Saturday, September 13, 2008

Vote for Barack Obama

The following open letter was written by a friend who works with Peace Corps in Eastern Ukraine. I thought it very worth while reading so am posting it.

My Friends:

As you know, the upcoming Presidential election is very critical for Americans and for the world. Because I am a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, I have not seen any TV coverage of the campaign. And, because my personal computer recently konked out, I am not going to be able to keep up with news via the Internet. I wish so much that I were able to go door-to-door canvassing for Barack Obama, but since I can’t do that, I have decided to make my opinion known to as wide an audience as possible by sending this e-mail from the Internet café near my apartment. Please forward it on to others if you feel like it might help get out the vote for Obama.

My Personal Motivation:

It is my privilege and obligation as an American citizen to vote and to actively participate in my government. I consider myself to be a grassroots progressive and when I get home from my Peace Corps service I plan to jump right back into the following public activities that are very important to me: grassroots initiatives to counteract climate change, advocacy for tribal sovereignty, land health education, local food policy, and civil disobedience (if that is what it takes) to stop not only the war against Iraq, but to get our country back on track. On a very personal level I intend to pick up where I left off by working with the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), getting in a lot of hiking, and pursuing “right livelihood” in the rural west. It sure will be a lot easier for all of us to move on with our plans if Barack Obama is President. One of the reasons I joined the Peace Corps was to gain perspective on the American Dream and to distance myself for a while from the nightmare that has been inflicted upon us by Bush and his cronies. I am appalled with McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, yet more motivated than ever to put this awful nightmare behind us so that we can move on into doing the real work that has been neglected for so long.


From my vantage point in eastern Ukraine, where the effects of the famine of the 1930s and the killing fields of WWII are revealed to me everyday, it is annoying to see Americans “blogged down” in trivial media hype. The back-and-forth blather, the simplistic jargon, and the very scary possibility of not just John McCain, but, now, Sarah Palin…. well, those things detract from the seriousness of what this election is all about. I am imploring you not to let this election turn on any deep-seated racism that you might be too embarrassed to admit in public but which you might be tempted to draw on in the privacy of the voting booth. This election is so important that none of us who want to see us emerge from this hellish situation should even consider “making a statement” by not voting or voting for a third party candidate. I implore you to listen to the incredible optimism of the millions of young people who we raised to be as wonderful as they are and who are thrilled about the possibility of participating in the American dream as they imagine it to be, and vote for Obama/Biden. After we elect President Obama, then “we, the people” can begin again to make the presidency answerable to us rather than to corporations and empire.

A Realistic Optimism:

One of my heroes is the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He talked of a “living” constitution that serves as the framework for a “people’s democracy”. Let’s take Marshall’s vision seriously and begin the long process of re-claiming our power. Since so many of our institutions and values have been undermined over the years by this greedy lot, a quick fix will be impossible; however, the foundation is still there and that is what we have to work with.

While I have been in eastern Ukraine, I have thought long and hard about MY AMERICAN DREAM. It is very hard to explain the shame I have felt about my country over the past 8 nightmarish years: shame about the killings in Iraq, shame about the culture of fear that we let the Bush administration administer to us after 9/11, shame about our refusal to sign the Kyoto Agreement, shame about our terrible lack of response to Hurricane Katrina, and shame about our fascination with the super rich. I am tired of being ashamed. So I am not telling Ukrainians about that America. Instead I am telling them about “My America” in which: we all vote, fear is not a bargaining chip, public participation in the decision-making process is a right rather than a privilege, the rule of law is basic to our way of life, poor people have equal access (to housing, education, health care, and jobs), and we take climate change seriously. Idealistic? Well, why not? Naïve? Not at all. Those are my EXPECTATIONS!!

Barack Obama can’t and won’t deliver this dream to us on a silver platter. He’s not perfect by any means. But, you know what? He’s here NOW! He’s what we have….We have him and we have ourselves. What I am talking about here is a “more perfect union” where all of us together are responsible for the American Dream. I am sick of all the fear and negativity. Please, I implore you…


Help us get America back!!

Let’s use the transformative power of our vote to re-set America’s course. We deserve it. The world deserves it. How wonderful it will be to hear the young people who are working so hard for America’s future say, “We did it!”


Norma Cady
Buena Vista, Colorado


  1. So people aren't just voting for him because he's cute? Hmmm.

    If I was going to vote it would be for him because his wife was on The View and she rocked!

  2. Dad, Please don't discount McCain simply because of the colour of state he'll get his votes from.

    I remember thinking, how great of a President he would make, during the race for the 2000 election. I often wonder how the world would have differed if he had won the nomination.

    I also think he will be able to surround himself with people that can make the right choices, Vice-President's perhaps not included.

  3. You may be right and i think the smart money will be on McCain to win. Just a hunch. He always struck me as a good man.

  4. Um. I'm assuming that the last two comments are jokes, right?


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