I Never Thought I’d Write a Political Blog Post, But I Must

This is an odd, somewhat uncomfortable post
for me to write, and I hope you’ll bear with me. I’m not a particularly
political person, but with a country in crisis, it is becoming clearer
and clearer to me just how starkly different our 2 choices are for the
upcoming presidential election. That’s why I’m writing today, and I
hope you’ll hear me out and, if you want, also share your own views.

Not all of us agree on politics. We range from right to left,
Democrat to Independent to Republican. We are dreamers and cynics,
healthy and sick, businessmen and artists – and none of these meager
descriptions even begin to do justice to the range of talents, ages,
lifestyles and circumstances between all of us.

But I think we can all agree on two things:

  1. Regardless of our
    interests and affiliations, we want a stronger, better country for
    ourselves, our loved ones and, especially, for the generations whose
    future will be shaped by the decisions we make today.
  2. In a tough
    time like this, we need the outcome of this next election to provide us
    a president who will guide the country not only through the current
    problems in the market, but also through these next years of a world
    with hard questions and hard situations.

Like you, I follow the news with a mix of train-wreck interest and
disgust. I hate what has happened in the financial markets. I hate
that, as usual, we have a presidential race that has bogged down in
negativity. But that’s also why I had to write.

We are only days away from quite possibly the most important
presidential election in modern memory. I know that for me and Jodie,
we see the choices before us as vastly different, and all the more so
after these last few weeks.

From coast to coast, from the biggest cities to the smallest towns,
people ask about the economy, and what we will do today to begin the
long road to reform and recovery. Over and over, in elections past and
in today’s election season, we as a people have said how sick we all
get of negative attack ads and character sucker punches. We want
discussion of issues. We want proposals and solutions. You and I and
every American knows that we can disagree on details, but we can sort
the details out over time. But ultimately, progress on problems, honest
discussion of today’s problems, is what matters. That is what will
carry us as a nation, step by difficult step, to get through this
current crisis and to become a stronger, better country in the end.

Frankly, only one candidate has actually been discussing that with
we the American people, and that candidate is getting my vote and
Jodie’s vote.

I respect and am grateful for the lifetime of
military and public service that John McCain has devoted to America. He
is a good, honorable man, and there was a time where I could have
seriously considered voting for him. But that time has passed.

Over these past weeks, where we the American people have said over
and over, "talk to us about the economy", John McCain and Sarah Palin
have instead talked about Obama. Over these past weeks, we the American
people have said over and over, "what will we do to get through these
difficult times?" and John McCain and Sarah Palin have ignored us, and
instead have focused on trying to dupe the American public with
character assassination.

My support for Barack Obama began begrudgingly. He is a bit "green
behind the ears", and I do not agree with him on everything. But if
anything has swayed my vote to Obama over these past few weeks, it has
been this one stark, stark difference between Obama and McCain: McCain and Palin
have now focused almost entirely on attacking Obama, and on dividing the American public, at a time where
over and over Americans have made it clear they want to come together and discuss the
issues affecting us today. This is not to call Obama an angel, as he
has his attack ads too. Yet where John McCain and Sarah Palin have only
attacked Obama, Obama has consistently focused on addressing and
discussing the concerns of we the American People, talking at honest
length about the problems before us and the ways we can tackle them
together.

The piece below highlights the difference between two rallies held
a few Fridays ago, both in the swing state of Ohio. One was a rally by
Barack Obama; one was a rally by Sarah Palin. Obama talked about the
issues that we the American people have said we want to discuss and
address; Palin attacked Obama.

FiveThirtyEight.com: Electoral Projections Done Right: On the Road: Dueling Rallies, Ohio
"On
a day when the Dow plunged another 678 points, we had the opportunity
to cross paths with another Barack Obama rally and another Sarah Palin
rally here in west-central Ohio. Obama did five rallies here in two
days: Dayton, Cincinnati, Portsmouth, Chillicothe, and Columbus, while
Palin did events in Wilmington (home of the DHL plant closing that
David Plouffe promised to highlight in local radio ads) and Cleveland.
The events were a study in contrasts."
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/10/on-road-dueling-rallies-ohio.html

I encourage you to read this account of the stark differences between the two campaigns.

These next years are some of the most crucial in the history of our
strong, amazing country. For all the respect I have for John McCain,
how he and Sarah Palin have chosen to campaign negates any support I
would have given them with my vote. If you support McCain and Palin’s
ticket, I respect your choice. But I encourage you to look at the
recent headlines, to look at the facts undermining McCain and Palin’s
attacks, and, above all, to look into your own red-blooded, proud,
American hearts. The venom McCain and Palin have resorted to will not
help our country, our dreams, our wallets or our families.

Barack Obama is not perfect. But he is doing something the McCain
and Palin camp is not – he is talking to the American people about the
things that matter to us, and he is discussing how we as a nation, as
one people, can tackle the problems before us. The last I checked, this
is what democracy, and especially American democracy, is all about.

