Civic technology

An Obama Series, and go to Ohio

‘Tis the season, as happens every four years, that I start receiving emailed narratives every day, passed through friends, family and neighbors virtual and literal, that tell the story of a Presidential election and the choice before us, the American people. Some are better than others, and some of the best I’ve ever received I’m receiving this time around. I’m deeply disturbed that this election, at the moment, appears to be to close, because the choice for me has never been more clear. That clarity, and my commitment to work to ensure that Barack Obama is elected President, gets reinforced every time I read one of these good narratives about the election. So, in hopes that it will be of service in motivating others as well, I’m planning on posting the best I receive here. If there is an author, I’ll ask their permission before posting. If there is none, I’ll post it as anonymous. To kick it off, here is my response (slightly edited) to a friend of mine who wrote me from Australia– wrote to all of her American friends in fact– with a subject line of “your politicians are scaring me.”

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Dear Mei,

Yes it’s pretty scary to me that McCain-Palin can be polling equal to or ahead of Obama. Obama isn’t doing a perfect job on the campaign trail, but I say “so what”…. This election is NOT about Obama. He has some of the smartest most principled Americans I’ve ever met surrounding him, and I believe he’d be an outstanding President. So would Biden.

But the bigger issue, to me, is how horrendous the alternative would be.

McCain is even older than Ronald Reagan was in his 2nd term as President, and we now know as a historical fact that Reagan was senile by the time he left office. Members of my family the same age as McCain cite this fact as one of their primary reasons for being so worried about the prospect of electing him.  McCain admits that he knows little about economic policy, at a time of severe economic pain here in the US. And McCain is in many ways to the RIGHT of George Bush on foreign policy. He was bound and determined to go into Iraq three days after 9/11, the facts about who attacked us be damned. Iran is next, if he becomes President.

And I find the prospect of Palin as President, should anything happen to McCain, absolutely terrifying– someone who had never had a passport or traveled outside of North America in her life until last year, leading the world’s most powerful nation for the next four years? She would not only be ignorant about the rest of the world, but apparently also about the rest of the USA– she and her husband supported a political party that advocated secession for Alaska from the USA! And on domestic policy, she lies unapologetically about her public service record (regarding seeking “earmark” money from the Federal government from Alaska), and she would like to make it illegal for a raped woman have an abortion, even if her life is in danger.

If they’re elected, I think the US will continue to be perceived as belligerent around the world, will continue to spend far more than we can afford further destabilizing the world’s largest economy, will have the most conservative Supreme Court in modern history for the next 30 years, and will take no serious action on climate change. The choice couldn’t be more clear.

I think it’s likely to come down to Ohio in the election once again, and the best way I know to impact that State’s election is through my friend Billy Wimsatt’s “get out the vote” initiative: http://www.votetodayohio.org . Send your American friends there and they’ll make a difference in this election– and/or get them to support it financially at http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/21134

Thanks for your concern and your support!

Andrew

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