If we’re lucky and don’t make ourselves extinct by then, your grandchildren will ask you what you did today. You may be tired of politics, but this is a historic moment and not just because some of us are voting for an African American. Today, you’re being offered the choice between two visions. The details may seem murky to you, and no one has all the answer to the difficult times ahead of us.
But what you’re voting for today is between two distinctly different worldviews. One sees strength and wisdom in building from the ground up. It is a progressive and populist observation that without a strong and vibrant middle class, there can be no democracy.
Such notions have seen us through a major depression, one World War, and ushered in an era of middle class prosperity never before seen in the history of the world (of course except for people of color).
The other vision is that if you give to the powerful and wealthy, they will find it in their hearts to throw some crumbs our way. It’s the conservative assumption that building the economy from the top down creates wealth for everyone. It’s an ideology not that much different from the last 30-40 years — and especially aligned with the economic policies of the last eight years.
That’s the choice today…
* * *
-=[A Change is Gonna Come ]=-
“Most cynics are really crushed romantics: they’ve been hurt, they’re sensitive, and their cynicism is a shell that’s protecting this tiny, dear part in them that’s still alive.”
— Jeff Bridges
I predicted before the economic meltdown that Obama would win decisively. I didn’t pull that prediction out of my arse in a fit of wishful thinking. One of the great ironies of this election is that the profession republicans openly mocked during their (nearly all-white) convention, community organizing, will be exactly what will beat them. I caught on a little late, but during this past summer a friend dragged me to an Obama event and what I saw there blew me away. The Obama campaign was obviously using a community-organizing model as their campaign strategy.
You hear all the time of the polls touting “likely voters.” What those polls don’t catch are new voters. In national polls, Obama has a double-digit lead in “likely voters.” However, this is not sampling the millions of voters who will vote for the very first time. This is the power of organizing at the grassroots level.
Political consultants will take note of this winning strategy, changing the way elections are conducted in the future.
As a result, Obama will win today and win big. This election is not just about Obama, it’s also about people — record numbers of the disaffected and abused — expressing their view that the neocon trickle-down Kool-Aid isn’t working anymore. Legions of republicans will be thrown out of office across the nation. This election will be a mandate for a more progressive, more populist government.
Historically, Republicans have always counted on low voter turnout because it’s easier to control an apathetic and disengaged public. Take for example, one of the founders of the conservative movement, Republican strategist Paul Weyrich, who stated before the first Reagan election, “I don’t want everybody to vote… our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” Don’t believe me? Watch the video clip:
More people will vote today than ever before!
African-Americans and Latino/as will wait for all the hours necessary in record numbers to cast their vote. We, as well as progressive allies of all colors, see this as the next step in the civil rights movement. The people will wait 10, 12 even days to vote. Young people of all colors, thirsting for visionary leadership and a populist and responsive government, will come out like never before. Disaffected middle class white voters will look at the specter of the looming possibility of losing their homes and vote. In a reverse “Bradley Effect,” even some blatantly racist whites in the Deep South will tell their friends they’re voting for McCain and then pull the metaphorical lever for “the Negro.”
Over the years, the general public has expressed opinions that are overwhelming counter to what neocons represent. We are overwhelmingly for freedom of choice, for example, and most of us would be willing to pay more taxes if it meant better schools and access to healthcare. People running this country have been ruling from the mandate of a small fraction loony far-right evangelical voters who believe that the world is only a few thousand years old.
No matter what happens today, that will change!
An Obama administration will not solve all our ills, but he stands as the symbol for what is possible in this country. I will surely have major issues with some of his policies, but I look forward to a presidency that doesn’t advocate torture, that doesn’t spy on its own citizens, and that can actually articulate ideas right down to the specifics as Obama has shown repeatedly.
I fear that if I am wrong and that we will elect an incompetent septuagenarian who actually sang “Bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran” and his incredibly idiotic running mate. If you believe in a god, today is the time for prayer. However, while you’re praying make sure you’re also pulling the lever to vote for change…
May your God/ Goddess/ Higher Power help us all if we don’t…
“Some men see things as they are and say why — I dream things that never were and say why not.”
— George Bernard Shaw