Whatever
your decision on Nov. 4, I respect you, and am grateful that we can
disagree while still striving for ultimately the same ideals – that’s
what being an American is all about. But when you cast your vote,
whoever it’s for, please remember that this is not a matter of numbers.
This is a matter of history and of the future, of who we are as a people
and how we grow as a country. And you will be making this history for
all of us.

I
want to thank you for bearing with me through this post. I am a
flawed man fumbling poor words through unfamiliar territory. I guess,
to put it simply, for me it comes down to this… McCain and Palin’s
tactics have destroyed my confidence in their ability to lead and
listen to America. Barack Obama is getting my vote for President on
November 4, and I hope Obama gets your vote too.

5 thoughts on “I Never Thought I’d Write a Political Blog Post, But I Must”

  1. All that glitters is not gold. You better look into what the mans
    TRUE beliefs are if you are to gain any insight into what his goals really are.
    You do not sit in a church that has racist beliefs for 20 years if you do not agree with the core values it preaches. More telling is the fact that his children where exposed to that value system. What kind of man lets his children listen to this kind of hate if he does not share in it?
    Polished & slick do not mean truthful & moral. Look at the mans voting record, it does not match what he is trying to sale today.

    Reply
  2. I hope Obama is lying. I hope when/if Obama gets elected and the Democrats take control of congress that they abandon the silly health care plan put forth by Obama and implement universal health care in this country. The health care system is broken, dysfunctional and now that we have socialized the banks we can overhaul the healthcare system in this country. imho

    Reply
  3. Roger – I don’t care about Jeremiah Wright for one reason: Jeremiah Wright is not Barack Obama. I’m also not going to base my choice of candidate on who, what and where they worship.
    Each candidate has inconsistencies with their voting records. But here’s what I’m going by – Jodie and I have looked over the candidates’ different platforms, and we see the country’s best direction as lying with Obama. We also have looked at the way the campaigns have been run. Where Obama focuses on the people of this country working on problems together, McCain mostly just attacks Obama. I don’t respect that, and I cannot in good conscience give McCain my vote.
    All that glitters is not gold – but we are people, not gold. And as people, you’ll never know anyone’s true beliefs – Obama’s or McCain’s. To think otherwise is presumptious.
    Dave – I pretty much agree with you. But I think Obama understands that the American public misunderstands universal health care, and is afraid of it. After comparing Obama’s and McCain’s health care platforms though, I’ll definitely take Obama’s over McCain’s. Both plans are flawed; all plans are flawed – but Obama’s is the right direction.

    Reply
  4. Well you got your man & we will all have to pay the price. I hope you looked at more than the info that was on the internet & what Katie wants you to know. The words from his book are the words that held most sway on what I believe about the man. I do know this, I have worked hard my whole life. My wife & I are generious with our money when it comes to helping someone in need. Helping someone in need if not the same as throwing money at those that will not work.
    All that glitters is not gold, I was speaking metaphorically….in other words, what you see isn’t always what you get.
    Good luck we are all going to need it.
    Roger

    Reply
  5. Roger – pretty much everything you said reminds me of similar comments by people in 2000 and in 2004, but they were talking about George W. Bush 🙂
    I didn’t “get my man”. The country elected Obama by a clear majority – something that has not happened in far too long. Whether you agree or disagree with him, I am sure that you have both the patriotism and the open mind to give your president a chance. I had a similar discussion with my dad. He voted for McCain, I voted for Obama, and he and I plenty well threw down about our different views. But he called me with a sincere congratulations, as I would have done had McCain won, and he said he’d give Obama a chance. I in turn replied that if Obama didn’t perform in a way I thought was sufficient or right, I’d be the first to stand with my dad and vote Obama’s arse out of office.
    My support from Obama came from my review of his platform. I don’t think he glitters, I don’t think he’s gold, and since I don’t follow much mainstream media, Katie et al doesn’t factor in to how I think. I decided Obama’s proposals were more in the general direction of where I would like to see this country move, both short- and long-term. I also respect the way Obama ran his campaign. McCain’s character attacks and failure to provide more cohesive leadership positions about the economy eroded what could have been my support for McCain.
    I work hard too, as does my fiancee. Many of the people who voted for Obama are folks who have worked just as hard as you. One of the most interesting stats I’ve seen, is how voters with incomes over $200,000 voted for Obama more than for McCain. Like you, we’ve no interest in “throwing money at those that will not work” – but we do have interest in better taxation, more affordable and less discriminating health care, and investment in American jobs that moves our country towards energy independence. I’m sure that you and I might disagree on details, and each of us, or both of us, might be wrong – but no matter what, we want our country to improve. I voted for Obama because I believe that under his presidency our country has greater opportunity to recover, grow and prosper.
    I appreciate your comments. Like I said to my dad, if Obama doesn’t work out, I’ll be right there with you to vote in someone else. I believe that things are going to get better, and I am glad to have voted for Obama.

    Reply

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