Friday, November 09, 2012


Being LDS and voting for Obama I have had quite a few friends ask me over the last week why I choose not to vote for Mitt Romney. I wrote it out enough times I decided to post it here. I edited out some of the more personal things I didn't want to share publicly but this still reads as though writing to a friend. I hope this doesn't make you stop reading my blog : ) I swear I will go right back to boys and music.

So here goes...we all have to vote according to our own personal experiences. And my life experience is overwhelmingly colored by growing up in a family that always struggled financially.  We didn't have insurance most of the time. My dad's veterans benefits were the only way he could get the kidney transplant that means I still have a dad. I watched my brother pay soul crushing private premiums to make sure his kids could go to the doctor when his employer in california declined to provide full coverage to the utah office. They finally decided to give in and take some government help because it was tough paying for both shelter, food AND insurance. My brother is a college educated professional who LOVES TO WORK-not some lazy guy looking for a handout. So affordable and available healthcare is something that is near and dear to me.

I went to SUU on Pell Grants. I worked every summer, every christmas break and on campus every semester. I got scholarships to make up the differences. I wasn't a lazy kid letting the government fund four years of goofing around-I was careful with money and worked hard to get good grades and graduate on time. But neither I, nor any of my fully employed tax paying responsible citizen siblings could have managed college without major help-my parents just couldn't help very much. I feel an enormous sense of responsibility to the other Katie Clifford's of this world to make sure the ability to go to college remains available to kids like her.

Now that I AM a college educated professional and I make sort of a silly amount of money to pick polo shirts and watch swimmers try on clothes, I'm perfectly happy-heck, grateful-to pay my share and frankly even more than my share than say my dear teacher friend who makes peanuts to teach little first grade minds-to make sure we get roads and schools and fire departments and snow removal. (This sentence is terribly punctuated, I guess it shows that I quit being an English major.)

And lastly-and to me very most importantly-is the right of everyone to marry as they choose. The fact that any douchebag straight guy can go out and get married and have a few kids he may abuse or neglect and that's legal, but my kind, sweet, wonderful best friend Jed who is a good good man, cannot marry the guy he loves and adopt some kids who will be so loved and well cared for makes me so angry I could spit nails. I cannot, and I will not, support a party who continues to be so obstinate when it comes to this issue.

I worked for Mitt at the organizing committee in Salt Lake. He's super smart and capable and we were always mesmorized by his press conferences and organization addresses. However, I don't feel like I ever saw that guy again. I saw a man who bowed to the pressures of the far right and sounded like an old, out of touch, relic of a different age every time he opened his mouth. I don't believe that was the real Mitt, but I also wasn't willing to take the chance that he would feel beholden to the overly vocal extreme side of his party. Someone said today the GOP is "a Mad Men party in a Modern Family world" and I couldn't agree more.

The economy was in in bad bad shape when Obama took office-I feel like maybe people have forgotten the hysteria of four short years ago when entire neighborhoods were going into foreclosure and life savings were being wiped out. We are not where we need to be but we are so much better. A friend sent me an article back in January and it really explains why from a fiscal point of view, I voted to keep the guy who has a long-term strategy to truly fix things in place, rather than shake it all up again with a newbie who will inevitably discover that being the President of the US is not the same as being the president of Bain Capitol. Or the Olympics. You can read it if you would like, many of my fellow Obama supporters will cite it as a reason they feel good about his second term.

I am certain that as a business owner and with a different upbringing, you have a different lens you used to filter these two. We came up with different guys but it doesn't make either of us wrong-we just have different priorities in a leader. But I will say this-I've got gays in my life and I have minorities in my family and I have spent my whole Mormon girl life fighting the idea that my whole worth is tied to someone wanting to marry me and when the Obama family walked out on stage last night, they looked like progress. They looked young and fresh and they didn't look like me. I think we needed this election to shake loose the cobwebs of an America that only looks good if you are white and straight and rich.

I have gone on and on here but this stuff is important to me and I did a LOT of soul searching to get to what I think. I know my Republican friends did too. Mitt is a good man, he'll make a hell of a mission president for some lucky kids. And hopefully Obama will keep his victory speech promise to sit down with Romney. I also hope Ann gets a nap-she was a champ : ) Being a political wife looks like the suckiest job ever ; )



Señora H-B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Señora H-B said...

Thank you for articulating what I have been unable to. I also really appreciated your comment to the effect of the amazing thing it was to be choosing between a Mormon and a Black man for president. I hope that, as a country, we continue to make progress forward. I could also do with a little less of the end-of-world ranting, but I'll take what I can get.

Kelly said...

Fabulous! This is so right on.

Clinton Painter said...

You know Katie, as someone who DID vote for Brother Romney, I love this post/letter. I have been so frustrated the last few days (well really the last two years) with all of the dooms-day people. We are not at the end of the world and I do believe Obama now has the opportunity to show what he can do. Thanks for sharing.

lilcis said...

I have been struggling SO MUCH with the issue of gay marriage, for the exact reasons you listed. It's really nice to know that there other "good mormons" who feel the same way. I don't like questioning the church, and I certainly don't question my faith in the gospel. But obviously things need to change, somewhere, somehow.

miche said...

Katie, I could not agree with you more. I struggled so much with this election. I actually cried on election morning because I knew I had to vote and I didn't know what to do. My heart went one way, and my mind went another. I wanted so badly to vote for a democrat, for ALL the reasons you just listed. Somehow, I felt let down by Obama (I wholeheartedly voted for him 4 years ago.) I wanted so badly to vote for Mitt - the one I remember from Massachusetts, but again, felt the same way, that he had been invited to the Mad Men party and wasn't going to leave and come back to the real world. In the end, it's just so unfair that we have all judged each other so harshly based on personal political beliefs which are mostly based on extremely personal life experiences. I ended up voting for Romney, but I'm also glad Obama won. Is that weird? I sincerely hope they both sit down together soon too and help bring the country together. I think you rock. Thanks for the great post.

MrsEm said...

Nicely done! This is an awesome post.

MildredRatched said...

Not an English major? You have such a gift of articulating your thoughts and emotions into words.
Were you supposed to support Mitt on the one fact that he is Mormon? I am so fond of that 1st amendment, and fearful the Republican Party wants to abolish it. Mr. Romney fell to the pressures of the "behind the scenes" power brokers, just as the very honorable Mr. McCain did.
Regardless of which party one supports, we must all keep working to call ALL of government reps to task. Work as hard as we do or GET OUT! The art of diplomacy, compromise, and service to those who elected you seems to be dying.
Beautiful post Kate, thank you.