Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

ben wilson This is the blog of a one Ben Wilson, a Louisville, Kentucky native who enjoys baseball, beer, music, bikes, things that fly and good food. By day he pushes pixels and makes the Internet happen for a local advertising agency. His wife, Kelly is an Ironman, and his baby Amelia is the cutest thing ever.

Tomorrow, I will cast my vote in Louisville, Kentucky, Precinct D130 at Klondike Elementary School for Barack Obama. And below is why I will be doing so…

Civility in Government

The last 8 years of my life, I have seen the reputation of the United States of America go from a vibrant, hopeful and welcoming place to a self-centered, dogmatic and stubborn cloister. You could likely blame that on 9/11 or the economic woes of our irresponsible economic optimism, but when faced with those challenges the current administration tightened up its belt and stomped through the yard like an angry old man. Refusing to resort to the politics of peace and diplomacy while seemingly ignorant of the harm it was doing to we, a nation of individuals.

The rights and hopes of the individual, both home and abroad, have been treated with a disrespect unseen since the Cold War.

Call me wistful if you will, but I couldn’t help but to imagine what the prior administration would have done in similar circumstances. Clinton could be downright reprehensible at times, but he was always the consummate professional and mindful of the United States’ place as a leader and role-model for the rest of the world

That is what I am hopeful for with an Obama victory. To bring this nation back to a place where we are respected not out of fear, but admired because of our treatment of not only the people within our borders, but of those which our actions may affect. We cannot be a nation of frightened, confused and easily provoked individuals. That is not the nation that we began as and that is not our future.

The War and it’s Future

I was and always have been against the War in Iraq. Though, when the deed had been done and we were solidly there I believed that it would not be wise just to extract ourselves from the beehive that we had stirred up – I didn’t believe that would be responsible or would have the desired outcome.

I have come to change my stance.

Our war there is an unwinnable one and as it did when we invaded, it shows a remarkable lack of respect of sovereignity on our part. I want our military out of Iraq now.  Our being there will only cause further aggravation and I believe with some civility returned to our own government we could begin to influence an international peace in that region.

The Rights of the Individual

So often in the last 8 years, I have seen policies that favor the nation and discount the individual. Whether it is the Patriot Act, healthcare or civil rights – these things have been given less weight than defense or the top-end of our economy.

Our individual rights granted to us as citizens are part of what makes our democracy novel. The guiding priniciples of our government should seek to benefit the individual with the ultimate goal of benefiting the nation.


Healthcare is an issue on which I feel strongly. I believe that it is our duty as a nation of individuals to help to provide that to all. Like roads, libraries and our own defense. No one in this country should fear becoming ill. While I am fortunate enough to have always had health insurance, I know plenty that go without. And should they fall ill, they should know that they will always be treated to the best of our nation’s medical ability.

The Continuing Civil Rights Struggle

Barack Obama’s campaign represents to me the triumph of those “Individual Rights” that make our country so full of promise. The confidence in those individual rights were the bedrock of the many great Americans that stood before him on the precipice of great change – Martin Luther King, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and countless others. Those incremental challenges have led to where we are now – when a man of mixed race is not viewed as some novelty, but as a serious and competent leader.

The perspective that he has on this issue will hopefully shape many of his decisions – sometimes in small measures, sometimes in grand. To have his perspective is uniquely American and best represents the nation as a whole.

What an amazing step forward we have already taken in casting aside race in nominating this man for president! When I was in 4th grade (1987) and we held a Democratic primary election in our classroom (keeping in mind that it was at least 80% white) – the man who won was Jesse Jackson. Looking back, it would have been a terrible choice if it had actually happened – but consider that a roomful of white children in a Southern state chose a black man as a candidate. I knew even then that our generation was taking a step forward by casting off our segregationist history. I feel proud about that time, and that is one reason why I feel proud now casting a vote for Barack Obama.

Equal Rights for All

And if the future will follow the past, the next major struggle we will see in America will not be over race, but over the rights of the gay community. To not treat these people – these friends and family members – as equal citizens with equal rights is on par with any sex or race discrimination. As ridiculous as considering women or non-whites partial citizens with partial rights, so is considering those who do not and can not follow the given path of man-and-woman. It is my hope that the breakthrough that would be electing Barack Obama would continue to debase the injustices against the gay community.

In Closing

I am voting for Barack Obama tomorrow because I believe in his attitude towards government as an institution for the people, by the people. I believe in a nation of individuals that respect the rights of the individual, and respect the power of individuals united in a common cause of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We, perhaps unlike any nation on this planet are comprised of so many walks of life, so many different beliefs and so many opportunities that we cannot and must not retreat into policies of exclusion and negativity. Hope and liberty are what we as a nation were founded upon and with out it we shall fail.

filed under Politics and then tagged as ,
Nov 3 2008 ~ 10:43 am ~ Comments (9) ~

Co-worker, talented illustrator and all-round nice guy Mason Ploch recently had one of his political cartoons published in the Courier-Journal. Excellent art and a good zinger of a gag, too :)

filed under Politics,Work and then tagged as ,,
Sep 12 2008 ~ 12:47 pm ~ Comments Off ~

Remember Political Compass? I do. Waaaay back in ’03, some friends of mine and I took the test and gauged our political compasses. Having recently been fingered as a Mike Gravel supporter by GlassBooth, I figured I’d get my compass read again, and here’s how it went:

2008 Economic Left/Right: -3.50
2008 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.59

2003 Economic Left/Right: -3.50
2003 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.00

So, I’m a little tiny bit more authoritarian, but overall unchanged in those five formative years.  This was all foretold, by the way – I was told by a co-worker a few years ago this would happen as I grew older. (Me: I’m a pretty liberal Democrat. Her: Oh, you’ll grow out of that.) Does the AARP make you change your voter registration or something?

Back to my Political Compass reading: I’m in pretty good company there, just a bit less Left and a bit less Libertarian than his Holiness the Dalai Lama and polar opposites from Margaret Thatcher and Adolf Hitler. Now, as far as my “Mike Gravel” reading from GlassBooth is concerned, the Political Compass has him near the same Libertarian level as me, but he’s much more to the Right than I am.  My real Political Compass soulmate? Ralph Nader. (Who was only 4% shy of a GlassBooth match). Interesting reading: Political Compass’ readings on the 2008 US Presidential Primaries.

I suspect my real leftist leanings that throw me into the same bucket as Nader are that I think gays, children, the elderly and the infirm have a right to be happy inasmuch as my white, male, upper(?)-middle-class self does. Next thing ya know I’ll be on a kibbutz smashing beets into biofuel with a red scarf around my neck as my strapping wife tows a cartful of bounty off into the sunset.

Er… wait. Well, anyway, it’s not much of a surprise to me – I think my leanings (in whichever direction) solidified sometime around my mid-20s and I’m glad to see they haven’t changed to much from where my 25 year-old (my age in 2003) self saw them.  Refined, maybe, but not a major shift.

Thanks to M@ Rasnake for digging up my 2003 email with my Political Compass stats in it.  I’m afraid to say my email pre-2003 has vanished like so many Nader-as-president dreams.

filed under Politics,Web and then tagged as ,
May 6 2008 ~ 2:29 pm ~ Comments Off ~
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