I am actually having a difficult time deciding how to vote in all of the races this election season, which is the reason that I haven’t voted early yet in North Dakota.
This one is easy. Which candidate is in favor of the violation of the first amendment right to exercise religion freely? Which candidate is the most anti-life candidate to ever be on the ticket? Which candidate has become a bully towards those who oppose taxpayer funded abortion on demand? Which candidate has legally forced the Catholic Church to violate her conscience or drop health care for their employees or be in contempt of the law? Which candidate promised four years ago to reach across the aisle, but has only demonized all opposition to his agenda? Which candidate has refused to enforce the laws of the United States despite his Constitutional requirement to enforce laws like DOMA? Which candidate views women as the sum of their reproductive parts and pretty much expects them all to be sex machines that should logically vote for the man who promises free contraception?
I could go on. But it is clear that Barack Obama is the candidate that fits the bill here. Barack Obama is not a choice for any freedom loving American who believes in the right of individuals to not just believe their religion, but to practice it to, as is their Constitutional right. Any American who believes that each American is an individual and might not want to be told what to think based upon their sexual parts, should be offended at the way Obama treats female voters.
While he may not be the top choice of all contenders, Mitt Romney is the only one who can beat President Obama, and remove him from office. A vote for any other candidate is one less viable vote against the President.
2. US Senate
This is where I truly become an undecided voter. In North Dakota we have two options: Heidi Heitkamp (D) and Rick Berg (R). Berg is currently our US Representative and seems like a nice guy, I originally was going to support him. I was adamantly opposed to Heitkamp due to her praise of Obama and her support of his policies. However, there is a scandal involving Berg and a local property management company that I am very confused about and it appears that Berg could be or is lying about his involvement with the company and that makes me begin to distrust him a little. Heitkamp also seems less scary to me in that while she isn’t in support of a full repeal of Obamacare, she does want to give it a facelift. What that involves, I’m not sure about.
On some of the issues that are important, Berg has given emphatic statements: he is opposed to federally funded abortions, and to the HHS mandate, and is in favor of a Constitutional Marriage Amendment. Heitkamp has remained pretty silent on these issues. On local issues, I sort of give Heitkamp in edge in that she favors the building of a new oil refinery in North Dakota so that we can keep more of the profits from our oil boom in North Dakota, Berg opposed this. Of course the refinery would come from federal dollars, and I’m not a fan of increasing our federal spending, so all in all, I think that Berg and Heitkamp come out in a dead heat when I ignore all the partisan attack ads. So how do I decide?
In the end, Democrats have a small majority over Republicans in the Senate, and this majority has done very little to help our nation. Over three years without passing a budget and a refusal to repeal the unconstitutional healthcare law worries me. A Republican majority is necessary to accomplish what needs to get done. If the Republicans win a majority it will be a very slim majority, so every candidate and every vote counts, and I’m not sure that Heidi will do what needs to be done on the issues that matter the most, so in the end I will probably vote Berg because I know he will vote to repeal Obamacare, and will vote on a balanced budget.
3. US House
Pam Gulleson (D) and Kevin Cramer (R) are both running for North Dakota’s one at-large district, and to be honest I know very little about the candidates, as there hasn’t seemed to be much hardcore campaigning by either candidate because the Senate Race is overshadowing this race. All I know is that like the Senate Race, the Republican has made definitive statements on the issues that matter most to me, while the Democrat has remained silent. I also know that both candidates have been rated favorably by the NRA, so they both seem to like the second amendment. I also don’t expect the Republicans to lose control of the House of Representatives, even if North Dakota’s one seat went back to Democrats. I also don’t see Gulleson winning the election anyways, as the last polls I saw, Cramer had the advantage, so it probably won’t matter anyway how I vote in this race, I might as well flip a coin.
4. State Ballot Measures
We have five measures on the ballot in North Dakota. The first is the elimination of the constitutional provision allowing the state to charge a poll tax. The state hasn’t charged the tax in a long time, so we might as well get rid of it, pretty non-controversial. The second measure adds a constitutional mandate for all elected officials to take an oath of office, something that overlooked when we became a state. Again, this is a non-controversial measure I will support. The third is a measure supporting the perpetual right of farmers and ranchers to engage in modern farming techniques and practices. As a non-farmer it is really hard to know what this measure might mean. I am inclined to either support the initiative or abstain entirely. The fourth is a controversial measure that would enact a statewide no-smoking ban in all public places and work areas. As a non-smoker who is irritated by cigarette smoke, I am not going to support this measure. I think that this is a decision best left to local jurisdictions. A few North Dakota cities have already enacted their own bans because it is what people want. I don’t think it is right for the large population centers of our state to dictate that a small bar in Po’dunk, North Dakota can’t allow people to smoke. I also think that business owners have a right to run their businesses as they see fit. If they want to allow people to smoke inside that is their right and it is the consumer’s and worker’s right to not shop or work there. The fifth measure makes it a felony to abuse animals. It has protections for farmers, ranchers, and hunters and basically applies only to dogs, cats, and horses, but I am not supporting this measure. I don’t abuse my animals and I never have and I never will and I don’t support animal abuse. But I find it repugnant that it would be a felony to kick a dog, but is perfectly legal to dismember a child in discard it like it is yesterday’s trash. Until it is a felony to kill any member of our own species, I will not support an animal rights bill…EVER.