wife goes into labor. She had had two previous c-sections and is not a candidate for a vaginal birth and thus was planning to deliver this child via c-section, during which her OB was planning an elective tubal ligation but because she is not at her hospital and instead she is at the local Catholic Charities Hospital, they will not perform her tubal ligation while they are doing the c-section. After the birth of their child, the couple decided that they still want her to have the tubal ligation and she goes under general anesthesia to have the procedure done but she dies on the table due to complications!!
          If they had done the tubal ligation when they were already in to do the c-section, SHE WOULD MOST LIKELY STILL BE ALIVE!!!
          The Catholic Hospitals beliefs were forced upon this pt and as a result she did not survive her elective procedure!! THAT’S OK?????
          Good medicine would dictate that the procedure be done during the c-section because we ALWAYS try to limit the number of times a person is put under anesthesia and limit the number of surgical procedures for this very reason. Complications occur and they can be fatal!! There was absolutely no reason for this woman to die and if the surgeons had not been limited by the Catholic Church, SHE WOULD BE ALIVE TODAY!!!

          REGARDING ABORTION…..
          You are free to believe whatever you want regarding personhood or the point at which two cells become a person. I would never force my beliefs onto you in the form of legislation, BUT I would like to hear a RATIONAL argument as to why you think that a group of cells that is not even as complex as a potato has MORE RIGHTS than the woman that is the very reason that that group of cells even has the potential to become anything more than a group of dividing cells!!! AGAIN…referring to the bible is unacceptable if you, at some point in the future, are not willing to have another religious organization that happens to gain the majority in this country, dictate to you through legislation that you may only have one child and that every pregnancy thereafter is to be terminated by abortion, based on their religious beliefs!!!

          REGARDING MARRIAGE……
          AGAIN you are forcing you religious beliefs onto an entire subset of out culture that may not agree with you views, and denying them their deserved RIGHTS, WHICH YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT TO DENY THEM!!! KEEP YOUR FREAKIN RELIGION TO YOURSELF!!!!

          I encourage you to believe in “the truths of scripture”. What I will not encourage or tolerate is you forcing your beliefs upon ANYONE that happens not to agree with you. YOU DO NOT HAVE THAT RIGHT!!!!

        • Shawn, actually the Bible makes a much stronger case for God believing that life begins at a person’s first breath and not at conception:

          Genesis 2:7, He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it was then that the man became a living being”.

          Job 33:4, “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

          Ezekiel 37:5&6, “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live;

          So, if you are going to be a Christian and say you know what god thinks based on the Bible, you have to take it ALL…not just the parts you like.

        • Thanks for your input on marriage. The most annoying and naive thing about the Christian fight to “protect” marriage is that they think Christians/Jews invented marriage. Marriage has existed all over the world, many times having nothing to do with religion. It is not yours to defend, nor is it anyone else’s. You can deny marriage as much as you want inside your own churches, but once you leave that building you have NO say in what people with other beliefs want to do with their lives.

        • Douglas, thank you! I agree with every point you made and I appreciate your logic and common sense.

          My favorite quote is the one preceding Wendy’s blog. “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” – Anais Nin. Unfortunately, I believe this is true. People will always believe what they want to believe, regardless of what is right in front of them.

          I’m glad that America is taking forward steps, albeit slowly, toward equality and civil liberties. Personally, I can’t understand the perspectives of those so intent on looking backward with longing at the days when anyone who wasn’t a white male was subject to far more discrimination and oppression than we see today.

          As far those who will use the Bible to win every argument, no matter how illogical, it’s obviously pointless to point out that this is a book centuries old, which has been translated thousands of times by men with their own biases and is, therefore, an absurd basis for modern law.

        • Excellent Douglas, by forcing religious folks to do things immoral to them it will wake up many more of what the democrats are doing to them.

          I am a deist/agnostic/atheist or some such thing but I identify with those of conscience and stricter morals. I too used to kill off my progeny until I looked into a sonogram. Many look into a sonogram and see a blob, I looked into a sonogram and saw a person.

      • Because as a practicing American, some Christians understand that how they pray and how they worship is not how we ALL pray nor how we ALL worship. Everyone has the right to believe what they wish, and practice how they wish, in their own home. Once you start telling your neighbor what they can and cannot do, how they can or cannot worship, you’re trying to turn the government into a theocracy.

      • Ignore them? Obama is a practicing Christian – does he ignore these issues? No – he works to reconcile his faith with his responsibilities as a SECULAR leader of a SECULAR nation.

        It is worth noting that there’s no biblical justification for opposing abortion or marriage equality. Of course, you can interpret Christ’s teachings in this way if you choose, but I am very disappointed by the attitude that anyone who interpret’s God’s word differently is not a “true” Christian.

      • Maybe because this is every single word Christ said about abortion:____. Maybe because what you call “traditional” marriage is anything but. Maybe because no one’s religious liberty has been lost. Maybe because Christ explained in Matt 25 how we will be judged and the policies and the values of the Mormon/Randian ticket are a direct violation of the values expressed therein. And, although we do not have the room to discuss it here, let’s just say Pastor Tim is bearing false witness with regard to tax policy and economic history. No government has ever cut its way to prosperity. Ever.

      • As usual, the political parties are a mixed bag. As a pastor myself, I also happen to believe in life–I think abortion is morally wrong. That said, although I cannot condone our present administration because of its faux science and thinly veiled agenda with regard to stewardship of the earth, I am perturbed by those who make women’s reproductive rights into a political agenda on the other side. The problem lies in abdicating the decision to choose to the federal government in the first place. A government that has the power to dictate that you CAN’T have an abortion also has the power to dictate that you MUST have an abortion. I don’t want to see that much power vested in the federal government! As a pastor, I will do everything in my power (and will pray to the higher Power!) to try to keep someone from opting for abortion–but I will also fight for the right to make that decision on a personal and ethical level. So in this instance, I would side with the author–albeit probably not for the same reasons that she felt compelled to vote the way she did. The church has for centuries spent so much effort waving the banner with regard to sexual sins that it has lost credibility with regard many other important mandates of Scripture–such as caring for those who have less.

        …which is precisely why I feel compelled to continue to support candidates that espouse economic responsibility, hard science with regard to climate change, and so forth.

        Guys like Akin are far on the fringe and give the rest of the party a bad name–most of the Republican women I know cherish their rights as women (including their reproductive rights, right up to the right to CHOOSE not to have an abortion) and most of the Republican men I know also support those rights, but they are concerned with proper stewardship of resources, rights such as the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms (which, incidentally, are in place precisely to ensure that we cannot be taken over by an overbearing government, although they are also handy in preventing assaults on women, “legitimate” or not), and so forth.

    • Pastor Tom, I am surprised at your factually misinformed dismissal. You can see by this very useful article (link below), that spreads the blame for reasons of for the deficit that tax cuts, at the wrong time increase the deficit. Also unsustainable bubbles in the economy are hardly reliable growth. I would like you to do your research. Where do you see that Obama has increased the debt higher than Bush? What is disturbing is your cherry picking of the facts and then misinterpreting them. Limiting insurance companies profit margin “hurts” them doesn’t it? I hardly think that Romney’s Hoover-like policies would help a recession. Balancing the budget, and slashing taxes for the wealthy who will do what all smart captilalists do, invest more (real estate, stock market, overseas investments, etc., will not create jobs. You do not seem to understand the origin or the intent of Obama care when it comes to Roman Catholic institutions. You might want to re-read the material, not distorted interpretations of it. Here is the budget link: http://www.upworthy.com/the-complete-guide-of-what-to-blame-for-our-debt-problem-brought-to-you-by-math?g=2

    • Thank you Pastor, you could have not said things more eloquently……..I think many need to remove those rose colored glasses they seem to adorn in such a fashionable sense which hide the true nature of the road our country is in the midst of embarking in.
      I am a 56 year old woman and take a very literal look at what the reality is……the numbers tell the story. Since Obama first was elected to present we are on a downhill, how can they say so bold face we are better off today than then……it really baffles me. I don’t listen to the ads, just look at the numbers and cringe to think what the next four years will bring. I may not be around much longer and the prospect of my grandchildren inheriting the trillions of dollar debt this country has acquired, just in the last four years and only speculate what the next four years will bring, well it actually makes me sick to my stomach. The issues have always been the issues…….the numbers are what matter.

      • Nan, I am personally better off today than I was when Obama took office. My income is up, my children are healthy, my gay and lesbian family and friends are finally finding acceptance and equal rights. My job is more secure now than it was in 2008, fiscal cliff notwithstanding.

        More than that, by most objective measures, the United States is better off today than it was when Obama took office. Millions of people who could not afford health care in 2008 will be able to by 2014, and millions more who were denied coverage will be able to buy insurance (source). Unemployment is back under 8%, where it was in January, 2009 when Obama took office, and down from its peak of 10% in October 2009 (source).

        The debt doesn’t matter as much as I think you are implying. When public debt is used to maintain employment, to prevent the collapse of critical industry, to ensure that emergency responders and educators are kept employed, to maintain critical infrastructure like roads and bridges and tunnels and power lines, spending is an investment in the future. Eventually the debt will have to come down, but right now isn’t the right time to do it. On the other hand, debt used to build weapons and conquer and occupy two nations for a decade (especially Iraq) is largely wasted, as is reconstruction money lost to corruption in those countries since the start of their respective occupations. Thankfully the expenditures for both are way down.

        The country is better off today in nearly every respect than it was when Obama took office, numerically as well as anecdotally. Since you disagree and feel that the numbers support your position, perhaps you’d care to present those numbers with references?

      • Most of the trillions of dollars are from taking the cost of two wars from OFF the books and exposing them to light so we can deal with them. It was not “new debt” it was head in the sand debt from republican policies.

      • I’m sorry you’re worried, Nan, but maybe you would feel better if you looked at the more recent numbers. Unemployment is falling and we’ve added over a million jobs so far this year. The bailout of the auto industry was an unqualified success and millions of Americans have returned to work since the worst of the recession.

        Now that the temporary Bush deficit-expanding tax plan has expired, Obama can work with Congress to create a better one. His proposal will cut taxes for everyone – including the rich – but not as deeply as Bush did, allowing us to get the deficit under control.

        That’s why I can say with a straight face that I am better off than I was four years ago.

    • As a pastor myself, I cannot figure out your #5. Jesus instructed followers to give to Caesar what was due, and to God what was due to God. If we say we are followers of Jesus, we cannot turn our backs on “the least of these.” But, if we leave helping the less fortunate to faith-based entities, then we also run the risk of many of these entities setting up discriminatory giving which would refuse services to LGBT folks, non-Christians, etc. (See Salvation Army). We need to have social safety nets to catch those who fall, and our government cannot be held hostage to a fake “religious liberty” argument that is trotted out in service of discriminating against women, gays, etc.

    • It’s true that birthers, people using the N-word, and now calling for assassination, are the fringe. But no one stopped them. John McCain spoke up against this. Mitt Romney, on the other aond, made a birther joke in MI, and so did one of his sons. How can we be a united electorate if people will not call for religious and ethnic tolerance when they are asking for the privliege to be the president of all of us? No one stopped these rumors and slurs during the Romney campaign because people who proliferate these rumors and slurs are part of the Republican base.

      • Mitt “joking” about being a birther is only part of the reason why he lost the election. He was always so smug about everything, being rich and being a smart aleck does not sit well for those of us who were not born into money. It turned us against him. If he had ever, for one second, acted like he truly cared about each and every person in this country and laid out a real plan (one that was real and visible to the public) he might have had a shot. His Republican supporters that were running for seats in the Senate that ignorantly about how rape was God’s will and how the female body would “take care of” a prenancy if it was “legitimate rape” are other big factors in why the disconnection only grew more and more.. You can’t talk about rape like it’s your business if you, in fact, have never been raped. I think when it comes to the workings of a female’s body, that should be left up to the individual that it happens to. Those that think they can force your beliefs on others are part of the problem. Don’t even get me started on how Mitt talking about “magic underwear” and back in ’08 talking about how it was God’s plan for him to be president according to his religion (riding in on a white horse?) Now that is drinking some Kool Aid for you.

    • Dear Pastor Tom-

      A fish on an electricians van does not guarantee a good electrician or a fair price. Your biased words demonstrate nothing more than fear peddling republican rhetoric. Please do not assume that your profession or religion give you any form of special insight or advantage, you are as emotionally driven as anyone else. Your decisions for fear place you as a part of the problem and not part of a solution. Theologically who are you serving, Pastor?

    • I find it ironic and mind twisting that the left wanted a single-payer health system to cover all Americans, but the Romney’s in the government said, “Hey, you can’t just kill the insurance industry.” So after a lot of compromising we have a system that makes sure people can get the kind of health care they need but still must pay private brokers, as the right demands. Did anybody get what they wanted? No? Is either side willing to use the other side’s system. Also no. Maybe, after a while, the public will tell its leaders and its businesses what it wants.

      • Chris, did you realize that Medicare already uses private insurance companies also, and that people have a choice between picking the government plan or going through a private broker HMO or PPO . The private insurance companies often offer prescription, some dental and eye care that you don’t get through the government funded Medicare unless you want to pay extra (for prescription coverage only). And good luck finding a doctor that takes Medicaid, insurance for the disabled and poor. The reimbursement is so low that hardly any doctors will touch it.

        • I should add I know, because I have a disable son on medicaid. They are great paying for tests and prescriptions, but doctors do not want to take it.

    • Pastor Tom
      Just to address point #3.
      November 1st the New York Time reported on a Congressional Research Service report that was suppressed by the GOP that examined 65 years of tax cuts and growth and found no evidence for the claim that cutting taxes increases growth. The GOP flung many complaints about it after this was reported including a flawed methodology but has yet to demonstrate what the flaw in the methodology was.

      • In 1999 I was against the tax cuts proposed because the economy was good and I wanted our surplus to go towards National Debt elimination. All the problems of the new millennium ushered in a new dynamic. At first I was skeptical of George Bush’s Tax cut scheme but the proof is in the pudding. Despite war, natural disaster, Medicare drug benefits, creation of the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration, stock market fraud and the irrational exuberance that led to the popping of the Dot-Com bubble our economy. In 2000 the dot-com boom popped and tax revenue to the treasury dropped from $2,025.5 trillion to 1,991.4, George Bush’s baseline for 2001. Then 911 insulted tax revenue even more dropping to $1,782-trillion by 2003 the Bush passed his tax cuts and revenue climbed to $2,568 trillion by 2007, a $786 billion increase from the 2003 low because of the tax cuts.

