Category Archives: 2008 presidential campaign

nope.

Nope

several times while i’ve been working on the sales floor at the b&n, i keep having this repeated encounter with a liberal elderly white gentleman (from now on to be known as the lewg). (how do i know he’s liberal? read on…) the first encounter, a couple of  months ago, went something like this:

lewg (with smug look on his face): did you do the right thing?
me (thinking, what the fuck?): depends on what you mean by ‘right thing’.
lewg: you know, did you vote for obama?
me (nearly choking on my own spit): no, i did not.
lewg (looking disappointed): oh, so you voted for mccain?
me (smiling, trying to be polite, because i am on the clock): um, actually, no i didn’t.
lewg: oh, so you didn’t vote at all, hmmm…
me (perhaps trying not to look smug): actually, i voted third party.
lewg: oh.

a couple of months went by where i didn’t see or hear from him. and then, last friday, an old white man slid up to me like he had some sort of secret, and asked, again with a smug look on his face: ‘did you do the right thing?’ i then recognized the lewg, and said, ‘i think we had this conversation a couple of months ago, and my answer still hasn’t changed. if you mean by ‘right thing’ voting for obama, i think i did the right thing by not voting for him.’ again, he just said, ‘oh’ and smiled at me and walked off. well, today, the same thing happened again, with the same person. i’m thinking that the old man may have alzheimer’s or that maybe he doesn’t realize that he’s talking to the same person when he asks the question. maybe he doesn’t realize that i’m the only person of color that works at this particular b&n, nor does he realize that we (people of color) do not all look alike. at any rate, the lewg is apparently quite proud of himself, an elderly white man who actually voted for a black person, maybe for the first time in his long life. i guess that means he’s not a racist, although i’m relatively sure that he’s not going around asking white people if they did the right thing. (or maybe he is, who knows?)

just to make it clear, i did not vote for obama, and think that a lot of people of all races who did vote for him are now having buyer’s remorse. many politicians run on a platform of change, but voters have grown accustomed to that sort of rhetoric and really don’t expect elected officials to actually change anything once in office. the conservative-liberal pendulum swings back and forth with each election, and it was time for the pendulum to move to the left. most people just didn’t realize how far left, and to what lengths obama was/is willing to go to accomplish his agenda.

on election day 2008, i shed tears because i was happy that this country had finally elected a person of color to the most powerful position on the planet. however, i felt, and still feel that i did that right thing by voting my conscience, and not as expected by the mainstream. if i had it to do over again, i would do the same thing, and knowing how things have turned out, perhaps i would be more vocal in my voicing my opinions. now, i’m just waiting for this coming november. i really hope that the majority of the american people will do the right thing in the mid-term elections, and show the members of congress who have blindly (or even begrudgingly) supported obama’s health-care agenda the door. and then we can show obama the door in 2012 (although for various reasons, i don’t necessarily believe that will happen…),

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‘every time obama speaks, an angel has an orgasm’

a friend of mine says that he recently saw a woman wearing the above title on a t-shirt, and described the fact that she had the audacity to wear this out in public as being ‘gross.’ i told him that i didn’t see what was gross about it, and in fact would wear such a shirt (if i were inclined to wear shirts that have tacky sayings on them, which i’m not). however, even though i wouldn’t wear the shirt, i would certainly buy the button and maybe even wear it around town occasionally, especially now, right before the upcoming election. (hell, maybe i’ll make my own button.) i don’t know where this particular saying originated, but it’s funny, making fun of the notion of obama being some sort of perceived messiah. i could see calling it tacky or irreverent or trashy or possibly tasteless (i never said i had taste or class :), but gross? i assume it’s the word ‘orgasm’ he finds gross, which i certainly don’t understand. yes, orgasms are messy, sticky, loud, awkward… and they are also beautiful, mind-expanding, mind-melding, the pulse of creation… i happen to believe that the universe can accurately be described as god experiencing a 14 billion year long orgasm (they don’t call it the ‘big bang’ for nothin’). i also wonder about this: if a grown man is using the word ‘gross’ to describe orgasm, does his wife agree with that notion?

anywhooo, check out this hilarious video from ‘the daily show’ the night that ‘the one’ officially accepted the democratic nomination for the presidency of the united states. warning: within you will find the line, ‘every time obama speaks, an angel has an orgasm,’ with a (humorous) illustration of said occurrence, as well as a trip down memory lane as obama’s life history up until now is recounted for the viewer. enjoy, and don’t watch it in a place where you might get in trouble for laughing out loud.

