Here’s a letter I just sent off to the New Paltz Green Party list I’m on:
Dearest Green Partiers,
Yesterday I ran into a lovely fellow Green wearing an Obama shirt who informed me that he just “proudly” voted for Obama. While I would like to apologize to you, lovely fellow Green, for knee-jerkily calling that decision “dumb,” I have given the matter more thought and would like to expand that position.
Even with more thought, I have come to the conclusion that, yes, it’s dumb to vote for Obama if you’re a Green in New York State. I know I should probably shut my mouth about it for three more days, but that’s just not my style.
The facts, as we all know, are these:
- Obama is going to win in NYS.
- Cynthia McKinney (The Green Party presidential candidate) is not going to become our next president, so even if you don’t like her per se, voting for her will give the Green Party a better chance of getting federal funding (if she gets 5% of votes, the GP will be eligible for millions of dollars in federal matching funding). This will significantly help us as a party.
- The Democrats (locally and nationally) really dislike us Greens and try to thwart our efforts to bring about a more just and sustainable world at every turn–why do we keep sucking up to them by voting for their candidates, especially when doing so actively shoots ourselves in the foot?
The other night while out and about on Halloween, I chatted with so many Democrats who were gushingly unable to hide their Obama lust. It didn’t exactly surprise me—that’s what Democrats do. Democrats are great at ignoring the facts and pretending that their candidate is going to save the world. History shows that not to be the case, but Democrats are boring and lack imagination and the ability to dream big, so they just keep on voting for the same old blah Democrats. We all know this. This is not what we do! We are free thinkers, investigators, instigators, rabble-rousers—we don’t fall in line. So what’s with Greens voting for Obama in NY State?
That said, I think Obama is going to be a great president, within the sad, small, shallow confines of what constitutes a “great president” in our downtrodden little pathetic crap democracy. Obama is a real person, a statesman, someone with a big brain and maybe even a bit of a heart underneath the politician veneer. This is good. But let’s not kid ourselves: Obama is not going to stand up for what we, Greens, believe in.
I’ve been keeping a list of reasons why I won’t vote for Obama, aside from the obvious one about voting for the GP to help get funding for us. Here it is, please add your own reasons also, I’d love to hear them.
- Obama is pro-death penalty even though he admits that it “does little to deter crime.” He supports capital punishment in cases “so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment.” (source: Washington Post). I’m not sure I could ever vote for someone who thinks two wrongs make a right.
- He voted to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act.
- He is anti-gay marriage (I know in other ways he is supportive of GLBT rights, and I know he most likely wouldn’t win if he was in favor of gay marriage, but what do I care? I can’t vote for someone who doesn’t believe that all people should have the right to marry. And if he believes in gay marriage but won’t admit it for political reasons, that’s another reason not to vote for him. I’m an idealist, I know.).
- He is pro-war in Afghanistan (it’s my understanding that he wants to escalate it)
- He voted to fund the Iraq war.
- He recently told an audience in Nashville: “We’re going to have to explore new ways to get more oil, and that includes offshore drilling.” (!!!)
- One of his top donors is Exelon, a nuclear power company.
- He has taken enormous amounts of corporate money – so much for clean elections! As well, after becoming the nominee he opted out of the public financing system, making him the first major-party candidate since the system was created to decline taxpayers’ money for the general election.
(I don’t have time to add links to prove all these points – Google them!)
I’m not sure in what universe Barack Obama constitutes someone a Green should be “proud” to vote for.