Just about six weeks left to election day, and it’s getting scary.
Among a scattered few of my peers, I am almost sensing some Obama backlash. This is mostly anecdotal, friend of friend stuff, but I’ll hear something like, my friend’s biracial but he’s not voting for Obama because everyone expects him to. (really?) A bella I respect recently declared to me, “neither of the candidates inspire me. Imma just stay home November 4.”
I think the stakes are too high for people to just stay home. Not after the last 8 years, and the mess this country has found itself in.
Every so often, I still hear criticism about Barack Obama that I just don’t understand. Don’t get me wrong — I believe there are legitimate reasons to criticize any politician. No man is a messiah. I actually like hearing dissenting perspectives, when they’re well voiced and intelligent and give me something to mentally chew over. But what I don’t get, is the people who refer to the man as Hussein or Osama, or who say disparaging things about my BFF in the head Michelle (don’t talk bad about Michelle around me, I take it personally). I can’t abide that kind of ignorance.
I get angry at the idiots who still talk about Obama being a secret Muslim (despite the angry Christian pastor) or having a dodgy birth certificate, which has been roundly debunked by Snopes and FactCheck.org. As if religion should be an automatic disqualification for being leader of the free world. With the economy in the state it’s in, I personally don’t care about the faith of the person steering the ship, as long as they can navigate us out of this mire.
I still read comments from people who refer to him as a “stuffed suit” with “empty promises” — to which I say, show me a politician that HASN’T made empty promises. Show me a politician who has consistently delivered on everything they’ve promised, who has never said anything stupid or made a mistake or been greedy. Show me that politician, and I’ll show you someone who just hasn’t been caught at a bad moment yet. The kind of politricking that Stevie Wonder outlines in Big Brother , has been happening in politics since the beginning of the two party system. If not before that.
In my opinion, dismissing Obama as an empty hope promiser is just cynical. And lazy. Look, it’s easy — clicky click. If you care to learn more about Obama/Biden, start reading. If you don’t, then that’s your perogrative. Just keep it 100, and don’t deride him with jibber jabber like, “I don’t know what he stands for,” if you haven’t even tried to read and find out. Pick a more informed reason to dissent.
I sincerely believe in knowing and considering the policies of the candidates on every side of the fence — an educated voter would know the platforms of Obama, McCain, McKinney, and even Bob Barr and Ralph Nader, who were excluded from this year’s debates. But this election is so passionate, so heated, too easily swayed by emotions and anger. People are responding to non stories and half-truths instead of facts. Like I said, scary. And entirely too close for comfort.
I don’t mean to preach. I don’t consider myself an Obamabot. I actually really resent that term, and I am incensed by those who assume that just because I’m black, I’m backing Barack. I’ve been hearing people who I usually should respect talking that kind of mess, and it really irks me to the core. It assumes a lack of intelligence that I find incredibly insulting.
My reasons for supporting Barack Obama go deeper than our shared skin tone. I’ve read the man’s policies. I’ve watched his speeches. I support his health care plan. I think he’s got an astute plan to save our economy, and as someone who has lived in the USA for a decade while still keeping close ties to my island home — I believe that the impact his presidency could have on the world’s view of America would be incredibly positive. Those are some of the reasons why I’ll be dressed like a Smurf tomorrow, Tuesday September 30, for Obama blue day. It’s my way of making a statement without saying a word. And to pipe up for my BFF Lauren, the self-described “jewbella” who sent me this hilarious link, that’s also what The Great Schlep is all about – raising awareness and attempting to enter a dialogue with those who might not agree with you. (Sarah Silverman, LOL!)
Already rumors are swirling thick and fast about November 4 — can you, or can you not wear election gear to the polls? Newsweek claims that the GOP is working to keep eligible African-Americans from voting in several states. Is that true? Monday, October 6th, is the final day to register new voters. OMG, that’s coming up soon!
Regardless of if you share my political feelings or not, you can’t deny the importance of this election. After the debacle of the previous ones, with so many reports of questionable voting machines and uncounted votes, it’s expected that this year’s election day will be crazy. According to the Washington Post:
“The crush of voters will strain a system already in the midst of transformation, with jurisdictions introducing new machines and rules to avoid the catastrophe of the deadlocked 2000 election and the lingering controversy over the 2004 outcome. Even within the past few months, cities and counties have revamped their processes: Nine million voters, including many in the battleground states of Ohio, Florida and Colorado, will use equipment that has changed since March.”
That sounds dire. But you can avoid Election Day drama, make sure your vote is counted, AND do it while rocking your Ojamas, Michelle Obama Wonder Woman tee, or Runway to Change designer shirt. (psst – LOVE that Tracy Reese!)
Click here to request a Vote By Mail ballot and vote early right now by mail. If you live in Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, or Texas, you can click here to find out about early voting in your state. What are you waiting for?
** I feel the need to end this post with a disclaimer, after some of the comments I got after my last political post.
I respect and welcome dissenting opinion, and I realize anytime I post anything political these days I am just opening myself up for comments from people who are so not Afrobella regulars who spend their days seeking out blogs where they can vent their political emotions. I know what I am getting into. Just please keep your race baiting, hatred, rage, and foul language off my comments thread. If you’ve got something to say, please say it with smarts and class. Aim to drop some knowledge. And if you can’t, expect to find your comment deleted with a quickness. Thanks.