        It is all there to be seen at treasury.gov if you are interested in facts. It is very though to see though when you have your hands over your eyes.

        • Daryl, do you know how to perform mathematical correlations in Excel? If so, I recommend you dig up the annual tax rate data from the IRS (it’s tricky to find, unfortunately) and then compare that to revenues. When you do, you’ll find that the highest correlation between changes in the tax rate and changes in revenues occurs between 2 and 4 years after the tax rate changes. You’ll also find that the correlation is low enough that it could have occurred as a result of random chance about 30% of the time.

          What this means is that the 2003 Bush tax cuts you’re espousing here might have had a small effect in 2005, but may not have been affecting the economy until as late as 2007, right before the recession hit. And that means Bush’s tax cuts didn’t really do much to the economy besides overheat it and create the conditions that Obama has spent the last four years trying to fix.

          This also means that Obama spent most of his first term fixing the screwups that happened during Bush’s second term (not all of which are Bush’s fault, as there is a Congress to consider here too), just as Bush spent most of his first term fixing the screwups that happened during Clinton’s second term, and so on back through at least the last 50 years.

          You’re right that all the data is there if you know where to find it – and if you know enough math to understand it when you do find it.

    • yours is a viewpoint from Christianity only, remember that alot of those Christians voted for Pres. Obama. Alot of Christians do not agree with your idea of religious liberties. Your liberties are being forced upon a multi nationality country. you get with the times buddy

    • Pastor Tom-Where did you get the idea that every time taxes are cut the economy grows? Have you forgotten Bush, Clinton, Reagan. Reagan rasied taxes about a dozen times, and the economy grew. So did clinton. Bush lowered them, and we floundered. Not sure where you’re getting your numbers from.

    • I wanted to know, too ,how you a person can claim to be pro life and then vote for an administration that is funding abortions with tax payers money. Thank you Pastor for your comments!

    • So is dismissiveness and gross misinterpreation of facts, while confusing facts with opinions part of a discussion. I would hardly think a thoughtful dialogue could take place with you. On the other hand, I hope there is another side of you than this.

    • You have the right to run away and for that I congratulate you. You have made it known that you don’t want to hear any other views to your own in case you might have to think about them. No doubt you have set yourself up into a nice comfortable rut, a nice job as a pastor where people pay you money to listen to you and not argue like the nasty people here do. As Clint Eastwood once said in one of his movies “A man has to know his limitations”, you certainly do and you recognise when you are intellectually outclassed.

    • You will note, Pastor Tom, that I was able to answer one of your supporters above with language every bit as flowery and erudite as yours. It is also true that the word “fuck” has a longer history of use in the English language (1503) than “profanity” (1607), so getting on your high horse and demanding folks adhere to your puritanical definition of acceptable language just masks the paucity of your ideas.

    • A guy wrote a letter to the Salt lake Tribune saying: If you don’t like abortion, don’t get one ..don’t like contraception, don’t use it, don’t like gay marriage, don’t marry one..Problem solved.

  5. Oh and by the way, you clearly didn’t research my blog any more carefully than any of your other silly claims. Just three weeks ago I posted:
    “And of course rape – of any person – is always forbidden. But this is one of the cases where even the most non-religious do not need have to be told that this was a vile, despicable, evil act. Even without the bible, the vast majority of human beings still know that this is wrong at every level.”

    • You used those words in the context of trying to rationalize an Old Testament passage. You do not, that I can find, bring that to bear on any of the candidates out there in the Christian pro-rape camp.

      Also, your rationalization of the OT on the question of rape is … entertaining.

      That said, I do look forward to you going away. I don’t much care why.

      • Oh for Pete sakes, Sam. I am a Christian, and a republican and I am not pro-rape nor are any of the women I know. Just because some senator made a ridiculously stupid remark that women can shut their bodies down and prevent rape, please don’t think all the rest of us think that. Of course that is absurd.That is just another way the liberal media takes a remark by one misguided person and paints the whole republican party with one brush.

        • Barb, I don’t really know what you’re carrying on about. I’m pretty sure I never said any of what you’re attributing to me, and if I did I’d appreciate you showing me where. I’m certain I never called you pro-rape. 100% certain, in fact.

          As for “one senator,” it was no such thing. It was SEVERAL GOP officials. I know there are wackadoos in every major organization, but responsible organizations step up and deal with members who embarrass them. The problem that responsible Christians have right now – and responsible Republicans, as well – is that they have been allowing their morons to run loose, saying all manner of ludicrous stuff unchallenged, for what – 30 years? It is not my fault that responsible voices in these organizations have abdicated their authority over those who would tarnish their reputations. I’ve been saying it to my Christian and GOP family and friends (yes, I have them) for at least 20 years. All I can do at this point is observe what has happened and react in what seems like an appropriate manner.

          For the record, I was raised very Southern Baptist in working class rural North Carolina (by old-school grandparents who had grown up through the Depression – it doesn’t get a lot more Christian than that). I was not only a Republican, as well, I was an elected delegate to a GOP county convention in 1988. I voted for Reagan twice and Bush the Elder once. Think of me what you will, but make no mistake, my perspective is one that’s informed by decades of intimate personal experience.

        • The quote from you was: “you used those words in the context of trying to rationalize an Old Testament passage. You do not, that I can find, bring that to bear on any of the candidates out there in the Christian pro-rape camp.”
          Sorry, if I got crabby. . But you cannot believe how much flack I got from people just for “liking” Romney on my face book page. It has made me a bit angry. You would have thought I was an evil monster. To be honest, he is not who I would have picked to run for president of the rep party, but he is who we got. We just suffered so much financially through the past few years. My husband was out of work and could not find a job anywhere for a long period. Most factory work is now outsourced. He finally found a temp job (no benefits) and then got hired on, but is still underemployed. I know others in the same boat, especially older people. They just do not want to hire you.Our personal property tax, insurance, the price of food, gas and utilities just keep going up. We are actually doing worse than we were 8 years ago. My concern about the economy was my main motivator for voting for Romney. I feel we have to have more of a plan than just taxing the rich more. That will only go so far. We need job creation. But hopefully something will get done and Congress can work together now that the election is over. There is so much polarization in the parties now and so many social issues have been brought into both parties which complicates it all. It all makes me very tired. I don’t know why I am on here anyway. I tend to be very quiet by nature and here I am arguing on the internet. :)

        • Barb – two quick things. First, I don’t understand how my observation on Pastor Tom’s blog post adds up to calling you pro-rape.

          Second, let me make sure I have this straight. Your husband is out of work and you’re concerned about jobs being outsourced, so you voted for a man who made millions and millions of dollars outsourcing jobs?

          I honestly have no clue what to say to that.

  6. Pingback: Mystery Unraveled: How a white, moderate, churchgoing, middle-class, middle … « bsafeguide1365n

  7. I think your thoughts are a masterful synopsis of my own scattered thoughts. I have so many conservative christian friends who have used your exact points as reasons to have voted for a man who is so obviously disingenuous. I am going to share your words on Face Book, but I seriously doubt it will assuage the angst of my friends who think Obama is the anti-christ. They don’t get that they are the modern day Pharisees who our savior Jesus came to save from their own heresy. I bet I get a slew of friend cancellations after this.

    I love irony and paradox. So, I am laughing my ass off and, at the same time deeply concerned that those who wanted to vote for change in big government and a return to family values via the Romney/Ryan ticket are going to just dig in their heels for another 4 years and obstruct out of spite any meaningful legislation that they too would benefit from.

    It is like my sister used to say when we were kids when she got pink eye or a kidney infection; “I’m not going to the doctor, I’m not going to the doctor. I’m not going to the doctor”. She would scream this even while sitting in the doctor’s waiting room. Then afterwords she would begrudgingly admit that she felt better after seeing the doctor and taking his pills.

    Take a chill pill Romney fans. It is better than drinking the kool-aid.

  8. Well, Wendy, I’ve told you before that I’m deathly afraid of you because you’re a Christian. Pastor Tom demonstrates why.

    I suspect that our good Satan-worshiping pastor has left us, but just in case anyone else is the least tempted to buy in to his blatant lies, let me just take them one at a time.

    1. I won’t bother with the birther thing. I have no numbers on exactly how many birthers there are in the GO(W)P, and unlike Republicans, I need evidence before I make assertions.

    2. Tax cuts do not grow tax revenues. Not every time. Not even most times. Here’s a chart illustrating that quite convincingly. http://rricketts.ba.ttu.edu/Tax%20Rates%20and%20Revenues.htm

    3. The good pastor knows absolutely nothing about the health care crisis, it is clear. I spent more than two decades of my life helping large employers deal with the health care crisis, so I think I’m reasonably well versed in it. But Past Tom, like most Republicans, doesn’t need actual facts when he can make them up. I’m not going to say that his health care premiums haven’t increased 20%. I’m not even going to say that they’ve increased 20% solely based on the advent of national health care. I’m just going to say that I don’t believe it, and I’ll need to see some proof before I do. My health care premiums are steady. I’ve heard nothing from my contacts suggesting any increases because of national health care. Now, I WILL say that the proposed national health care system isn’t the best one we could adopt as a nation. Far from it. But the right solution was killed by GO(W)P fillibuster and House intransigence. What we have is all we could get, given the Republicans in Congress, and we very nearly didn’t get even that. We were a hair away from business as usual with a US health care system that gets worse results at around twice the price of any other industrialized nation. As for “billing systems that cause billions in fraud,” and just got a belly laugh out of that. Fraud? Oh yes. There’s fraud. Billions? Sure, and a veritable drop in the bucket compared to the real drivers of cost, which are perverse incentives that cause us to spend money without even a nod to cost and benefit trade-offs.

    4. Well, considering that the GO(W)P wants to completely ignore global warming and drill and dig for more ways to spew yet more greenhouse gases into the air, I’d say this is a reasonable complaint against the Republicans.

    5. What’s unfair about poor people paying the same rate as Bill Gates? Well, first off, poor people have little or no (usually no) leftover income to spare after trying to keep everyone fed with a roof over their heads. So, 10% of a tiny amount is 10% the poor can’t spare and keep body and soul together. What the good pastor is suggesting (and in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, no less) is that people and their children can go hungry and he couldn’t care less. Then there’s also the issue of the fact that the wealthy get more services from government than the poor. Surprised? Why? The US military keeps the trade lanes open at enormous expense, and it’s the wealthy who mostly benefit. The police and fire department essentially insure much more wealth among the wealthy than the poor, and it costs more to insure more. There’s an entire apparatus of regulators and law designed to try to keep market fair, and without fair markets, the amount of money coming into the securities market would be depressed, as would stock prices. So the wealthy benefit from that, too. Public roads allow trade throughout the US for all the companies and pieces of companies the wealthy own. The US State Department is constantly negotiating trade agreements and entry for US companies that disproportionately benefits the wealthy.

    But let’s just take a practical approach, shall we? In an economy where more and more wealth goes to fewer and fewer people, the ONLY place to find sufficient tax revenues is from those people who actually have money. That’s just the way the numbers work.

  9. I really enjoyed the article and the ensuing comments until Samuel Smith joined in. Mr. Smith, why do you resort to name calling and insults against someone who does not agree with your view? You could learn from the author here. Even though she was questioned and refuted, she continued to defend her position respectfully. We will never live in a world where all of us agree. Every person comes with a different set of experiences and upbringing that determine our views. Name calling and insulting others who are not like we are serves no purpose. Unfortunately, this is what turns so many people off of politics. No room for hate here.

    • Charlene: first off, it’s Dr. Smith. Second, I respect those who approach conversations with intelligence and good faith. I have no patience for the willfully ignorant and those who spread their ignorance and hatefulness.

      You want me to be nice? Show me you care about things like facts.

      • Dr. Smith: Please excuse me for not addressing you properly…I had no way of knowing your title, just could tell from your picture you were male. While I only earned a Master’s degree, I taught history for 39 years and have learned that quite a few things in life are not worth the effort, one of those being arguing with an arrogant person, degreed or not. With that, I am out of this thread.

        • Saaaaaammmmmyyyyy–the quota is to alienate one idiot per thread. I got Valerie. You got Pastor Tom. They deserved it for lying. Charlene is just not very bright.

          Let her and the rest hang around. The Harlem Globetrotters needed the Washington Generals.

      • Let me understand this argument: “I will be hateful until you manage to be the person I want you to be. Then I’ll consider being civil.” Did your momma tech you this “my way or the highway” attitude? Did you get it with your degree? Because in this country, and I’ve seen a lot of it over a long time, I’ve never seen that a lack of listening skills lead to a more informed person.
        Master Chris

        • I quite sure that particular skill is learned from the Republican party and their attitude while running Congress

      • Dr. Samuel, one thing I have learned is that the facts seem to change whenever someone wants to support their opinion, whether democrat or republican, or any aspect of philosophy, faith, atheism, or world view. One can find anything they need to support their case, I don’t care what their position is. There is so much information on the internet by so many people, it is impossible to know just what is true. People also take things out of context and twist facts. And yes, I agree with Charlene, that you have a very bad bedside manner. You seem to be pretty hateful yourself to anyone who disagrees with your opinion.

  10. Thanks for sharing. I am one of those bewildered people. Not because I think Obama is an idiot, he’s a very inspiring speaker and has a clear plan in mind for our country that he will execute well no doubt. I just have grave doubts about the goodness of that plan. And, not because I think Romney is perfect and would make all things right in this country.

    This is why:

    God says: I hate hands that shed innocent blood – Proverbs 17:9
    and
    You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it….
    You saw me before I was born….
    How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
    Psalm 139: 13-17

    Romney
    Pro-Life

    Obama
    Pro-Choice and Pro-Partial Birth abortion where a nearly full term baby is delivered up to the head and then punctured in the back of the neck and it’s brains are sucked out to collapse the skull. (Sept 11 tragedy x 30 every day and no one says a word) Life doesn’t get anymore innocent than a baby. Blood spilling out, limbs pulled off, brains sucked out. Things that animal activists would scream out about if done to a puppy but every day to little human lives.

