Politics Time

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.

Hmm.

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.”

Barack Obama for President

3 thoughts on “Politics Time

  1. I voted in the Florida Democratic Primary, my last act before *officially* changing my residency to the great Blue state of Michigan. I voted for John Edwards who represented me in the U.S. Senate for North Carolina.

    Shortly thereafter John Edwards bowed out of the race. I was waiting for him to make an endorsement – so far he hasn’t. Despite my reservations about Barack Obama’s experience – I favor him over Hilary Clinton. I believe Barack has a better chance of defeating John McCain if he were to win the Republican nomination. I believe the war with Iraq is immoral and the likely Republican nominee wants to continue the Bush Follies. Should Mike Huckabee win the nomination (to the delight of Rush Limbaugh and Chuck Norris and the rest of the “im”moral minority) I think America will easily turn to the democratic party. Mike Huckabee has plans to try to turn America into an even more war-mongering theocracy then it has been with The Devil Dubya.

    Face it Hilary is seen as too left leaning to be able to successfully take the throne. She’s also no champion of health care. She’s has received the second most contributions in the U.S. Senate from big health care companies.

    By the way – I despise celebrities telling me how to vote. Sorry, Oprah.

  2. See, that’s what really gets to me. For the most part, I actually really, really like McCain, but his fervent support for the war is really a complete turnoff, mostly because I believe that the cost of it is making our country weaker. (The subprime mortgage mess and the cost of the war really have nothing to do with each other, regardless what anyone says. They’re two totally different issues, being handled by two totally different entities, one being the government and the other being the banks. They meet at certain points, yes, but the subprime mess would still be going on even if the war wasn’t, all other things being equal.)

    As for the experience of Obama, I’ve never seen that as much of a factor because good executives will always bring around them the best people they can on any subject they are weak on. Should Obama win, I could only guess this being the possible setup:

    President: Obama
    VP: Dodd or Richardson or Powell
    Sec of State: Richardson or Powell or Clinton
    Atty Gen: John Edwards
    Sec of Def: Powell, Patreus, or some other general I’ve never heard of.
    Sec of Peace (new position): Kucinich.

    However, this is stacking it way too much towards the left. It wouldn’t surprise me if some more dissenting minds made it to high office, people with completely different view points, like McCain, Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, or even Charlie Crist (who has, all in all, done a rather fine job in FL). There’s a reason life-long Republicans are fancying Obama, and it’s because of that whole “Unity Ticket” thing.

    As for celebrities, I have absolutely no problem with them going out and stumping for their candidate. They’re citizens, too. They just happen to ve more visible than most of us, and Oprah… well, what can be said? It’s Oprah.

  3. Yep. you nailed it. That is exactly the issue. McCain is an honest, stand up guy and I would be *strongly* tempted to vote for him even given that I’m a “mostly” loyal Democrat. But, given his support of the war – I can’t.

    As the days pass, I’m becoming less of a Democratic loyalist. My bone to pick is that the Dems is that backed off the war issue. America clearly voted against the war and brought them to power to do something about it. The only reason the Democratic controlled congress backed down is to purposely make the Republicans look bad for the upcoming election. That’s playing politics at the expense of human lives.

    I agree with you about Charlie Crist, I’ve heard he is doing an excellent job. Everyone thinks so in Florida. Jeb was a hoser, and I suspect he rigged or at least “tweaked” the presidential election in Florida.

    I also like your cabinet suggestions. I wonder if Obama offered Hilary V.P. if she would turn it down? I think she’s got too much pride to be #2. Kucinich should be in charge of the E.P.A., Parks Service, or some granola-eating job like that. Al Gore could be the secretary of making-money-off popular-causes and the Internet, lol. Maybe he can claim he invented Internet 2.0. My man John Edwards can be the White House consultant on grooming.

    The whole sub prime mortgage thing, is all because of corporate greed (not Iraq) and unfortunately the middle and lower classes are getting lashed as the crooked banks packed it up and passed on the shaky loans to ma and pa fund investors. Not to mention the folks who have been kicked out of their homes.

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