Thank you for visiting my fundraising page. Since you’re here, you might as well go ahead and read why I think this is the most important election of my lifetime.
But first a little background…
I've been interested in politics, or rather, elections, in particular, since Walter Mondale ran for president against Ronald Regan in 1984. Maybe it was because he chose a woman for VP; maybe it was because my parents were big time Regan supporters. Whatever the reason, I was only 11, so I can't be sure of the validity behind it. My point is, I'm a long time democrat.
Having said that, ever since 2000 I have become increasingly invested in politics. The more I see and learn, the more appalled I become.
If the Supreme Court had appointed Gore president back in 2000, many things would have turned out much differently:
Some low lights of the past 8 years:
The War in Iraq:
- $572 billion budget
- 4,100+ American Casualties
- 86,000+ Iraqi casualties (this is the lower estimate)
- And all the other fall out (Valerie Plame fiasco, some of the more questionable provisions of the Patriot Act)
- Kyoto Protocol, or shall I say the lack thereof, from the US.
- Our climate policy fails to recognize CO2 as a pollutant and does not even set a targeted guideline for lower emissions.
- Since 1985, our fuel efficiency standards have remained at 27.5 mpg for passenger cars and 20.7 mpg for light trucks (including SUVs, under Bush).
- All I can say to that is WTF?! I still can't believe that colossal mismanagement/complete disregard for human rights happened in the USA.
- From Wikipedia: “FEMA, which was elevated to cabinet-level status under Bill Clinton, was demoted to undersecretary status after the creation of DHS, which placed higher priority on countering terrorism than planning for natural disaster. Some members of the International Association of Emergency Managers had predicted that FEMA could not adequately respond to a catastrophe, citing flaws in other disaster responses since 9/11.
- Since Bush took office the number of uninsured Americans has increased by 4 million.
- In this era of globalization, it matters just as much what other countries think about America as Americans think about America.
- Housing crisis
- Employment rates
- From NY Times July 2, 2008 “The national unemployment rate climbed a full percentage point over the last year to 5.5 percent in May, according to the Labor Department. That does not include people who are jobless and have given up looking for work, or people who have been bumped to part-time jobs from full-time. Add in those people and the so-called underemployment rate rises to 9.7 percent, up from 8.3 percent in May 2007, according to the Labor Department.
I think you get my point.
So when Obama announced his candidacy early last year, I thought this was a remarkable opportunity. (Until then, I was set to vote for and support HRC. However, I was fearful that there were too many Hillary haters out there and that she would not win in November ‘08).
My admiration for Obama started in 2004, at the Democratic National Convention, where he gave a keynote speech that blew away all others. As a speechwriter, I am partial to the power of the pen, but also know enough to understand that the orator is fully responsible for conveying the message and living up to it. The unknown black dude, with the funny name, managed to galvanize not only the frenzied delegates, but also the people at home, cynics, and people like myself, who were Kerry supporters—we knew he was smart, we knew he’d make a good president, but deep down were scared to death that he would lose because people thought he was boring or effete. But this Obama guy was special.
Until he won the Iowa Caucuses, Obama’s rhetoric was still pretty much considered powerful and inspiring, yes, even by many Republicans. But as soon as people saw that it was actually working, his speeches were dismissed as lofty.
Rhetoric (the ability to use language effectively) has a negative connotation. I don’t get that. Doesn’t that ability demonstrate a person can think things out, be inspired and project that inspiration, which is then the impetus for change? Isn’t that one of the things that makes a great leader?
Obama is probably the most popular politician of my time. He is certainly not the messiah, but he’s definitely not the anti-Christ either (as many embarrassingly uneducated and xenophobic emails proclaim). Part of the enthusiasm that he draws is because of what he opposes. Nevertheless, he is still a politician, so of course, there are certain things he says, that might on occasion conflict with what he believes, or at least what I believe. Two things off the top of my head that were troubling were his vote on FISA and his position on gay marriage. In both those cases he has taken a more “middle of the road” stance than I would like. However, on both those issues, he is still far more progressive than McCain. But, I understand that if he didn’t adjust his stance he would have had to endure the Rovian attack commercials that show he is soft on terrorism or wants to destroy the sanctity of marriage.
