Posts Tagged ‘election’

At this moment Iran is erupting in waves of violence from protestors who support and oppose the declared victory of Ahmadinejad in this week’s Presidential election. Students at Tehran University are pleading with U.S. President Obama not to accept the election results and to stand with them.

Students rescue injured riot police officer

Students rescue injured riot police officer

I thought this photo was compelling. Students are rescuing an injured riot police officer who was attacked by protestors. This is the kind of action that will start a real revolution. Violence won’t. From Ghandi to Martin Luther King, Jr. to Jesus non-violent resistance and courageous acts of selfless love have turned the tides of history.

While Iran and the larger Middle East does not want to be Western nor should they, they do want to be free. There have long been stories about the changes among younger Iranians and the break with the powers that be. I’ve long thought that within my lifetime a revolution would ensue. Whether or not that revolution is crushed or turns the hearts and minds of all Iranians will depend on whether more students choose to emulate this act of selflessness or swing bats and burn buildings. Choose peace. Choose love. Start a fire that consumes hatred and oppression, and it will never burn out.

President-Elect Obama

President-Elect Obama

I am completely overwhelmed and still reeling in disbelief. Yes, we can, America. Time after time in my lifetime we have had opportunities squandered and greatness shelved in favor of greed and power. Civil rights icon John Lewis said the election was a ‘non-violent revolution.’ Amen. I cannot be more proud of my country than I am this morning. The election of Barack Obama brings a close to a long and difficult chapter in America’s history, but even larger than that it is a seismic shift in the political and cultural landscape.

We did truly witness a “new kind of politics.” Obama ran a 50 state strategy combining grass roots organizing with the power of the Internet raising an unprecedented amount of money from small donors passionate about his campaign. The strategy paid off, even in states he lost. He brought millions of new voters to the polls and enlarged the demographic. There was no one single group that put him over the top. He energized young voters as much as African-Americans. The Latino community put him over the top in critical western battleground states. Many Republicans like me gave him our support and will become Independents and Democrats. Even older voters, especially in Florida, concerned over the economy threw their support behind a Democrat. Women, who made history supporting Hillary Clinton, broke overwhelmingly to support Obama rather than Sarah Palin. Even though Obama did not win all of those historically red states, it forced McCain to play defense on home turf spending precious time and resources he didn’t have to waste.

David Axlerod, chief Obama campaign strategist, is the new ‘architect.’ He blew Karl Rove’s tactics, surrogates, and legacy out of the water. McCain ran a general election campaign based largely on fear and bet his presidency on the ability to scare voters about Obama. The Obama campaign laid out a clear vision of where he wanted to take the country and refused to get in the mud many times when given the opportunity, leaving most of that work to ads and surrogates and leaving him with cleaner hands than his opponent.

Truthfully, most all pundits agree that had the Republican nominee been anyone other than John McCain the election would have never even seemed close during the campaign. The Bush legacy and damaged Republican brand were enough of a hurdle to overcome without an economic meltdown. There’s just so much anyone can do to, and it didn’t help that McCain’s campaign and its players ran a terrible campaign, plagued with infighting, missteps, and instability. We haven’t seen the last of Sarah Palin. She’ll be back, but unfortunately for her, she appeals to the conservative base of the Republican party which is even smaller than it was before. Bush ran to the center, as a “uniter not a divider,” as did Obama. Palin specializes in carving up America into little pieces of “real” and “patriotic” versus the rest of us. That will not be forgotten. Once America has had four years of dreaming bigger and reaching higher that kind of partisanship will be too sour a pill to stomach.

I am even more excited to see President-Elect Obama begin to assemble his team and lay out plans for the transition. There is much work to be done. His supporters, a vast viral grass roots network, are empowered and energized, ready to work. Gov. Bobby Jindal amassed a similar grass roots Internet network of supporters in Louisiana that he kept in constant contact with between his failed bid and victory. He still communicates with them regularly and utilizes town hall meetings and strategic press ops to motivate them to make their voices heard on critical issues. I suspect this Obama network will remain alive and well as President Obama’s most powerful tool to drive his agenda through difficult obstacles to come.

President-Elect Obama’s acceptance speech in Grant Park was beyond moving and inspirational. It brought many of us to tears. He acknowledged the work will not be easy or quick. It will take all of us working together to fix the mess we’re in. He said that the election night victory was not the change we’ve been seeking. It was only the opportunity to make that change happen. I’m ready, America. Let’s get to work. Yes, we can!

I don’t preach politics to anyone and respect other people’s opinions even if I disagree with them. I’ve been a news junkie since 1991 and voted Republican in every election since I graduated. No one has bought the line and supported the GOP agenda more than me, and it has gotten us in the ditch. We’ve been hearing about trickle down economics since Reagan and for 28 years it’s not trickling down. The gap between the top 2% and the rest of us is growing every year.