    God says: Care for the orphans and widows (a command to Christians btw not government) James 1:27 and 1 Timothy 5: 9-15 gives pretty specific instructions regarding care of widows and the category they should fall into to receive care.
    – the poor will always be with you Mark 14:7
    Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. Proverbs 13:4 Proverbs 12 has alot to say about it as well.

    Romney
    Realizes we will always have poor and that if our debt continues to grow the poor will increase to include nearly all of our country!

    Obama
    Wants to supply the poor with more than basic needs. My sister whom I love dearly does not work and I had to ask her to stop texting me on her free cell phone because I don’t pay for texting. I’ve worked for 15 years and just got a cell phone last year. And had to ask her not to call my husband at work.
    Wants to force us to pay for their abortions, contraceptives, cell phones, health care, etc.

    God says as you stated: To whom much is given much is required. This again is applying to Christians and the talents be it money or otherwise that God gives them. But for fun let’s take a look.

    Romney
    Wanted to keep the rich paying taxes as they currently are which btw is more than we pay.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Share_of_Total_Income_and_Taxes_Paid_by_Income_Group_in_2011.jpg
    So that top category paid a minimum of $296,136.00 last year in taxes. Did you???

    Obama
    Wants the rich to pay even more. I’ve tried to build a successful brand and company. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s fricken hard. These company owners have sacrificed huge amounts of time, energy, money, maybe marriages to establish their brand. Frankly, I’m not willing to take that risk and make that sacrifice to make it work but I do respect those that have. Society wasn’t there helping them when it was hard so why the heck should they have to give more? And, they won’t. They’ll move and say have fun with that. Not to mention many of these people already have foundations, or giving programs incorporated into their businesses. Again, giving far more than the rest of us each year.

    Wants to tell all of us who we have to care for. I enjoy giving and I want to give where I feel passionate. I don’t feel passionate about providing cell phones to the whole world. I feel passionate about caring for orphans in India, fighting against sex trafficking, speaking out for the innocent unborn babies, partnering with my church to make a difference in our city, etc. I don’t need government telling me to give to others and I don’t want them telling me where I have to give. God entrusted me with the money and I am responsible to answer to Him and Him alone with how I distribute it.

    God says of Israel: I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3

    Romney
    Stands behind Israel

    Obama
    Said in debate he will stand behind them but his actions in the last 4 years have not supported that and he asked them to give up more of their country which btw is about the size of the state of New Jersey.

    And you mentioned green energy research. Yes, this is valuable, however we can’t spend billions paying for something when we don’t have the money to do so. First do the hard work, cut spending, get out of debt, then begin research again. I believe this is what Romney was saying. Smaller, Simpler, Smarter. Getting out of debt isn’t fun and it’s hard work but the alternative is devastating.

    This is why we are baffled. Because if you go by scripture and the level of emphasis God places by category, the protection of innocent lives and Israel comes out as far more important to Him than care of the poor. And, if I had to choose between starting over in the land of opportunity with no money or having my brains sucked out, being torn apart limb by limb, or being destroyed by saline injection, I think it’s safe to say we both would choose to start again.

    • So much here I would like to reply to, but my time is limited. However, may I offer an in-depth response to one of your final points, which I think you intended as a bit of a summation:

      “This is why we are baffled. Because if you go by scripture and the level of emphasis God places by category, the protection of innocent lives and Israel comes out as far more important to Him than care of the poor.”

      First of all, I do not agree with your assessment when there are more than 2,000 verses in the Bible that speak of our obligation to care for the poor — but more importantly, it is not an “either/or” situation! Why can it not be “both/and”? Can we not protect unborn lives (which I think we can do more effectively via means other than what are surely to be fruitless efforts to repeal Roe v. Wade, on which Romney’s positions have been historically mixed) while at the same time caring at least as much for them once they are born? It is this disconnect I cannot understand: why are unborn innocent lives more important than those children who are now with us in the world? And just because “the poor will always be with us” does not excuse us from not caring for them or seeking to help find means out of their destitution! I can think of no more callous dismissal. To use this Bible verse alone against the entire context of scripture regarding the poor is self-serving in the extreme.

      I urge conservative Christians to expand their understanding of “pro-life.” That is why I included a link to Thomas Friedman’s recent op-ed that calls for a much more comprehensive definition of respect for the sanctity of life: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/opinion/sunday/friedman-why-i-am-pro-life.html

      And regarding Israel – while I do not agree with your assessment of Obama’s actions toward Israel, here, too, a moral position would surely include support and justice for both Jews AND oppressed Palestinians, including Palestinian Christians? I am not including Hamas, Hezbollah and the like, nor Zionist extremists.

      One of — perhaps THE — biggest problem besieging our electorate is this tendency toward artificial bifurcations, these binary oppositions that suggest we are either this or that, and that one cannot simultaneously hold a view that supports both the importance of two concerns side by side. In a similar vein, I do not find it problematic to uphold the notion of the sacred institution of marriage within a religious tradition while at the same time allowing those outside that tradition to make their own marriage commitments within a civil society. Clearly, it’s an issue of controversy within some churches, such as my own Presbyterian (USA) denomination—are gay couples also allowed a ‘sacred blessing’? But that is for churches to wrestle with themselves. It should not interfere with the opportunity for same-sex couples to seek the civil benefits of marriage or domestic partnerships. I come back to the point that opting to make a commitment — whether same-sex or hetero-sex — is good for the ongoing health of our social fabric.

      • Thanks for your response Wendy. It was never my intent to make it have to be an either or situation. Simply that I can and already do give to the poor on my own and I feel like that is a mandate to Christians not government. The other issues I mentioned cannot be rectified on my own. And, quite frankly I am tired of being accused of not giving and wanting to keep all my money b/c of a vote when in reality I am quite confident that if you compared my bank account with those placing said accusations it would show that I give more. It’s not a contest but i really do want to see what these accusers are giving currently and if it lines up with their said desires. Because if it did there would be excess. The vote numbers for Obama were huge so if they each gave even $1 that would be a great start. Why wait for Obama? You could start a foundation and get the news and supporters behind it. I say if you’re passionate about it to do it. I’ll give to it.

      • Wendy, I owe you an apology. I broke my own cardinal rule and responded while irritable. My concern is that I don’t feel like our government manages money well and if I am already helping those in need why should it funnel through them? I would like to see a better track record and plus it takes the fun out of giving. I want to give where I feel passionate. We are all wired differently with wonderful passions and Desires to help where needed. God loves a cheerful giver not a begrudging one. I am going to sign off for the weekend and try to enjoy my family. Have a wonderful weekend as well.

        • Janet: You seem very sincere. I wonder how you feel about the adult humans killed by the state. Is that a problem for you? I am not being sarcastic. I am interested in whether your deep concern for small collections of cells that might become humans if God doesn’t spontaneously abort them (the medical term for “miscarriages”) is greater than your concern for humans who are presently alive.

          What about the woman who is carrying a fetus that has gross genetic abnormalities… such as a brain developing outside its skull. Should she and her doctor call you for an opinion about whether an abortion is allowed? How about if carrying the fetus to term will kill the mother. That’s God’s will, is it not?

          I share your concern about what our government spends my tax money on. I pay about 28%. I really hate to support those wars where we kill darker-skinned people because they live where the oil that we need to run our economy sits. Can I keep the money and send it to an orphanage in India instead? I would much rather get the joy of choosing where to spend it. God loves a cheerful giver, as you pointed out. I’d like good roads and hospitals and internet in my neighborhood, but I may not care so much about spending it in the other neighborhoods.

          I hope that God blesses you, as She does me.

    • Janet, I’m not going to try and argue with you on theological terms. I can’t hold a candle to your knowledge of the Bible, and I won’t try. But much of what you’re suggesting here is not Christian as I was raised back before I abandoned my Catholicism. And some of the rest of it strikes me as outright un-American.

      For example, how would you respond to a woman I know whose life was saved because she had a “partial birth” abortion of a fetus with anencephaly? Abortion is not so cut and dry as you seem to be making it out to be. And let’s not forget that just because your own faith defines conception as the start of human life, not all faiths feel as you do. By forcing your beliefs upon others via the legal system, you’re essentially violating the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

      Pro-life is more than anti-abortion. It’s making sure that every child who is born is wanted, healthy, fed, and loved. It’s opposing unjust wars like the invasion of Iraq. It’s opposing the death penalty even in the case of heinous crimes (and I say this as someone who doesn’t fundamentally have a problem with the death penalty in extreme cases).

      With respect to the poor, did you mean to imply that health care wasn’t a basic need? Because you put it in the same list as cellphones, and it’s totally different. Are you familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Put simply, until the basic physiological needs of your body are addressed, you can’t begin to worry about your needs for safety, and until you are safe, you can’t begin to worry about your psychological needs, and so on. It’s fascinating stuff, really, and it makes a lot of sense – if you’re not breathing, you’re not exactly going to be worrying about your self-esteem.

      I bring this up because I’m interpreting your concept of “basic needs” as just those raw physiological requirements – air, water, food, sleep, and a place to use a toilet. But many of the items in the “safety” level of the hierarchy are nearly as critical, such as staying healthy, clothing appropriate to the climate, and shelter from the elements. In my opinion, these are just as much “basic needs” as sleep and food, and it’s both immoral and unethical to deny them to anyone. And wouldn’t you rather provide contraception as part of a low-income health plan than provide abortions to homeless women who can barely feed and clothe themselves, never mind an infant? Which brings us back full circle to my point about pro-life being more than just anti-abortion.

      Your argument about taxes (The $296,136.00 thing) is in some ways logical, but I find it unconvincing. If sacrifice is required, then how is it a greater sacrifice for the wealthiest among us to less, percentage wise, than those who have less? I pay more than double the percentage rate that Romney pays every year, plus I donate money and goods to my neighborhood school, ARC, Lupus, Goodwill, et al. Using nothing more than sacrifice as the yardstick, I’m more godly than Romney is.

      • Chris, that is an intelligent way to look at the issue. Nobody who is Pro-Choice is Pro-Abortion, but expecting abstinence is simply unrealistic. Contraception and education makes so much more sense. And it is vastly cheaper.

  11. I am so thankful to read this. I just wish there were such an articulate exposition of the opposite side. I just cannot understand how a white, moderate, churchgoing, middle-class, middle-aged woman could vote for _Romney_.

    I was raised a Christian, and one thing that I remember quite clearly was the “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me” part. How do Christians square this demonizing and attacks on the 47%, the policies to gut medicaid (which is the prime payer of all nursing home care in this country), medicare, and social security?

    Or maybe it is all about race and/or baby killing.

      • No. You tried, and failed. I still don’t see how Romney’s policies would have been consistent with a Christian world view. Tax cuts for the rich. More money for the military than they asked for. We cast the money changers out of the temple with this election, and I, for one, am very happy with the result.

        • OK Rosie. I would love to hear the organizations you feel passionate about and help financially throughout the year. I’ve already shared mine. Maybe as we lead by example others will be inspired to list theirs. After all it seems that’s what the main desire of this thread appears to be- helping the less fortunate.

        • Ok, Janet. I give $–about 10%–to a whole host of organizations. In fact, I work at an organization that directly assists the poor. My money is where my mouth is. But, human service organizations are stretched so thin already. It’s not about individual generosity…it’s that if the government cuts back further (they already have), it will be a struggle to piece together a safety net for the least able among us. I don’t know who you think “the poor” are. I see them every day, so I’ll tell you: They’re every color, every gender, every age. Many suffer mental and physical health problems. About 1/3 of Medicaid recipients are children (the lazy little brats), and nearly 2/3 of Medicaid spending is for nursing home care (those good-for-nothing elderly, blind, and disabled people!). The average semi-private room in a nursing home costs $7k/month in my state. That amount blows through many people’s life savings in less than 6 months. Then we have incidents like Katrina and Sandy. Text your $10 to red cross–they do good work. But don’t delude yourself into thinking that the red cross could provide all of the disaster relief that is necessary in cases like these. The magnitude of the devastation requires a government response, and your dog in the race wanted to eliminate FEMA. Such a stance is nothing short of heartless. If the government doesn’t pay, the costs don’t evaporate. They get spread out to a patchwork of organizations, most of which are too small to be effective, and whose funding is so thin that it is hard to make a difference. In fact, a large part of my organization’s funding comes from government and foundation grants…not private donors.

    • Simple…..
      They’re not Mathew 25 Christians and they use their faith as a viel to get “what they want”!!! Do as I say, NOT AS I DO!!!!!!

  12. As a moderate conservative and military lifer, I found your article insightful. I would like to say a few things:
    1. Pastor Tom and the birther crap. He is correct by saying the conservative mainstream do not believe President Obama is a Muslim with fake documents. It is normal for the fringe to be the most vocal and in your face because they are trying the hardest to be heard. I do not understand the attacks from Sammy on that one. And for the “rape-is-God’s-will” comment, there was only one idiot making that comment and he was defeated by a female Army Veteran with no legs. I am sure there are plenty of other idiots out there sharing his view, but I didn’t hear about it.
    2. Otherwise and Sammy are obviously regulars on this site. Your personal attacks on those that do not share your views or do not support their views with facts is quite despicable. You two are blog trolls that take joy is starting blog drama and fighting with a keyboard. Congrats. You can keep this site as I am never coming back.
    3. And to Sammy, if you want people to refer to you as Doctor, change your fucking name. Don’t be a dick about.

    • Hey Commo Subby, when you have to resort to obscenities to get you point across you are showing you have lost the discussion and when you trot out the old “..I am never coming back.” tactic shows you will be.
      You’ll be back dancing on the end of the puppet strings.

    • JimmieJo, when you accuse a well thought opinion as lacking in intelligence and wisdom, it makes you look like you’re lacking in intelligence and wisdom. Just observing…..

  13. Wendy wrote: “As for me, I went to college on Pell grants, work-study, scholarships and summer jobs. That combination of my own hard work and a little help from a society that supported my potential is what got me a college degree. That powerful model – public and private in synergy – remains most compelling to me and is the most fundamental reason I voted for President Obama.”

    With the exception of Pell Grants, Wendy, (instead I got scholarship and grant money from a CORPORATION -who, in those halcyon days called the 70’s, believed that giving the children of cotton mill employees a shot at a better economic life was somehow a good thing for the country and their business – how bizarre is that?) I went to college using exactly the same supports.

    It wasn’t until I was a doctoral student living on a minsicule academic fellowship in the 80’s that I became an enemy of the state – it still seems to me after years of reflection and deliberation simply because I wanted to be an educated person – and found myself AUDITED not once but TWICE by IRS on the orders of Reagan’s administration – which is when the deconstructing of social opportunities to better oneself began. First thing, it seemed, take away educational opportunity.

    And so followed the deconstruction of unions who protect workers, the takeover of many of those same corporations by leveraged buyouts because they were “undervalued” (i.e., they weren’t off-shoring their production to line the pockets of a few already wealthy execs and their cronies with the money that was being wasted giving loyal, hard-working AMERICAN employees decent salaries and opportunities for their children like the one I mention above).

    And the cutting of taxes on the wealthy as a means of “stimulating” the economy. Which has led, not to “trickle down” for the rest of us peasants but instead to the upper 1%’s wealth increasing by 18% while the middle class has lost wealth. And instead of owning 1/3 of America’s wealth, they now own 40% – and their share is growing as the middle class shrinks. Now that’s economic opportunity – from hell….

    All this was accompanied by the perversion of evangelical Christianity, once an honorable if occasionally overly- priggish branch of Protestantism, into a cult of xenophobic hate-mongers who see difference of opinion with their interpretation of the Bible of any sort as sin punishable by death – and the ability to think for oneself as grounds for being blown up or shot (see: Eric Rudoph, Scott Roeder, numerous others).

    If one, ONE, person who sides with the “Right” can ever offer me an argument that doesn’t stink of hatred of labor, detest of those less fortunate, and religious intolerance for anyone who doesn’t share their narrow, hate-filled world view, I’ll consider voting for their candidates. To date I haven’t seen that.

    And no one here speaking for the “Right” has offered anything new. More of the same hate and intolerance – sometimes couched in economic “facts,” sometimes couched in Biblical citations chosen to give the impression that they’re acting out of a conviction that isn’t based in their despicable xenophobia and intolerance.

    That’s why I voted as I did.

    I don;t know about anyone else, but I’m damned if I want to live in Pottersville….

    • Whenever I hear posts like this, I want to ask, what do you do, personally, to help the less fortunate? I feel very sad that you think that those on the right detest the less fortunate. I am a republican, my parents were republican (middle class). My mom gave much to charity, and though I cannot afford to give as much as she does, I do too. She was also one of the most kindest and compassionate people I knew. Our church has collected money from its congregation to send medical teams to Haiti, and to help AIDS orphans in Africa. Many people at our church participate in sending Christmas care packages all over the world and in the Angel Tree ministry which provides gifts to children of incarcerated parents. We also help a local homeless shelter and other charitable needs. You will find that many fundamentalist republican Christians help the needy. From our own pockets. That is one of those Bible citations you so despise. I also believe in social services. You act as if all social services were cut in Republican administrations and that they want to do away with social services. Where did you get that idea? I am a believer in social services. My son, who is autistic and mentally challenged, receives help from the government, and has long before Obama came into office. There at more people on welfare and food stamps now, partly because there are not enough jobs, jobs which are part time and temp jobs with no benefits, and which do not pay enough. A dire situation which has not improved under Obama’s administration. Even if the rich give more, that does not negate the fact that we need jobs. I do agree with the fact that too many want to go overseas in order to make more money. I do wish that those who became successful here in the USA would be more willing to stay here, and I do get very angry at the whole outsourcing situation.Unfortunately, I do not see how that is going to change under the Obama administration. It is difficult to compete with people overseas who work for extremely low wages. There is the fact that many people who complain about the rich will also be unwilling to pay more for a product that is made in our country. I am afraid, though, if we start taxing and over regulating those businesses that have companies here, they will take even more work overseas. Unfortunately, greed seems to be the domain of most human beings anymore. People seem to care more about that bigger house, car, all kinds of gadgets, computers, expensive lattes, entertainment , vacations,etc., than the needy. It is easy to look at the very rich and point fingers. I would say that many of us could do more to help. And I do not exempt myself from that equation. Anyway, the next four years will tell.

      • Barb: The issue isn’t that you don’t give to charities, or that individual Republicans don’t or can’t. The issue is about THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, the collective institutional entity. There are exceptions to any rule you want to draw about any organization of this size. The question is about the collective policy goals of the whole.

    • You are totally awesome my friend. I am right there with you about not being categorized or boxed in. Thank you for speaking out and clarifying how you could have voted for Obama. I hope everyone reads your article, and I will share it on FB right now. Power to the People!

      Nancy Haddouch
      Maynard, Massachusetts

  14. I am a moderate Evangelical Christian. I have not seen many like me. I do not believe in abortion, even when my 14 year old daughter was raped, it never came up, except where she told me she wanted to carry the child to full term. I try to tell friend who look at one issue and that’s it on who to vote for. While that is important to me, I also look at when the republicans ran everything very little was done with abortion; late term abortions became illegal, but that was it. It is still legal. and Mitt Romney was Pro-choice no matter how you look at it, he has been for years and only wasn’t when he was in the republican primary. The last thing is, no matter who got in abortion would remain legal.

    we need to look at how to reduce abortions, and making the procedure illegal will not stop it, its a moral issue, and we need to raise the morality of this country to make that alternative invalid. It should not be a form of birth control and that’s where it is now.

    I am a moderate christian who was raised to not trust guys like Rmoney, so I could not vote for him, I don’t just vote for an R or a D, I did vote for Obama, I think he put us on sure footing and we are moving in the right direction. I am glad to see there are more of us out there.

    • Harry, abortions have always happened and always will. Most abortions these days occur for economic or health reasons, not because the woman (and her partner) was lazy, slutty, or any other “moral” concern.

      The way to stop abortions is to remove the conditions that create the need for them. Raise income levels, provide health services, educate men and women alike about contraception methods. Provide a home, job, and access to health care and the number of abortions will drop.

  15. Wendy, you are thoughtful and articulate. I, too, am a Christian, white, moderate, churchgoing and middle class. I was raised by a Baptist minister father and Sunday School teacher mom.
    During the entire presidential campaign, I waited for a leading Christian voice to speak out and comment on “What would Jesus do?” about issues like caring for the least among us; providing hospitality to immigrants; putting others before ourselves. Not one leading Christian pundit spoke to these issues. Barack Obama addressed all of them.
    I am so sad about the disconnect in this country, but “givers gain,” and that is a message that I hope conservatives begin to embrace. If you really think God will provide for all of your needs, then why are you so protective and selfish about helping others ? I really don’t get it!

  16. There are few things i’m more tired of than hearing all the bleating about abortion. Why do people care so much about what other people do? Because as i understand it, i’m a citizen of the land of freedom and personal responsibility and yet the people that most often go on, and on, and on about those two concepts are also the people most likely to want to decide matters for others.

    I don’t care about your Christianity (not you Wendy), and while my two earliest experiences with Christianity were assuming that my great-grandfather died on the cross and burning a Bible after attending a meeting to get some ice cream, i can pretty well go toe-to-toe with most of you Christians on the finer points of theological history and the Bible. I may be a little rusty and it was a long time ago that i was reading your holy book in Greek, but i’ve probably read it more times than most devout believers.

    So here’s the thing about your Book, your religion, and your interpretation of those two things: they don’t make any fucking sense. Did Jesus establish a new covenant with God or not? If he did, just shut the fuck up with the neo-Judaism Old Testament wrath of God and supporting your arguments with passages from the defunct covenant held by a different religion. If you’re going to hang your hat on the Old Testament because it prophesied the Messiah, then it’s time to become a Jew and move to Israel. If you’re going to be a Christian of the new covenant, then follow the lead that Jesus gives in your translation of a translation of a written record of an oral tradition recorded well after the fact and heavily modified by many people in between the origination and what you currently have … up to and including its modification to become the handmaiden of the Roman Empire.

    Finally, this is not a Christian nation and the overly revered founding fathers were not Christians but for a few of the lesser lights. Washington dedicated the Capitol as a Mason and refused the last rites, for example. And abortion before quickening (meaning basically quite late term, when the baby is moving enough to be physically noticeable) was legal in colonial and early America…that time of a more perfect Christian nation you people harken to.

    So maybe just leave the rest of us alone and start acting like Jesus instead of talking about Jesus. The rest of us might be a little more interested in the schlock your selling if it wasn’t just empty words and hollow promises of things which you actually have very little knowledge beyond being able to regurgitate something someone else told you.

    P.S. I’m ordained, so the preceding comes from a man of the motherfucking cloth.

  17. This is a thoughtful and beautifully written piece. WHile my personal story is different from yours, I feel very much the same about the direction of the country and our president. Thank you!

  18. Thank you Wendy- you speak for me: a 54 year old, White, upper middle class, Christian, woman, wife, mother, grandmother, and caregiver to my elderly mom, from humble, blue collar roots, also PhD educated.

  19. This has been an interesting and eye-opening discussion on so many levels. I consider myself a devout Catholic from the south. I am an artist and a teacher with a Master’s degree and I serve the homeless as well as those blessed with advantages that many never see. I encourage my students to use their talents, whatever they are, to better themselves and society if they can. I am firm in my beliefs, but so are people who have different ideas. No fault in that. In my opinion, no matter who you voted for or why, there is really only one way to live your life. Love your God. Love each other. That’s really all there is to it. In this country, thankfully, we have the freedom to do these two things in multitudes of ways.

  20. The vote reflects an electorate that doesn’t understand how small business works and how raising the tax rate is going to adversely affect all the S-Corporations that are small businesses. Your statement equating raising taxes on the wealthy targeting the Wall Street investors who profited from deregulation demonstrates that you bought the propaganda of the Obama campaign and don’t understand that most of the tax increase is going to be on the backs of small businesses that create most of the jobs in the country. The layoffs have already begun. I will have to cut 15% of my employees to keep the business viable. In 4 years we will know the extent of the damage done. It’s my hope that someone clues the president in that when you hurt small business, you hurt the economy and reduce your tax base. When the land of opportunity is turned into the land of borrow and pay benefits, the party will end when the lending is stopped. I hope it’s not true but I’m afraid you will find out what trickle down is like in a way that you didn’t expect.

    • Kris, if you were sufficiently on the edge before the election that you figured you might be have to cut 15% of your employees, then there was a good chance that you’d need to cut those same employees to stay in business no matter who won the election. Your bigger issue right now is the “fiscal cliff” at the end of the year, and that was going to be there no matter who won the election. You may well have concluded that Romney would be more likely to resolve it in your favor, but you have no way to know that.

      What businesses, small and large, dislike the most is uncertainty. The fiscal cliff is a huge source of uncertainty. But uncertainty doesn’t make a business on the edge suddenly fail, it prevents businesses who are ready to stretch their legs and grow from investing to do so.

    • Raising the upper-bracket tax rate will raise the taxes of small business that are S-Corporations. It’s likely that you chose an S-Corporation for both the limited liability and tax benefits (over C-Corporation, excreta). You would be already be paying more if you were a C-Corporation. It’s a shame that Bush tax cuts gave you unrealistic expectations on the amount of taxes such an entity should pay and that your profit margins aren’t higher.

    • I run a small business. My accountant and I foresee no great damage in the next 18 months. Do you have a Magic 8 ball stashed away somewhere predicting the economy? Regardless of who won, with or without policy changes from either side, non-partisan financial folks have predicted 3 million jobs a year and a steady recovery. Seriously, I just don’t understand that mindset.

  21. It’s interesting to me, with a simple Liberal Arts BA, unemployed and on disability, how, no matter who starts the discussion, the results are the same. Given enough responses, more and more include name calling, profanity and biblical quotes. Maybe that sounds simplistic, but go back and read these comments to Wendy’s original opinion piece. Personally, I found it to be one of the first I’ve read that makes sense. Even to simple ole me.

  22. I liked a lot of what you said. I am proud as a woman that you achieved so much on your own and with a hand up by the government. I admire higher education. Education is the silver bullet, as they said on West Wing. I too was once a middle of the road Republican before Reagan when voting was simply a matter of choosing the man with the best plan.

    I disagree with some key things you stand for namely Christianity and pro-life. I think that the former is a cult manipulated by the Republican right in order to swell its ranks with easily led, easily manipulated believers who are so in the thrall of the cult that they will accept ridiculous statements by the Rush Limbaughs and the Pat Robertsons of the right. That’s what cults do, they believe whatever their leaders tell them to believe. That’s why Fox News lies and lies and lies to its deluded viewers. Republicans lied over and over again. That’s how you run a cult, you create a reality that is shockingly at odds with the norm and you repeat your lies and let them see others repeat the lies until normal looks wrong. I don’t have a problem with people privately practicing their faith, as ludicrous as I find that practice. But the manipulation of these often uneducated, ignorant people for the benefit of the conservative right makes me sick. I think it has become the greatest evil our country has ever seen especially because it is sacrosanct to allow freedom of religion and cannot be questioned. The GOP has some very smart, very evil people using religion to manipulate themselves into power. If America is brought down, it is these people who will do it.

    The matter of abortion is none of anyone elses business, not even the father. A woman can do whatever she wants with the cells in her own bodies. No one has the right to force her into carrying a child she doesn’t want to carry. That is worse than rape. Abortion laws didn’t start abortions, they stopped women from dying from them.

    Your comments about tax breaks for the wealthy strikes a cord with me. My mother used to tell me that she voted Republican, not because she was rich, but because she hoped one day to be rich and so feathered her future nest. Trickle down economics is nothing more than getting pissed on by those on top. And don’t get me wrong, I am in no way an Occupy sort of person. After Bush’s disastrous administration which nearly brought the world to its knees. After 4 years of Obama trying to do what he could with Republicans so willing to prevent him from succeeding that they make things worse on purpose in order to blame him and then had the gall to stand up and say Obama didn’t do anything so vote for them made me sick. Do they think the 47% is in their cult? That we can’t see what they are doing? Do they think that they are fooling us with their lies and their Fox News and their ever shifting stories? Talk about Anti-American activities!

    The treatment of gays, minorities and women by the right has long sickened me. The sneering at education, science and rational thinking of secular humanists and people without religion by the right made me see that these people don’t love America, or freedom or “liburdy” that they are always going on about. They don’t want freedom unless it is freedom to be just like them. Freedom for women to be second class citizens who’ll do what their men say, if they know what’s good for them. Freedom to attack queers and shave their heads like thugs and bullies.I see these people as a dark force trying to drag us back to the Dark Ages.

