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... if you disagree, we invite your reply.  (Thank you Phil Johnson.)


Four years ago, I started writing a posting that was meant for my Live Journal, which was going to explain my feelings and perspective on the upcoming Presidential election.  That was when George Bush was up for re-election, being challenged by John Kerry.  Of course, we know that Bush was re-elected as President, and the results of his continued presidency has meant for the country.


Now, four years later, we’re choosing a new leader for this country, one that should lead us out of the messes that have been the hallmark of eight years of Bush/Cheney in office.  We continue to be mired in Afghanistan and Iraq with no end in sight to the fighting and the provincial behavior of the folks we were sent to ‘liberate’ from the Taliban, Sadaam Hussein and Al’Qaeda.  Our moral standing in the eyes of the world is perhaps at its lowest in decades.  The separation between the wealthy and the average America continues to grow wider as our economy spirals into recession and our financial structure fractures under the dual actions of greed and lack of understanding on the part of our elected officials.  Instead of working together to solve some of the fundamental issues involving our economy and why we’re in this mess, there is name-calling, finger-pointing and an attitude of ‘it’s YOUR fault’ rather than one of cooperation and working towards fixing the problems.


I remain a Republican, but more and more it seems that I’m a Republican in name only, at least as far as my party is concerned.  As was once famously commented, “I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me” and that certainly is the case now.  No longer can I feel that the proposals and ideas from my party will help this country from the mess that they contributed (and they DID contribute a lot over the last 28 years).  It’s time for true change both for the party and for the country.


The problem is that the Republican Party can’t or won’t change.  For at least 20 years now they could count on a core demographic to maintain their position in government, excluding all who might have been a mitigating force.  Dissention was forbidden, the party line had to be followed exactly with no deviation, and your opponent had to be vilified and viewed as bringing about the evils in the world.  This despite the fact that they themselves created the massive Federal debt that we now have, deregulated industries that led to the massive financial failures that we have today, replaced scientific investigation with religious or political dogma, and created the single-largest information gathering organization in the world that investigates both US citizen and foreign alike.  Not to mention launching a never-ending war in Eastasia, as we have never been at war with Eurasia.


I had hopes with John McCain.  I had hoped that he would have remained the maverick politician that I recalled from the 2000 campaign trail (until the Bush/RNC attack on him in South Carolina killed any hope of him winning the election).  We needed someone who would talk straight to the people and shoot straight with Congress, and try to get something done.  But the more I watched his campaign and the more I listened, the more I realized that the John McCain of today is not the John McCain of 2000.  Instead, I hear someone whispering in his ear all the things he needs to say to stir up the core base of the Republican Party while alienating the moderates and independent voters with the rhetoric and personal attacks on his opponent.  The hope for a ‘civil discourse’ between the candidates never was possible, not as long as the Karl Rove model of campaigning remains in effect amongst the staff of John McCain, his running mate, and even his own actions and behavior during the debate.


For his credit, Barack Obama has attempted to maintain a campaign on three core aspects:  our country is in trouble, our citizens need help, and our leaders should lead.  He is at least offering real proposals and real ideas for trying to solve the problems we have instead of vague words that are meant only to sound soothing but carry no substance.  He has tried to maintain the high road (and yes, he has launched attack ads on John McCain, but not to the extent or the level of shrillness that the McCain campaign has).  He talks to the people, and he offers something that we have missed in our elected leaders:  hope.  A hope that perhaps with a true change we can move back towards feeling good within ourselves and feeling good for our country.  There will have to be sacrifices, but he’s honest in stating that fact.


So my personal feeling is that what is best for our country is that Barack Obama be elected president.  It does not matter that he is black, it does not matter that he is young.  48 years ago we elected a Roman Catholic as president, and he was one of the youngest presidents on record.  And in the short time he was in office, he managed to meet every challenge and face every problem with energy and vision.  We remember John Kennedy with fondness and as a president that helped change our nation.  It’s time for our country to step up once again, and accept a new face to reflect what this country should be, and can be.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 18th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
It's the hardest thing in the world to cross the aisle, but as I have found with increasing respect, the ones who do are the ones I never had a disagreement with in the first place.

