It's been eight years since George W. Bush became President.
Even though I've diligently contributed to my 401(k) and my Roth IRA, the sum total of my retirement savings is just about exactly the same as it was in 2000. My salary is the same as it was ten years ago - and everything's become more expensive. The price of gas has tripled, I can't get out of Trader Joe's for less than a hundred bucks, and don't even get me started on the price of wine.
I'm tired of having a President who seldom makes sense, who starts wars that to this day seem to have no rational thinking behind them. I'm tired of having people in power who think that you can get something for nothing, that it's A-OK to spend billions of dollars and cut taxes at the same time, resulting in huge interest payments for decades.
I'm tired of abstinence-only education. Hell, I'm tired of Big Government trying to dictate how all of us live our lives. Wasn't that once the point of the Republican Party? You know, smaller, less intrusive government? So what's with this fetish about making sure people don't have choices in their lives? I want more freedom: the freedom to marry the partner of your choice, the freedom to use contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy, the freedom to choose abortion if you feel it's the best option for you.
I'm tired of having to worry about health insurance. Last year, after Dan and I quit our jobs in Washington state, I found out what it's like to try to get insurance without a job (or with a job that doesn't have insurance benefits): it costs a ridiculous amount of money. We were spending five hundred dollars a month on the cheapest plan at Kaiser - and even then there was a seventy dollar co-pay. I don't know how anyone can afford health care at those prices.
I'm tired of not being able to carry liquids on airplanes. I'm tired of Guantanamo Bay. I'm tired of extraordinary rendition. I'm tired of warrantless wiretapping. None of these things address the root causes of terrorism or do anything at all to prevent future terrorist attacks.
I'm tired of fear.
Last night, I voted. I voted to preserve our liberties: I voted no on Prop 4 and Prop 8. I voted in hopes of reforming our health care system, putting an end to state sanctioned torture, a new, more reasonable direction in our foreign policy, and increased personal freedoms: the freedom to marry the partner of your choice, the freedom to serve in the military regardless of your sexual preference, the freedom to have an abortion if your moral calculus allows.
I voted for Barack Obama.
If you haven't voted already, you might be able to do so now. Can I Vote may be helpful. If you've already decided you want to vote for Barack Obama, then check out Vote for Change.