Why I voted for Obama in 2008

As a former chairman of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee, I get questions sometimes about why I voted for Barack Obama for US President in 2008. Many conservatives, libertarians, Tea Party members & Republicans just can not grasp why someone with my political leanings in the past would make such a “big leap” to support a Democrat, especially one that they view as a “Socialist.”

In a shocking development, politicians win every race.  — The Onion

When faced with a politician promising to Change things, I find it interesting to see what changes he or she is proposing, but I do not actually expect them to live up to their campaign promises. We all know that voting is between the choices presented, not between what we actually want and what we have now.

Those choices are always between two or more politicians, not between saints and devils.

While I am old enough to remember having Civics and Social Studies classes in school that claimed good government officials would look out for the best interests of those who elected them, social scientists who actually studied the political arena had figured out by the 1980s that elected politicians are just the same as everyone else — they will pursue their own best interest unless there are limits in place to keep them in check.

As America has been all about removing limits on everyone for the past several decades,  it should come as no surprise that politicians are more free than ever to say anything during an election and do the exact opposite once in office — or to claim they support the troops while voting to defund the programs that actually support them, or to attack the unions that make a middle class possible while claiming to be doing so for the sake of the middle class, or any of the myriad other insanities that have issued from all levels of American government in recent years.

If voting could change things, it would be illegal.  — Anarchist Proverb

As I figured out back in the 1990s that the Libertarian Party had zero chance of getting anyone elected to a significant office, let alone to the US Presidency, the choice presented in 2008 was between

1) an intelligent man with a gaffe-prone running mate whose party had not just trashed the economy while fighting 2 immoral wars and bailing out the fat cats in the banking industry; and

2) a former war hero with a scary-stupid ex-MILF running mate, who seemed to be running away from his own formerly-reasonable positions on many issues and pandering to the most lunatic fringe of his own party, no matter how many outright lies he had to make part of his campaign rhetoric to do so.

There was no way I could see giving the GOP another 4 years to further trash the economy & do even more to enrich the already-wealthy-beyond-reason uber-rich.

So, yeah, I voted for Obama.

I hoped he would use his intelligence to correct some of the mistakes made by his predecessor and to reverse some of the awful practices and policies pursued by that man, not to mention replacing all of those who oversaw those practices and policies.

Unfortunately, my hopes have been dashed. Where that leads us will be dealt with in future days here and in other venues.

(And before you think this one vote or my comments about the GOP means I am a liberal or a Democrat, please see https://timgatewood.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/i-am-not-a-label-i-am-a-free-man/ )


About Tim Gatewood

55+, male, widowed (May 2016). Mobile notary public and signing agent, freelance writer, and ordained minister. Science fiction and fantasy fan, willing servant to cats, avid reader and collector of books and other stuff. Please see my websites (including this blog and others) for more info on me and what I think about the issues of the day.
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