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Thread: Insomniacs for Obama
11-04-2008, 01:36 AM #1
Insomniacs for Obama
I literally can't sleep, so I'm writing, and wrote this for some of my friends/community, particularly ones I've worked for years with on progressive issues. Some of the more vocal conservative mags will no doubt rip it apart, but some of you may be able to relate at least a bit .
On the Eve of Change
November 3, 2008
Bear with me. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep tonight, and I think I’m giddy with excitement and anxiety. And since I know many of you are as excited as me, I know you’re probably up late watching CNN, furiously refreshing fivethirtyeight.com, or else it’s the crack of dawn Tuesday and you’re getting up early to go stand in line to cast your vote.. After all, we are all about to participate in something we’ve been waiting our whole lives for, something that feels, well, it feels damn good.
Tomorrow, Barack Obama will likely become the next President of the United States, the first African American President. The race will mostly likely not even be close. The most probable outcome is that this will be a decisive victory for our candidate.
But something keeps nagging at my euphoria, something that keeps puzzling me. On the eve of what will certainly be one of the most historic days in decades, amazingly, there are still those who don’t see “what the big deal is.” Those who think that there’s no real differences between the candidates, who still gripe about having to choose between “the lesser of two evils”, or who do not see the significance of this election, and see it as “same bullshit different day.”
I am convinced that those people simply must not be paying attention. Perhaps they’re living in a cave, or a place where TV, Blackberries, internet, and the Huffington Post don’t exist. I don’t know. In this day and age of 24 hour news and the democratization of information, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the palpable excitement around this election.
Or perhaps they are just so cynical after a lifetime of nailbiter elections between uninspiring candidates. Perhaps it’s just easier to doubt than it is to hope. That last part may be true – I certainly feel like I’m on the verge of an ulcer, as are half the people I know. We are nervous and anxious with anticipation. We fear it might be too good to be true, and as a result, like Red Sox fans, we know not to jump up and down until the ninth inning is over, or until all the votes are tallied. We know that just because we want something – even if we want it really, really badly - we won’t necessarily get it. We fear heartbreak, and our guard is up.
But slowly, over the last couple of weeks, our guard has started to come down, and we feel confident and more self assured. Our vocabulary very slowly moves from “if” to a very tentative “when.”
And perhaps it’s because so many people are beyond fired up about this election that I can’t help but obsess over the few that are not. How fired up are people? I spent almost a half an hour with my doctor today talking about the election, and it was me that finally got up to leave - that’s a doctor spending an extra 30 minutes with her patient. That NEVER happens ) unless maybe you have blood seeping from your ears. Or unless it’s November 3, 2008.
But back to the people who are ambivalent…. how can they not be fired up, I wonder? I try to figure out how one can be “lukewarm” in this most unique election cycle.
There are those that doubt that Barack Obama’s candidacy is truly one of “change.” They don’t believe any thing will change at all. They are like cynical single people who won’t date because they fear that like all other relationships in their past, their new relationship is bound to end in disappointment. But just like it can require a leap of faith when you’re single to go out for one more cup of coffee because that person MIGHT just be the one, it seems we are collectively standing in front of our soulmate right now, ready to give it one last shot.
Those people that doubt the “change” just need to look at what this election has already accomplished, before the polls have even opened.
For those people that say, “nothing will change,” guess what? Too late. No matter who wins tomorrow, things have already changed.
People are talking about politics and this election in a way that most of us have never seen in our lifetimes. People who have never expressed an interest in politics find themselves talking about things like swing states, the electoral college, and early voting.
Young people - the same ones we criticize for being glued to Playstation and Myspace – are excited and engaged. They are knocking on doors and picking up the phone. It’s “cool” to wear Obama t-shirts.
In Georgia, in the 2004 presidential election, a total of 3.3 million people.
As of today, 2 million people in Georgia have ALREADY cast their votes in early voting alone.
