Wednesday, October 1, 2008

44: Why I'm Voting for Barack Obama

Obama supports our veterans.

Obama has rarely wavered in pushing for greater financial, medical and educational benefits for members of our armed forces. This is contrary to veteran John McCain's stance. He has repeatedly voted against bills designed to give increased support and aid to our veterans.

Now I've never been in any branch of the service - I don't think either of us would survive the encounter, honestly - but I've never not supported the troops.
Growing up outside radical Madison, Wisconsin in the 70s, I was highly influenced by the anti-war movement and its raggedy remnants, while at the same time spending several years of grade-school wearing surplus Army jackets to school. (I think my Mom bought them because they were cheap, but we thought we looked pretty cool in them). But I never bought into the kind of blame-game that hurt the troops. That seemed plain stupid, just illogical to me. I may wholeheartedly disagree with their commanders - especially that one who calls himself "In-Chief" - but the troops are the guys who do the work. Sometimes they screw up because of a lack of moral or ethical leadership, but they never asked to be put in situations so outside the norm of human behavior that things like that could happen. They deserve everything we can do for them while in the service and afterwards.

So I was thrilled by Obama's support of the 21st Century GI Bill, which both McCain and Bush opposed for being too generous to our troops, as it echoes my own thoughts so closely. We need legislation like this, our soldiers need legislation like this. The previous GI Bill was one of the smartest things our government ever did. It took a generation to college and kick-started decades of national prosperity and advancement. We need to think about the future again when we are planning legislation. I won't even call this "progressive" because it's not. It's "regressive" if anything, turning back the clock on decades of general neglect. But Obama's whole-hearted support for this bill tells me that he thinks about what this country will need five, ten, fifteen and twenty years from now. Not just what it needs in the next five minutes.

So, for the troops and for the future, vote Obama!

You can compare each candidate's voting record on dozens of issues at Project Vote Smart.

Here's Obama's and here's McCain's. Scroll down or search for "Veterans" to see where each one stands on this issue.

UPDATE: Read about Gen. Wesley Clark's excursion for Obama in Florida. He has some specific things to say about Obama and our veterans.

Now playing: The In Crowd - Blow Up
via FoxyTunes

No comments: