Posted by: endithinks | October 24, 2008

On Voting Early and the demonization of Intellectuals

I’ve already cast my vote the day I received my voting packet last Saturday.  Here in Oregon we vote by mail and I must say it is so convenient.  I’m glad I didn’t have to wait in line for five hours.

On the other hand the fact that people are waiting for that long to do their democratic duty is heartening and makes me feel a bit less anxious about our great experiment in Democracy.  I think it is important that people vote early and get the job done as soon as they can.  It is a wonderful feeling to be a part of the movement to take this country back from the special interests (as much as possible in a two party beholden system, more on that later). 

I love this country and I am so worried that we are heading in the wrong direction if we don’t vote Obama in.  Obama will not cure all our ills.  He will not fix everything in a flash.  He won’t solve all of the problems of the world, but he will get us moving in the right direction.  It will be a hard climb to drag us back from the brink of Fascism that has taken over certain circles in this country.  Love of country has been replaced with “Defend every single thing this country does without question or concern.”  That is in itself what Fascism is.  It is the overzealous completely blind support for the state.

I was watching a supposedly “non partisan” take on patriotism and one of the panel discussing it said Patriotism was “Supporting your country no matter the circumstances.”  That is dangerous.  That is asinine and that is not what America is about.  We have always questioned thowse in power and rightfully so.  We have always taken everything a leader says with a logical sense.  At least the America that used to be.

America now is turning into a place where “intellectual” is a bad word.  Where “elite” is a bad word and where “Bipartisan” is an exception.  This is not okay.  This is not what the Founding Fathers believed in at all.  They were “intellectuals” to the extreme.  They lived in the Age of Reason and thought deeply about situations, plans and news.  They read the goings on and they thought about it before they responded.  Don’t forget the Founding Fathers were committing treason when they rebelled.  We are a nation of questioners and “show me.”  We have forgotten this.

I just wanted to share a letter I received from a fellow Obama supporter from West Virginia.  I think it is powerful stuff and I hope that people really do take a good long look at what Obama represents not just his own powerful charisma and personal appeal.

 
“I Didn’t Vote For Obama”  by kentuckyscott
 Monday, October 20, 2008

I’m a middle-class white guy living in Jacksonville , Florida .  I’ve got a wife and two kids.  Because the kids had no school today, I took a vacation day from work, and took the kids downtown to vote early.  Fifty-nine minutes later, two smiling children and I proudly sported “I Voted” stickers. 
But I didn’t vote for Obama.
 
I voted for my ancestors, who believed in the promise of this country and came with with nothing as immigrants.  I voted for my parents, who taught in the public schools for decades.  I voted for Steve, an acquaintance of mine from Kentucky .  (Killed by an IED two years ago in Iraq ).  I voted for Shawn, another who’s been to Iraq twice, and Afghanistan once, and who’ll be going back to  Afghanistan again soon — and whose family earned eleven bucks a month too much to qualify for food stamps when the war started.  I voted for April, the only African-American girl in my high school — it was years before it occurred to me how
different her experience of our school must have been.  I voted for my college friends who are Christian, Jewish, Mormon, and yes — Muslim.  I voted for my grandfathers, who worked hard in factories and died too young.  I voted for the plumber who worked on my house, because I
want him to get a REAL tax break.  I voted for four little angels from Birmingham .  I voted for a bunch of dead white men who, although personally flawed, were willing to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, and used a time of great crisis to expand freedom rather than suspend it.  I voted for all those people and more, and I voted for all of you, too. 
 

But mostly, I voted selfishly: I voted for two little kids, one who has ballet in an hour, and one who has baseball practice at the same time.  I voted for a world where they can be confident that their government will represent the best that is in this country, and that will in turn demand the best of them. 
I voted for a government that will be respected in the world.  I voted for an economy that will reward work above guile.  I voted for everything I believe in.  Sure, I filled in the circle next to the name Obama, but it wasn’t him I was voting for — it was every single one of us, and those I love most of all.”

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Responses

  1. It’s true that a lot of things make me cry lately (given the uncertainty I am experiencing at work and the financial pressure squeeze with the coming holidays to boot), but this letter was one of those things that I feel justified shedding a tear or two on. It’s moving and it rings true for my perspective too. I voted as soon as I got my mail-in ballot and I feel more peaceful because of that.

    Thank you for posting!


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