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Monday, November 3, 2008

Taking a Stand

The Gypsy, as you know, doesn’t generally talk politics. It’s not that I don’t have opinions. It’s just that the Gypsy is my haven for things family, creative, and fun.

But this is a historic election and ultimately, I need to say my peace.

I do so, not wanting to offend anyone. I respect other opinions and because I do, I trust you’ll respect mine, even if you disagree.

On Tuesday, I will cast my vote for Barack Obama.

For Change.

Fundamentally, I have some significant disagreements with the political doctrine set forth by John McCain.

The economy is a crap shoot. No one will know how this shakes down for a long while. I also suspect the next president, whoever he or she is will not solve the issue in four years (and remember, it’s a ticket of two candidates – those of us who lived through Kennedy are all too aware of that).

But these are the reasons why I’m particularly in the Obama camp and – and one deal breaker.

First, Obama’s significantly better health care plan.

As one with a pre-existing condition, I’ve always been concerned with health care. But things crystallized even more for me this summer. Six months ago, the 22-year-old in my life had no pre-existing condition that would follow him his entire life. Then he had cancer. And while he’s doing great, he will always have that pre-existing condition on his chart. It will affect his ability to obtain insurance forever.

So, I’ve looked over both health plans with extra care. The Obama plan is simply better. And yes, it will cost more. And no, I don’t care. My health, the health I of those I love, and yes, the health of those I’ve never met and never will, is more important to me.

Second, Obama’s tax plan truly is best for the majority of Americans. The flat-out lies the McCain campaign repeats until they almost start to sound true are not: Obama will NOT – Repeat NOT – raise taxes on those of us making under $250,000 per year. As a proud member of the middle class falling into this category, I’ve done the math. I benefit from it, and that means a lot these days.

And frankly, if I were fortunate enough to make more than $250,000 a year, I would be honored and feel privileged to pay more into the system, because I would have so benefitted from it.

Spreading the wealth used to be a good term, and now it’s almost like swearing, if you really take stock in how McCain and Palin spin it. (And has anyone found it ironic that a lot of people who seem to be offended by that are actually those who would benefit from it? As one very respected and balanced commentator put it, “they have no wealth.”)

The third issue – character, composure and judgment. Judgment first.

I am one of the many not enamored by Sarah Palin (although I confess, I will miss the divine Tina Fey’s impersonations if Obama wins). She’s not a maverick. She’s a loose cannon. And if McCain can’t control Palin, how is he going to present any sense of control or dignity to other world leaders?

We’ve already had one president who was manipulated into a political and world disaster by his so-called subordinates and who could not control the people around him. Do we really want another?

Sarah Palin shoots wolves from the air. She lies. Yes, lies. I know some of you are Palin fans, but we don’t agree on this. Her ethics are dicey at best. Her beliefs are polar to mine. I don’t think she’s as stupid as everyone initially thought – I think in some ways, she’s a pretty smart cookie with a vile, Machiavellian streak and we’ll be seeing her again. She knows how to study, how to parrot back information, how to learn a script. And she can rile up a crowd.

But I sure don’t want her a heartbeat from the presidency – not ever, really, but certainly not now, when this world and country is in such crisis.

And if this is McCain’s biggest appointment, what else will he do?

We need a president we can respect. We need that for our world standing. To be able to negotiate successfully and build up successful and enduring coalitions with our allies around the world. Anyone concerned about a war on terror should think carefully before they vote for McCain, because this is not a war we can win ourselves. It is based on partnership with our friends and ability to deal rationally and if need be, firmly, with our enemies. Frankly, we’ve had one president who shot from the lip and was also at the bottom of his class. Do we want another (check out the Naval Academy graduation placement lists.)

Which brings me to the deal breaker: Character and composure. If I ever had any doubt, anything that would put me on the fence regarding Obama, it was obliterated by the extreme nastiness, sleaze and untruth of the McCain campaign.

We all know campaigns get mean. And there are a lot of ways to interpret facts, statements and records.

And I hate it.

Both candidates have done manipulated the data. But McCain, Palin and their henchmen in various support groups have been without doubt the sleaziest, unethical, inappropriate and inaccurate of them all. They have both tacitly allowed this by not denouncing things he knows to be untrue.

If you say it enough it sticks.

I don’t care about personal lives or that McCain was a POW and left one wife for Cindy, or that Obama served on a committee with a guy named Bill Ayers. Those things don’t matter.

A president who ran a campaign that was almost a complete fabrication, one bad judgment call after another and so very mean and nasty is not the kind of human being I want in that office.

Obama’s campaign, on the other hand, was not a personal one. He has stuck to the issues that will matter to us. And that matters to me. A lot.

I beg you all to make your choices carefully and with the right facts. If you believe in McCain/Palin, that’s certainly your prerogative.

But please visit factcheck.org or any one of the other outstanding, unbiased, non-partisan sites to check his claims.

Check Obama’s too. Sometimes he interprets things differently as well. But I sincerely believe it’s more accurate by comparison.

Then vote. And no matter how it goes, try not to gloat too much. The election is only the beginning. The rough part is yet to come.

And back to fun things like are and cooking and writing and photography tomorrow!

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