When Bad Things Happen to Old People
It's the Stupid Economy

A Vote for Obama/Biden

category_bug_politics.gif As I told a blog friend by email early yesterday morning, I'm going to be tense until the winner of the presidential race is known.

This is the most important election in our lifetimes with clear divide between the candidates. Although the next four years will be difficult times no matter who is president, the consequences of living in a country (and world) led by John McCain and Sarah Palin worry me pretty much all day every day. To the detriment of everything else I should be doing, I spend literally hours each day reading political news and analysis all over the web punctuated with bouts of staring into space while contemplating more issues than any one person can reasonably track without a lot of smart advisers.

Is anything right with this country? I don’t think so.

That Senator Obama is ahead in the polls gives me no solace. He is leading, I believe, because the economic crisis of the past few weeks finally focused voters’ attention on the differences between the two candidates and Obama has been solidly grounded throughout, while Senator McCain leaps from stunt to Plan A to Plan B and back so frequently a voter could get whiplash trying to make sense of him.

Meanwhile, Governor Palin seems to relish her role of pit bull, stringing together meaningless Republican slogans without a glimmer of thought behind those pretty doe eyes.

But I disagree with the pundits who say it's all over for McCain. I worry Obama's lead is tentative and superficial. That if McCain calms down, if his campaign controls Palin better and if McCain is only almost coherent in the debate tonight, the election could swing his way.

And there is that other worry: I saw a white woman interviewed on a cable news channel saying, “I won’t vote for Obama because his skin color is not the same as mine.” I fear too many Americans agree with her. I desperately hope I am wrong.

Although it is issues I care about most, on the subject of inexperience, which the Republicans have beaten Senator Obama with for months, I think the proof of his executive capabilities is obvious in the management of his campaign over the past two years. Unlike the McCain's, there have been no announcements made and later withdrawn, no wild policy swings, no contradictions among surrogates, no melodramatic, prima donna stunts - just a steady building of well-developed ideas and proposals.

I feel confident with Senator Obama as president that he won’t rush off half-cocked when surprise events , domestic and international (and they will happen), present themselves. Plus, he is wise enough to not make promises he cannot keep – like balancing the federal budget by the end of a first term.

Some Maine communities allow anyone to vote by absentee ballot whether they are absent at the moment or not. Since there is nothing that can change my mind in the next three weeks, I voted yesterday and mailed off my ballot.

I thought it might release the tension I feel, but now I know that’s not going to happen until 4, or maybe 5 November when the votes in this long presidential campaign are finally counted.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Morgana Sage gives us a lamentation for Emily Redwood 8/4/00 – 9/30/08.]


Comments

I know exactly what you mean. I can't sleep and for the fourth night in a row I am awake after three or four hours sleep. I took a sleeping aid and I am still waking up far too early. Stress does that to me and if McCain wins I know deep depression will set in and I will barely be able to function.

Tonight's final debate should help Obama again as I think everyone is tired of being called "My friends" when we all know McCain is not our friend. People are also sick of being patronized by McCain's promise of "I know how. I can do it." without giving a clue as to how he can do it.

I mailed my ballot in last Wednesday. (Arizona also allows absentee voting; it even encourages it.) It hasn't helped to reduce my stress either.

Indeed, this is a critical time in our lives. I wear my bracelet of "hope." And, I try to believe that we are heading out of the darkness and into the light.
My vote is for Barack Obama!

I also feel the same way and find that I spend way too much watching the pundits on TV (and talking back to the TV) becoming the elder that I said I would never become. While the current economic issues are important, there are long term challenges to our constitution and way of life that I fear for if McCain and his very scary partner were elected.

More agreement. We will get our ballots into the mail tomorrow, but the worry won't end. It's the Bradley Effect that worries me the most... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_effect

We are all holding our breath.

All four of us here too, and my family in MA. My FIL was a Republican, gave that up sometime in the W. years.
Yes, we're worried.