A friend of mine told me a story the other day. Her 85 year old lifelong republican grandmother from rural Texas – told her earlier this year that she would never vote for a black man (and that’s not the term she used - it was less polite than that).
And yet, just recently, she told her granddaughter that indeed, she was voting for Barack Obama. She said to her granddaughter, “He’s a good man.”
This is change.
A man named Barack Hussein Obama stands at the doorstep of the Presidency of the United States. Think about that. Before he even utters a word, this candidate has two obstacles to overcome in a country of people who are quick to judge and slow to forget. Not 50 years ago – in his lifetime – the Civil Rights Movement was still fighting segregation. He carries with him a name that is heavy with a symbolism that, in this country, sets him up for all sort of unfounded prejudice. And now he may reach the highest office in the country, and some would say, in the world.
Candidates often tout their ability to “reach across the aisle.” We have seen the reverse with Obama, as the number of prominent Republicans endorsing Obama continued to grow over the last couple of weeks.
We seem to finally get it. A vote is like gold. One vote doesn’t win an election, but that one vote combined with many votes does. If the democrats win this election, it is because we’ve earned it. It is because our candidate is the better candidate. It is not because the other team ran a crappy campaign (although it’s quite clear that they did). It is because we earned it, with millions of people making contributions – some that stretched their budgets, because hundreds of thousands of supporters made calls, got out the vote, and knocked on doors. It is because Barack Obama is a community organizer (and I say that with pride, having been a community organizer and a proud of it) and he understands that you build a movement from the ground up, not the top down.
If Obama is elected, will the skies open, will our guy walk on water, will there even be a chicken in every pot? No, no, and no. We will have the same problems with our economy, the war in Iraq, and climate change on Wednesday that we did on Monday.
But the difference will be a renewed sense of ownership. A renewed faith that maybe the system isn’t completely f’ed up. That maybe, just maybe, we can get we want if we work hard enough, and if we take some responsibility and get involved.
It’s because we see the Barack Obama is not the “lesser of two evils”, but a candidate who is smart, dedicated, and decent. How refreshing after 8 years of having to change the channel or turn the dial because you cannot stand the sound of the voice of your president.
Some people seem to think that those of us who support Obama are just starry eyed, naïve, followers. I’ll never quite understand this one. I support him because he is the right candidate for this time. Behind the brilliant oration and savvy campaigning, there is actual substance. There is content. There is goodness. And there is hope. Barack Obama is the real deal.
As I write this, in Dixville Knotch, New Hampshire, the polls have already opened and closed. The tiny town opens their polls at midnight and tallied their votes soon after their residents had all voted (with only 21 it doesn’t take too long)
The town that hasn’t voted democrat in 40 years just cast 15 votes for Barack Obama, and 6 for McCain.
We get it. We are making it happen. This IS our time. I get that more than ever.
Last edited by watersnowdirt; 11-04-2008 at 01:49 AM.“Within this furnace of fear, my passion for life burns fiercely. I have consumed all evil. I have overcome my doubt. I am the fire.”
11-04-2008, 02:11 AM #2
Do you realize Alaska is on the brink of sending 2 democrats to Washington for the first time Since Bob Bartlet and Nick Begich? FKNA tomorrow night is gonna be nutsIts not that I suck at spelling, its that I just don't care
Days on snow 12/13 season: 67
11-04-2008, 02:17 AM #3Mad Max Guest
Well at least you took the high road and edited out the select few names you had originally posted.
I did like it mostly. It was inspired and heart felt. I have no problem with people who have opinions that differ from mine. It just seems you should stop finger pointing that you can't see how I could have a different opinion than you. It would have been better if you didn't treat all those who won't vote for Obama as moronic, imbeciles that are too scared to do so. I think that really soured the whole point of your statement and makes you look hateful.
I guess everyone can't be perfect. A+ for effort, but I'll have to give it an A- for execution.
EDIT - also, isn't it one of the things that make this country so great that everyone can have different opinions and be allowed to voice those opinions freely?