We've a big hole to dig ourselves out of, and the only way to do it is together.
Oct. 18th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
I don't disagree with that fact. We have a very large hole before us, and how both parties react to it over the next year will likely not only define how they plan to behave come the next election, but whether they will survive and remain relevant to the running of government.

There are some interesting numbers to consider here: http://www.presidentialdata.org/presidential_comparisons.htm
Put very simply, a Republican administration creates fewer jobs, higher unemployment, lower salaries, a larger deficit, and lower GDP than a Democratic administration. There's an even more recent survey that was done that supports those numbers, and if you factor in George Bush's situation, it makes the Republican Party look like the old line from Monty Python... "They rob from the poor to give to the rich."

It's time for a change, and despite the racist talk I'm hearing in my area of the country, I'm still pulling the lever for the person best qualified to bring that change about.
Oct. 18th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
I'm a Democrat (but you already knew that). I think Obama has the message of hope and vision we so desperately need in this country. It's true that the Republican party has changed so much and refuses to admit it. All McCain has shown is what a bitter man he is.

McCain is losing, and I think he knows it.

Oct. 18th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
Sad to say, but he is. He knows he's on the losing end of this battle and this war, and anything he does for the next two weeks will likely define his place in history. If the Republican Party goes totally negative and launches attack ad after attack ad, people are going to not only vote them out of the White House, but take away any chance of controlling either side of Congress.

Not that this would be a bad thing, there has to be some checks and balances. But I'd rather see the Republican Party learn from this and begin going back to being more moderate and willing to compromise with the Democrats so that real working legislation can be passed, and everyone can feel good about helping the public.
Oct. 18th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
And now, with an editorial response, Miss Emily Litella.
I would like to voice my objection to the recent editorial on this station about erecting Rock-Olas. Now, I may be old, but I am 'with it' as anybody and I know giant monuments to '45 records are a big waste of time. *slams desk* Why I remember.. hm


Oh, that's very different...

Never mind.
Oct. 18th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Re: And now, with an editorial response, Miss Emily Litella.

That rock and roll music, it'll never make it. Big Band and Swing is still the thing.

[From atop the Maison-Blanche building in Downtown New Orleans, you're listening to WSMB 1350 on your radio dial.]

Oct. 18th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
Ahh, the old 'SMB. I remember it well. Closest thing you can get to swing these days is trad jazz on 'OZ.

But then, I listen to infrogmation's show every week. Just because. :)
Oct. 18th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
Every party changes over time. What I find odd is so many don't seem to notice it. It is important to maintain oneself above the label of a given party so that each has to earn and maintain your support, IMO. I have more respect for someone that crosses the metaphorical isle than a partisan I agree with. I know the former has been giving things a lot of thought, I have no such guarantee for the latter.

Every now and then a party really does need to lose in order to renew itself, and to examine where its going. Right now its the Republicans. The Democrats will need to do the same eventually too.

The thing is we need both perspectives (and probably a few others). It helps to keep new ideas flowing and colliding against one another. The bigger problem I see, is all the demonizing that goes on. Christopher Buckley in the last two posts to the Daily Beast outlines some of the challenges and also how his dad supported those he thought were right no matter which party they belonged to. I may or may not have agreed with him all that often (his son falls back on the cliche tax and spend line which hasn't always been the case in my part of the world, in fact much the opposite), but I could respect the intellectual rigor.

Maybe this is part of the problem with some of the divide and acrimony today. So much is propped up on personal attack and much less on going over the positions and commonalities and resolving problems. Can team A obstruct team B and make them look foolish in the next news cycle, etc.... *sighs*

I have some hope for things there with the mention of sacrifice. That is something though that has to ingrain itself into the public.

Edited at 2008-10-18 10:48 pm (UTC)
Oct. 18th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)

I believe that whatever is right, is right. Doesn't matter where it comes from.
It's all about working together and solving problems.

I recently checked again to make sure, and no, I can't vote.
I am a Resident Alien with a permanent green card.
I haven't got the money and haven't gotten around to doing the citizenship paperwork.
I can own a gun or ten, and I will take up arms to defend this country, but I can't vote.
Isn't that odd?

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )