Sunday, November 02, 2008

Barack Obama for President

Just wanted to state publicly, here on my blog, something folks who know me have known for a long time. I am supporting Barack Obama for President of the United States. I urge you to get out and vote, and to vote for Obama, this coming Tuesday, November 4th.

I first became aware of Barack Obama during the run-up to the 2004 Democratic Convention, when he was announced as Keynote speaker. Although it was John Kerry's convention, after hearing Obama's keynote speech the talk among my friends was, "Why isn't this guy running for President?!" He grabbed my attention and the attention of many with that speech. I wanted to find out more, so I bought his book The Audacity of Hope when it came out. "Audacity" covered Obama's outlook on politics, America, and what it was like to be the freshman Senator from Illinois. Reading the book, I agreed with his outlook, his clarity of vision, and his pragmatic approach to problem solving. At the time, he wasn't sure he was going to run. After reading the book, I truly hoped Obama would run. My hope was that there would finally be a candidate I could vote for... as opposed to the many years when I was voting against the other guy while only half-heartedly supporting the candidate who received my vote. When Obama announced his candidacy in early 2007 in Springfield, Illinois I was instantly onboard.

I am not a fan of Bill Clinton. I am a proud liberal, and have no patience for those who concede the term to Republican smearing. The United States of America is founded on and based in liberalism. You would not know this, the way the right has disgracefully used the term to focus their derision, and the Democrats let them get away with this for far too long! Clinton's brand of Democratic Party gives in to the Republican's "liberal" smear campaign and instead tries to be more like the Republican Party. Corporations are favored over individual citizens. Clinton is a Corporacrat, not a Democrat. Hillary Clinton promised more of the same. Her smear tactics in the primary campaign were disgraceful. Her suggestion that Obama might be assassinated during the campaign was outrageous, and planted dangerous ideas in the minds of madmen. Her attempts to smear Obama with guilt by association with Reverend Wright and William Ayers were also despicable. And these tactics provided grist for the John McCain campaign's "dark satanic mills" (to quote Blake). What sort of Democrat stoops to these gutter lows against another Democrat? Obama's primary win was a vindication for the Liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

Then there's John McCain. I respected McCain when he ran in 2000. I didn't agree with him on many things then, certainly not his anti-choice stance. I still do not understand how a party that claims to want government "out of our Lives" can be so intrusive, nay, invasive! This and other internal contradictions have finally eaten through the rotten core of the Republican party, causing the collapse we see today. The wave of Republican endorsements for Obama comes from the old school conservative wing that clearly despises the intrusive nature and ugly personal politics employed by the hardcore new right. The old school conservative right feels betrayed by McCain, who, in 2000, was numbered among them despite his anti-choice stance. Some time after he lost the Republican Primary in 2000, John McCain decided, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" He began to support George W. Bush in every way, shape and form he could, seeing this as his road to the WhiteHouse. The "old" McCain was gone. For him to campaign as a Maverick NOW is ridiculous.

And the McCain campaign has been despicable. Lies, distortions, half truths, innuendos... if John McCain wins, it will be because he's convinced a lot of people to support him based on misinformation and lies. "Joe The Plumber" is the most glaring example of this. First of all, his name isn't Joe, and he isn't a plumber. He's not buying the business he spoke of, he thinks he might like to some day. The plumbing business he spoke of is not a $250,000 business, but instead a $150,000/year business. The business will not incur any greater taxes under the Obama plan. "Joe" himself will actually get more money back under Obama's plan than McCains. That's right. "Joe's" taxes will go down under Obama. But the McCain campaign has lied about all of this consistently, trying to corner the blue collar vote by lying to them... or worse, by providing the white blue collar worker afraid of a black candidate with a rationalization for voting against Obama, even though the rationalization is untrue and fallacious.

In contrast, the Obama campaign has relied on facts. There is no need to lie when the country is in the shape it's in. There's no need to lie when you put all your plans for governance out with transparency and clarity.

Barack Obama for President!