Archive for the ‘ Election 2008 (USA) ’ Category

Obama Wins

A lot of history was made tonight, in the United States, with the election of Barack Obama for President.

Yes it broke the color barrier at last, though it was a lot more than just that. While I believed Race would play a role, I think the economic chaos seemed to overshadow even that concern. One of the interesting statistics thrown out by the media tonight, was that where race was an issue with some voters, a large number of them claimed to still have voted for Obama, due to wanting change, to believing that he could deliver it. Now that does say something, about just how bad things really are.

When you are willing to ignore your prejudices, because of your financial situation, things have to be bad. And in one way, maybe that is the plus for the economic chaos. Perhaps if it hadn’t happened, Obama wouldn’t be President Elect?

Yet too, I think there is a huge difference between those who support Obama, and those who rallied to John McCain. You could maybe see it more clearly in the two speeches tonight. When John McCain gave his concession speech, every time he mentioned Obama, the crowd booed. Not all, I would say, but enough to be heard on the cameras recording the event, and you could also tell, it irritated John McCain, which speaks well of him.

On the other side of the coin, when Obama mentioned McCain there wasn’t any boo’s or catcalls. The crowd cheered actually, and that is what makes me hopeful. The simply fact that even in defeat, those who won, didn’t feel the need to deride the loser, yet those who supported the loser, seemed almost, like they needed to keep on objecting to the man who won. In short, it showed poor sportsmanship.

Now losing is not fun, I have been on that end all too often at times, and you know, it really doesn’t feel good, but in something like this, it really isn’t about just winning or losing. It is about democracy, about people having their say, and making their choices. I don’t like that many of my fellow Canadians chose Harper & his gang, but he is the Prime Minister, until defeated. I don’t like it, but it was the choice of the majority, and thankfully not a large one either. Yet the Obama win was different. It was something that went across party lines, across indifferences, and across prejudices, which makes it rather historical, in itself.

There is something else about his victory that makes it unusual. He owes NO ONE. No big campaign contributors to owe, no big corporations or special interest groups to owe. On top of that, he doesn’t even owe his own party, because he did without them, he did it on his terms, through reaching out to people, and through the Internet. Not just that he raised an enormous amount of money, but from individuals. That is what makes it different, and yes, historical too.

When was the last time that anyone got elected to President, without owing someone? When, basically, was a person elected to just a high office, spending nearly a billion dollars to do so, and still be a free agent?

Hilary Clinton poked fun at him, saying he was a good speech maker, but he had no substance, and yet here is this young Senator who no one heard about until this year, who is now President. You don’t get that far by being just a good speech maker. Obama ran a campaign that was different in other aspects too, that paid off tonight. For once, a Democratic candidate ran a fifty state campaign. He didn’t automatically concede any state to the Republicans, and from some sources, supposedly spent about 650 Million Dollars in those so called traditional Republican States.

The old time party hacks didn’t like that, but look at the results. He won the so called big states like Ohio, Florida, that are key to Republican wins, but this time, it was Obama who won. The money paid off, and too, it wasn’t from huge corporations, but from ordinary folks. The real ‘Joe the Plumber’ types, not the phony kind that showed up near the end of this campaign. I mean come on, who in their right mind, that works 10 or 12 hour days, unplugging toilets and drains, is going to truly support a party whose only interest is in giving the giant conglomerates more tax breaks, than them?

Words really do matter, and Hilary should know that. It is what took away her crown of heir to the throne, and it is what elected the first man of color to the White House. Simple words, that reached into people’s hearts, and made them dream. It made them look beyond the statistics, the attacks, the fear.

I don’t envy Barack Obama, because he goes into a job that is dangerous enough in ordinary times. Today, he faces crisis’s everywhere he turns, from the economy to Afghanistan & Iraq. He faces tough choices on Trade, on education and health care, not to mention national security. He comes into the job, when the world is in more turmoil than ever before, and yet, I don’t know, his victory does give one hope. Again, it is the words, but it also the look. You can sense it when you see him, and when you hear him speak. You can see it in his eyes, and so who knows, maybe this is indeed the change we all are hoping for.

I think it is going to be very interesting to see who he tags for the various Cabinet jobs. I wonder, do you think he’ll offer McCain a cabinet post? Now that would be something, and you know, it would make sense too. This could be an interesting few months.

In this election there has been a lot of talk about the Battleground States, and the Blue versus Red States. Just as we had the so called ‘safe’ ridings up here, but I wonder, are we losing sight of the whole goal of running for office? Should one state or province be more important than the others? Is it really about the numbers only, or is it about leadership, about wanting to win?

I wonder as this historic election draws to a close if people look beyond the media hype, the pundit speak, to see what is happening? I mean is all this talk about Blue versus Red really the truth, and if so, why? I mean what makes any state a Blue state as opposed to a Red state? Is it that they have higher educated people living & working there, or more religious types, but poor?

I understand that you need the numbers to win an election, but shouldn’t any potential pretender to the throne be seeking a broad base, not a narrow win in selected areas of the country? I look back at the last federal election here, where they called the election battleground being Ontario & Quebec, which alienates a lot in the west, but then again, should it? I mean the largest majority of our population is based in those two provinces, so naturally they have more ridings up for grab, but should any political party simply concentrate on them?

