I voted for Barack Obama for the following reasons in priority order
Preserve individual liberties
The goals of the EFF.
End the Iraq war
That's what got this post started. How did this pullout date go unnoticed? We learn about it second hand by hearing about the Iraqis' respose. This is our mission accomplished date. Cheney said he was worried the pullout would mean the loss of what we've "gained" so far. I say it never should have started. Its a policial experiment, thats all. Yet it cost many lives. What I think of most are American soldiers who have lost limbs and yet come home and live out their lives. The "deciders" make their decisions based on social norms and the situation at hand. Bush and Cheney make take war seriously but they can put it out of their minds if even for a little while. It was an experiment and not worth a single soldier's life. Those now in a wheelchair will live with the consequences every day for the rest of their lives. i can see the rationalizations like "we did our best with the information at hand." and it makes me mad. This is the reason why I would not want my children in the military. The sacrifice is not valued enough by the decision makers. 'Acceptable losses'. 'Thats war for you'. If it were valued enough, we would not have gone to war since WWII, but we forget. We get scared. We have a giant industrial-war-machine that is too easy to give the Go order for.
Now all that sacrifice is old news. I read a story that the fighting for american troops and dodging IEDs with their lives is now over. There is no grand reward and little meaning for the 6 years of physical and emotional scars for the survivors. We've created a whole new group of disabled veterans who should be supported by the government for the rest of their lives. In one news story suddenly *not fighting* is just the way it is. 'emboldening the enemy' and related concepts will have their chance to show their correctness in the next six months. My guess is that ending the fighting for US troops now is the right thing to do. By voting for Obama I saved soldiers lives. If Cheney were in the white house soldiers would still be dieing today. Thats a powerful choice. Even though I'm saddened by the damage done to date, I'm very happy that our role in this foreign war has now changed for the better.
Reduce the size of government.
Ok this is more of a pipe dream. One of the biggest lessons I learned from the Obama administration so far is that affiliation with the democratic party and the republican party is not as big of a distinction and I used to believe. Obama, the current congress, and the federal reserve has created more debt now that ever in the name of economic stimulation. The way congress creates and passes laws must be changed - see downsizedc's Read the Bills act and One Subject at a Time act.