In light of the upcoming Florida primaries, I’ve been wanting to write about this topic. However, while I’m always reading up on politics, political issues, and philosophical issues affecting the current political trends and process, I purposely keep that out of this site for a myriad of reasons, ranging from “I don’t care to piss people off (as I have in the past)” to “a fair number of readers are from other countries and therefore don’t particularly care about US elections.” I read a post today on the XCKD blag (yes, “blag”, pronounced “blawg”) which expresses my thoughts on the current issue more eloquently than I could. Here’s a clip:
Okay, politics time.
I’m a political junkie, but I’ve largely kept that out of xkcd (other than occasional cracks about science and net-related issues). So this will be a one-time thing — after this post, you’ll hear no more political advocacy on this site for the rest of the election. But I think we’re at a balance point, where a few words between friends who are generally in agreement might make a difference, so here goes.
Please support Barack Obama.
I want, for once, someone I can vote for not because I dislike the other candidate, but because I’m proud of mine. Obama is the real thing.
You can read the entire post here. Trust me, it’s worth it. Better than anything I could write. Seriously, it’s a thing of beauty.
Let me get something straight here: I’m a registered Republican. For a while now, I’ve considered changing my party affiliation, mostly because I’ve been utterly disgusted with what the party members have been doing recently, although I still agree with most of the tenets of the party. I didn’t however, because of two issues:
First, because there is still one Republican out there running for President which I actually agree with on a number of issues. Not all, mind you, but I don’t mind voting for someone who I disagree with if I believe them to be capable of handling the big things as I think they should be handled. That Republican is Ron Paul, and this is who I voted for (via early voting) in the Florida Republican primary.
Second, because the Democrats have, stupidly, and onerously, denied the Florida Democratic delegates a voice in the selection of a candidate. Why did they do this? Because the Republican-controlled Florida legislature, in a drive to emphasize to the country their self-importance, voted to move the primary to January 29th. The Democratic National Committee gave the Florida Democrats a choice: have the primary when we tell you to, and therefore violate Florida law, or acquiesce to the law but don’t have your delegates counted. The Floridians chose to not violate the rule of law.
They should have never been forced to make that choice.
As such, the Democratic Presidential hopefuls were asked to make a pledge, not to campaign in Florida. They all did, except now the Clinton campaign is violating that pledge. From an article in The Nation:
The truth of the Clinton strategy was writ large in a memo from top strategist Howard Wolfson, who announced on the day of the campaign’s dismal showing in South Carolina that, “Regardless of today’s outcome, the race quickly shifts to Florida, where hundreds of thousands of Democrats will turn out to vote on Tuesday. Despite efforts by the Obama campaign to ignore Floridians, their voices will be heard loud and clear across the country, as the last state to vote before Super Tuesday on February 5.”
“Efforts by the Obama campaign to ignore Floridians”?
Obama’s just abiding by the pledge. Admittedly, it’s a foolish pledge. None of the campaigns should have taken it, and they all should have agreed to drop it. But in the absence of such an agreement, Obama is not ignoring Floridians. He is remaining true to his word.
Of course, Obama is surging, while Clinton is desperate.
So on one hand we have a candidate who wishes to abide by the rules, and keep his promises. On the other we have a candidate who will break pledges and violate rules in order to gain political advantage.
As I said before, I’m not a registered Democrat. Being in Florida, a closed primary state, I can only vote within my own party. But if you’re a Democrat, in Florida or anywhere else, or if your state has an open primary, do yourself and your country a favor and, please, vote for Barack Obama. Now, I wouldn’t advocate voting for one candidate simply because I want to vote against another. I don’t operate that way. I vote for who I feel can do the best job, not for who I feel can win, nor against someone else. “Vote your hopes, not your fears,” is my modus operandi when it comes to elections. I advocate voting for Obama not because I desire for you to vote against HIllary, but because I believe he can do the best job at doing what this country needs most: unification. Never since the Civil War has America been so divided among ideological lines, and it will take someone who is truly a uniter — not someone who only pretends to be — to get this country back to a place of respectability among its denizens and throughout the world.
Should he get the nomination he will have my vote. Should Clinton get the nomination, then I doubt very much I’ll be voting for a Democrat in the upcoming Presidential election. While I don’t disagree with many of Hillary Clinton’s politics, it is the Clintons’ apparent willingness to do anything for political power and prestige which makes me leery.
So there it is. If you were looking for an endorsement from me in order to decide who you should vote for, you got it. Vote Barack Obama for President. He may not be the most experienced, but he has something none of the other Presidential hopefuls do: the ability to unite. To quote Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy: “Over the years I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.”