    I didn’t vote for Romney because he was a liar. He was an evil man amongst evil men. And because Republicans and fundamentalist Christians are a world-wide embarrassment and made me ashamed to claim allegiance to the same country they did. That is why I voted for Obama.

    • Laurel, I have read number of excellent commentaries here, including the initial blog, but I must say, that your point of view is the one that most resembles my own. I am a hard-working black female attorney, and a immigrant, who worked hard in order to achieve. I know I could not have achieved what I have on my own, and so, I happily pay my share of taxes to help provide for those less fortunate, and to drive my car on paved roads, among other things. As of four years ago, I found it necessary to abandon the idea of god and religion, as I no longer wanted to be a part of such an angry, hate-filled, divisive, and mean-spirited community. I especially abhor the idea of men participating in a debate about abortion, but more generally, I hate the fact that there is a national debate on abortion. No one has to get an abortion they don’t personally want. Just be happy with that. A marriage between two men or two women has no effect on my own marriage. I am just not that easily influenced. Those against gay marriage were against interracial marriages a few decades ago, and probably still are. And as for our national economy, where was the outrage from Republicans when the Bush administration had the country on the verge of economic collapse four years ago? I voted for Obama, not because he’s black (I’ve voted for many white men), but because he just happen to live in the same USA I live in. He sees the same struggles and inequalities I see, and he seems to care more about the real issues that affect real people, like food on the table, educating our children and everyone having an equal opportunity to achieve and pursue their dreams.

  23. As a 43 year old, middle class, white, Vetaran, father of 3 male who fits almost every characterization of what a Republican should be, I applaud you for laying out your beliefs and the facts behind them. They also happen to fully explain my own beliefs. While I might fit the description of a republican, I am not and I believe the reason is because I’m open minded enough to see through propaganda and make a sound logic conclusion based on facts not retoric.

  24. “…especially considering the current state the country is in.”

    Considering it was the Bush2 Regime and the Republican Party that nearly destroyed the USA economy, I am at a loss to understand why anyone would believe Obama would not be re-elected.

  25. FOR EVERYONE POSTING HERE: In all the heated arguements I hope you all see the incredible and wonderful big picture here. You are ALL passionate, and involved. There is not a person here that is apathetic or uncaring. Though we may all have a differing opinion of “how”, we are all working toward the same overarching goals: trying to get to the heart of what’s best for our country. Thank you, thank you all for your thinking, for your being informed, and continuing to inform. It is this very diffucult tightrope of democracy that makes our country great. Thank you for NOT being apathetic. Thank you for not giving up, and for exercising your freedom. Thank you for being great Americans.

  26. I’m just glad that people are starting to see that Christianity is not a monolithic appendage of the Republican Party. My concern as a Christian is to represent Jesus faithfully, something which many so-called “conservative” Christians have not done. They have been faithful to a religion called suburbianity, which is the main heresy of Christianity in our society in which you worship flags and free markets and white picket fences instead of Jesus. The evangelical church has been taken to the woodshed by God for the way that they have made Jesus look ugly. The problem is that they are determined to narrate their electoral misfortune without an ounce of introspection. Until there is true repentance, God will continue to chop the tree down to a stump (Isaiah 6:9-11).

    I myself identify as an evangelical but many in my generation and younger are waking up to the monstrous idolatry that the baby boomer culture warriors brought into our church. I would like to share two pieces with you:
    1) The exorcism by which younger evangelicals like me are being awakened: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/morgan-guyton/pigs-to-the-lake-the-evangelical-exorcism_b_1982351.html
    2) A call for all Christians left and right to use the power that we have from Jesus’ cross to examine ourselves and repent of our own sins before we get on a soapbox and dis other people out of ignorance: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/morgan-guyton/call-to-humility-and-repentance_b_2093140.html

  27. A wonderful assessment of our country’s problems, and why those of us who consider ourselves independents and moderates and being driven further and further away from the Republican Party. I hope it continues to be shared all over FB and Twitter.

  28. Thank you. Beautifully written! I’m also a Christian who supports the President, for many of the same reasons as you.

  29. My problem with Obama begins with his debut. Listening to the Jeremiah Wright video several times, I have never heard more hateful, anti-white, anti-American yammering in all my life. Obama sat at this man’s knee for twenty years, and yet said he never heard any vitriol from his ‘mentor, friend’ , uncle-like figure. A lie. A big lie. A lie beyond lies. Obama IS Jeremiah Wright; Jeremiah Wright IS Obama. Blind, swooning women like you make women’s suffrage seem like a bad idea.

      • My point is that Obama is a liar. He lies. None of his position statements should be taken seriously. It is not that woman shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Have you forgotten those hordes of screaming, fainting, weepy females that greeted Obama in 2008? They picked our president. My remark on suffrage is hyperbole for emphasis. I would say the same thing about union members, career hand-out drones, and everyone else who sees the Democrat party as Santa Claus.

        • But many of us voted for Obama, not because we thought he was Santa Claus, but because we refuse to vote with the religious right and/or the Tea Party. Not because of our gender or race. And I am a 46 yo white male, if that matters.

    • Wow. This post started as a thoughtful disagreement and veered quickly into the kind of despicable sexism that turned me away from the Republican Party. I just want to register my horror that you think people who see political issues than you necessarily do so because they are “blind, swooning women,” even if they’ve justified their beliefs at length.

      You are an idiot and a sexist pig, but I will defend to the death your right to vote. Threatening to deny people you disagree with the right to make their voices heard is never acceptable in a democracy.

      But what does my opinion mean? I’m just a blind, swooning woman too.

  30. A number of you have mentioned taxation/tax rates etc.
    I’d like you to consider a flat tax based on assets not income. The justification comes from the Preamble to the Constitution in the phrase “insure domestic tranquility”. All the taxes/fees/etc we pay are like payments to an insurance policy that insures the domestic tranquility. Hence if you have more, you need more protection from bank defaults, stock market crashes, foreign invaders and domestic uprising (think the French Revolution). So a flat fee on assets makes sense.

  31. Thank you Dr. Worrall-Redal for writing so eloquently and passionately about the election and America and the reasons you voted the way you did. May God continue to bless the power of your spoken words.

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  33. Thanks so much for this thoughtful and articulate expression of why those of us who “should” have voted for Romney instead voted for Obama. I’d suggest one more reason of my own: because I care about the truth. The “post-fact” campaign run by Romney was insulting to voters that actually realise that, without putting the truth before winning, we can’t hope to have a civil, productive democracy. (http://nymag.com/news/frank-rich/gop-denial-2012-11/ ) His serial fabrications (not to mention blatant racist dog-whistles) did a disservice not just to the GOP, but to America at large. If he had won (the rest of the world fact-checks) we would have been the laughing stock of the world community. Disagree if you’d like with President Obama’s policies, but at least he told you what they are. Romney, as near as I could figure, had nothing substantial to offer beyond “I’m the white guy.”

  34. Thank you for this. While I am not a Christian, the vast majority of my family are evangelical and I watched several people I love grapple with this election in a very real way. We simply cannot go down the path of legislating morality. One of the basic tenets of American democracy is the separation of church and state. It’s astonishing to me that a lot of conservatives do not realize that the right has been moving toward a theocracy, and that is what has frightened a lot of moderates into the blue. The people who scream about having less government are the same who want to govern moral issues.

    As for the impact on small business… Obama’s policies have helped ours. I’m thrilled about Obamacare. Most of the small businesses I know are too small to provide health insurance to their workers for a reasonable amount of money. Do people not know that you have to have 10-20 employees to be able to get a decent group rate? With Obamacare, we can finally help employees get decent insurance without us going broke or having to cut salaries. Of course, the billionaires consider a company with 500 employees small…

  35. If someone could simply do one thing for me, perhaps I could begin to see where you come to your conclusions.

    The one thing? Point out where in the Constitution of the United States it says that the Federal Government is empowered to give money to ANYONE who has not performed a service and deserves to be compensated. By the way, breathing is NOT a service.

    That’s all. Just show me where it is permissable to take from one to give to another who has done NOTHING to earn it. I give to charities to have this done, but I resent the Federal government buying votes with my money. “Provide for the common defense.” I can get behind that, no problem. The military earns the money paid to them.

    • “Promote the general welfare”, the very next line. ;) Maybe you should try reading the Constitution before you start complaining about what is/isn’t in it.

  36. I am the same demographic as Wendy–white, churchgoing, middle-class–and so many people I know who vote Republican have zero to little critical-thinking skills so that it is useless to talk about why I voted Democrat.

    So many Republicans vote on the abortion issue alone that I think if they REALLY cared about lowering the abortion rate, they would be donating tons of money to organizations who provide contraception for free or little cost to poor people (since study after study shows that when the poor have free contraception, abortion rates drop drastically). When I ask these Republicans why don’t they do that to make an immediate impact on reducing abortions, they say they won’t donate because they want these women to have “personal responsibility.” Right. If “personal responsibility” is more important than lowering the abortion rate, then the issue is really MONEY. They don’t want to give their money to poor women to help them prevent getting knocked up with unwanted babies. This is why I am beyond cynical with the motivations of most Republicans.

    At least after this election I can see the viewpoints of the majority of Americans align with my own. The current Republican party–white, evangelical, anti-gay, anti-women, anti-immigration, anti-poor, anti-sick, anti-science, anti-“everyone who is not like us”–can head off to the desert with the other dinosaurs. They aren’t going to evolve with the times, but the world will move on just fine without you.

    • Julie, dear child, I’m not against SOMEONE giving “the poor” even more money so they can spend it on something other than contraception, I’m only against the Federal government doing so. Why not donate to your favorite charity that provides free contraceptives? Then the Federal government can return to its Constitutional duties and leave the “extra-Constitutional” things alone.

      • Ernie, if you are the single-issue Republican voter I wrote about, then you just EXACTLY proved my point. It’s about the money, and it’s not about stopping abortions. So, go be proud of yourself for putting money first.

        • Dear child, Julie, of course I’m not a single-issue voter. It’s just that most of the other issues stem from this one issue. But I noticed that not even you, with your high and mighty talk, cannot answer my question: where in the Constitution of the United States does it empower the Federal government to give money to any individual who has not earned it? Answer that for me, and I’ll go away. I promise.

        • Brian, first of all Social Security was to be a plan that people paid into for a guaranteed retirement income. It was not designed to be overloaded by people who had never pain into it in the first place. Additionally, it was NOT to be included in the General Fund, and was not until Johnson put it in there.

          I have nothing against programs, that people were forced to pay into their entire working lives, paying out the agreed upon benefits. I DO have a problem with Welfare, Food Stamps (EBT or SNAP cards), etc. being given willy-nilly to just anyone.

          As to talking down to Julie, I’m sorry. It’s kind of a habit of mine that when someone starts trying to speak from a “high and mighty” place that I feel I must slap them down with a dose of reality. Please read her earlier posts to see how elitest she feels.

        • Ernie – the Supreme Court ruled that that the general welfare clause covered Social Security. The same logic applies to other forms of welfare like Medicaid, Medicare, and SCHIP. Saying you have issues with these programs essentially means that you’re OK with people dying unnecessarily, from starvation (food stamps), treatable injuries and diseases (Medicaid and Medicare). After all, the children enrolled in SCHIP (State Childrens Health Insurance Program) certainly haven’t earned their insurance, right?

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  38. Wendy,

    What a terrific post. You found the words I struggled to find. As a lifelong Republican, I voted for Obama for the second time, and for similar reasons.

    Kind regards,

    Richard

  39. Wow. I’m educated, MBA. For my tax class I should have voted Romney — but I’m up for gay marriage (all people should be allowed to have a committed quality relationships), for rights to decide about MY body (and therefore, each woman should have that choice), and that doing things for the good of all people, as opposed to doing things for the greed and the groups who donates the most to your campaign. I can understand that.

  40. I love all this quoting of scriptures from the Bible to legitimise whatever. All these “God says…” bible quotes….

    When i see a proverb or scripture quoted, i want to know where it came from. WHO, exactly, wrote that? And when? Someone DID write it. And apparently had an interview with God?

    You do understand that I could go through today’s New York Times, for example, and likely find one or two or three misquotes. It’s not uncommon. And they would be from RECORDED sources from the day before.

    Which scripture in the bible has the shortest time span between the purported actual event/utterance and it’s being written down? About 80 years, isn’t it? Many bible parts were written centuries later.

    And we can trust them to be accurate? The actual words of Jesus?? Holy cow!!

    I once corrected a respected film reviewer (for the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia) when he wrote about Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ. Calling it a very violent movie in parts, Paul Byrnes wrote that the violence, however, was “…mitigated by the words of Jesus…..”

    Whoa! Says who? I wrote him an email immediately, pointing out that no one can know what the ACTUAL words of Jesus, in fact, were. So that he should have written: “…were mitigated by the purported words of Jesus as transcribed decades, if not centuries, after they were supposedly spoken.”

    Paul answered me, apologising. You are right, he wrote to me. I was sloppy.

    Wonderful article, Wendy.

    • The number of posters on this thread so far who have been unable to make their points without name-calling, insult or vilification of those who disagree with them shows the level of the problem.

      The 51/48 split in popular vote for the Presidency while leaving the Republicans in control of the House and the Democrats in control of the Senate does not suggest to me an overwhelming rejection or acceptance of either party’s platform.

  41. The first amendment was written to protect the freedom OF religion, not the freedom FROM religion. Obama, with his Obamacare law requiring religious institutions to supply something that goes against their beliefs, has completely negated this freedom, and no Christian person should support it. http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/fall98/original.html
    “Two centuries after the First Amendment was approved, the Court now sits in judgment of our beliefs as a “national theology board” and uses the First Amendment as a “bulldozer of social engineering” to remove all religious expression from the marketplace of ideas. The Court no longer feigns adherence to the Founders’ original intentions regarding the object of the First Amendment or the natural rights of the people found therein. Ironically, as predicted in Zorach, the Court now protects the rights of “those who believe in no religion over those who do believe” by engaging in the methodical religious sanitization of our institutions and communities. The Court has guaranteed freedom from religion as opposed to freedom of religion.

    While our forefathers left us a legacy of faith, optimism and shared values, the Court has forced us to leave our children a moral wasteland littered with the refuse of cynicism, despair and anarchy.”

