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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why Barack Obama was elected as 44th President of United States

Regardless of who you picked, please don't sit this one out. This was one of the most important elections of our lifetimes. If you do some research, I'm sure you'd made the right decision. If you already plan on voting, please take some time to encourage your friends and co-workers to vote.

If you don't know who to vote for, http://glassbooth.org/ is a fun, non-partisan way to determine which candidates share your views. For example, I'm a 75% match to Obama. (I'm also a 79% match to Nader, but that's a different story.)

In case you're interested, here are a few of the many reasons I've decided to vote for Obama:

1) Obama will give tax cuts to anyone making less than 200k/yr. If you make less than 111k/yr., Obama will give you a bigger tax cut than McCain. If we've learned anything from the last 8 years, it's that trickle-down economics don't work. A strong middle class is one of three key ingredients of a succesful democracy, and with steeply rising gas and medical care prices, our middle class standard of living has quickly eroded. Even though our taxes haven't risen, the cost of living has gone up, the value of the dollar has gone down, our 401ks have deflated, and salaries haven't kept pace. If you feel the pinch, I assure you, you're not alone.

I believe in a progressive tax. A 2004 scientific study of the percentage of income paid in taxes concluded that "the lowest 20 percent income bracket paid at a rate 2.2 times that of the top 1 percent, whereas the middle 20 percent paid at a rate 1.8 greater" (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=undercutting-fairness). In the 4 years since that study, rising gas prices and the economic crisis have amplified this divide. Obama's tax plan will relieve the burden on our middle class and revitalize our economy.

It's worth noting that Warren Buffet also supports Obama. He says, "if you're in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent." (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/money/tax/article1996735.ece?print=yes)

2) Obama graduated first in his class from Harvard, and he was president of the Harvard Law Review. Obama is a constitutional scholar. With warrantless wiretapping, torture, the DMCA, incarceration without due process, warrants handed down from secret courts, and an unprecedented, unconstitutional expansion of the vice president's responsibilities, we need a healthy respect and appreciation for our constitution now more than ever. The current administration scared us into giving up our rights and liberties. It's time to take them back.

3) Obama has clearly demonstrated foresight. I encourage you to read the (short) transcript of his 2002 speech urging us not to go to war in Iraq: http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/Obama2002War.htm

Here's an excerpt: "What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression." Sound familiar?

After 9/11, we had a surplus of good will coming to us from the rest of the world. Somehow, the current administration managed to throw that away and foster even more resentment from the Middle East and beyond.

I recently watched the movie In the Shadow of the Moon (http://tinyurl.com/54vov4). The contrast between the overflowing love for the United States after we landed on the moon and today's perception of the US is striking. We're at a turning point in our history. It's hard to imagine a world where the United States isn't at the healm, but the truth is, we haven't actually been here for that long, and there's no guarantee that we'll stay there.

Obama undestands that our current strategy in Iraq won't scale to Iran, North Korea, China. We need to work smarter, not harder. He understands that the United States can't fix the world's problems on its own.

As Bill Clinton put it, Obama "will work for an America with more partners and fewer adversaries. He will rebuild our frayed alliances and revitalize the international institutions which help to share the costs of the world's problems and to leverage our power and influence. He will put us back in the forefront of the world's fight to reduce nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and to stop global warming. He will continue and enhance our nation's global leadership in an area in which I am deeply involved, the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria, including a renewal of the battle against HIV/AIDS here at home. He will choose diplomacy first and military force as a last resort. But in a world troubled by terror; by trafficking in weapons, drugs and people; by human rights abuses; by other threats to our security, our interests, and our values, when he cannot convert adversaries into partners, he will stand up to them." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/27/bill-clinton-democratic-c_n_121941.html)

According to Colin Powell, this is the primary reason he turned his back on his party to support Obama (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27265369/).

4) Obama understands that hard work alone will not secure the US's place in the world. We simply can't go head to head with China and India in this regard. They have an order of magnitude more people, all of whom have more to gain and less to lose than your average American. The best way to retain and increase our lead (where we still have it) is to invest in education, science and technology. As a technologist and an all around geek, I can tell you that Obama really gets science and technology like no president has before.

Obama understands that drilling for oil in the US will account for only 1% of our current consumption starting 10 years from now. It's not worth the damage it will do to our environment. Obama's commitment to wean us off oil in 10 years reminds me of Kennedy's promise to take us to the moon in the same amount of time. When Kennedy promised man would walk on the moon, no one had the slightest idea of how we'd get there. But we did it, and we'll do the same for energy, and the world will love us for it.

Thank you. If you're still undecided, I encourage you to watch Obama's 30 min. special, American Stories, American Solutions:


2 comments:

Vei said...

hi there, as a Obama fans, i like with your article, it is nice to be here..

donald said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to

say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Betty

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