There is no doubt the Liberal Party didn’t concentrate much here in British Columbia, despite the appearances of Stephane Dion a few times. And I noticed a mark difference in the amount of ads being run on the local stations here, but also throughout the Canadian Media channels. There were quite a few NDP ads, hardly any Green Ads, and a ton of Harper Attack Ads, but very, and I do mean, very few LIberal Ads. So did they simply concentrate on the local Ontario & Quebec regions, or did they simply not have the money the NDP & Conservatives did?

Then too, I look at the reports on Obama & McCain, at how McCain is concentrating on Pennsylvania, based on his need for Electoral College votes, and again, it sort of makes me wonder, what are they thinking? I give full marks to Obama who has campaigned hard in most of the 50 states, even those so called Blue States, but then, shouldn’t any candidate be doing that? Why do candidates like McCain ignore certain states, but pour their time & effort into certain others? Surely their job is to attract the largest number of voters to their cause?

Or have I missed out on what Democracy is about? Is it that only certain key states get to decide who is President, and the rest simply don’t count? I know that this whole electoral college thing is hokey, that it gave George Bush a win in 2000 while Al Gore won the popular vote, which again, makes me wonder. WHY?

Just in looking at how the Obama campaign has approached this election, versus Clinton & McCain, and you have to give the nod to Obama, for at least showing he wants to represent all of the people, than just a few selected. Sure, he has campaigned hard in these so called Battleground States like Ohio, but he has campaigned hard in all of the states. Something Clinton & now McCain haven’t done, and maybe that explains the whole popularity of a candidate like Barack Obama. He is at least paying attention to everyone he can, not making the decision solely based on demographics, of which state is likely to turn his way.

He did it in the primaries, and he’s doing it now, and yet McCain is ignoring many states. States where he could have maybe pushed harder, and maybe not have such a wide gap between him & Obama the day before the election. Was it poor judgement, or simply too much belief in the old style game of politics? Has the Republican Party perhaps forgotten that to win an election, you need inspired leadership, and voters to want to get out, and support you. If you write off certain states, doesn’t that also turn off voters in those so called ‘swing states‘? It would turn me off, would make me not get out and vote, so does conceding a state before it’s even voted, really work?

Guess tomorrow we’ll see, but I wonder, maybe the real change isn’t about choosing an outsider, but simply choosing someone who wants to be the leader, for everyone?

Change is Coming Tuesday

No, I am not predicting an Obama victory in Tuesday’s Presidential Election.

Whoever wins on Tuesday will have to face a great many problems, and I wonder, will you, the American People take that into account when you cast your ballots on Tuesday, or will you vote Tradition because for generations your family has voted that way, or will you vote based on your prejudices, but call it voting the issues?

Then there is the just as important choices for U.S. Senator & House of Representative races to take into consideration. Would a McCain win be of any good if the Democratic Party reaches the magic 60 seat total for the U.S. Senate? What about the House, would it matter if McCain won and the Democratic Party got an even larger majority in the House?

Flip it over to would it really matter if Obama won the White House and the same Senate & House scenario was to happen? Would a 60 seat Democratic Senate help him get his agenda through or would it hinder it? Then too, how about in the House? Would all those Southern Democrats see beyond his color and actually support his policies?

OF COURSE the most important question is, WILL MORE PEOPLE VOTE ON TUESDAY?

Canada used to take pride in the number of actual voters, that exercised that freedom. In our last federal election we had a disappointing turnout, that allowed Harper to once more hold onto power, something I believe we will regret over the next short time, but that situation has been very common in the United States. Will that trend continue, so that many who could not bring themselves to vote for a Black Man, simply stay home, or will it bring more of those who are looking for change, actually get off their backsides and Vote?

While early indications are that many are voting, in advance polls and through absentee ballots, the question is still going to be how many will stand up come Tuesday? After all George Bush won his second term, by a nice margin of votes (popular votes that is) and yet there were less people voting than the previous four years. Will that trend continue?

Truth is, the world is holding its breath, because whoever wins on Tuesday is being look to, for solutions to the problems we are all facing. I don’t quite know why we expect the US President to be that person, because over the last few decades, they certainly have lacked in leadership qualities. Going back to Johnson, the US President has consistently failed the world in showing true leadership. There were flashes, such as Reagen, but it was muted a lot by the Democratic Congress. Clinton was a failure, as was Carter and Bush Sr. and well we all know how well George Jr. has done, so it puzzles me why we keep looking to the USA for that leadership?

Can Obama or McCain be the change we all need? Guess we will find out come Tuesday, though frankly I think it is going to depend a great deal on the supporting cast that is elected along with either McCain or Obama. And that WORRIES ME.

The likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have already shown, they are not good supporting players, or leaders. Joe Biden is miles better than Sarah Palin, but that isn’t saying much.

Stigma of Being a Socialist

All this nonsense between Obama & McCain on who is a Socialist and who isn’t, brings up some interesting paradoxes. I mean here you have two religious men, battling it out for the Presidency, and it may turn on a simple desire to ‘spread the wealth around’ which is being construed as somehow being wrong, as being a secret plot to increase taxes for the poor, the middle class. If you listen to John McCain or Sarah Palin, then you have to really think Barack Obama is something loathsome.