    • AG – so you’re an constitutional originalist, I see. Unfortunately, the world is filled with things that the founders couldn’t have dreamed and it’s the Court’s job to thread the camel through the needle, so to speak, in order to adapt the Constitution to modern circumstances, technologies, science, and reality. To see that the Court must adapt the language of the Constitution to changing times one only needs to look at how the Court’s interpretation of “cruel and unusual punishment” has changed over the centuries, most recently by overturning the death penalty for juvenile offenders.

      And as others have said in this thread, the country was not founded by Christians, but rather by deists. The “legacy of faith” the author of that piece writes about is, in most respects, a historical fiction.

    • To be clear, religious institutions were never being “forced” to supply something that went against their beliefs. The universities, hospitals, and other non-religious entities affiliated with churches would have had to follow the same rules as every other employer; they simply wouldn’t get the employer tax break for providing health insurance to their employees if their “health plan” didn’t cover contraceptives and reproductive health services, which are essential medical services under the Federal definition.

      • Thanks for the clarification. Then there really is no attack on religious liberty involved. People will just have to put their money where their values are.

    • I would add that forcing religious institutions to go against their beliefs in the manner that Obamacare has done affects not only Christians, but als Muslims and a whole host of other faiths.

  42. Reblogged this on Scribblings and commented:
    She writes: I’m a 50-year-old white woman who lives in the swing state of Colorado. I’m married, I’m a mom, I have a PhD, and I’m a Christian. In Boulder. I can’t imagine trying to explain the world without faith and science. I’m upper middle class, but I come from blue-collar stock. I believe in capitalism, but I also believe its inevitable excesses must be tempered with regulations – you know, Genesis, original sin, the human propensity for greed and all. I’m pro-life in the fullest sense of the term. I’m happy for my gay friends who want to marry – I’m all for commitment when it comes to sustaining the social fabric. My evangelical grandmother, whom I treasured, was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. I’m a Democrat who likes hymns and red wine. Try squaring all that when it comes to putting me in a political box.

    Time to stop demonizing Christians.

  43. What ever happened to separation of church and state? When John Kennedy, as the first Catholic president of the US, was running for the office he had to pass a litmus test indicating that he would uphold the laws of the USA, and not of the Vatican. Now, 50 years later, it seems that a whole lot of self proclaimed Christians are standing that perspective on it’s head. It is one’s religion; one’s love of a god acceptible to the self proclaimed Christians, that trumps all. And this is dangerous. The US was not founded as a Christian nation, or any religious nation, for that matter. It was founded as a secular nation. Dont believe me? Read the words of John Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, etc on the incideousness of allowing religion to infiltrate government. Folks who claim to know the Founding Fathers, and that love what they stood for, yet push their rather conservative brand of religion on the rest of us, don’t now the Founding Fathers or the tenets on which this country was built. They just want to foist their beliefs on the rest of us.

  44. So to the author: you charge $50 an hour to tutor wealthy children. Obviously you are doing all right by the wealthy, and they are helping you to make a good living. Are you willing to charge $10 an hour for that Wal-mart mom that you mentioned that needs tutoring? Because it is all relative. You are asking others to share the wealth. Are you willing to do the same? If not, you are just being hypocritical. Also, I am probably in the lowest 20% financially and my husband was without a job nearly two years. He finally has a job, but is under employed. Big help the Obama administration was to my husband and others like him out of work, under employed and working part time and temp jobs with no benefits.

  45. “Try squaring all that when it comes to putting me in a political box.” Two words, “the Clintons.” Including your position on abortion. You’re a successfully striving privileged white person. No mystery. There are a lot of us.

  46. Wendy, If I may say so, this is not only articulate and brilliant.
    It is nothing short of beautiful.
    Thank you for restoring my fading belief that there are still thoughtful and intelligent people living in the US of A.
    MikeV

  47. The first amendment certainly does protect the freedom FROM religion. Reread it. the part about not establishing………

  48. If you are going to quote scripture make sure you get the part that say we will have the poor with us always and that if one does not work, one does not eat. You call my community service what? Can’t pick and choose. Also, this article sounds more like an Obama staff writer than a grey haired mama and grandma with a PhD. Just downloaded your speech so that I can tick off the “benefits” when they reach you and me. Remember, don’t classify all of us with your understanding. There is more to the argument than what you have shed light on. When the government says jump, you did. Hitler mesmerized his ladies too.

    [Admin: Comparisons of anyone to Hitler or similar figures without documented evidence are almost definitionally "abusive" and made in "bad faith" and thus a breach of our Comment Policy. Please refrain from making such comparisons in the future unless you are willing to document your supporting evidence in detail.]

  49. I have never read such unadulterated bullsh*t. Apparently a PHD doesn’t provide common sense or good judgement. I was never really a Romney fan, but I do vote for American citizens and not illegal aliens.

    Romney was asked to produce his tax returns. I think he should do that, just as soon as Obama provides a real birth certificate (not one that he thousands of dollars to hide), his real passport and application, and his school transcripts that no one seems to be able to find.

    If this wonderful media that is certainly not liberal at all (read above) can find 1 cow with mad cow disease and tell where it was born and how it was transported, why can’t this same honest and open media, find one birth certificate and passport application?

    • Bing bing bing! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a birther!

      Once you’ve had Hitler and Kenyan origins included in the conversation, you have gone full circle and discovered the very individuals being discussed. Congratulations.

    • As a non-American I am intrigued. I do not receive mainstream American press here – but through our own media I was led to believe Obama DID release his birth certificate. In fact a google search provides me with a PDF of this so called – long form birth certificate.

      So what will it take to convince you ANY certificate he releases IS real? Seems to me that anything he will release that does not support your version of the truth will be called a fake by you. So really what would persuade you to accept a document that may not fully support your views as being legitimate?

      Also – I am not entirely sure I understand what the argument is about. Is it the law that says that you have to be born in America to be president (really this is a question – again I am not American)? That seems rather odd so me. That would mean the daughter of 2 very devout and patriotic American missionaries born in say Pakistan could not be president. But my son who was born there but has no memory of the country he was born in could be president? Is that really the best way to judge the capabilities of a president?

      • Mystified: He did release his birth certificate and it is real. We have this fringe crowd of conspiracy theorists here called “truthers” and they begin with the assumption that any evidence demonstrating his citizenship is automatically forged. If Jesus descended from the clouds and verified that Obama was born in Hawai’i they’d immediately start in on Jesus for being part of the cover-up.

        All countries have their crazies. These are just a few of ours.

  50. Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations 236 years ago. His astute observations apply as much today as they did in 1776. History continues to prove him right. If you are not for Freedom than what are you for. There is no better political candidate or idea than that of freedom to improve the lives of EVERYONE. Laws are essential and even more so is the steady and full enforcement of them. In a free society EVERYONE must play by the rules. If there is such thing as under-regulation than it is fair to concede that at some point there can be over-regulation. Well intentioned endeavors such as the EPA lost their way early and have been a net hindrance to the goal of a protected environment. That sounds hard to believe but the fact is we are just too good at getting in our own way (see how the EPA ensured that dirty coal would out compete clean coal). Our best efforts too often backfire. To whom much is given much is expected. That applies not just to my family but to every single American. We have been given SO much. Pass the plate one more time. Regarding our health we are miserably unsuccesful examples. It should be one’s right to be fat, smoke, sit and guzzle corn syrup as foolish as it may be. It should NOT be my burden to bale him out from the disease that most certainly awaits. Free to choose fairly comes with the gripping consequences of choosing poorly. I want desperately to better our society and lift up those in need. To care for my brothers and sisters and neighbors and strangers. In a free market you get to, as you said above “take a chance” on an idea or a plan. Even if it works you are immediately equipped to make what was good even better. And if it fails you have learned what not to do. In government you don’t get to try things on for size and put them back if you decide you don’t like them. Affordable Care Acts and the likes once in place are like a granite slab. Even if it miraculously succeeded in its genuinely sincere quest it could not be easily improved upon. The ability to be nimble and compete with innovation, can not happen in such a case. That being said it can be very difficult in an over regulated and prejudicial market. That is exactly what we have now. It can become more so or less so. If we can strive for an environment where laws are enforced more justly and regulations are fewer and less restrictive then we can have some cake and eat some too. All this from my iPhone. What a privilege. I hope people can work together and respect each other for our common hopes and concerns. Have to go to work now so I can pay my payroll taxes, social security taxes, Medicare taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, income taxes and hopefully I’ll make enough money so that when I die the government can celebrate the death tax and take 1/2 of my estate as they put the final nail in my coffin! I’ll give a little more if you can need a little less. Go America! One more thing, how about a “Tax Payer Appreciation Day”. A thank you would be nice just now and then.

  51. Thanks for lending your incredible voice to the case for empathy. It shocks me that–amidst public outcry against intensive bullying in our schools–reasonable, caring people turned so rabidly against their fellow Americans. My family members are on the conservative end of liberal, and there are a lot of ways in which they are flat-out conservative. I still love them, of course, and I think of my grandmother whenever one of my friends says something heinously insulting about ‘the other side.’ Would you say that to my grandma’s face? I certainly wouldn’t. I think that the only form of radicalism that will serve us at this point is radical empathy. Again, thank you for sharing your story.

  52. Just glad to see people like you are out there. I’m in NC and surrounded by Republicans on all sides. Seriously, I live in complete suburbia and every immediate neighbor is a conservative. Can’t exactly express my opinions to these folks, so like I said, glad you wrote this.

  53. Excellent.

    I’d expand 5) to say that it is not just moral to set it up this way. It is the optimal for hard-nosed practical reasons – optimal for -everybody-. Approximately the same percentage of professional economists agree this is true as percentage professional climate scientists agree that the activities of humans are having a large effect on climate change… something in the 90% range.

    I’,m also a little worried quote is of Abe at the -beginning- of the Civil War.

  54. Funny how people have to justify voting against rationale and faith. I like how the “left” is so high on its self and how the Democratic party has evolved and the republicans are dead. LOL. I seem to remember how the democrats were all ready to commit suicide after Bush got re-elected. This is just a cycle. I have a feeling a down-turned economy and high unemployment.
    plus with an open election with new blood in 2016 will shake things up.

    • I also think that the economy is cyclical. Therefore my faith leads my to vote for the more socially liberal party. I won’t vote to (theoretically) fix the economy at the cost of others rights and well-being.

  55. Here’s where this argument falls apart. I think we all agree that compassion is a virtue — no reasonable person is going to argue otherwise. However — and this is the *key* piece that so many people gloss over — it is not the government’s job to force us to be compassionate.

    Imagine how much more you could give to the charities of your choice if we didn’t have a government that forces you to give more than half of your money to the charities of *their* choice?

    Attempting to color left-wing redistribution as Christian is even more egregious. I’m assuming that as a Democrat you voted for B. Hussein Obama, a man whose signature issue prior to being selected as president was the legalization of partial birth abortions. How Christian is that?

    One cannot be a Christian and a Democrat at the same time. Anyone who thinks they are, is getting at least one of them *very* wrong.

    • Ignatius–clever pseudonym, though I do appreciate those who use their real names–your point would be more worthy of discussion if you didn’t talk about the government forcing us to give more than half our income to “the charities of *their* choice.” C’mon. To get to 50% you must be pooling every type of tax paid, from state & local to property to sale taxes to income tax and FICA. So the charities you’re referring to are–what? Teachers, firefighters, school buildings, traffic lights, cops and the courts, the military, bridges, highways, the FDA and the FAA, FEMA, the VA . . . and children in poverty? Because, you know, only 13% of the federal budget goes to social safety net programs. And most of the that 13% involves kids.

      • I would add that leaving the social safety net to private donors, who might or might not donate, and to a hodge-podge of private or faith-based charities, who may or may not reach all in need, leaves an awful lot of maybes. I would rather have the government overseeing the safety net and private charities as an additional aid.

        That being said, all areas of government, like most private enterprises, can certainly be run more efficiently. I would rather see problems fix rather than programs simply abolished.

        • And certainly, one can be a Christian and a Democrat at the same time. There are more than one understanding of the Christian faith. Mine leans towards social justice.

          And it amuses me when birthers, etc. emphasize the Hussein in the president’s name. First of all, he didn’t name himself. Secondly, I wouldn’t be bothered even if he were a Muslim, as you hope to imply. As long as he keeps his religion out of the political agenda. I don’t want a fundamentalist Muslim any more than I want a fundamentalist Christian.

  56. Dear Americans, please be kind to each other, work together to protect the environment, create environmentally friendly businesses, promote peace in Congress and peace across your beautiful country, and ……..

    repair any damage your country has done in Vietnam during the 1960-1975 American war. People are still being born here with Agent Orange effects and your 2 big chemical corporations and your government haven’t agreed on who was responsible for choosing the cheaper manufacturing process that was chosen (producing more toxic birth-defect dioxins in the spray) and who told who to keep quiet about what……

  57. With all that has been said…not all Americas are the same and it’s difficult to watch sometimes. If it is at all possible, leave your comfort zone and ‘really’ see our country. Talk to real people. Most are afraid, arrogant or ignorant, sometimes a combination of all three. I hope we can do better because government can’t help what ails us.

  58. “Don’t tell me that Diego who painted my house or Beatriz who sometimes cleans it is a freeloader.”

    No, it is you how are socializing the costs of having your house painted and home cleaned onto that $10 per hour women who is working at Walmart. She very well might have a husband. Or perhaps a man who would have been more likely to have been her husband if he earned a decent wage. But the wages of native-born working class Americans have been undercut by illegal immigration (or large scale legal immigration for that matter.)

    And Diego and Beatriz, however hard working, are likely to be getting some form of Federal welfare benefits — 72% of Mexican immigrant headed households do. So you, by employing these folks have not only undercut your fellow Americans to save a few bucks, you actually are expecting them to pay for it.

  59. It is people like this that will help heal our country. We, as a nation, have gorged on the misinformation of the far slanting media and the result is derisive separation. If we expect our country to survive we must heal the chasm by coming together with the concern of our people AND our land or those who are more interested in their financial interests will topple the entire house of cards.

  60. I feel this is very well written except for this point,”I’m pro-life in the fullest sense of the term.” What does this mean? Any person who is truely Prolife could never vote for President Obama. Look at his voting record concerning abortion. No other issue is as important as the one concerning life. Please try to explain how you justified voting for the least prolife president in history.