Which brings me to yet another spectacle enhanced and driven by the mainstream media: Reverend Wright.
I have to admit; I thought Obama’s political career was over when Fox and CNN played the Rev. Wright sermon on a loop. It didn’t matter that Obama explicitly confirmed that he did not agree with the things Rev. Wright was saying.
But instead of issuing a mea culpa to get the press off his back, he gave one of the most important speeches of race, by a politician. He was direct, nuanced and not condescending. He turned a crisis into an opportunity, with yes, his gift of rhetoric.
People have been complaining that Obama is all talk. Where are the specifics? Unfortunately, politicians don’t have all the time they want to go over into great detail the intricacies of their plans (most americans tune out). That’s what their website is for. And a good journalist should research and report those details. Not always the case. Still, these details are very easy to access if you go to http://www.ofa.us/issues/.
It’s kind of funny (annoying), because many “pundits” (I use this term very loosely) were so blown away by Obama's speech. Don’t get me wrong, he delivered on every level. But I guess my problem was with all the build up. People kept saying, “He’s going to have to nail this, he can’t be lofty, he’s got to go into detail.” And of course, he did. Even conservative commentator, Pat Buchanan had nice stuff to say about it, “I stand with Obama! It was a genuinely outstanding speech, it was magnificent… this came out of the heart of America, and he went right at the heart of America.” But he’s been doing this all along.
There’s also been a lot of whining about his lack of accomplishments as a lawmaker. It’s true that his time as a politician is relatively short but considering that, his record is impressive.
Legislative work on the Illinois Death Penalty:
Sponsorship of a bill that brought health insurance to 150,000, including 70,000 uninsured Children, again, during his time serving in the Illinois Statehouse:
His work on both the Immigration bill during his time in the US senate and his sponsorship of Ethics legislation (something he did both while in the State House, and in the Senate) that called for some of the most impactful reform regarding lobbyists since Watergate:
He sponsored and co sponsored Bills in the U.S. Senate.......which include worthwhile bills dealing with a wide range of issues, from Election reform bills to the Cooperative Proliferation Detection reduction Act (w/t Sen. Lugar) to Internet database transparency Act:
http://thomas.loc.gov / (Select Obama’s name from the Senator drop down)
So what about McCain?
I know Karl Rove swiftboated him before there was such a thing as swiftboating. I know he once had a chance to stand up for what I felt was right, and to stand with the people who wanted take down the people who screwed him in 2000. But he didn't have the spine for it. Instead he made a pact with them, stood by Bush and stood by the same bullshit that they used against him. And if that doesn’t show he has poor judgment, just look at his choice of VP: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/30/201818/606/27/580690
So I know enough to see that the bullshit that overtook the country with Bush, would continue under McCain, even though he was POW.
Going back to the worldview thing; I think it’s important to note that Obama drew a crowd of 200,000 in Berlin this summer. The next day he was on the cover of every foreign newspaper. World leaders were proud to be photographed with and meet Obama. Europeans waved American flags. Republicans spun it the way they had to (Rock Star, Celebrity, Paris Hilton etc.) and the MSM ran with it. But the fact is, there is nothing wrong with having a popular and inspirational president, we just forgot what it was like. We had that with Clinton to an extent, and he was certainly not without his accomplishments (balanced budget, 22 million new jobs, welfare rolls reduced). And for what it’s worth, it’s impressive that Obama was able to outdo the Clintons in their own game.
Of course, everything above can be refuted by Republican spinmeisters and lackies, and I can counter-refute, and so on and so on. But I don’t write this to change their minds, I just want to give a more detailed picture why this November is so important to me.
Please vote, donate, get involved.
Thanks for reading.