I am in a bit of a pickle. As a creative, one of the things that concerns me is copyright. Over the years we have seen it take a beating - people taking liberties with it, rights grabs from big corporations, yada yada yada. It makes you like big companies (a.k.a. concervatives) less because of how much of a beating respect for copyright takes. For instance, take a look at the recent case from Apple - they are being sued by a photographer because they used her image beyond the scope of the licensing they purchased. The full story is here. She was smart though - her work was registered, and she had gone through an agency to represent her, and when usage went beyond the scope, she is fighitng to protect her copyright. Yay for her, boo for Apple. So that means I should shy away from the Romney platform, right? (Big business and all...)
On the flip side, as a photographer, I am also a small business owner. This means that I take deductions on my taxes for using part of my house. I take partial deductions on the mortgage, utilities, internet, phone, and car. Heck, I even am entitled to take deductions on equipment (depreciation and all that). It's just good business sense. The money I save from that has found its way into a retirement fund (a pittance really, but still - I've invested in the stock market).
So, in that vein, the conservative platform usually will try to reward investors by limiting capital gains taxes, while the other side of the aisle tends to prefer to tax those profits I've made on investments. Call me crazy, but I don't think I should have to pay taxes on my investments. After all, I've paid taxes on my income. I then take that income and invest it, why should I be taxed again because I happened to make a smart investment that made money? I don't think so. So, that means I should shy away from the Democratic platform then, right?
It's really an odd position to be in, because I don't really identify with either party - either Republican or Democrat. I consider myself more of a libertarian - conservative on fiscal issues, liberal on social issues. Neither party really represents me. Has anyone ever thought of how many people fit into this niche? One where your interests really aren't represented by either party? I am thinking now about anyone who identifies as either an Independent, Libertarian, Tea Party, Green Party, or any other party not represented in the coming election. Who are we supposed to vote for? After all - we need to vote, right? it's our civic duty! What if neither party really has our interests at heart? Don't vote? That's a tough pill to swallow.
In my mind, if we don't participate, we really don't have a right to complain, and I've got some complaining to do! That means I have to vote! But who gets the nod?
It's definitely a quagmire and there's obviously a lot more to it than that, but when you look at it from the perspective of a photographer - there are points that make me lean toward Obama, and others that make me lean back toward Romney. I keep hearing that it's a critical election, so this time more than ever, my vote may count (I live in a swing state). I'd love to hear others thoughts on this. Very few photographers talk politics, and it's probably worth discussing. You don't necessarily have to tell me who you are going to vote for - but what issues are big on your mind these days? Raising cost of living? Taxes? Copyright? Gas prices? There's a lot to consider, and I know the presidency doesn't really control all of it, but something tells me this election will matter more, and I want to make the right decision.
Help me decide who to vote for in 2012...