Monday, September 15, 2008
Since my last post on the election I received a comment that I wanted to respond to, posted by a good friend who stated that there is not much difference between McCain and Obama and therefore he is planning to vote for Nader. I strongly disagree, and urge this friend to vote for Obama. I believe that in this election every single vote counts and is crucial to changing very basic policies of our current administration which have been very damaging to our country. Especially in my state of New Mexico, where Bush won by only 5,000 votes in 2004, this conversation couldn't be more crucial.
McCain's position on the economay is to essentially continue the policies of the Bush administration. As we have seen recently with major financial institutions collapsing these policies have reeked havoc on our country. In addition the basic Republican trickle down affect just isn't working, where taxes for the wealthy are cut, and everyone else pays more. Obama is talking about raising taxes for the wealthy, which includes 5% of the population. This is a huge difference in policy. Obama sees that by empowring the middle class and supporting them, that our economy will get better. I agree with him. This is what Clinton did, and we had a balanced budget during his administration.
For health insurance, Obama plans to implement universal health care. I have travelled to other countries that have this system in place, and it is vastly more humane then our current health insurance programs. McCain has no plan to improve the health care system, and there are many people who are not covered either because they have gotten sick and no insurance company will cover them, or they simply can't afford it. In our day and age, this is unacceptable to me.
On the environment, McCain talks about off shore oil drilling, and drilling in the wilderness of Alaska as solutions. With increased hurricanes due to global warming, offshore oil drilling is a terrible idea. We have already caused enough damage to our oceans, and to set up offshore oil rigs in areas where hurricanes are known to come is unthinkable to me. Obama is instead talking about creating industry around solar and wind that will create more jobs for Americans, and create energy independence. Certainly with a growing industry, we will also experience more awareness about our energy use habits, which will change how people think and act. With the continuation of the Bush policies, we will be much more challenged to change the public thinking, as there is little or no openess to support education, or insentivise change. For example, there is a Federal program to give people who set up solar systems $2,000 back in their taxes that is expiring this year due to the Bush adminstration policies, which McCain fully supports.
In terms of our international relations and war, McCain supports the Bush doctrine, justifying pre-emptive strikes. We have damaged our relations with countries all over the world with this. Obama on the other hand is much more aggressive in holding diplomatic talks before we strike a particular country. He also sees the value of peace and will work to bring stabilization to our world.
In addition, I have personally seen over the past eight years, huge cuts in education. The first things to go are always the arts and music programs in schools. This is happening all over the country. Arts and music are essential for child development, and in my opinion for creating an open heart and connection to Spirit. I'd like to see not only these crucial music and arts programs re-instated, but also education in schools about how we as humans can become stewards of the planet. I see this possible with Obama, with McCain it will be much more challenging with little or no federal support.
Back in 2000 when Gore ran for president, I believe that Ralph Nader took away crucial votes from Gore. I believe that if Gore had been elected president, our financial system would be much stronger then it is today, our health care system would be much better, and the policies in regards to our environment would be much more progressive. In this election we face the same challenge. By voting for Ralph Nader, you are essentially voting for McCain. And although I support the formation of other parties, too much is at stake here to not vote for Obama if you wish to live in a country that looks to the future rather then the past.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
The other day I vowed to spend ten minutes a day doing something for the election to support Obama. So, I called my grandfather, because eight months ago he said he was going to vote for McCain. I wanted to have a conversation with him about it, and just hear him, and let him know how I felt.
I was really surprised, because one of the first things he said to me was; “You, your husband, and your new baby are going to have a good life, because change is coming.” I asked him what he meant, and he said, “Obama is going to win by a landslide, people want change. The economy is bad, housing is bad, and retired people are worried about Medicare. That’s why I am going to vote for Obama.”
I feel blessed to be an American, and blessed to know that we have a candidate like Barack Obama to support. I’m not a political analyst, or specialist in any way. I can say that I’m a peace activist in my own way, an environmentalist to the best of my abilities, and someone who strongly believes in the power of a single vote. Back in college, one of my best professors was a lady who taught a social science class. Although I can’t remember her name, she said two things that were probably more impactful then the sum of everything else all of my other college professors said. No offense if you happen to be one of my professors. But I hope you’ll understand when you hear what she had to say. First, the most important thing you can do is make peace with your parents… then your life can begin. The second was that the greatest and most important right that we have as Americans is to vote.
These days with all of the commercials that candidates broadcast, all of the mud slinging usually started by the media, and the nonsense talk about candidate’s personal lives, it is no wonder that many of us have turned off and tuned out.
But let me tell you something. The other night I got to hear Barack Obama speak at the Democratic National Convention. We switched the channel to PBS, where there were no interruptions or political analysts to skew things, and I just watched him speak and saw the convention. Honestly, it was the first time I had really seen him. I’d heard and seen clips… but never a full speech. It was a beautiful and moving speech. He also really addressed issues that McCain and others have been attacking him on. After hearing him, I felt not only a sense of hope and inspiration, but also a sense that he is ready for the coming months of debate.
I know that the road ahead for him will be challenging. However, that road is for all of us. We determine who our leaders are. For those that choose to tune out and not vote, they are in fact determining in a passive way who our leaders are. But, I feel that it is time as Americans to stand up, and vote. If you are not American, then please stand up and encourage any American friends that you have to vote in this election!
In my opinion, never before has an election in our country been so vital to the health of our environment in this country and the entire planet. We can already see the affects of global warming, and you don’t need to be a scientist to see that. Melting ice caps, increased hurricanes, and increased temperatures all across the planet, are just some of the indicators. We have just a few years left to be aggressive and make some key changes in how we live our lives, and what we do as a country depends on you and I and who we choose to be president. McCain is in full support of the Bush administration’s environmental policies. The Bush administration failed in the Kyoto convention with the excuse that other countries were not going to follow through with environmental actions, so there was no reason that we should either. I believe that the core values of the United States of America rest on the fact that we will act in consciousness and righteousness even when others are not.
In addition, McCain’s big stance right now is that we will do offshore oil drilling to curb rising gas prices. To me, this is absolutely ridiculous, especially, when we have solar and wind power technologies to be invested in that will bring us an amazing amount of energy without impacting the environment. Wind and solar power solutions will last for many generations to come and give us plenty of energy. Offshore oil drilling will last only another 30 years! In addition McCain chose a running mate, Palin, the governor of Alaska who has been in full support of oil drilling in one of the most vibrant and beautiful national treasures, the wilderness of Alaska.
Let me just say, that I met a Republican at our concert one evening, who really enjoyed the music. I enjoyed meeting him. There may be Republicans out there who have our music at home and who are listening to it right now. I believe that it doesn’t matter which party you are from, it is important to look at the issues and make a decision based on your core belief and experience.
I know that we all have busy lives, but think about the lives of the future generations. Think about the impact of global warming. Did you see the Beijing Olympic Games and see all of the pollution there? Anyone who has spent time in major cities in India lately will tell you that when you blow your nose after a day out you will see black grime on your Kleenex. To me, this is unacceptable! As people of spirituality, awareness, and peace, it is time to stand up. It is time to support Barack Obama.
I invite you to join me and take at least ten minutes out of your day in the coming months to support Obama.
Yes we Can!