Sunday, September 30, 2012

Election Season

On my two mile walk to work, I am bound to be stopped and asked "Are you registered to vote?" "Yes," I answer proudly. I don't claim to be the most informed voter out there, but I try. As a registered voter, I fall into three voting blocs, each with their own set of issues that will affect my vote:

The Youth Vote

As a young adult, I am concerned about the state of the nation I am inheriting. Are we where I want us to be socially, financially, and environmentally? Not right now. Socially, I want a future in which everyone has access to legal health care, in which this article from The Onion is a reality, in which your gender or race does not affect your job opportunities or level of pay. Financially, I want to see a level-headed approach to balancing the budget, where you are taxed more if you earn more and where spending on education and infrastructure is seen as an investment in my generation and the nation's future. It would be nice to have a structurally sound road in front of me and a well-educated generation behind me. Environmentally (and along the financial investing-in-our-future lines as well), I would love to see us take a serious look at wind, solar, and hydro power on a larger scale. I am particularly fascinated by windmills. I know people complain that windmills are eyesores, but when I see a wind farm with dozens of windmills spinning together in a field, a blue sky overhead and the earth stretched out before me, it is an awe-inspiring display of the interaction between humanity and God.

Windmills in Southern Illinois

The Women's Vote

Dear Congress, please collectively enroll in a biology course. At the very least, it would teach you that your foot and your mouth are two distinct body parts that don't belong anywhere near each other. As an added bonus, you might also learn how the female body works. In lieu of this course, I suggest you keep your uninformed opinions about us to yourselves and stop trying to limit our healthcare options. Thanks, a female voter

The Jewish Vote

This is my first election as a Jew, which means I am now officially on the lookout for the candidates' commitments to the state of Israel. I haven't been to Israel and, as a convert to Judaism, I can't (even in theory) claim an actual ancestral connection to the land. But I have a spiritual and religious connection to it and a vested interest in its security and continued existence as a Jewish state. I hope to visit Israel someday and wander as Abraham and Sarah wandered when they became the first Jews.

My views on Israel really deserve their own post and I will eventually sift through my feelings and make them coherent enough to post. For voting purposes, however, I can set aside my thoughts on Israel's internal politics, the difficulties of being a democratic and religious state, the religious clashes, etc. The presidential election, for me, is not about Israeli politics, but about the US policy towards Israel and with the recent events involving Iran, this is shaping up to be an important issue.

The presidential debates start this Wednesday. So register to vote, be informed, and don't forget to vote on Tuesday, November 6, 2012!