Well, according to the poll I just took on the Washington Post's website, my political views are the most in line with Hillary. That's not a huge surprise, and above the surface – and for a long time back – I have wanted to see another Clinton victory in the White House for various reasons, which we'll get to and address as we come to them.
However, the actual questions of the poll left me wanting for more, much more, in the way of choices. For many questions, the difference in answers (and by default, the differences between the candidates) were nothing more than a dance in semantics. Essentially, they were all saying the same thing, just in minimally different ways of speaking. I guess this is what's referred to in politics as 'towing the old party line,' but I don't like it one bit.
Honestly, since I've begun really digging into this issue, I've found that I can't wholeheartedly support any one candidate, as long as all the candidates are sticking to what their respective parties want to hear. If we want real change, we have to be willing to step outside the box, and the watered down, pathetic stances on the issues that I've been reading about are making me downright angry. I truly had the thought go through my head this afternoon, “Why can't we just do away with the parties, let seven or eight candidates put themselves on the line, show their true selves and their real visions for America, and let the best (wo)man win?” I know it would never happen. Just like the electoral college. I think it's an outdated system for which modern America has no use. We're no longer collecting votes by riders on horseback. Let us have a REAL democracy – rather than a republic whose representation is completely out of touch with its constituents. It's a broken system whose purpose is no longer necessary, and it makes voters feel like their votes don't really count when a victor has less of the majority vote than his opponent. Of course, no one wants to change a system that got them into the presidency, so it's not likely to change, but, for now, let's try not to broaden the scope of my rant too greatly, or I'll never get to the heart of the matter. Perhaps in a Utopian world, right?
Now, according to “Choose Your Candidate, Democratic Edition,” my candidates scores were:
John Edwards: 15 pts. Agreed with answers on: Health Care, Energy 2, Immigration, Economy.
Hillary Clinton: 29 pts. Agreed with answers on: National Security, Energy, Immigration 2, Economy 2.
Barack Obama: 18 pts. Agreed with answers on: Social Security, Social Security 2, Iraq, Iraq 2, Top Priorities.
OK, so, to be fair, I was going to get my results from “Choose Your Candidate, Republican Edition,” but I found that their version of the test was just the same: the only differences in answers – and again, by default – candidates were basic semantics. So, for the majority of the questions, I couldn't choose an answer, so I decided it was a moot point.
Anyway, not long after I began this blog (which was sometime back in January), I discovered that according to the mass media, Louisiana's polls were 'not going to matter' after the 22-state Super-Tuesday polls were expected to decide all. They were wrong, and now, today, (after enjoying our OWN super Tuesday) Louisiana Democrats are heading to the polls, hoping to make a difference in America. I, too, will join them, but in order to do so, I still have to endorse a candidate, so here is what I have surmised so far:
Health Care – It comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me at all to know that this is one of my soapbox issues and one that hits very close to home on many levels. These policies will not only have a direct effect on my career field, but I have also spent several years of my life (including right now) uninsured and often suffering, simply because my employer didn't offer the option of health care, and to buy it on my own, I might as well not have coverage. (I can elaborate on this later, if anyone's interested, but in the interest of time, I'll leave it at that.) Now, when I began reading all the nitty gritty details to each candidate's plan, I discovered something: they now sound exactly the same! In the debates, it appears that Obama's plan leaves gaps in coverage, while Clinton's plan is for universal care. However, he claims that she mandates coverage while he makes it affordable. Once again, my friends, we are in a semantic dance that really boils down to the same thing if you truly get into their bullet points and compare them. She says she wants everyone to be eligible for the federal workers' benefits. So does he. They both encourage affordable, portable health care. They both encourage preventative medicine. All in all, whether it began this way or not, both their plans for health care sound like the same plan!
So, while I'm saying that both policies are seemingly similar, I still believe that this is a topic that Hillary is better equipped to tackle, given her history particularly in this policy field. No, she was not successful in the nineties, but in the nineties, the general public did not understand the need for universal health care as many others of us did. She, too, is sticking to the hard line that we must fight for universal coverage for every American coming out of the gate in order to make any progress at all, while Barack refuses to call his plan 'universal.' I'm afraid that that lack of commitment to ALL Americans may mean a non-coverage, so to speak, for many Americans, and I don't want to be another one still falling through the cracks.
Beyond that, I have to say that I'm largely unimpressed with their plans as a whole. Obviously, I am more in line with the Democratic Party than with the Republican platform, but I find it interesting that no one (save Ron Paul) has mentioned taking the privatization completely out of health care, as so many other countries have done and as Michael Moore so adeptly showed us in “Sicko.” (I don't care what you think of the man, having worked in and around healthcare as long as I have, I can tell you that his movie was dead-on accurate.) I don't have time to go into all his points right now, but anyone who believes that the quality of care would go down by instituting a national health care system is being HUGELY misled.
So, that said (and I'm sorry that I'm leaving out a LOT here, including the military, though again, both Democratic candidates seem to have similar plans for it and Iraq as well), I'm going to make my way to the polls, and I'm going to cast my ballot for Hillary, not necessarily that she has the best plan at this precise moment, but because, I believe with her insight and determination, she will lead us to that light at the end of the tunnel and will eventually, with Congress and her choice of VP, come up with a plan that will truly benefit ALL Americans. Perhaps Barack will be at her side. Perhaps Edwards will. Maybe Michael Moore will. (Ha!) At any rate, I believe she has the tools necessary to make my hopes a reality. I guess we shall see.