Why I decided to vote for Obama
By Alix Bryan
.Here it is the eve of a historic election. For so many people, 1.20.09 is a very important date--but not if we don't vote wisely.
What is voting wisely?
The ability to see beyond propaganda, party lines, and America's borders.
Voting wisely is to first sit quietly and ask yourself what you want our future to look like.
After lengthy deliberation, I decided to endorse Barack Obama--just about 6 weeks ago. I met thousands of wonderful Americans while traveling 22,000 miles on a historic Peace ride. I chose to steer our conversations away from politics, because they are often divisive; instead I emphasized how important it is for each individual to know exactly what they want for themselves, their community and their country. And what they are willing to give to see those beliefs take root. Our visions our powerful.
A personal ideology and daily action within one's community is imperative. I consider voting a very, very small part of my duty as a citizen in a democratic republic. What our government does during the next two or four or eight years is largely a function of what we do, not just of whom we elect.
What many of you told me was that you came out to support the Peace ride because I wasn't angry. I wasn't pointing fingers. I wasn't criticizing you for your beliefs. One of the people who joined me at the end of the ride, in Washington D.C., was a son in a long lineage of soldiers--whose ancestors are buried at Arlington Cemetery. He said he joined me that special day because of my declaration that our fate depends on us, not just those in charge and that anger is not what fosters change.
Obama has this leadership quality. He has run his campaign with more integrity than McCain. At first, I feared Obama was full of empty rhetoric. I did my research. A person who tells you Obama is not experienced enough has not done their research, nor utilized critical thinking to weigh in all the factors. Just because someone might have more experience does not mean they have the character for such an esteemed position. Obama has both.
Think about how great it would be to have an eloquent, passionate, level headed President speak for our country. It is not just rhetoric, Obama inspires people, he gives us hope. Our country needs that now. Our world needs that now. How wonderful would it be to have a diplomat in the office? Someone who will use force if needed, but also understands a greater power--the dialogue it takes to reach common ground. It is not a sign of weakness to confront your alleged enemies. For all religious fans--it is what your God teaches. People think pacifism is easy and weak. Folks, that's silly. It takes a lot of effort to develop and maintain relationships, especially with people who hold different beliefs. It is a skill McCain does not have. In this age of globalization, it will be required for us to co-exist with others.
Yes, McCain has experience. He is experienced in an old paradigm of thought which can not lead us into a better future. He has hundreds of lobbyists working for him. Obama's campaign does not. McCain was in the bottom 5th of his class. If you have been unhappy with President Bush's leadership, remember that he too had experience, as well as bad grades in college.
Beware the hysteria, friends.
Think about the facts. Think about the anger and lies that have come from McCain. Think about his age. Think about the severe lack of experience his VP has. She was chosen to attract female voters. The gamble that his campaign took when choosing Palin is indicative of the risky, impulsive behavior McCain will continue to make if elected President.
The greater American public aren't just ready for change, they are changing. In the past 8 years, we have just collectively witnessed an American decay. Logically, at this point in our history, with our power, money and experience, this country should be better poised to better serve its citizens and lead the world. Instead, we have witnessed an erosion of the Constitution, our economic system, and our international standing.
I spoke with my mother the other day. Sadly, she lost half of her savings in the market crash. On top of that, she is paying her taxpayer money towards the very people who gambled with her money. On top of that, her health care expenses will be raised in 2009. She has worked hard her whole life. She now has cancer, and she is, point blank, screwed. She is the great all American statistic that candidates court.
With great sadness I find that most of my family are voting opposite of me. We go over the list of things that are wrong, and they agree. They agree about McCain's character and policy flaws. But they can't break free of their thinking.
I'm asking you to do so. And to tell others how important it is that the election be won by a Democratic landslide.
In years past, I voted, or considered a third party vote.
But this year, I want a landslide. I want Obama to win overwhelmingly. I quote David Swanson here, because he says it best.
"I want the Republican Party put out of business. If you want to build a new party, what better breakthrough could you ask for than eliminating the Republican Party? That process will be well underway if the Democrats win the House and Senate seats that optimists predict, and if the presidential election is a popular and electoral landslide. I want that landslide understood as a landslide for peace and against Republican war mongering. It can be understood as such despite Obama's own support for war, because most Americans are unaware of that. In the simplest terms, McCain has been labeled the war candidate and Obama the peace candidate.
We can better seize on that and compel Obama to actually be a peace president if he wins overwhelmingly. I understand that Bush claimed a mandate on the basis of the narrowest conceivable (and not even true) victory, but his supporters control the media. To claim a mandate, Obama needs a landslide. And if the Democrats take large majorities in both houses, including 60 or more senate seats (possibly including one or two independents caucusing with the Democrats), then Emanuel's excuse strategy evaporates. If the majority of Americans demand something, the Democrats will have to either deliver or admit to not being democrats with a small d. If Obama does not win a landslide over McCain, I will be ashamed to show my face abroad; I want this as a message to the world."
I've been volunteering for the Obama campaign, and I tell people on the other end of the phone; "thanks for listening for just three minutes. Our time is precious, yes, but think about how much of it we willingly waste each day. Think about the greater things we have to lose in this election and sacrifice just three minutes of your time to listen, think and teach others."
I am not in any way glorifying Obama's entire platform. I simply would rather see him in the White House than McCain--and I'm taking an hour of my time to write this to you. To beg and plead with you to put aside your fears, your stubborn allegiance to third parties that won't win, and take off your Republican hats. People say there isn't too much difference between the two parties anymore anyhow--so why not vote for the man who visibly handles himself with more integrity than McCain?
Please, get out there and vote, but remember how easy it is to do things that are fare more important on the other 729 days every two years.
Vote with your heart and your head. The times- they are always a changing, but sometimes that change comes from the people and sometimes it's forced upon us. Together, let's create the world we are prepared to handle.