Why I am voting for Obama

I watched the third presidential debate last night. Overall, I would say that not much new ground was covered. However, there was one moment that I thought was quite telling. At one point John McCain suggested that school vouchers are the solution to all our education woes. Barack Obama replied, “I disagree with him on this, because the data doesn’t show that it actually solves the problem”.

And that, my friends, exemplifies why I will be voting for Barack Obama. I think that of the two Obama is much more likely to search out relevant data and let it inform his decisions.

The radical right may believe that unregulated markets are the solution to everything, and the hard left may believe that capitalism is the root of most of our ills. Frankly, I don’t care what anybody thinks if they have derived it from the first principles of their ideology. If you don’t have evidence to support your plans I am pretty damn sure that they are wrong. Most likely, badly wrong.

Outcomes are the only thing that matter. I want a government that is more interested in implementing policies that will achieve the outcomes we all want – economic prosperity, physical security, reduced poverty, etc. – than ones their ideologically imprisoned “base” would approve of.

This is where the new Progressive movement could enter the political arena for real. What we need are a new set of politicians who are focused on addressing the issues that actually affect our country. People who want to restart our recently stalled progress. Leaders who will search out the relevant data and use it to construct plans that have real chances of succeeding. Or, at the very least, not our waste time and money on ones completely doomed to failure. We need a new ideology of evidence based governance. And we need it now.

On a related note, the Science Debate 2008 is quite interesting. I highly recommend reading both the candidates’ responses.

Comments 4

  1. Dick Brodine wrote:

    I believe you were formerly apolitical. Good to hear you’re supporting Obama. Only someone outside the system can have a chance at solving some of these problems. Barack is the guy to do it!

    Posted 17 Oct 2008 at 12:48 pm
  2. Dick Brodine wrote:

    Barack is saying that he will encourage companies to hire American. I’m wondering what the implication of that policy will be with regard to the masses of Indians in IT. Should American youngsters give serious consideration to pursuing a career in software development? Will the playing field in this arena be made level? Should be interesting!

    Posted 30 Oct 2008 at 9:33 am
  3. Dick Brodine wrote:

    From years ago, McCarthy. “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party in America”? A lot of people back here consider Obama a socialist.

    Posted 31 Oct 2008 at 7:34 am
  4. Jes Beard wrote:

    Still happy with that choice of Obama?

    Posted 14 Apr 2011 at 12:09 pm