Saturday, November 1

A plea for Barack Obama

I do not have the time before November 4th to present a fully reasoned endorsement for Barack Obama. This is partly because I have many other responsibilities before me and partly because the reasons for the choice are too numerous to be explained in a few words. However, it seems to me that the vicious tenor of the McCain-Palin campaign -- both its strategy to bury its main opponent with tireless mud-slinging (an example?) and the concomitant rage and ignorance that flared up among McCain-Palin supporters -- is a very pregnant sign about not only what sort of leadership those two would provide, but also of what sort of country the United States would become with them in power. In short, McCain-Palin promise more years of divisiveness, hate, aggression, government-fed falsifications and bald-faced denials of substantiated wrongdoing, increased social stratification and increased wealth distribution to those few at the top who least need it.

There are those toward whom I would be silent if they gave their votes to McCain and Palin: for instance, the super wealthy, who clearly have it in their interests to see Bush's tax cuts for the super wealthy become "permanent" in accordance with McCain's will. Or, again, those for whom anti-abortion rights legislation is the only issue that matters. I do not fathom that such people will ever be persuaded to see the world differently; they shall forever be led by the rigors of their single ideological pursuit: making all abortions illegal. However, there is apparently a stunningly large number of people who are ready to vote, or who have already voted for, McCain-Palin simply out of a spirit of partisanship or on the basis of an erroneous and misguided sense of what that ticket may offer them. For these masses -- many of them fans of Fox News, the Drudge Report, or Rush Limbaugh -- I think the best response might be something like the full-page advertisements taken out over the past few years by the religious right in an attempt to persuade homosexuals to "convert" to heterosexuality. That advertisement campaign was offensive for its erroneous assumption about the nature of homosexuality; but the strategy might well fit if applied to those who apparently cannot learn from the eight-year example of failure upon failure that the Republicans have put on display for them in virtually every domain of government. After all, no one is born Republican. And certainly no one without special issues is born incorrigibly stupid.

Of course, time is tight, and the resources for such an advertisement campaign are lacking. Nonetheless, should any Republican supporter read these words and feel moved, by courage or other human sentiment, to testify that they are determined not to be duped any longer, and not to be brought once again to vote against their own economic and political interests on the basis of bogus fears, kindly leave a few comments below.

Is it just me, or are 95 percent of the reasons given for opposing or fearing Obama truly just cooked up somewhere?

I close this post with lines sent to me from a friend who works in Cleveland, Ohio. A sign of the times, for sure:
I volunteered one afternoon for the Obama campaign to knock on doors to encourage voters to vote early. One registered voter told me he wouldn't vote for Obama because he said Obama was a Muslim and would use weapons of mass destruction against America. I started chuckling because I thought he was joking and tried to continue my conversation with him. When he continued to stare at me without saying anything, I realized he was serious. These people are out there.

I've always hated college football coaches who run up the score against weak opponents. That being said, I have a lust for running up the score in this election.