There was a national election yesterday in Canada. The conservative party was trying to win a majority, since they only had a minority. Even though everyone was talking about the election, most said that the results of this election was not as important for Canadians as the result of your election. I couldn't agree more. The whole world is watching on bated breath for you guys to do the right thing and after reading about McCain's proposal for economic relief, more tax cuts for the corporations... it's not hard to see the Obama is the right choice.

Acorn? Voter tampering? William Ayers? Inexperience?
My questions have nothing to do with his skin color, just his judgement.
Oh yeah...Socialist?

Early voting begins here on 10/20 and I will be there. If I could vote more than once I would. This election is so important. I will not breathe easy until Obama is officially the next President of the United States. The GOP has some dirty tricks up their collective sleeves and have been successful in the past snatching victory from sure defeat.

Darlene--Both candidates are condescending. I was quite jarred by Obama's patronizing comment to the moderator of the last "debate"--that the moderator was "doing OK". It's the same attitude that was displayed toward Clinton when he said that she is "likeable enough". Yuch!

Renee--If the current administration hasn't turned socialist (well...at least when it comes to financial risk), who has? As a pundant observed, this administration has been all for privatizing the financial rewards while socializing the risks.

Judy--Who was it who said that we should vote early and often?

In reply to Renee,
William Ayers is a colleague of mine - a fine scholar and an excellent early childhood teacher educator. His "unrepentance" has been taken completely out of context. He never tires of fighting for social justice for the underprivileged. He is no more a "terrorist" than I am. Try reading one of his books, especially "A Kind and Just Parent." I don't believe for a second that he and Obama are friends anyway - but, if they were, I would admire Obama's judgment.

Renee--I'm trying to understand why I should be afraid of Socialism? I already know why I'm afraid of Conservatism.

So many things to be afraid of these days!

I've been for Obama from the start but all you had to do was watch Frontline last night that was about the two campaigns. The stark contrast between the early McCain campaign (the loss of millions of campaign dollars that no one knows where they went, the various state campaign managers that had no idea what the other campaign managers were doing or saying) and the tighly run Obama campaign. Plus the fact that he was able to overcome the huge Clinton machine shows how disciplined he really is.

P.S. Being "owned" by more then a few cats, my friend sent me a great button with Obama's insignia and a cat with the words "Cats for Obama". Maybe I should make one that says Opossums for Obama!

The only US President to become more honest in the White House than he was previously was Chester A. Arthur. He would be a good role model for today.

For those of you who worry, we've survived Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, George Bush (almost), Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton, and even lesser lights before them.

What we really need are people in Congress with some sense. All politics is local.

How I feel for you all. I share your anxiety about the elections, so much so that things are getting neglected here while I read articles and watch the debates and broadcasts that get me shouting and stamping.

I'm not a US citizen so can't vote but am sending positive thoughts to you all that the outcome will mean real change for your country and, ultimately, for the world.

I'm with you on this one, the McCain ticket is terrifying. I don't think Obama is perfect (who is?), and my views on things don't always line up with his, but I do think he's by far the better candidate on a huge preponderance of issues. Especially if I compare the possibility of Biden or Palin ascending to president in the event that something should happen to whichever candidate we elect (whether due to health or other reasons). Again, I don't love Biden, but Palin is terrifying.

Voter registration in Oregon ended yesterday. I am looking forward to getting my mail-in ballot. Alas, it may take me a while to cast it. The local issues are numerous, and I still need to research some of them, although the number with Bill Sizemore's name attached lead me to think it may not take me TOO long to do that research at least on those. (It has often been my experience that either the ideas or the wording - or both - in Sizemore's initiatives are deeply flawed. Several of his measures that we've turned down in the past had the potential for rather scary side effects beyond what they said - and I doubt he intended them in all cases, but I'm not sure about others.)

I'm with you, Ronni. I can't get it out of my mind that the voters who allowed the current administration could so easily screw this election up, too.

I share most of those who posted feelings. And Ronni, I am right there with you. All: remember Bush was re-elected by an overwhelming majority because the right wing conservatives came out en masse. Those are who we have to fear. And we also have to fear the raging fear sparked by McCain/Palin as their negative campaigning played to the weaknesses and fears in our own country.