For the record I gave money to McCain in 2000 and voted for him over Bush in the primary, but this is not the same McCain he once was. He’s not supporting the same policies he did then. He’s pandering to the far right to get their vote. Sarah Palin may be a nice person but has no qualifications to be a 72 year old heartbeat away from the presidency.

I don’t like abortion. I don’t know anyone who does, but I’ve seen too much in the church, in the school system, and in life. It’s none of my business what someone else does with their body. There are some circumstances where it must at least be an option. Banning all abortion is not a fix to the problem. The problem is a lack of education, no parental involvement, and a disregard for the sacredness of sexuality. Obama has talked about addressing those problems and working to reduce the number of abortions overall, including banning partial birth abortion. A ban on all abortion only drives it underground and puts more women at risk. Abortion should be safe but rare, in my opinion.

I’m supporting Obama for the same reason I supported Bobby Jindal who was also young and different. They’re both very smart. They have a natural gift for leadership and the ability to inspire people. I believe both of them can bring people together and bring common sense to solving problems. They have some very different views on policies, but I believe Jindal was the right man for this time in our state government. I believe Obama is the right man for this time as well.

If for one minute, I had seen, read, or heard anything from Obama, his campaign, or his staff that raised one red flag about taking away our freedom, our guns, or our money, I promise you I would not be supporting him. Aside from taking assault rifles and automatic weapons out of the hands of criminals I have not heard even a hint of any policy or vote that he’s cast that would take anyone’s guns away.

This has been the worst financial year of my life. Things are not good. The bottom line is that McCain wants to give tax breaks to the wealthy. If you make less than $250,000, you’d get about $340 a year in tax cuts from McCain. You would get over $1,200 a year from Obama’s plan. Obama is not socialist. He’s only asking that the top 2.5% of tax payers fall back to the tax rates they were paying during the Clinton years. Exxon Mobil posted the highest quarterly profit in world history. McCain should explain to 97.5% of Americans why they need another tax break.

That’s my answer in a nutshell. I respect anyone who votes for McCain for any reason, but I have no respect for anyone who slanders Obama’s Christian faith by calling him a Muslim or questions his patriotism by saying he is a terrorist or a socialist. Those kinds of attacks are insulting to the entire country and make those who say them seem very desperate and very ignorant.

No hard feelings if McCain wins. Anyone would be better than Bush đŸ™‚

I think many people are very excited about Obama’s candidacy, as much as for what it is as for what it is not. I don’t think Obama has painted himself as a Messianic figure, but I do think that people have invested their hopes of what could be into his campaign. I don’t doubt that some people are overly passionate, but that’s the case in every campaign. Because millions support you, doesn’t follow that you support every one of those millions’ personal behavior and ideology. I think the whole Messiah, cult-following rhetoric is more political spin in an attempt to divert undecided voters and discredit the legitimacy of his candidacy.

Being relatively new on the national political scene, Obama is a sort of political enigma that is difficult for people to label and pigeonhole in attack ads. About the best argument they can make is that he is all talk and no substance, and that is supporters are brain dead. That’s really a weak argument when you think about it. I know too many intelligent educated people supporting his candidacy.

Part of the disillusion that I share with so many Republicans is that we were supposed to be the party of ideas, reason, and common sense. The Democrats were supposed to be the party driven by emotion and opinion polls. The Bush presidency has been short on ideas and reason, and it’s a card from the old playbook to label all liberals as brain dead followers driven by feelings.

I like Barack Obama’s personality and character. We haven’t had a president behaving presidential since Bush 41 and Reagan. Bush 43 can’t even speak in public and his policies have not only been unpopular but have also proven to be failures. Clinton disgraced the office of the president, perhaps for a generation. People are starving for leadership, and if they see even the possibility of it, they will flock to it in droves. I grew up as a small child with Reagan as president. He defined in my mind what presidents are supposed to be and do. We went to school hearing about people like John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, and it seems like Ronald Reagan may be the last of the giants that we may see again. Has the American presidency been bought and paid for by special interests, turned by the best political spin machine, craving the best 3 second sound-byte of the day? We hope not.

I’ll be blogging more about Obama’s ideas in posts to come. I keep coming back to this but John Mayer’s song “Waiting on the World to Change” embodies the sentiments of my generation with regards to assuming the mantle of leadership in this country. This may well prove to be the election that engages those in the process who’ve been sitting on the sidelines complaining. I for one would love to see an election where more than 30% of the electorate gets out and votes, no matter who they support. Let everyone make their case and may the best candidate win.