Thursday, September 18, 2008

From One of our Fine Boerne Dems

Why I Support Obama (and you should too!)
By Claire Oxley Gluck

Those of us who have been inspired by Obama find it is hard to understand why others are not. So when we are asked why we support him we sometimes stammer and then talk about our emotional response to his message: how he summons our better angels as JFK did for a generation previous to mine, and makes us feel hopeful again. Obama lights up our primitive, unconscious, emotional brain and makes us feel excited. For Hillary supporters, who may be immune to Obama’s charisma, let me appeal to your cerebral cortex – the more recently-evolved rational brain. Here’s why you should be fired up about Obama-Biden.

• The Supreme Court: The next President will most likely appoint two or even three Supreme Court justices, and they will replace the most liberal justices on that bench: Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 75 and not in excellent health; John Paul Stevens in 88; Steven Bryer is 69. Imagine a court without any liberals at all: No more Roe v. Wade; little protection from warrantless wiretaps; weak Habeas Corpus; no equal protection of women and minorities; no federally-mandated environmental regulations, no consumer protection, lots more executions of under-aged, poorly-defended, or retarded defendants. Very Scary!

• The Environment: If McCain/Palin wins, bid a tearful farewell to the polar bears whose habitat is melting beneath their paws. Don’t plan any trips to the Netherlands; Mauritius and other island nations because they will be submerged as the Ocean levels rise. Prepare for stronger hurricanes, tornadoes, and tsunamis, hotter summers and longer droughts. We could have oil rigs up and down our Atlantic and Pacific sea boards, throughout the Rockies and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

• Health Care: Many of us believe that our nation should have a universal, single-payer system. I want that for our citizens, but even Clinton was not proposing that. Obama’s plan isn’t ideal, but health care economists estimate that it would provide coverage to 50 million Americans who have none or inadequate coverage. McCain’s plan would help only 5 million.

• Commander-in-Chief: I believe that Obama would be much more responsible than McCain, who has a legendary temper. Obama would not send our armed forces into harm’s way except under the following conditions: our nation’s vital interests are at stake; real intelligence backs up that claim; diplomatic means have been exhausted; there is a clear military mission and a sufficient numbers of properly equipped troops to carry it out – as judged by military commanders, not the political leadership.

• Foreign Relations: Public opinion abroad of the USA has never been worse. In Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America we have lost the trust and respect our nation enjoyed before we embarked on unilateral Rambo-style diplomacy. Obama believes it is again time to win friends and influence nations. His foreign policy team includes many of the best and brightest, including Madeline Albright and Dennis Ross. The world is too complex for us to swagger around like John Wayne, telling others that it’s our way or the highway.

• Women’s Rights: Obama was raised primarily by his free-spirit of a mother and his hard-working grandmother. He clearly loves and respects his wife, a strong, smart Harvard Law School graduate and wants his daughters to have every opportunity he can offer them to excel. He is a strong supporter of a women’s right to make decisions about her body.

• The Economy: Obama is calling for transforming our economy from a petroleum-based (19th Century) one to one that is at the leading edge of alternate energy technology (21st Century). This would create millions of jobs in new technologies and reduce our nation’s carbon emissions. We would also be able to stem the growth of our debt to China (U.S. Treasury bonds), that finances our purchases of oil from exporters such as Venezuela, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

• Veterans Affairs: Obama has served on the Veterans Affairs committee and sponsored many bills to help veterans, including the 21st Century GI Bill. The Disabled American Veterans gave Obama a passing grade of 80%; John McCain flunked with a 20% rating. Similarly, the Iraq-Afghanistan Veterans Association gave Obama a B+ and McCain a D.

I urge you to work to elect Obama-Biden, even if in your heart you still wish Hillary had won. McCain/Palin will do too much damage to our Constitution, our Federal Judiciary and our environment for us to wait for 2012 to try again!


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