Tonight is the debate. I only watch CNN now. While not perfect, they have a wide selection of media, and political pundits and people from all sides of the political spectrum.

I too fear the "underdog" influence if McCain pulls it together and is gracious towards Obama tonight. I think he has the ability to pull that off. I don't think he can maintain it but we'll see.

The most important thing here, everyone, is that we have the power in our hands to make the difference.

I work for a retirement company that has over 20 communities, each with its own precinct and polling place. The Obama people got it and have been hitting almost all of our communities. In PA we have 2 and they were at both. They formed Obama for President Support Groups asking the residents to contact 200 of their friends and family each to get out the vote for him. He is working hard to appeal to those of us who are aging (and not so gracefully thanks to Busheconomics).

This blog, and those of you who have blogs, reach enormous numbers of people. Start blogging about the election. Get out the vote. Talk about the importance of this election and how we an make the difference here. Perhaps the day of the election, putting an I VOTED button on the blog or even before the election: I WILL VOTE, WILL YOU.

I wish I knew the technology to make this happen. But I do know word of mouth/blog, can make a difference.

It amazes me that things are so tight between the candidates when it seems that you'd have to be pretty blinkered to vote McCain/Palin into positions of such power. It would also be a sad indictment of many Americans if they decided not to vote for Obama simply because he is black. There is also a strong possibility of vote-rigging isn't there? The world must be very afraid. . . . . .

I put up a piece this week on the ACORN, Ayers, etc. with good links to articles you can read. Ronni should have it up on the Sunday listing. I also have a full length documentary called Crawford that deals with all the manipulation that brought George Bush to power. Recommended viewing.

From T. H. White's, "The Once and Future King":

"The best thing for being sad...is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting."

(courtesy, http://www2.netdoor.com/~moulder/thwhite/index.html)

Mary

I voted yesterday. Glad to have that done. I'll be writing a little about it today though, because, though it was great to mark off Obama for President, the California ballot is a travesty of democracy.

I was asked to have intelligent opinions on 12 state level propositions and 22 local ones! What nonsense -- that ought to be what we elect legislators for. But we don't trust them, so we have put in all sorts of measures that bring matters to the entire electorate for a vote. Also, the legislators know we'll second guess their measures, so they let controversial matters go to popular vote.

There were some important things in the state list: bonds, yet more prison construction, redistricting, parental notification before minors' abortions, and same-sex marriage. There were even some important things in the local list: housing bonds, a scheme to get us cheaper electricity, and some howlers -- should we name the sewage treatment plant for George W. Bush?

But at root, there were simply too many things for a reasonably intelligent citizen to have to vote on. I don't spend my life trying to figure out how to make the city and state work. And most of us can't. But here they came at me, page after page of them, asking for my decision.

The experience sure helps me understand why pundits say that if a ballot measure polls under 50 percent going into the election, it can't pass: when confronted with the ballot, we instinctively vote NO.

As for the pre-election anxiety -- there is a remedy (sort of). Do something. Just because you've voted doesn't mean you can't volunteer for a candidate, local or national, that you want to see win. You can make calls for Obama from home. Just go to his website. It's not hard to find the place. You can help us out in California with defeating Prop. 8 (the initiative to eliminate same-sex marriage) with calls by way of this address.

Unhappily, because the problems are real, this may indeed be the most important election of our lifetimes. Its easier to get through it as part of it rather than just having to watch.

I feel as you do about all of this. The right wing has reached out for anything they can find to give them a reason to not vote for Obama. They listen to people proven to be unstable, have supported a possible VP with no experience and don't give me that small town mayor and 2 years as governor where she has already been found in abuse of ethics, counts. She has not run a nationwide campaign. She cannot do a press conference or an interview with anyone but the right wing base without sounding dumb.

Palin has succeeded because of christianist religious zealots who only care that someone says they are on Jesus's side (and who don't know what he actually taught). I do worry as I don't know how the election will turn out, some people can be blown around like the wind by any little thing, but I still hope for the best for our country's sake.

ACORN was something that even McCain has speeches (on YouTube) supporting. Those phony voter registrations were likely gathered by people who ACORN paid to go out and get new voters. Given the phoniness of the names (like Mickey Mouse, well known football players, using the same handwriting over and over) they should have been caught before being submitted. Too much trust. It's not like these voter registrations did anything but likely cost ACORN money (maybe even sabotage). This was sabotage of them and not of the voting system. Should ACORN have checked all those names before submitting them, yes but maybe they don't have the resources.

Furthermore Obama's connection to them is no greater than McCain's. When some years ago Obama supported the motor registration, he had the federal government on his side in court. If this is all they can find about Obama, they have nothing but hate and a desire for revenge from people who think it's cute to carry a curious george stuffed monkey into a rally with Obama's name on it. Who can be proud of being part of that thinking?

Even given that, I do worry. People can vote on an impulse that even they later won't think made sense. I won't relax until the vote is counted. If It's McCain who wins after all, I don't want to think about politics for a long time. It will take a lot of meditation and time in the woods to get back to feeling balanced!

janinsanfran...

I'm not giving up my Saturday volunteering for Obama just because I voted. Mostly I voted now because that ballot's been sitting on my desk for two weeks and if I didn't do something with it, I was bound to spill coffee on it sooner or later.

Here in Portland, Maine, we had only three ballot initiatives (or whatever they're called here) and a few local offices to fill in addition to the Tom Allen/Susan Collins U.S. Senate race which, unfortunately, doesn't look competitive.

It was a simple, clear paper ballot that anyone could figure out. Nothing to confuse anyone.

However, the newspaper here does almost no reporting on candidates and issues so unless a voter is connected to the internet, it's damned hard to research anything or anyone.

What is much better than in New York City is wording of initiatives. New York frequently wrote them in the negative so that a Yes vote meant you were voting against the initiative and vice versa. I always had to take a cheat sheet with me to the voting booth to be sure I voted the way I wanted.

Sarah Palin is appearing Wednesday morning at the airport in Bangor. Too bad not in Portland; I'd like to see one of those rallies for myself.

Hear! Hear! People over 65 who vote for McCain should give up their
Medicare..

Ah, Renee. Do yourself a favor, and watch something, anything, besides Fox News. For all of us. Please.

If you want to relieve your doubts, just stop watching Fox. It will greatly improve your health and well being. It has mine!

I went to two stores today and drove maybe 20 miles – I never saw an Obama sign, either in someone’s yard or on someone’s bumper. I live on a long road, about 12 miles from the start in town, and the only Obama sign was ours, but there were many McCain-Palin signs everywhere. It is so painful to look at them. (I live in Georgia). But I know what you feel – I spend much too much time on the Internet trying to stay cheerful.

Good news!
I'm seeing Obama-Biden signs in lots of yards here in Michigan where I am for a while. I hope that bodes well for similar support from voters with many of the same sensibilities in the next door state of Ohio.

I don't even like to think about the possibility of the Bradley effect though as a long time California resident I am acutely aware of the potential.

I will be in the voting booth on election day as I read some years ago that absentee ballots aren't counted until after the other votes are tallied election night and if it's a runaway vote one way then they don't even open and count them. That made me uneasy, wondering if they could get lost somehow. But, my husband always voted absentee in later years. I just want to be sure my vote is counted, plus I like to see the turnout and who the election volunteers are.

I've experienced some of the same concerns about the upcoming election you've mentioned here. I haven't lost any sleep over the matter, but only because some time ago I somehow have come to grips with knowing I do the best I can to facilitate my candidates being elected. That and many other issues then fall into the category of outcomes I cannot control.

I spend some time on the internet but there's so much inflaming rhetoric there and elsewhere that can be very stress producing -- not worth spending my time on. I find I'm very abreast with timely information on the latest issues through a combination of other media and print, too.

I'm glad joared mentioned the fact that absentee ballots aren't even counted until or unless they're needed. I knew it was that way here in Utah because my husband and I are both poll workers. That's why I went in person to early voting. I just can't trust that something will happen to those paper ballots. If anyone else who has voted on a mail-in ticket is concerned, I suggest you contact the election board in your state so you know for sure what happens to your ballots.

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