Feb 5, 2008

What Kind of Change are You for? Super Tuesday Shows the Choices We've got.... and, There's a Huge Difference!

I just voted--five years to the date (Feb 5th, 2003) when Collin Powell used up his credibility to tell the world (via the UN) that he knew! This is a good thing about democracy--that we can change things and our leaders too. Obviously, great care should be exercised to avoid disasters like this imperial presidency under Dubya.

This election is about change, unlike the one in 2000. Back then, the country enjoyed peace and prosperity, and most Americans that voted for Bush [actually the majority voted against him] just to preside, not to do anything specific. But, he turned into an evil doer. In 2008, it is almost a universally accepted wisdom that we need change, and all the candidates on both sides talk about change. Here's what I think of change.

  • More Americans participating in the affairs of our nation because they care. They register and vote, and they keep a close eye on their representatives.

  • The nation is inspired to achieve greatness through education, civil rights, science, and a new age of reason. We can finally put racial politics in the dust bin of history.

  • We come together as a country to show that we can take care of each other, that not everything is decided by selfishness; that a progressive culture of life means education and healthcare for all, not only for those who can afford it. It's Americans helping Americans.

  • That being a world leader today doesn't mean brute force. Many battles can be won by ideas (if you've got them) than by bullets. We must be physically strong and able to defend ourselves, but without being smart, without moral leadership, and without wisdom, we will fail. We need leaders who understand that the age of military empires has passed.

I often said that the Republicans leaders speak a language I don't care for. They are not progressives. Actually, they're not for real change. Basically, they're for staying the course only they'll be more competent than Bush, they argue. The GOP presidential candidates appeal to very conservative voters in the primaries. Today, the GOP leadership is more conservative than their greater political base that. Hopefully, after another resounding defeat in November, the GOP will become more moderate and, thus, more reasonable. If Mr. Obama is the president they'll lose their hate-everything-Clinton as their cause.

I'm keeping my eyes on the big picture here. Either Obama or Clinton will be improvements over the current regime and what the GOP has to offer. I don't want to live in a theocracy, in a country where scientific illiteracy is encouraged! Where instead of moving forward with civil rights & liberties we turn back as the result of a few people (5-6) dressed in black robes who'll make decisions fit for the Dark Ages! These life-tenured appointees will have the chance to shape our lives for many years well after the next president leaves office! I'm talking about the Supreme Court. Yes, this election is also about SCOTUS!

I had to make a choice today in the voting booth, and I picked Obama. It felt good to vote for change. But, this is only one step in exercising the rights & obligations of citizenship. I picked Obama because I believe he'll be the stronger candidate in the general election. He can help the "ticket" down the line giving us stronger majorities in the Congress. I don't know if there's "a spirit of JFK in the air" [I wasn't around then] but impressions and perceptions do matter. Obama seems to bring more Americans out to participate & vote. If he brings out the best from within us, we will indeed make a great leap forward. And, boy, do we need one great leap to get out of this bog....