The elections are finally over and I'm left feeling surprised that I apparently care about politics a little more than I thought. As witnessed by such a close race, this election was tough for many of us. Since I consider myself somewhat of a moderate, I vote based on the individual candidate, not on party. Therefore every election it's tough for me to sort through the rhetoric and awful commercials to make my decision.
So here are the questions I asked myself several months back to start my personal candidate selection process....
If I had to hang out with one of the candidates in a social setting, who would it be?
And for me the answer was easy: if I had to go out to dinner or grab cocktails with one of the candidates, I'd choose Obama & Michelle hands down. They seem like the coolest people ever and I'm convinced we could become great friends given the chance. For some reason meeting up with Romney for a 'tail didn't appeal to me at all...
As a woman, who is more in tune with my needs and rights?
Again, for me this was hands down an Obama "win." First of all, I believe that as a country we are better off with a pro-choice society because living in a pro-choice society gives everyone the right to do what they feel is best for them - including choosing to have their baby. Everyone wins.
Paul Ryan said some absolutely atrocious things about rape and God's intentions (um, is he a prophet??) and his general attitude towards women's reproductive rights was embarrassing. I couldn't look him in the eye if I had to. #romneyfail
Who's going to get America back to work?
This one was tough for me. Obama was re-elected with an extremely high unemployment rate. As someone who has been laid off myself, I understand that times are tough. Yet I also find the high unemployment level to be one of Obama's not so great statistics.
This being said, I'm a big fan of the Keystone Pipeline which was definitely something I related to Romney about. I believe it will get tons of people back to work, and it won't require a college degree to bring many families a better life. It also empowers America to be just a tad bit more self-sufficient.
As a business owner and the relative of many business owners, who will help small businesses stay afloat and keep their staffs employed?
And this is where shit got real with me. Obama has been awesome at helping small businesses get off the ground, for example, with the passing of the JOBS Act. The problem is the JOBS Act often funds a dream or idea, not profitable businesses that are paying peoples mortgages and grocery bills.
Did you know that according to the SBA, 99.7% of employer firms are small businseess? Why are we taking away from 99.7% of employers by imposing more taxes, more regulations and more rules that often leads to companies not being able to financially stay afloat?
In addition, it's really really tough for me to swallow the fact that people who make $250,000+ will have to pay 39.6% under Obama's proposed tax plans. If we were getting college paid for, childcare and healthcare benefits/stipends then I could understand 40% taxes or even higher, but we are getting none of that. It seems like reverse discrimination to me, and I am NOT a fan of any kind of discrimination. Yet at the same time I understand why some felt Mitt Romney only understood the needs of the 1%...
How do you vote: social or fiscal?
So at the end of the day I had to make a choice between voting on social issues or on fiscal issues. And to be honest, it was tough. I didn't make my final decision until the day before the election. I made myself take the warm fuzzies and my love for the Obamas (um how amazing did they look on election night btw!?!) out of the equation. I also took out my disdain for Paul Ryan out of the equation and some of the dumb things Romney said during the debates out of the equation too. I really tried to think about who would be a better leader and CEO of this country in a time full of national and personal debt, unemployment and failing businesses...
So, what issue most influenced YOUR vote this election?