If you listen to Barack Obama & Joe Biden, well you have to see the Evil Empire being reflected in the faces of John McCain & Ms. Palin. Problem, is, no one is discussing the policies so much as the nuances of the words. Then too, there is this whole ‘socialist‘ bullshit. I mean come on, the Republicans claim to be the Moral Party, the one most in tune with the accepted religious beliefs of America, but are they?

They give BILLIONS to Big Business, deride those who want something like health care for everyone, not just those who can afford it. They attack those who believe that War should be an absolute last resort, as being Unpatriotic, as being Godless. Yet, if you examine religion, you have to see that what the Republican Party is preaching, is no where near what Jesus preached, what any of the main religions teach, including Islam.

You have the religious fanatics of the Republican Party yelling about how McCain isn’t quite conservative enough for them, that they prefer the idealism of a Mitt Romney who supports no abortion under any circumstances, including Rape.  These same people support the use of Water Boarding to gain intelligence to protect themselves, while at the same time calling into question those who oppose torture for any reason. They claim support of Troops, while shelling out Billions to firms who quickly sell their products to the very enemies being fought, and call that ‘smart business‘ or in the case of Bush, ‘free trade‘.

Bullying of people who are different is wrong, according to them, unless of course those being bullied are perceived to be outcasts according to their religious beliefs. Yet it is the very doctrine of Christianity, that it was those who society called outcasts, that were to be welcomed and sought after, for God’s love. Strange how these so called Christians forget those precepts.

They attack a man, who wants to insure that the more wealthier help those less fortunate, and that makes him evil, makes him a Socialist. and yet that is one of the very basic principles of Christianity, to be ‘one’s brother’s keeper‘. It amazes me how a Party that spends Hundreds of Billions to bailout a select few, won’t spend a nickel to help the millions being hurt by those few. How they claim to be the party of the masses, while helping to take away their only source of achievement, their homes.

These are the same people who profess their true belief in GOD, yet deny the single most important freedom of all, the one of Free Will, that their GOD gave them, but which they try to deny for others who simply do not accept their interpretation of GOD. Yet that makes them right, everyone else wrong, and to that end, they will take kids from schools, force their wills on others by threats, by attacks, by spreading hate.

This is the Republican Party of today, not the Party of Lincoln.

Obama The Socialist

Okay, so let me see if I have this right. John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the other Republican faithful are all up in arms because Barack Obama wants to spread the wealth around a bit differently than say George Bush. And that is a bad thing?

Let’s look at the track record of the Republicans under George Bush. To begin with how many MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE LOSING THIS HOMES THIS YEAR? Then let us look at the way JOBS ARE MOVING OFFSHORE faster than George Bush can come up with a new tax cut for Big Businesses. Won’t even talk what rising fuel prices did to the economy. Let’s not even talk about over FIFTY MILLION CITIZENS WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE.

Now you have John McCain nattering about the hidden cost of Obama’s plan, yet this is the same man who opposed Bush’s tax cuts in 2000, but since has voted for them. Now be honest, do you really think that years of tax cuts are working? Look at the state of the economy for the truth. It really is that simple, but yet people seem to be unwilling to see what their own eyes and empty wallets & empty bank accounts are telling them.

While John McCain and Barack Obama hassle over who is a socialist, and who isn’t, the Republican Party spends over ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR CLOTHES FOR SARAH PALIN. Now tell me, how does that show who is really worrying about the average citizen? Obama who is willing to pay increased taxes for his income, while making people who earn less, pay less in taxes.

The Bush / McCain plan of lower taxes for Big Business, increased Government Bailouts of greedy failed businesses, has not worked. The economy is at risk, because the people who truly support an economy, are finding it hard to exist, because credit card rates are at 28%, because while Banks pay 2% for money, the average citizen pays 14% for a bank loan, big business that creates fewer & fewer jobs pays less than you and me, yet small businesses pay higher processing fees, are finding it harder to get credit to run their small operations, actually create over 60% of new jobs.

Millions of illegal immigrants pour in, to take supposed low paying jobs, and yet Microsoft and other High Tech firms demand to bring in more cheaper labor from India. So much for creating high paying jobs. That is the McCain-Palin plan, the one that still can’t secure its Southern Border. Obama wants to try something different, which when you consider the last eight years, would be a good idea. After all, anything has to be better than four more years of kissing corporate asses.

Wanting to insure that low income people get a break, isn’t socialist. It is being RESPONSIBLE DURING ECONOMIC HARDSHIPS. That is what a Real Leader would do, it is what Franklin Roosevelt did during the depression, and somehow, do you really see Sarah Palin willing to make concessions to help even Joe the Plumber?

Let’s face it, while the Republicans spend thousands of dollars to dress Sarah Palin it is Barack Obama who is wanting to let ordinary folk pay for tuition, let ordinary people buy homes, and keep their investments safe. The Republicans are the one’s who helped create this crisis, and now they say they are the only one who can fix it?