Obama looks nearly set to win the Presidential race, and by and far this is good news for the world. After many months of resisting direct support for Barack Obama, I have voted for him in Pennsylvania via absentee ballot. My pen wavered between Obama and Nader, my gut telling me to ensure Pennsylvania does NOT go for McCain, but my heart crying for REAL change and REAL hope that consumer-rights activist Ralph Nader could offer our country. If a third-party candidate could qualify for federal funding, we would actually be talking about a different America, not two campaigns that represent a broad, status-quo platform.
I consider issues most important to me: universal health care for ALL Americans, funding for jobs and education – not defense contracts and prisons, ending United States colonialism worldwide, and equal human economic rights for ALL Americans. Not only are Obama and McCain not even close to considering these options, their representative parties are equally as bland when it comes to fighting life-or-death issues in the U.S. Then I read what Ralph Nader considers on the table in his administration, or what Cynthia McKinney and the Green Party’s guiding principles, which include a binding pact to accept ZERO dollars from corporate interests.
I was surprised to hear from a DNC fundraiser that “Obama doesn’t accept donations from lobbyists,” because there’s MILLIONS in corporate donations to the Obama campaign by BIG guns like Citigroup, Lehman Brothers and Google, who are predicting who will win this 2008 bout. Obama is also heavily influencing the outcome of the election with buckets of cash, even though George Bush was heavily criticized by Democrats and progressives for doing the same in 2000 and 2004.
Clearly Obama will have a lasting effect if he has the likely opportunity to choose a few Supreme Court Justices, which will heavily impact hot-button human rights issues such as reproductive rights, stem-cell research, the death penalty, and the right to die. He will push the country in a better direction in terms of education and health care, but Democrats have shown us they are comfortable with watered down universal health care.
I’m dissappointed in myself and other progressives for falling into this again, the Republicans are really good at offering candidates who are absolutely frightening enough to be scared into voting for the other team. There were smaller Pennsylvania and Philadelphia races in which I voted for Green, Libertarian, Independent AND Republican candidates – I suppose the more radical changes will have to come locally, first.
Until then, enjoy the end of the Bush regime!