Monday, November 03, 2008

The Day Has Come

The first vote of the election has come...The residents of Dixville Notch, NH, have cast their first votes.

I have to say that McCain's seven-state sprint today was impressive. You can't say that he decided to go to Bermuda a day early or anything.

A close friend e-mailed me today to ask about why I like Obama so much. She is one of those almost mythical undecideds out there...those ones you hear about but can't believe actually exist (Love ya J). I had to tell her the premise for why I am an Obama supporter, but you have to understand. It isn't JUST about Obama. This is about the people who've come out to support him.

My brother Jeremy was an early supporter. I never thought in a million years Jeremy would be excited about politics. He was, at one time, Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites. The Classic Gen-X'er. It's not that he doesn't care about stuff. It's just that politics is for you know, old people.

When he told me EARLY this year that he was working overtime and contributing his OT earnings to the Obama campaign believe me, it got my attention.

As a woman, and without thinking about it a lot, as the primary approached I figured I'd vote for Hillary Clinton.

But as the primary season wound down (Oregon's primary is late -- around Memorial Day in May) I realized that not only did I need to think about this, but it might actually MATTER, since Hillary and Barack were still in the throes of what looked like a fight for the nomination.

At that point, the thing that got me was a real difference in the Obama supporters I met, vs. the Clinton supporters. It wasn't ALL bad or good, but the impression I got of the Obama supporters was one of pure excitement over a man and more importantly the cause he represents.

I saw MANY people get involved in politics. There wasn't all the negativity surrounding his campaign. His message was decidedly positive. REPEATEDLY as necessary.

Don't get me wrong, I respect Hillary Clinton's historic race. And maybe someday I'll vote for her.

But this time it was Barack's message. In his book "The Audicity of Hope" I could hear his voice (long before I'd actually heard him speak a lot), and I got what he was talking about.

Yes, it's like going to church on Sunday sometimes. It's about inspiration. It's about believing. But before you get your knickers in a twist that there isn't enough planning to go with it, I assure you, there is. The thing is, I can't possibly start telling you what you need to know about his plans for Social Security...See, I've already almost lost you...

But if there's still a couple of you out that that wonder why some of us are Democrats and think Obama's awesome, here's why: Change and Hope aren't just catch-phrases. They are actual GOALS.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm all wide-eyed, expecting everything to change overnight.

But I sure as hell don't expect them to stay the same.

The message alone of electing Obama to the presidency will have an immediate ripple effect on the world. Can you imagine what that tells people?

"Hi, We're the USA. Yeah, Um. Sorry about that whole 8 years of GWB thing. We're changing course. We actually want to be part of the global community and not just keep telling you guys to f--- off."

On top of that, Obama espouses the principles I believe in as a Democrat. I believe in choice for women, gay rights (although he doesn't say he's as liberal as I am on this issue), but he's for taxation that doesn't screw the middle class and ending this war.

I know Obama can't singularly take care of those things. He needs Congress to do so. And the two together can't do anything too crazy because they never are that organized.

The Republican Party, and McCain represent someone who does NOT support a woman's right to choose, he's against equality for gays, and his tax plan does nothing but make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

He thinks this war should continue. I disagree. Not only should we end it, it shouldn't have started in the first place.

As my friend pointed out: Yes, he's a good speaker. Yes, he's SUPER cool under pressure. But as I had to ask her: Don't you think that's what a president should be...for starters? ...

In my view, the presidency is simply a leadership/figurehead position that really is too big for one man or woman. He doesn't sit down and make law by himself. So either McCain or Obama are both decent men. Neither would suck as president. But the chances of McCain dying in office are pretty good given his age. You have to take Palin into consideration when choosing who to vote for because of it. She scares more than just Democrats.

I'm excited for what an Obama presidency will do for race relations in this country too. But that's a whole 'nother issue.

You don't have to drink my Kool-Aid...but I'm telling ya. It's GOOD."

Happy Election Day people...it's finally here.

Now let's go out and win this thing.

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