I woke up this Monday, drove over to the early voting polling location at the Buckhead Library and voted in the 2016 Presidential Election. A couple of thoughts about the experience:
- Monday was the first day of early voting here in GA and I was surprised at the number of people coming in to vote first thing on the first day.
- While I was in the room there were at least 40-50 people that voted.
- From what I could tell there were a variety of ages, but being Buckhead, very little racial diversity.
- They had trouble finding me eligible to vote at first. Took around 25-30 minutes to get sorted out, despite having my registration card and ID with my current address that matched the voter registration card.
- Two different computers gave two different responses when queried about my eligibility.
- Again, it was sorted and I voted.
- The local CBS affiliate came in to ask if they could film inside the polling place, were denied. So many factors at play all at the same time. Poll workers have a tough job, local media people have a tough job and the rest of us just want to punch the buttons and get to work.
After much thought and research I decided to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine for President and Vice President of the United States of America.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, I’m going to share some of my thought process behind my selection.
Shock and Awe
I’m sure there are a lot of folks that are going to be really surprised and some will probably be disappointed that I chose to use my vote for Hillary Clinton. It can be pretty shocking in the religious world in the southern United States to learn someone you know actually voted for a Democrat.
I hope we can remain friends. I also hope the items below can provide a bit more insight into my decision.
Politics and Predictability
There is something to be said for predictability in politics. When it comes to being the United States, what we do matters to the rest of the world. When the President of the United States speaks others listen and react. Words matter. They do. They always have, and they always will.
I posed on Facebook that having Hillary in the White House will mark a return to the ruthless/power focused politics of Richard Nixon. That’s her style, that was his style. We haven’t had a president that cared more about ruling than being liked in 40 years. Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama at their core wanted to be liked/remembered fondly and would adjust their politics accordingly. However, you always knew what you were getting with each of those gentlemen.
Hillary will provide more of the same predictability. Donald Trump has shown he will not provide that predictability and that is troublesome for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is the stability of our relationship with allies and enemies alike. Regardless of whether you like Hillary’s style or not, she understands the power of words and understands that the President of the United States has a loud microphone.
I can tell you that as someone that has worked in the wealth management profession for the last several years in various capacities there are very few people that ever have this issue. You probably won’t be one of them.
I don’t like the estate tax. I think there should be a tax on the gain in value of the assets as if you sold everything for cash. The gains alone should be taxed at the appropriate ordinary or capital gains rates and the rest should pass to your heirs with a step-up in basis.
I’ve seen lots of people angry that Hillary Clinton supports raising the estate tax. She’s not being elected Queen and you aren’t going to die with more than the excluded amount.
On the off chance that this might affect you, give me a call. I get paid to help people that are subject to this tax avoid as much of it as possible. I can probably help you, too.
Unless you are gay and want to get married you don’t have to participate in a gay marriage or a gay wedding. Just like I don’t go to Luke Bryan concerts because he sounds like Kermit the Frog, you can choose not to attend a gay wedding or even get married if you are gay. Okay, oversimplifying here, but the point should be well taken.
I can provide you all sorts of arguments about the 14th Amendment, the fact that the United States does not make laws through the lens of Christianity (or any other religion for that matter), the glaring fact that your marriage is in no way affected by the fact that anyone else gets married (or not), and even turning the tables and asking you why you aren’t this fired up about gluttony since it actually affects WAY WAY WAY more people than gay marriage ever will.
But, I won’t. This simply doesn’t move the needle as something we need to be concerned with. I’m happy for my friends and family that were finally allowed to get married last year. (Several of them complained about their new tax reality. Welcome to the club.)
I know this makes me a heretic to many of you and I’m okay with that.
This is SUCH a tough issue. It is actually something that is much more divisive nationally than gay marriage.
This is CRAZY! While 61% of the population believes that gay marriages should have all the same rights as straight marriages, only 50% of the population believes that abortion should be “legal only under limited circumstances.”
The nuance is important here. Most of the handwringing I see is about unfettered access to abortions anytime/anyplace. Only 29% of the population believes that should be the law of the land. Here’s where it gets interesting. Only 19% of the population of the United States believes that abortion should always be illegal.The number is so low that invariably the other 81% of people who agree abortion should be legal in at least some instances includes Republicans, Democrats, and Undecided voters.
That means people you go to church with, yes, your church, probably believe that abortion should be legal in some circumstances. And that also means that a great number of Democrats, Republicans, and Undecided voters also do not believe in unrestrained access to abortion.
I want to be pro-life and I want to be pro-choice. I want to be pro-life because I’ve been through adoption classes and have met mothers that made the difficult decision not to parent their child and after hearing their stories I understand why they made that choice. I want to be pro-choice because I know women that made the difficult decision to terminate their pregnancy and after hearing their stories I understand why they made that choice.
I voted for Hillary Clinton despite the fact that she has decided which side of the debate she falls on and I haven’t. This is a huge issue for me, but I don’t believe in being a single issue voter. The world and the country are bigger than this single issue and I have to vote that way.
Affordable Care Act
This law is flawed, it needs some serious help, but it needs to stay. I know, I know, I was a very vocal critic of ACA when it was passed, both for the way it was passed and because I felt (and have been vindicated) that it would eventually spiral out of control due to costs.
Stripping all that away, looking at it on its merits, we need to provide healthcare for our people. All of our people. We live in the wealthiest nation in the world per-capita. Some of that money needs to go to providing healthcare for everyone. I believe it is a moral imperative that we care for “the least of these” and healthcare is one major step toward that end.
In a little more than a week you will read lots of news articles about premiums going up 50%, 60% and probably somewhere will push over 80% in cost increase. That isn’t good and is part of the reason I didn’t like the ACA. What this bill did, however, was provide a starting place.
“What does it look like to provide healthcare for everyone?”
Now, we get to keep trying. We will never get it right, but more people have access than ever before and that makes me glad.
In summation, I didn’t vote for Hillary because she’s my favorite choice. I didn’t vote for her because I agree with her on everything. I didn’t vote for Hillary because I believe she will appoint the best Supreme Court justices.
I voted for Hillary Clinton because, when confronted with people that are different from her she chooses to be in community with them and do the hard work of figuring out how to make it work instead of building walls and passing laws to keep them out or marginalize them.
That is who I want to be as a person and who I want leading our country.