Why My Vote is for Barack Obama
By Catootes on October 11, 2008
Since I’ve been of age to vote, I’ve neglected to exercise that right as an American. My reasons ranged from apathy toward the political process as a whole to cynicism of the politicians swimming in those particular murky depths. The agenda’s have been set and my one lone voice had little impact, I believed, and left the rest of the population to analyze and speculate. My attention was caught by the higher visibility news and actions of America’s political players but that was the extent of my concern, other than a scathing contempt at the corruption of most politicians and how subverted the political process has become. We’ve all seen the broken pre-election promises; the blatant disregard of the popular vote and lies fed to us for agenda’s not in our best interests. And it is these actions that have caused much of the country to fall into apathetic political comas.
As I grew older raising my children, paying a mortgage, building my career and a retirement future, my views matured and changed such that I started paying much closer attention to the politics that govern my world. The elections of 2000 certainly fascinated me when somehow, beyond everything that made sense, W. was let into the White House. Since that historic occasion, and the debacle of 2004, I have paid much more attention. I am compelled to participate now. Because I live in Middle America and our voice needs to be heard in this time and place.
My family lives the Main Street Middle American life I hear politician after politician speak of in their sound bites and news blurbs. We are the critical bases being squeezed by the gas prices and the price increase of goods, the stock market collapse affecting our kid’s future education and our own financial future outlook. The ongoing military conflicts make me worry about my son’s future as he heads into High School. I wonder if another insurance company would cover my husband’s back problems if one of us were to loose our job. Our retirement funds have diminished in a market where the very people responsible for the current collapse walk away with million dollar rewards for FAILING. I worry that the careers we have, within companies dependent on consumer spending, will still be our careers in the coming year. These are my worries and I have hope that with Barack Obama as President, the people running our country will diminish my concerns with attention and a plan to fix the mess we're in as a country.
There is no doubt I lean in a liberal direction but I’ve never been one for party lines. I couldn’t care less if the right candidate is Republican, Democrat, or Independent. Frankly, I think the two party political structure if fraught with corruption and should be dismantled entirely. But this election is different. This election is the most important in my lifetime. It is important in ways that stretch beyond the first African American candidate, beyond the first woman running as VP on a Republican ticket. It is more important than just getting rid of the current administration. It is important that this election bring integrity and honesty and values back into our Government. This is why I am supporting Barack Obama.
I have great respect for John McCain and what he has given to our country as a military man and as a politician. I believe he wants to do the right thing and sees himself as the best candidate. But I’m very much afraid he has compromised the very principles he touts by aligning himself with a political machine that was instrumental in demeaning him to get W. elected. If you want something so very badly that you are willing to walk all over your deepest beliefs to get there, align yourself with the very beast you decry, you can’t be trusted to do the right thing by the rest of us. As for Governor Palin, well frankly, I don’t want her policies and religious views affecting my or my daughter’s rights as women. So far she’s shown herself, in my eyes, to be disingenuous and patronizing in her efforts to reach American voters. Governor Palin, you want to be taken seriously as a Vice Presidential candidate, please don’t wink at me when I’m waiting for you to tell me how you’re going to fix the economic crisis affecting my life.
Barack Obama doesn’t have all the answers nor does he pretend to. He does commit to learning and finding the answers. What he offers is vision and that is what America needs right now. We need change; we need to think about where this country should be in 10 years, 20 years. We should not be reflecting on what Ronald Reagan would do. It is not Ronald Reagan’s time and in so many wonderful and terrifying ways, the world is completely different. It needs a different type of leader who is willing to push back against fear-mongering and reach out for a better vision of the world. I am not deluding myself that Obama doesn’t have an agenda of his own but I truly believe that agenda to be the right one and we just need to believe that it can be different and better if we all work at it.
There is a plethora of books out there discussing how to accept change, how to affect change, but let’s face it, people are afraid change and what they do not know and hesitant of committing themselves to trust. Obama is different, I feel. He is asking us all to have hope, to put effort into restoring America one person at a time. He is asking us to embrace a new vision of America where we all have a stake in what happens. We’re a jaded bunch, us Americans. We’ve sat and reveled in our role as the reigning Superpower and marveled at our fortunes. During the past eight years those very elements have fractured. I’m not deluding myself that it is all Bush & Cheney’s fault, I’d like to, but it takes many years for any Administration’s actions to spill into the every day world of you and I. Democrats alike have to shoulder the blame for what is happening in our world today, just as much as the Republicans.
This is what makes Obama stand out for me. He sees the greatness that can be revitalized in America if every person takes a vested interest in making this country better. The first step is to let go of the fear of change and embrace the potential to help define what surely can be America’s prosperity and promise for everyone.
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