Last edited by Mad Max; 11-04-2008 at 02:21 AM.
11-04-2008, 02:32 AM #4
I'm not American, don't even consider myself Canadian, but I too am anxiously waiting the results. I will go to sleep tonight but I feel almost the same excitation as Christmas Eve or the day before leaving somewhere exciting.
I hope everyone votes, whether for one or the other, although I feel the same way about Obama as you (watersnowdirt) do. Republicans who will vote will have their rational reasoning for voting for McCain, and that's fine too, but the word change is ringing in the air tonight.
11-04-2008, 02:52 AM #5If some of the best times of my life were skiing the UP in -40 wind chill with nothing but jeans, cotton long johns and a wine flask to keep warm while sleeping in the back of my dad's van... does that make me old school?
"REHAB SAVAGE, REHAB!!!"
11-04-2008, 03:05 AM #6
great read, i only have to add my opinion on mccain supporters.
its either they are so rich and selfish that thier money means more than the good of the nation
they fully support war
or.....im sorry to say...they are racist fucks.
edit--oh and let me add, its 2;05 PDT, im 12 beers under. ,mirrorponds...iim still wide awake...FUCK!!
11-04-2008, 03:21 AM #7Its not that I suck at spelling, its that I just don't care
Days on snow 12/13 season: 67
11-04-2008, 04:07 AM #8
4:20 am Wake and bake on the dawn of change bump
I really hope the Obamer rolls in on a overwhelming mandate.
Some people take off their republican hats and put on their ski caps and peace love and all that hippie shit"When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
"THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
ski on in eternal peace
11-04-2008, 06:51 AM #9
are you goin to the Begich rally tonight? I'll be at anchor pub around 8pm or so, then heading over to the rally with some people. shoot me a pm if you're going to be downtown, I'll buy you a beer.
11-04-2008, 07:15 AM #10
Very nicely said, WSD.
I do need to add, in response to Mad Max:
The night that McCain clinched the nomination, I started tearing up. My wife naturally asked why. I told her that this was going to be the first election in my lifetime in which I was going to be able to honestly tell my kids that, although I agree with one of the candidates far more than the other, and although I disagree with both of them on significant issues, I think they're both fundamentally good people whose decisions will be guided by what they see as the best interests of the whole country.
My permanent absentee ballot is complete: Obama, No on California Propositions 4 and 8, and No on Local Measures V & W, among the highlights. My daughter and I will drop it at my polling place -- her school -- in an hour and a half. And I'll wait for Indiana to come in at 3pm.41 days 2012-13
11-04-2008, 07:15 AM #11who guards the guardians?
I'm just a simple girl trying to make my way in the universe...
- Join Date
- May 2005
I come up hard, baby but now I'm cool I didn't make it, sugar playin' by the rules
If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from, then you wouldn't have to ask me, who the heck do I think I am.
11-04-2008, 07:21 AM #12If some of the best times of my life were skiing the UP in -40 wind chill with nothing but jeans, cotton long johns and a wine flask to keep warm while sleeping in the back of my dad's van... does that make me old school?
"REHAB SAVAGE, REHAB!!!"
11-04-2008, 07:27 AM #13King of Scots
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
- Milpitas, CA
Last edited by woodstocksez; 11-04-2008 at 07:32 AM.
11-04-2008, 08:09 AM #14
My point was that those who don't see the element of change in this process are the ones that I don't quite understand. Those that don't see the historic nature of this.
Never once did I say or even imply that if you vote for McCain that you're an idiot. I used to hope that McCain ran for President, and when he did, I was pleased.
But my piece was about those people that simply don't see why this is such an important time. It was not about McCain supporters.
Anyway, I'm off to get some coffee and to VOTE.
Here goes.“Within this furnace of fear, my passion for life burns fiercely. I have consumed all evil. I have overcome my doubt. I am the fire.”
