Thanks to Oregon's awesome ballot-by-mail system, I dropped my votes off at my local library today, and I picked up a couple of books to boot! (Free books from the government? Is that socialism?!) I've made no secret that I am an Obama supporter, and I carried through and filled in the bubble next to his name.
I have to say, it's a real relief to have taken care of business, particularly as this campaign just gets nastier and nastier. I don't feel like trying to play fair in my own writing anymore and spreading the blame around, since at this point I feel like the McCain/Palin Campaign of Shame has pretty much told me that I don't matter in their America and that "reaching across the aisle" is not going to happen unless people who are just like them are on the other side. Does anyone remember in the last debate when McCain accused Obama of fomenting a class war? I do! I also remember what they say about pointing a finger, Senator McCain--four are pointing back at you.
It's sadly ironic, when you think about it. In that debate, John McCain kept saying that you had to listen carefully to Barack Obama's words because his true message rested somewhere amidst his big vocabulary where us stupid folk in TV land could not ferret it out. It's a common trick, accusing the other guy of doing what you are doing, cast the suspicion over there ("Look! Behind you!"), and then pull a rope-a-dope when the eyes are off you. McCain and his cronies give us "straight talk" about Obama's class war and socialism, and then I guess we will not notice that the government is privatizing failed businesses and borrowing policies from FDR (who was also accused of socialism, which is only bad if you think socialism is bad, which I don't) and Sarah Palin can pick and choose who amongst the American populace is "really American" unhindered. If we aren't listening to the words of John McCain, he can sneak a phrase like "pro-abortionist" into the debate and encourage his supporters to change the language of one of the most heated issues of the last thirty years, vilifying an entire group of people who actually have the law on their side and pushing us all even further apart.
The buzz phrase leading up last week's debate was "Who is the real Barack Obama?" It's a cute piece of fearmongering, continuing to paint Obama as "the other" and preying upon racial and religious prejudices. Never mind that on McCain's insistence, Obama answered every accusation being thrown at him, including William Ayers and ACORN. After Obama's refutation of the accusations, McCain would simply reply with "That's not true," and yet he offered nothing to back up his rejection of Obama's allegedly slick words. Gee, sir, what do you know that you're not telling us? Where is the straight talk? Because your crooked talk is bringing out the worst in the worst of us.
I've voted in every election since I've turned 18. I pay my taxes. I live in a state that is prominently liberal, though we have a wide variety of communities across the state with vastly differing views--so, really, we are a microcosm of the country. Oregon has sent a lot of its sons to fight for the country, and at a great cost. So, don't tell us we're not mainstream. Don't tell us we're not part of the real America. Last I checked, in a democracy, all voices are equal and the mainstream is defined at the voting booth. Come November 4, Senator McCain and Governor Palin, this fake America is going to put you outside of that mainstream where you belong.
I encourage everyone to watch the October 20 episode of The Daily Show, viewable for free and in its entirety right here. Not only will you hear Sarah Palin hoist herself on her own petard, but you can also enjoy the righteous anger of Jon Stewart, who tears apart this awful way of thinking in a manner for more eloquent and much funnier than I ever could. And as he reminds us, New York City is likely part of this fake, big-town America Mrs. Palin so despises, yet it was good enough for Osama Bin Laden to attack while the Alaskan governor had her back turned, keeping her eye on Russia to keep real America safe.
UPDATE: I was just sent this petition set up at Americans United for Change to declare that one can be a liberal/progressive and love America at the same time.
Text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich