We would like to interrupt our usual posts for a moment to reflect on something of far greater importance to not only us, but America and the world as a whole. Yes we endorse Barack Obama for President. There are a multitude of reasons why we feel that he is the, to us, obvious choice. Here's my Top 10:
- He's not a Republican... Let's face the obvious here first. The Republicans have held the White House for the past eight years. During that time, we have seen our once balanced budget turn into not only the worst deficit in the history of the U.S., but it stands to get only worse with the consistent quagmire that is Iraq and now the bailing out of mortgage companies (both of which I would love to expand on here, but for the sake of keeping your attention span, I will digress). Least we not forget that the Congress and House were controlled by the same party for 6 of those 8 years allowing them virtually free reign on policies and decisions of the country. Even in the past 2 years, while the House and Senate were barely a majority Democrat, there was always the threat of a veto by Mr. Bush which made the past two years a wash.
- Bali loves Obama... During our travels we have noticed a surprising interest in American politics (surprising to us anyway). In all people we have encountered the overwhelming response has been "We love Obama" (alternatively they also remark that Bush is no good, that he "makes war") as I am sure many of our fellow travelers can attest to as well. Some can chalk Obama's popularity up to his "superstar" status, but does that really make a difference? Is there shame in having a popular, for good reasons, president worldwide for once? Every poll published in civilized nations shows that the rest of the world hopes that Obama wins. He would give us instant credibility in the world.
- Hope... Not to steal one of his tag lines, but it really is what Obama means to not only the rest of the world but to us as Americans. It's a change of course. The world is hoping that we can change our stance of using force of a military to one of diplomatic relationship building. Civilized people don't use guns and threats of force to solve issues. Likewise, our why should behave in the same manner. Obama represents a more open minded approach to diplomatic solutions to world problems; McCain represents instilling fear and intimidation to get what we want. I don't feel that the latter has a bright future as it just drives a division between and creates an us vs. them mentality. With great power (yes, contrary to some, the US still has that) comes great responsibility - we need to use it more wisely.
- The social issues... With fear of alienating some of you, I will go down this road only slightly. Why is it that hot button issues like gay marriage and abortion only seem to arise around election time? Was this great nation not founded on the principle of separation of church and state? Do we really want the roughly 600 men and women that "represent" the 350,000,000 of us making those decisions? Should it not be the responsibility of society as a whole and, moreover, internal morality that dictates how we behave? If murder was not against the law, would that mean that more people would go out and kill one another? I certainly hope not but I don't think that any of us need to consult a law book to know that it's morally wrong to do such things. Likewise, I don't see that as a politicians place.
- The "Joe the Plumber" scenario... Joe from Ohio, dubbed "Joe the Plumber" had a five minute conversation with Obama about how if he were elected would Joe have to pay more taxes? The simple answer to that is "NO" given the fact that Joe does not make over $200,000 a year. Further more, Joe has evaded paying his taxes in the past to begin with so would it really matter if someone tried to raise his taxes??? The argument only strengthens the case of McCain being out of touch. Think for a moment about what McCain claims will happen if Obama is elected President. Are we supposed to believe that the average teacher and plumber makes over $200,000 per year? McCain sure thinks so. Do you?
- The economic crisis... First the facts: The deficit now stands over 10 TRILLION or around $90,000 per tax payer if you want to know your portion. Regardless of how you believe is the best way to make this up, we are going to have to start paying the bills (mainly to China of all countries). The main difference in plans (not by any means inclusive of either plan) is Obama's plan calls for a 2% increase in taxes to those making over $200,000 individual, $250,000 family and McCain's calls for extending the tax incentives and deregulations given to big businesses (Bush's plan set to expire in 2010) thereby, in theory, stimulating the economy by creating more jobs but at the same time increasing the overall taxes slightly across the board. It is for you to decide which is the better plan, but I can't help but to think what all those corporations did with the tax incentives and deregulations for the past two years and why the economy still sinks further if this is the best plan. I feel it's time for a change of direction on this front.
- Not an Arab or Islamic... Not that I should have to even mention these, but they seem to come up all too often. If his spending three months of his life in Indonesia (not even an Arabic country) makes him Arab, then I suppose we are now 1/3 Arab by spending a month there. He's a Christian, attended a Baptist church in Chicago, and even has a controversial preacher to prove it. Not that this will ever happen, but could we imagine for a moment what kind of message an Islamic president would send to the rest of the world? What better way to send the message that we are accepting of all, no matter their religion, creed, color, etc. Something to ponder at least.
- Nor a terrorist... This one comes from Palin and McCain directly. Obama happens to live in the same town as a man who was part of a radical organization during the 60's (when Obama was 7) which was responsible for killing one innocent security guard in anti-war demonstrations. The man now does philanthropy work in Chicago which is where Obama and he met. I hardly call that "palling" around with a terrorist, considering that he has never been charged with being a terrorist to begin with.
- Commander in Chief... Not since Ike has a president "served" in the military. No, I don't consider Mr. Bush's picture in front of a plane in Texas, where he was never stationed outside of the US for his three month tour of duty "serving". So why does the issue of being Commander in Chief play such a huge role in people's minds? Having a military background has not been a factor for the past 50 years, so why does it play so heavily now? During the Vietnam war, did we seek out a war hero to lead us during troubled times? Nope, JFK certainly didn't fit that bill. Generals lead the military. Generals make the decisions that effect our troops directly everyday. A President's place is to avoid having to put them in harms way to begin with through diplomacy. Not to take anything away from McCain and his honorable service to this nation, but his serving in the military 40 years ago doesn't make him an expert on the problems of today nor should it be a green light to be President.
- President Palin?... Even being abroad during this election campaign, I have heard enough stupidity and ignorance coming from Palin to make me cringe at the thought of her ever becoming president. It's so scary that I don't even want to write about it. So if worse comes to worse, and we re-elect Bush (McCain, contrary to popular belief votes 90% of the time with Bush policies), may McCain last the full 4 years!
How ever you choose to vote, all I ask is that you give it some thought. Take some time to do the research. Don't just take my word as fact, nor anyone else's. CNN.com has a little fact checker that researches what the candidates say and how accurate they are. Look at the voting records of both Obama and McCain (when he decided to actually cast a vote). I tried to be as accurate as possible with my facts and figures, but if you see an error, let me know and I will fix it. Want to discuss any topics? Leave a comment and I will try and respond before election day.
Think: It's Patriotic.