13 October 2008


Go Obama! It's official. Although I have much love for Ralph Nader, and I think that he would serve America very well as President, I have decided that I will now support Barack Obama for President. I have supported Obama in the past, I served as a precinct delegate for Obama, here in Thurston County, Washington (at the county convention/caucus.) But I am disillusioned to the reality of the two party political system and the influence of big business in over government. When Obama started making noises about threatening Iran, I jumped ship. I put the bulk of my support toward the Nader Campaign.

Now don't get me wrong. I still support Nader and the great and important work that he does. But this is the time for realism and pragmatism. Nader is not going to win. Yes - it is an injustice - in a campaign filled with unfairness and injustice. Nader should have been warmly invited to participate in debates...

But I have been tipped. Tipped toward pulling for Obama. What happened?

Yesterday I met with Wayne Smith, director of the Civil Liberties program for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Wayne made me realize the importance of the (relatively) small differences between McCain and Obama. I say relatively small differences between the candidates because I do believe they are both pro-big business influence establish government politics.

Basically, the "small" differences (really they are not small), are very important. To illustrate, McCain recently had to defend Obama against the words of one of his supporters, who labeled Obama as an Arab and a Terrorist. McCain said no no, that's not true - Obama is a good man and no one should fear him or the spectre of an Obama presidency. McCain never made even the effort - nor did it appear that it occurred to him, to defend Arabs against the racism of his supporter. He could have said - "Arabs are not bad people." He did not.

I will vote for Obama. I love what Ralph Nader has done, and continues to do, for this country. But the stakes are high in this election. A McCain presidency would be devastating and tremendously harmful to the cause of civil liberties in America (and the world.)

Thank you Wayne Smith, for opening my eyes wider to the reality of the contest between Obama and McCain.

Thank you Ralph Nader, and don't give up! I still support you (and other third party candidates like Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney) who are working to move America in a truly progressive and life-serving direction.

But my vote will be for Obama. It's kind of sad. But that's reality. That's the decisive pragmatist in me.

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