  61. How does someone with a PhD spell ‘polls’ as ‘poles’?

    [Admin: Implied insults by way of policing someone's spelling and grammar (what, you've never messed up due to spell check?) are not constructive. Please limit yourself to comments that advance the discussion in the future.]

  62. This is a wonderful post. I admire your ability to be clear and pointed in your reasoning. I get lost in miasmas of emotion that render my intellect useless in trying to make my point of view clear. I could not — still cannot — fathom those people who voted for Romney! In exactly the inverse of the point of view of that Republican woman who quote to begin your blogpost. It isn’t easy to bridge a gap the size of the Grand Canyon. And yet you’re absolutely right, we have to be able to do so. At least to begin. God speed to you.

  63. Respectfully…you are not what you say you are. What you actually are is a snotty, elitist, ultra liberal woman who would never vote for a Republican, no matter who it was. It is nice that you are comfortable in your life and able to hire a cleaning lady and a handyman to take care of your needs while working part-time (when convenient) to assist college prospects with your considerable writing skills. Good for you! Take a little time from the bubble of your life and learn about how the world really works instead of patting yourself on the back while writing about your silly dream about how you think life should be. It is a good thing that conservatives control the House. There is still Hope that the House can stop at least some of the Change that you desire!

    • I actually work full-time as an editorial director for a local company, Gary. I help students on the side. Sometimes for free. I did not grow up in a bubble — I came from a working-class family in Everett, Washington. My grandfather was a miner and later worked for Boeing. My grandmother was a bank teller. The other grandmother, a single mom, was a retail clerk who walked to work because she never owned a car. My mother was a dental assistant and my stepfather was an inventory control clerk for Safeway. My dad & stepmom were school teachers. I shopped at K-Mart and paid for my own clothes with money I earned at an after-school job that I held once I turned 16. Boulder, Colorado, may be a bubble, but my whole point is that I SEE that — and the conservative Republican agenda is to keep the most privileged folks on top.

  64. Is it fair that the author is paid $50 per hour while also demanding equal pay for equal work? I believe teachers should be paid more, but I would like to know if she volunteers the same services to those who could not afford that price.

    • Lenny, I have helped students for free, and I have offered reduced rates for others, depending on their means. I have edited graduate students’ theses and dissertations for $10 an hour or less. $50 an hour is the low- to mid-point of the going rate for tutoring in Boulder, which tends to run between $40-65 an hour. My point was primarily that privileged parents here seek out such assistance for their students, including a growing number who hire full-on college consultants, whose fees range from $3,000-5,000 or more for a ‘full package’ of services. These are families who can afford such extra help, when most Americans cannot. My intention was to draw that distinction in a specific way that I see in my own community.

  65. Ms. Worall Redal, thank you for a beautifully written and cogent explanation of why we voted for Obama. In my case I am a single woman (not, thank you very much, a harlot) who has studied economics, been a high level corporate executive, created three small businesses, employed people, and like you made my way through college with a combination of national and state aid, loans and jobs. I’ve payed plenty of taxes, but I believe in infrastructure, education, the military and an economic safety net for all Americans, so I happily contribute my part. On a couple of occasions, I’ve needed unemployment insurance and was mighty happy it was there to help me get back on my feet. Financially, I have been across the spectrum from a 1 percenter to a 99 percenter.

    Every one of your arguments here apply to my decision-making as well, except that I would add that I want to vote for a party that speaks with respect about me and the majority of the population–i.e., women, that supports choice, and that does not conduct scorched-earth politics.

  66. FANTASTIC article! Superbly written! Background so similar to my own that I thought I was reading about myself! LMAO

    Wish many of the extremists I frequently encounter on Twitter and other social media would at least try to understand the points you have made so well. Unfortunately too many of them are pompous fools like Otherwise ( and many who have have given a thumbs up to his comments here) with his smug, false sense of superiority and any positives our country could gain from their input are far offset by their closed minds and self-righteous judgments of those different from themselves.

    And, Merideth, please go to waronwomen.com for details of the massive number of horrid, offensive laws that have recently been passed at the federal and state level involving women’s choice as to when they will reproduce, the information a doctor may choose to withhold from her and her access to birth control. There is no doubt that Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan, the extremist who co-sponsored a bill with Akin using the term “forcible” rape and who believes in “personhood” over a woman’s life, sealed his fate with women!

  67. I find this multi-faceted voter profile laughable; her group way outnumbered by an – “influenced” to vote – electorate who cannot even Name the current V.P. or their State Senators. Plus, Blacks, Latinos, Gays, Women, Asians, and Unions have each, already, credited their faction for the Obama win. IMO, this article smells more like work to further discredit the Right ahead of fiscal cliff negotiations.

  68. Wow. I am in almost the same demographic as the author and couldn’t disagree more on most of the points made in the essay. But I am glad we can be so similar and yet have such different perspectives on life even when looking at all the facts in a rational way.

    It’s so true that our own perspective and experiences filter how we view all the issues that face us on a given day. (I am living through the aftermath of Sandy here in NJ and seeing first-hand how all the various entities at work either greatly help or wildly hinder the recovery efforts. Related opinions I had before Sandy are being challenged daily.) I pray that one day we can all understand that disagreements do not equal hatred – we can disagree on things such as this but still work together for a better future. I do believe, however, that working together despite differences does not happen much in politics and am not sure it will. I think this is where panic sets in among the “side” who lost this election.

    I’d be up for a viable third party next time. We the people need more options, less of the feeling that we have to keep voting for the lesser of two “evils.” We shall see.

    Best wishes to all. Work, love, and pray hard, people!

  69. I give credit to the person who wrote that essay. In this great country of ours, each of us has the opportunity and right to voice their opinion on any subject. And those of us who speak up do just that, voice their “opinion”. No one should be arguing whether a person is right or wrong in their spoken opinion. I voted for Obama because he inherited a bunch of problems. Wall Street needs regulation. The energy companies need regulation. Every person in this country (except the oil company board officers) were upset when the oil companies raised prices to almost $4 and more crying poverty, and then posted incredulous profits gained from the backs of people that had to choose food or gas on many days. The banking system took advantage of deregulation to approve mortgages for people that could not pay and for amounts that out of whack with reality.

    In 1980, we were asked “Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?” And the nation responded by voting in a new president. I had to ask myself the same question this year. I was terrified by the chance of Romney becoming President and giving tax breaks to the rich, and making the middle class pay more. It’s time that Americans put more common sense into politics.

    • What won was the politics of personal destruction and distortion. Also, the GOP has to learn to stop nominating moderate to liberal Republicans, because they always lose. I will ask again… what exactly did you Obama voters win… and please be specific?

      • You honestly think that Romney lost because he was too liberal?? Nobody voted for Obama because they thought Romney was too liberal. A shift further to the right would just lose more of the center.

      • Romney actually had a lot to offer. He had the guts to be somewhat liberal in today’s Republican party. He governed Massachusetts when it was implementing the prototype for Obamacare, such valuable experience when facing this nation’s health care woes. But, Republican positions kept Romney from a position that could have made more of his strengths. It’s better said here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/08/dont-blame-romneys-message/

        I’ve got election fatigue. I’m tired of all the partisan demonizing of either candidate.

      • The question “What did you win?” implies that there was something gained. Gain implies something added to, or changed. Both are false implications. Nothing was “won”. Nothing was gained and nothing was changed – at least not overtly.

        The conservatives proposed changing what was working, albeit very slowly. But their proposed vision was to turn BACK progress. They wanted to revert to economic policies and social agendas which have been repeatedly and firmly rejected by today’s America. Their policies have not withstood the test of time and experience has proven them to be a failure. The election was less of an endorsement of leftist policies – which admittedly have their often deep and serious flaws – than it was a wholesale rejection of the “more of the same” garbage the rightists have been proposing for 30 years without once having rationally assessed the validity or workability of those policies.

        Nothing gained. Nothing lost. Nothing changed. We KNOW the rightist policies are unworkable and would be WORSE than what we have now. We haven’t GAINED anything. We got the status quo. But in asserting that we want the status quo as LOUDLY as it was done (given the fact that a President in Obama’s economic position has ALWAYS been unseated in the past), as I said, this was less of an endorsement of the leftist ideals than it was a complete and total rejection of old, outdated rightist policies.

  70. Wonderfully written. This makes it clear to me that Romney and the Republicans lost your vote because their ideas are wrong and they could not fool you with packaging. Thanks for writing this.

  71. I thoroughly enjoyed Wendy’s post. It has some truly great thoughts to consider to better understand the reason someone would use to vote to give Obama a second term and chance. A great deal of what Wendy has to say about what she considers important leading up to why she voted the way she did I am in full agreement with. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I love both of the quotes used at the beginning of the post and Lincoln’s quote to help her close. I wish there were some notable quotes from Obama that we had to help us feel better about his leadership.
    After 4 years, many of us are still waiting for Obama to step up and show a form of leadership that will help pull America back together again. I have not seen it yet and I sure hope we do soon. In fairness, I saw very little of this leadership I am describing to help give us hope and confidence in our leadership from Romney and the Republicans either.
    I would like to address the 5 reasons Wendy mentioned to support her vote:

    1. I too, do not believe the propaganda shared about Obama being a Muslim out to hurt our country has any truth to it. I also, don’t believe that is a good enough reason to justify us giving him another 4 years. The economy if anything is barely bouncing on the bottom. We mention unemployment statistics as a sign of improvement, but the truth is the earnings power of so many Americans has been diminished so greatly that the ever so slightly improving unemployment indicators give next to no true signs of real recovery for so many hurting Americans. (I happen to walk through 3 homes that were up for short sale today; I wish you could feel the hurt I experienced. And, no I can’t personally afford them or to bail them out. I wish I could) I don’t believe what Obama has done in 4 years earned him the right to get another 4. The real problem to me is Romney gave us very little either.
    2. If any of us believe that taxes are going to be the answer to recovery (Obama’s or Romney’s) then we need to rethink what is killing the American economy. Many Americans who have lost great sums of money over the past 5 to 6 years wish they could have tax problems again. There are still so many homes out there that people can’t afford. The rising cost of groceries is so hard for people who earn considerably less. I don’t believe the answer to the American economy is going to be in taxes. Sorry, Wendy, but the mystery for me is not unraveled in this answer.
    3. I totally agree that we need health care reform. But, I do not believe we will improve our system with Obamacare. You seem to know a great deal about the EPA. Please read more details about Obamacare. I know you don’t watch the news and while I don’t blame you maybe you should consider it. Companies are already planning considerable layoffs to help them offset the cost of the new provisions in Obamacare. My own health insurance premium for our family is 3 times what I paid in 2006. And, my out of pocket costs have escalated even more than that. When I speak to others, they have similar stories to share. I believe as this burden hits more companies and are passed on to people like myself, the result will be facing increasing premiums where we may have to give up any kind of reasonable family health coverage.
    4. I love the outdoors. I love the woods and the waters. I am angry with most of our political leaders with their lack of serious concern about protecting our natural resources. It hurts me mostly for my children and grandchild. But, you are not necessarily being objective about the Romney position on EPA. I point to your opening quote: ‘We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.” – Anais Nin I believe you are supporting your position here with a subjective analysis of the oil situation. We are losing American lives fighting for our oil interests in the middle east. I believe American men and women are a key part of our natural resources. This is not an easy problem and there needs to be some compromise on the need for us to not be so dependent on that part of the world for energy. I don’t have the answer, but I have not seen a good one yet from Obama (or Romney).
    5. I agree with your point here about the fairness of a graduated tax system. But, again I don’t believe this suggestion will solve many of America’s current problems.
    What I believe we need to figure out is how can we get people who have money to invest to have enough faith in our country and economy to begin investing again. There is so much money sitting on the sidelines. Raising taxes is not going to get that money out into our economy to invest.
    If our two political parties would put aside their own self-interests and focus on serving our country again, I believe America would have a great chance to recover. Thus far, I have not seen that leadership from Obama and will never know the truth about Romney.

    • Hi Jim,
      While for some reason I imagine that you and I would not see eye to eye on a lot of issues, I really appreciate your thoughtful, logical and articulate response. We need to have serious logical discussions as Americans and cut through the propaganda on both sides. I believe that your contention that we can all come together and do what is right for our country is truly the only way and if all of us put our differences aside I think we will find out that we all just want the same basic things.
      If I could just respectfully leave a few comments on your ideas:

      1. The idea that Obama is a Muslim/non-American is a non-starter among educated people. Of course most republicans don’t believe it and of course it is not a reason to vote for Obama at all. I can tell you that from my personal perspective, The fact that the republican party doesn’t do more to distance themselves from those perspectives is a very valid reason for someone choosing NOT to vote for a republican.

      Just seeing the way conservatives have responded to the election with fear in their eyes basically saying: “a lot more minorities than we thought turned out to vote, so we didn’t really have a chance to win”. The Republican party has become a party that encourages or at least tacitly approves xenophobic thinking whether it be anti-muslim, anti-gay, anti-liberal, anti-foreigner. Again to re-iterate I am not accusing ALL republicans of sharing these opinions, or even a majority. I am simply identifying the fact that those sentiments mostly find their home in the Republican party. Most Republicans are not racist, but if you are a racist you probably feel more at home in the Republican party.

      2. I don’t know anyone who thinks the answer to all of our problems is going to be higher taxes. Anyone who thinks it is clearly isn’t paying attention. However there is something very important to be said for logic. Our spending has never been higher (partially due to Obama of course, but partially do to Wars, TARP, and economic downturn and lowered tax revenue all of which had nothing to do with him). In addition our income tax rates are at pretty much the lowest level they have been at in the last century (feel free to correct me if im wrong, I did not look that up). People are acting like the government is taking more than they ever have when if fact it is the opposite.

      We need a solution to this mess. Most of that will involve spending cuts, but it also needs to involve raising revenue. It doesn’t solve the problem but it makes it smaller and lawmakers who do not consider that an option are not doing their job.

      3. Obamacare is not an ideal solution to the healthcare problem. I readily admit that. It was designed based on proposals by republicans as an alternative to single payer health care. While I do not doubt that your health care costs have gone up that much in the past four years, I would question how much they went up the four years before that.

