And my email and facebook message box is filling up. Even though it's been obvious that I've thrown my support behind Obama for months, friends, Internet contacts, former neighbors, even family are asking me why.
A good question. Having voted Republican every single election except my first (when I liked Carter better than Reagan), it's surprising for some to discover that I'm not only disgruntled with Bush and co. but that I've jumped the fence to whole-heatedly back a Democrat, to work for Obama's campaign, not just to vote for him.
Over the next little bit, I want to talk about why I've switched teams and how Obama helped me to do so. I also want to ask in all sincerity some questions of our undecideds and Republican-leaning readers. I hope you'll share.
We've only got a few weeks left to decide this thing. We've got to get it right. McCain or Obama will be our next president. Not Biden. Not Palin. (Barring tragedy) The most important question to ask between now and then has to be: "Is it right to give another four year chance to the Republicans after 8 years of Bush?" (Bush, who lied about intelligence, WMD's, Iraq's role in terrorism, who has violated the Geneva convention in using torture against our prisoners, and who has allowed the economy to tank.)
One of the things Americans are good at is holding those they elect accountable. That's why congress swings from Democratically controlled to Republican and back. That's why it's hard for one party to win back-to-back-to-back presidential elections, if the incumbent has dropped the ball.
We expect better and we are anxious about empowering any one person or party with too much faith, too much trust, too much power!
This election ought to be a blow out for the Democrats. And it may yet be. President Bush has the lowest approval rating on record (29%). We have a struggling economy (record highs for unemployment just yesterday and the Dow struggling) and an unpopular war. That's usually enough.
But the difference maker this time is that there is an unacknowledged anxiety around electing a black man (just to point out - half black and half white). I'm running into it more and more. I heard from a CA friend recently who wrote to me that she thinks Obama is a terrorist! Really? Like the U. S. gov't. would allow a known terrorist (a convicted terrorist) to run for president?
A local friend of Jon's told him that he could never cast a vote for a "black man." On my canvasing route last week, I ran into the "But how can I trust Obama?" meme several times. I have yet to hear anyone ask that question of McCain (the "can he be trusted?" question), yet his campaign, vice presidential candidate and current president with whom he has proudly voted 90% of time have all lied directly to the American people. Somehow McCain's "trustworthiness" is not an issue.
The widespread, unrelenting, willful ignorance of the electorate as relates to Obama can only be explained by the unconscious anxiety that a half black man creates in white voters. Fortunately, the under 30 set seem oblivious to skin color. They love Obama and they can't relate to McCain.
I invite you over the next couple of weeks to share your thoughts and to think about why Obama is the better choice for president over McCain and his Republican party, no matter how "maverick" he wants you to believe he is. My aim is to at strip away the mischaracterizations of Obama that persist, to give reasonable support to how a conservative could vote for a democrat this time around and to expose the hypocrisy of the Republican party. Should be fun. :)