Am I the only one not drinking the kool-aid?

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.

10 Responses to “Am I the only one not drinking the kool-aid?”

  1. jenny s.

    ultimately whatever you say during a campaign doesnt matter…i think he realizes this..you say whatever to get the votes…if he came out and said what he truly felt (we all know he is 10x’s more liberal than he portrays himself) then he would never be where he is.

    if all political talk is meaningless why not do what you need to do to get elected.

    he hasnt taken any money from lobbyists..which is a start.

    im not saying this makes him a great candidate but i think its more about the system than it is about whether he is green enough.

    if you are on the fringe then you can say whatever you want because you really have no shot of winning…once you are a viable candidate you have to hide yr views and pander to the morons that constitute most of america.

    just a few thoughts….

    Reply
  2. gwytherinn

    I love the letter.

    After voting for Dems the last two elections because it was “too important” (And I’m in NY too – I guess I just bowed to the pressure. My Green friend in Seattle says he’ll give me shit if I don’t vote Green this election since NY will go for Obama!) I’m tired of voting for candidates that I do not fully support. How many more elections is it going to be “too important” to put my vote behind someone I’m not happy with?

    I had voted for Obama in the primaries hoping he would be different. And I realize now that despite all the hype surrounding him, he’s not. I joined the Green group on Facebook, I guess my first baby step towards trying to get involved in the party and was dismayed to see a post there from a Green asking Greens to “unite” and vote for Obama.

    After researching McKinney, I can finally say that I’m proud and excited to vote for someone. It’s an amazing feeling. Speaking of which, I need to go finish my post detailing WHY I’m so proud – and why it’s not a wasted vote. (As the patriarch of my house says – he can sneer all he wants.)

    Reply
  3. lagusta

    Jenny,

    I don’t know at all that he is “10x’s more liberal than he portrays himself” and I think that kind of thinking is exactly what got us to where we are now.

    And I can’t believe that lying is an acceptable way to win an election.

    Reply
  4. GlenAllen Hill

    Amen Lagusta (except for the “Obama is going to be a great president part”-not very anarchistic or even Green)

    What is Obama going to do to prevent polar bears, salmon and blue whales from going extinct? What is he going to do so that there is no longer dioxin in every American woman’s breastmilk?

    Obama is manipulating people’s good intentions with his empty rhetoric of hope.
    “hope is a longing for a future condition over which you have no agency; it means you are essentially powerless.”-Derrick Jensen

    Reply
  5. lagusta

    Thanks GlenAllen!

    That part about him being a great president is what is called a backhanded compliment, by the way.

    And how happy I am for you, gwytherinn!

    Reply
  6. GlenAllen Hill

    Ahh, Lagusta, that’s why I don’t like digital communication, I can’t catch your sarcasm. Well done!

    Reply
  7. steve

    Lying may not be an acceptable way to win an election, but the sad fact is that telling the truth is a sure-fire way to lose it.

    Reply
  8. danielle

    ah, I voted Obama – but don’t despair – I HAD to! My absentee ballot was for the wretched state of KY! So…there’s no way in hell that joint is gonna rally enough support for Green PArty funding, at least I could cast my vote for someone I actually have a little tiny bit of faith in and try to thwart my home state from going Republican…again. (Which still won’t happen.) Oy. That said, my efforts are all GP from here on out and If I were a New Yorker, I’d have been all over Cynthia & Rosa.

    Reply

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