Sunday, August 31, 2008

Regional Vox Populi(election edition)

Thursday night, I attended a Barack Obama Acceptance Speech house party here in rural Oregon. While we were there to watch and cheer the speech, which everyone did with gusto, the most interesting thing to me was hearing the attendees explain why they support this ticket. I began by declaring that Barack Obama was the most intelligent, gifted politician of my generation, someone capable of reversing this country’s course and pointing it in the direction of the 21st, rather than the 20th century. Then came other assessments, which went along these lines:

“I back Obama because he called the Iraq war a mistake from the outset. This war is poisoning this society and culture, making it sicker and sicker…Obama is the antidote. I feel confident that he will end the whole sorry adventure because he opposed it from the start."

“I am tired of the entitlement culture of the Bush administration…all his life, Bush felt entitled by his family ties and was indulged and bailed out of all his misadventures. He has behaved in the exact same way in the Oval Office, impervious to the consequences of his actions and/or anyone who doesn’t share his opinions. I served in the Navy at the same time as John McCain, even deployed with him, and he always behaved recklessly, with impunity, secure in the knowledge that nothing would happen to him since his father and family were Navy gentry. I am afraid he would carry that sense of entitlement and freedom from accountability straight into the White House. I don’t feel that way about the Democratic ticket.”

“I back Barack Obama because of my l9-year-old grandson. He’s in the service now and will deploy to Iraq soon. He doesn’t agree with me, he backs McCain because his big issue is anti-abortion, but I will vote for Obama and Biden because they will not waste his or other soldiers’ lives in adventurism and swaggering abroad.”

“I think that if we want to live in the 21th century, we have to vote Obama. McCain’s world view is l945, when the US was a superpower and imposed its will through military force. He still thinks we could’ve “won” the Vietnam war with more bombing, which is madness. Barack Obama seems to realize that you have to have a variety of weapons in your arsenal for dealing with world problems, soft power, carrots as well as sticks and(gasp!)diplomacy. McCain doesn’t seem to understand globalization, whereas Obama talks about portable health care, portable pensions, things that can help you survive a changing workplace. McCain lives in the analog world, doesn’t know how to use the internet, the most powerful knowledge and research tool ever, or understand its implications for the world…Barack Obama is at ease in, and conversant with, the digital world. Is there really any choice if we want to live in the 'new world?'"

“I feel that Barack Obama respects me and values my opinion. Bush and Cheney don’t understand that they represent us, the people…Cheney has contempt for what the American people think, and Bush has a damn-the-torpedoes attitude, too, as if he hears what people are saying but chooses not to listen. I want someone in the White House who takes public opinion into consideration, knows that he or she works for US. “

“I was a Republican until three years ago, a lifelong Republican, but it suddenly occurred to me that this administration had ruined everything it touched, from the war and all its sorry consequences to FEMA to the Justice Department,..there aren’t many agencies in the federal government unaffected by scandal or incompetence. I am voting for Obama because I think he is competent and will lead a competence revolution in Washington DC.”

Some of these people spoke in almost a whisper, as if they were afraid of getting hit with rapid-fire, machine-gun Republican talking points. That’s quite likely to happen if you support Democratic candidates in Red State Oregon(the west side is Bluer than the ocean, and the same is true of Washington just north of us). But these comments moved and heartened me…I was proud to count myself among these entirely ordinary Americans, and I can only hope that there are a whole lot more people out there who share their views.

I know that, in a few short weeks, I will be finally be able to cast a vote for President with joy in my heart, rather than a clothespin on my nose.

5 Comments:

Blogger LaPopessa said...

I couldn't agree more - this feeling of enthusiasm for voting for a presidential candidate is something I haven't felt in a long time.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I served in the Navy at the same time as John McCain, even deployed with him"

This guy is lying through his teeth.

"I was a Republican until three years ago, a lifelong Republican"

So is this guy,

2:21 PM  
Blogger LaPopessa said...

And of course someone posting as anonymous should be more trustworthy? Give us a break lol.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Carol Gee said...

A link to this post will be added under the "feel good' section of my current draft, Buckaroo. I can hold on to this. Thanks.
Today feels unsettling to me - with an impending hurricane/convention, Pride in Palin (and rumors about her recent pregnancy), police raids in Minneapolis, etc., etc.

4:24 PM  
Blogger buckarooskidoo said...

anonymous, the guy in question had several very specific instances to cite in his allegations about mccain. he is not a fantasist, and i have no reason to believe he would lie.

The "lifelong republican" isn't a guy at all, it's an 86-year-old woman i've known all my life. she has been a pillar of the republican women's club here--i know because i have spoken to that group numerous times.

what's the point of coming here and trying to say i didn't see what I saw or hear what i heard? Are you calling me a liar, too, when you've never met me?

11:19 AM  

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