11-04-2008, 08:23 AM #15
11-04-2008, 08:23 AM #16
How is this any more important than every other election?
Maybe I am cynical, but all this call for 'change' is pretty much the democrats' equivalent of republican fear-mongering (Hope-mongering)? You're either with us, or you're against the country, yadda yadda yadda. In Obama's own words, I wouldn't be too unrealistic about setting expectations here.
At the end of the day, these are presidents, not dictators and if they can really impact your life that much you should consider taking a little more control into your own hands.
11-04-2008, 08:30 AM #17
This week I read something about Tony Blair and his sweep to power in Britain over Major. This came after a generation in power by the Conservatives of Thatcher later taken over taken over by Major.
The point of the piece was how disappointing it was from the Conservatives going for all important to meaningless. The interesting thing was a comment by a conservative that in the euphoria after the election even die hard conservatives got swept up in it and excited by it. Approval ratings surged up in the couple of months after the election to a level way above the popular vote for the winning party. Interesting to see if the same thing happens.
The thing that strikes me with the people that don't embrace Obama is their reasons for it. Mostly it involves spouting some sort of propaganda from the right wing side if not the McCain campaign itself. It's fear mongering on the basis of rising taxes and socialism. You guys have a new trillion dollar debt to take care of with a sinking economy. I believe McCain said he would have another surge in Iraq. How would he pay for that? There is no evidence that Obama's 250k tax increase ceiling would go down to 100 or 60 or any other number. It is more likely that the very wealthy would start paying any taxes let alone their fair share.
Then there is the sheer denial of the misguided political opportunism of picking Palin. That was just poor judgment and she's now showing her gratitude and loyalty with rallys devoid of McCain's name and image. She's moved on to what she sees as her next opportunity and willing to step on his corpse to not get her feet wet.
The other thing that strikes watching interviews with voters is how they struggle to put down Obama again just spewing the bullshit propaganda about religion, terrorism, his middle name. It's generally a white face in a sea of white faces and I often think just give it up and say what you really mean. They so often are just struggling for excuses and things to say other than, ' he's black and we don't want a nigger in the White House'. At least they'd be honest if they just said it instead of perpetuating the lies the right wing has shamelessly and relentlessly pumped out there.
You guys need some big changes down there and a lot bigger than history would indicate McCain is going to make.
Last edited by L7; 11-04-2008 at 08:35 AM.It's not so much the model year, it's the high mileage or meterage to keep the youth of Canada happy
11-04-2008, 08:39 AM #18
Very nice, although I would have gone with "Obamniacs."In the long run, we're all dead.- John Maynard Keynes
11-04-2008, 08:43 AM #19
Fantastic, thanks for sharing. But remember, electing Obama is only half of the job. We have a lot of work to do in the next 4 years to clean up the mess of the previous eight.Support a 6,000 mile bike tour for early literacy!
11-04-2008, 09:02 AM #20
11-04-2008, 10:27 AM #21Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
- In the snow
I'll tell you my reason for not embracing Obama-- HIS VOTING RECORD DOES NOT MATCH HIS PROPOSED POLICIES
Please explain to me how you rectify that in your tiny brain?does anyone still enjoy riding inbounds?
11-04-2008, 10:30 AM #22Damn shame, throwing away a perfectly good white boy like that
11-04-2008, 10:37 AM #23Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
- In the snow
However, mccain has voted for smaller govt, cutting pork, and tax cuts. Obviously he's also voted against tax cuts, but the great thing is he voted something besides present.
Aren't those all things Obullshit has as basic tenets for making government more efficient and economic stimulation? Has he ever voted for ANY of them?
Last edited by whatcomridaz; 11-04-2008 at 10:38 AM. Reason: mistakedoes anyone still enjoy riding inbounds?
11-04-2008, 10:52 AM #24
What's the chance we can actually go forward into achieving the potential we hold as a nation and as a rather small percentage of humankind overall?
11-04-2008, 10:56 AM #25The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them.