      This article explains how health insurance costs increased by 4% this year and how that is extremely low compared with the rest of the decade. In fact in less than a decade health care insurance has increased by 97%. http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/11/pf/insurance/health-insurance-premiums/index.html. Therefore, if anything, the implementation of obamacare has slowed down the cost of insurance premiums.

      Please show examples of companies that are planning layoffs due to obamacare that aren’t also run by huge GOP supporter who are trying to make a political point (Papa John comes to mind). I agree providing healthcare for everyone is a huge burden but someone has to pay for it. If these people don’t have healthcare who do you think covers the cost of an emergency operation…taxpayers. It is also a huge burden to have to pay people minimum wage (which clearly isn’t enough to pay for healthcare right?). However I am living in Kenya where there is no minimum wage, healthcare, welfare, food stamps and social security. We could do that too but we would need armed guards and bars on our windows.

      4. Agreed completely. We must consider what we are losing in terms of both men and women and environmental resources when we make our decisions. We will never get our dead service people, Oil resources, nor our pristine environment back once we have corrupted it. Are our energy needs more important than any or all of these things? This is ironically almost the same as the deficit issue, we always need more oil and energy. Yes we need to keep producing it but we also need to do other things as well, like conserve what we have and invest in alternate sources of energy. Drilling at all costs is a very shortsighted solution and one that just barely helps to maintain the status quo while damaging the future for all of us. We WILL run out one day. What happens then?

      5. We have done an exceptional job of creating incentives for all kinds of investments and because of it we have created incentives which have led to overly risky behavior and gotten us into this financial mess. If we raise taxes on the rich and pass those savings along to the poor it will create more demands for goods. As you stated a lot of money is “sitting on the sidelines”. The best way to change that is to put it in the hands of the middle class. The middle and lower classes put almost all of their money directly into the goods and services portion of our economy immediately and that is where real growth is made. Call it trickle up economics, it makes much more sense than the other way and the money ends up with the rich anyway.

  72. Thank you for a balance and compassionate essay. We don’t agree on all things, but I appreciate your thoughts and willingness to see that we could all be helping each other, rather than making enemies of each other.

  73. Anais, I am not surprised you didn’t mention the 16.2 trillion dollars in national debt you neglected to address. Obama added $5.6 trillion dollars in less that four years, our country is going to collapse. Obama has done nothing but propose more spending, even the democrats in the house won’t give him a yes vote on any of his proposed budgets. His buddy Harry Reid hasn’t passed a budget in over three years – if they propose a budget everyone sees how reckless their “wants” are.

    Me, I’m of the lower middle class income, no health insurance and I have rheumatoid arthritis, I can’t get insurance, tough luck for me. That said, I don’t want ObamaCare because the two Ponzi Schemes (SSI & Medicare) are already bankrupting the system – no thinking person would want to pile onto that. I don’t want to bankrupt my progeny just to save my ass. Most democrats are egocentric enough to think it is OK to steal from our children like that!

    Congratulations, Sandra Fluck can continue to have others pay for her birth control. Congratulation you won and empty victory of the phony war on women. Congratulations gays can marry – It is too bad it cost the fiscal solvency of the United States of America to achieve such trivial things.

    Democrats in their ignorance voted to bankrupt my children’s future and you have the temerity to use Abraham Lincoln’s words “We are not enemies, but friends.” Oh no we are not friends, we are enemies, anyone that votes for the status quo of our exponentially expanding national debt is the enemy of anyone with any common sense and children.

    • Daryl, Social Security and Medicare are not “Ponzi schemes.” They simply don’t match the dictionary definition (click here).

      As for the rest of you claims, perhaps you should level some of your complaints against people like Grover Norquist who has extorted “no new taxes” pledges out of nearly every Republican in Congress and that are now preventing sane fiscal policies like raising taxes on the wealthy. Perhaps you should criticize Mitch McConnell, who made it his goal for Obama to be a one term president – not to do the nation’s business, lead, or solve any of the problems the US has right now, but to defeat Obama.

      The US is coming out of the recession, albeit very slowly. It wouldn’t have been as deep or as long if Obama had faced Republicans (and yes, some Democrats) who were more interested in minimizing the economic damage than their own political power.

      • Well lets put it this way, I don’t understand why you choose your particular “civil rights” free contraception, gay marriage etc over the fiscal solvency of the United States. That is the choice you made.

  74. Excellent article … I have shared it with many … thank you for taking the time to articulate what so many feel and think … it is unfortunate others can not comprehend but hopefully will one day appreciate what is transpiring in America today … the bitterness of those whom change is difficult for one can only hope will dissipate over time so one day they will understand what clearly they cannot see today …. cheers …

    • Or Debi what YOU can’t see today – a debt your children and mine can’t ever pay off because of the selfishness of those that squandered their future!

      In four years what has Obama done to reduce our $16.2 Trillion Dollar National Debt?

  75. Beautifully written. It totally explains why I voted for Obama, my Christian views, my critical thinking skills! And, I believe that we must work together and not draw lines in the sand..otherwise we will destroy ourselves from within!

  76. What a wonderful, well-written piece. I’m not sure it will convince anyone who has been anti-Obama that there are good reasons for his re-election, but I, for one, agree with you heartily.

  77. thanks for speaking so eloquently. I think Obama’s color caused alot of blindness in people who are otherwise descent God fearing. They don’t remember the big mess he inherited.

    • How simplistic of you, just why do you think we dislike Obama for a different reason we dislike Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter etc.

      You don’t have to answer because I know it is just a cheap shot to disparage those who don’t line up behind your guy.

      Mia Love (an African/American republican woman ) had a double digit lead in a Salt Lake Tribune poll on November 1st. So why did this awesome lady lose in her bid to become the first black female Republican congresswoman in history? She was sabotaged. A Democratic Political Action Committee, UTEPAC, hired a voter contact firm to persuade “thousands of 4th District Republicans” NOT to encourage them to vote for the Democrat as would have been an impossible sell in conservative Utah. The thousands of Republican voters were instead, encouraged to vote for a Libertarian third-party candidate to throw the election to the democrat.

      Democrats made money rain on the opponents of the honorable Allen West in south Florida. Herman Cain had democrat strategists fouling their shorts. Democrat strategists became so shrill about Herman Cain it was disgusting!

      You see Judy, the democrats can’t have African/Americans win as republicans because it ruins the liberal false narrative that conservatives are bigots.

      Democrats hate African/American conservatives because they are conservative and they are a threat to their false narrative you happily swallowed.

      If democrats where honest they would acknowledge republicans oppose African/American democrats for the same reason republicans oppose white democrats – their liberal bankrupting policy.

      It is a shame there is such a paucity of intellectual honesty on this subject!

  78. I fast forwarded through all the comments because I started seeing comments that do not match up with what I think your article intended and were rather inflammatory. Your reasons for reelecting President Obama are many I share and I respect you for voting based on principles and not just party. It’s hard for people who come from certain perspectives and family history to do that. My husband and I – Democrat Pagans are surrounded by Republican Christians who were willing to vote for Romney despite his stands on the issues you pointed out and so many more. My husband is finishing up welding certification – a great part of which was funded by a Pell Grant and selling my gold and silver jewelry and coins! He will be able to pay back what he’s taken because he now has a trade that will put food on our table and a roof over our head for the rest of our lives! He will be ABLE to pay taxes because he now has a viable trade/career. Ugh….so frustrating. Now the people who were pissed Romney lost are petitioning to tear our country apart further with secession. Rather than try to learn the art of compromise to get things done they want to destroy our country. So sad.

  79. As an Independent Voter who is also an educated, middle class, white woman (who was raised in the segregated South), this is correct. I agree with every one of these points. The Republican party needs to stop drinking their own ‘cool-aid’ and look around. ‘Times, they are a’changing” folks.

  80. I don’t see how any of this bickering back and forth does any good.. I voted for Romney but Obama won. Where is the tolerance and acceptance of each others differeces? If homosexuals were created by God, therefore, there must be a plan for them, then democrats and repulicans were also created by God and there must be a plan for them also. Let’s stop getting sucked into the bipartisan bickering and start coming together as concerned americans

  81. I hate to tell you but you are not a centrist.

    Point 1: Truthfully, no reasonable conservative felt that either the birth certificate or the muslim thing was an issue in this election. There were lingering character issues from the previous election and certainly the world doesn’t lack for conspiracy theorists, that that was in no way an issue for the Republican party. The fact that you believe that was a credible issue indicates that you were listening to news sources that were not representing both sides of the issues terribly well.

    Point 2: You indicate that you believe in Keynesian economics and that Romney wanted to cut taxes on the wealthy. However, your economic references don’t align. The recession is/was not a supply or demand driven recession. It is/was a credit driven recession. Keynes or Hayek (you said Smith, but I assume you meant Hayek) don’t apply to credit and leverage recessions. So, your comments about economic agenda must be driven by national debt. You talk about ‘what’s just’. That is a very left leaning statement in the economic world. You also mention ‘what’s rational’. I can only assume that you are referencing Bill Clinton’s ‘it’s arithmetic’ comments. That was a clever line, but the truth is that macro economics isn’t arithmetic (it’s calculus). If President Obama had offered an actual plan, it wouldn’t add up either. That’s because economic growth is the only real answer and economic growth is impossible to predict. For example, the $75 billion in additional tax revenue per years doesn’t come close to cover the $1.7 trillion in debt we are adding to the deficit each year (in the current budget proposal). Yes, that spending $1.7 trillion more that we take in tax revenue each year. So, the arithmetic of raising the taxes on the ‘rich’ goes like:
    $2.3 trillion in revenue – $4.0 trillion is planned spending + $0.075 trillion in addl income for tax increase = – $1.625 trillion in debt per year

    Arithmetic isn’t working there either. Since, Romney’s plan was revenue neutral (according to him), then both the President’s plan and Romney’s plan were completely dependent on how much economic growth would be generated from their policies. Neither plan will ‘add up’ (requires multi order differential equations and a lot of guesses). Given that equation, and that you support that tax increase, it’s hard to believe that you are basing your ‘rational’ beliefs on numbers . So, I have to assume it is about fairness and justness….which are valid, they just are not centrist.

    Point 3: This may be the place where you are most illustrative of your political position. Conservatives tend to believe in states having the right to govern in areas not provided for in the federal Constitution. True liberals and libertarians believe that the market should dictate services. That leaves folks that believe that the federal government should manage and control more (progressives, socialists, communists, etc). Your opinion on this doesn’t seem to indicate that you want more federal control. You just want something done. However, you don’t seemed bothered by the imposition of a number of new federal taxes to cover a series of costs that were already being covered by your existing taxes. I could go on and on about the things I think are good and bad in the current bill. However, not being offended by the increase in federal influence in your life tends to indicate that you side with those that prefer centrally controlled and managed governments.

    Point 4: I don’t recall Romney ever indicating that he wanted to abolish the EPA. However, other Republicans did. That said, most Republicans would prefer an EPA that focuses on helping businesses find more environmentally responsible ways to operate without driving their operating costs beyond repair. Most would agree with significant fines for the most egregious (think erin brockovich). However, having been in small businesses that have been fined, the current approach of fining first is not helping. Instead, if the EPA would fulfill an advisory role that helps businesses and individuals find better compromises between environmentally safe and cost effective, I think everyone would be on board. So, yes, Republicans want to replace the EPA that inspects and fines with one that advises, seeks effective compromise, and protects when necessary.

    Point 5: There are those that committed crimes in the housing crisis. They should be prosecuted. However, wealthy individuals should not be painted with their brush. However, your simplification of the issue as a ‘fair share’ argument indicates that you bought the Obama campaign line hook line and sinker. President Obama’s campaign successfully conflated capital gains tax ( taxes on investment income), estate taxes (supposedly a way to capture estate taxes on inheritance), corporate taxes (income taxes that corporation pay on revenue that is earned in the US), and income tax (taxes on earned income). Few people that evaluated the issues in detail feel that an increase in the earned income tax rate for those families and non-incorporated businesses making more than $250k will make much difference in anything. There are some credible debates around capital gains and corporate taxes, but this “rich paying their fair share” argument clearly indicates that you value collective fairness instead of equal opportunity. There is very little about that position that is centrist in American politics.

    I don’t say any of this to criticize your opinions (other than the one that you are centrist :)), your efforts, or your intelligence. I assume you are a reasonably intelligent citizen that put in time to try and understand the issues. Instead, I think that it illustrates the point.

    There were many areas were you were unclear on the Republican position. Your perception of the Republican positions (that seemed to be more based on what the democrats said about republicans that what republicans said about themselves) led you to mistakingly view yourself as a centrist (frankly, reading your points it would be hard to see you not voting Democrat every election).

    I think that this illustrates that there is no relevant media outlet or news source, that is centrist and makes an honest effort to represent both perspectives equally and accurately. If there were, your facts would have reflected both parties talking points and not one party’s talking points about themselves and their opponent. Your decision may have been the same, but you would have had more accurate details on which to base them.

    The bottom line is that our sources for information are letting us down. The fact checks are doing a reasonable job. However, as evidenced by this article, they are not getting through or making an impact. We should demand better from the internet, television, and print (at the very least you should pay for something that you get for free, a bazillion times a day, in political commercials :)).

    • Les, you’ve got to be a troll. “Fairness and justness (sic)… just are not centrist.” WTF?

      Are you trying to shift the Overton Window, or are you trapped by it?

      There’s so much wrong about your comment that it’s hard to know where to start, but if you honestly believe that fairness and justice are leftist ideals then there’s simply no point in debating you.

    • Interesting comment Les Stroud
      I’m all for a credible Centrist news source, fairly representing the merits of each side. More valuable than the holy grail. But I’m not sure that it would even make a difference. Congress and state legislatures are determined by the bases of either party, who show up for more elections.

      I hear that Australian politics were transformed by “forcing” the middle to be more engaged, and not giving the elections to just the extremely committed party bases. Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein said that Australia did this by making voting mandatory, by subjecting those who didn’t vote to light fines.

      Another news articles can’t really depict the merits of a given solution, given the complexity of the interworkings of budget and economy. You need to study it for years to have a useful opinion. But it is not unreasonable to make a quick conclusion that every round of tax cuts we remember seem to lead to more deficits, and do not necessarily help the economy. Ironically, there were tax hikes in Reagan and Clinton years and the economy did well then. I’m sure that there is a lot more to it, and many complex factors.

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