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Thursday 23 October 2008

How's It Gonna Be?

on 23 Oct : 17:55  Posted by Brassmask  Category: Misc  
Since the last debate and during the ensuing increase in Senator Barack Obama's leads in most of the polls, there has been a undeniable sense of disbelief around our house. It is defined by the political realities about the election actually dovetailing with our political beliefs and hopes.

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After nearly nine years of the country appearing to have lost its collective mind, we are excited by the alien concept of the nation's course going the way we want. The appearance is that Americans have awaken from a dream in which an ugly-minded, reality-shunning fratboy is the guy most of us wanted to hand the reins of power, in which the reaction to the worst mainland attack on US soil is to pursue an ideologically-driven cabal's empirical desires to take over Iraq.

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Conversely, we are still gun shy. Unwilling to accept the presidential race as "over" with, at this writing, 11 long days for anything and everything to happen that would be the one little Obaman annoyance that would turn an awakened nation from reality back to the self-destructive madness of a GOP wet dream of deregulation and war on demand.

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There was a New Yorker piece by David Sedaris that (humorously but vulgarly) expounds on undecided voters.


I look at these people and can't quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. "Can I interest you in the
chicken?" she asks. "Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?"

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

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And while that piece is more about those voters still undecided, it sort of sums up how I've thought about the whole of the general election since McCain started negative campaigning and generally just allowing all those on the right to willingly lie on his behalf.

The position is common. McCain is a good man who was an inspirational hero but has sold his soul to Rovian devils in the hopes they will do whatever is necessary to win him the White House. To think that I used to say all the time that if it came down to McCain and Hillary, I'd write in Howard Dean again.

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During the primaries, I was a disinterested bystander. There was no one I was particularly interested in supporting beyond pulling a lever. I was certain that Hillary would be the nominee and she would probably go on to win the nomination.

It wasn't till Obama gave his speech in response to the Reverend Wright situation that the wife and I sat up and took notice. That speech was the most thoughtful and adult presentation I had seen in many years. It showed that Obama, in my opinion, was something special and, yes, inspirational.

Although my support hasn't been financial or in manpower like I had hoped it would, I have endeavored to make sure that most everyone I'm in contact is at least registered to vote and knows where to go vote. It's a little anti-climactic since we know that McCain will solidly win Tennessee as it stands right now. With all these battleground states leaning Obama and with his campaign trying to make inroads into places like
Georgia and Kentucky (!), it would be so delicious to see it be close or even flip. Hey, we can dream, right?

I'm especially excited about (knock wood!) having a leader who speaks in a positive manner. He finds the similarities. He highlights the commonalities. He appeals to what is good in us not to our negatives.


There are no real or fake parts of this country. We are not separated by the pro-America and anti-America parts of this nation – we all love this country, no matter where we live or where we come from. There are patriots who supported this war in Iraq and patriots who opposed it; patriots who believe in Democratic policies and those who believe in Republican policies. The men and women from Virginia and all across America who serve on our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America – they have served the United States of America.

We have always been at our best when we've had leadership that called us to look past our differences and come together as one nation, as one people; leadership that rallied this entire country to a common purpose – to a higher purpose. And I am running for President of the United States of America because that is the country we need to be right now.

This country and the dream it represents are being tested in a way that we haven't seen in nearly a century. And future generations will judge ours by how we respond to this test. Will they say that this was a time when America lost its way and its purpose? When we allowed the same divisions and fear tactics and our own petty differences to plunge this country into a dark and painful recession?

Or will they say that this was another one of those moments when America overcame? When we battled back from adversity by recognizing that common stake that we have in each other's success?

This is one of those moments. I realize you're cynical and fed up with politics. I understand that you're disappointed and even angry with your leaders. You have every right to be. But despite all of this, I ask of you what's been asked of the American people in times of trial and turmoil throughout our history. I ask you to believe – to believe in yourselves, in each other, and in the future we can build together.

It is painful to have to include a caveat before this statement but, if this thing comes off the way it should and the way Obama supporters want it to come off, it will be the most positive historic event I have seen in my lifetime. Of course, there are examples of positive historic events like the fall of the Berlin Wall but I had no personal investment in that event.

This is huge, folks. It makes no sense that there are still Americans who are so willing to undermine it.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals.

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How's it going to be?
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