the thrilla in wasilla

yeah, that’s a dumb title, and it may not have anything to do with this particular post, but i like it… 🙂

when it comes to sarah palin, for me the bloom is now officially off the rose. as a good friend of mine says, ‘i no longer want to fuck her.’ (’tis just a figure of speech… 🙂 i still actually like her personality, and her ability to stand up to the ‘good ol’ boys’ network’, and the fact that she is a renaissance woman who can seemingly do it all. however, the fact is that she stands for most of the things i’m against, and is mostly against all the things i support, and where we agree, we agree for different reasons.

working in a library, i’ve heard a number of stories/rumors about her attempts to ban books in the wasilla public library during her stint as mayor. i believe that this article, ‘what’s daddy’s roomate doing in wasilla?’, by former ala president nancy kranich sheds some light on what actually happened. i have defended palin in the past partially because she never actually succeeded in banning books from the library, but this article tells the truth about what really happened, and makes me question what might happen should palin ascend to the presidency via john mccain’s demise. i still like much about palin, but i don’t want her forcing her viewpoints on me or anyone else. if she attempted to fire a librarian because of differing points of view on book censorship, what will she be capable of with the full power of the executive branch behind her?

palin comparison

um, so, i need to explain that last blog entry i wrote, or maybe i need to delete it or something… i have often thought about myself that i’m too liberal to be conservative and too conservative to be liberal, and maybe this new entry will at least illustrate that point, if not explain it. i wrote that last piece early friday morning, immediately after the conversation referenced within and before john mccain made the announcement of alaska governor sarah palin as his choice for vice-president. i’m still not saying i’m voting for anyone (other than a potential write-in for jrb), but her presence on the republican ticket significantly increases the likelihood that i will vote for a major party candidate (mccain). it does of course depends on how she handles herself in the next few weeks, but what i’ve seen of her initially i’ve been quite impressed by. i may not agree with her on the various positions she holds, but at the same time, i have a lot more in common with her than i do with hillary, even if i’m not married with children nor a business owner.

what i’m finding interesting are the reactions of the democrats, in particular the argument that she has no experience. yet her résumé blows barack obama away, let alone the other two at the top of their respective tickets. she has executive experience being mayor and governor, which, no matter the size of the entities she has worked for, are to some extent microcosms of the federal government. and yes, alaska’s population is only slightly more than that of the county i live in (jackson county, missouri), but what is the population of joe biden’s home state of delaware? and, more importantly, does he have any experience governing there? from my vantage point, being a united states senator consists of little more than pushing papers and voting and trying to get fellow senators to vote your way. there’s a big difference in voting on policy and implementing policy, and, from my point of view, palin has a huge advantage over biden (let alone obama) in implementing policy.

as for the foreign policy experience question, well it does seem on paper that biden would have the advantage there. yet, as governor of alaska, palin has had to deal with russia on oil drilling rights issues, the same saber-rattling russia that just invaded georgia. and this is some speculation on my part, but being bordered by canada to the east and south, i’m sure she has had some dealings with them. before obama’s great middle eastern/european adventure early this summer, what was the extent of his foreign policy experience? i would certainly trust palin more as commander in chief (which she is of alaska’s national guard) to stand up to various aggressors in the world than obama. i do believe that there is a time for talk, but there is also a time for action and talking later, and from what little i know of her, i believe she would take appropriate action as necessary.

there is of course the argument that mccain chose her only because she’s a conservative and because of her anatomy. maybe, maybe not. but i think that even if she were a man, and her résumé was similar (let’s overlook the miss alaska competition :), i would at least give this person some serious consideration. by this same token, looking at obama, i honestly believe that if he were white and holding the same positions that he currently espouses (overlooking the black liberation theology thing), he would have gotten as many votes in the primaries as did his running mate (who, i might add, thinks obama is awfully articulate for a black guy). so i guess we do have obama to thank for hillary not being the one to break the glass ceiling.

i agree that there is much to be learned about her, which i have no doubt will happen over the next few weeks. however, at the moment i have nearly the same feelings about her that i do about condoleezza rice (who i have a crush on, despite her allegiance to bush). i love the diversity of palin’s history, from her being a lifelong member of the national rifle association (i have nothing against guns, *with* proper training and licensing), to her being a miss alaska runner-up, to her working as a professional fisherwoman, to her taking on the republican establishment in her own state. and the fact that she is a mother of five currently dealing with challenges faced by many parents, as well as being married to a union member who works in the oil industry – this all makes her seem down to earth, like she understands the issues of the average working person here in flyover country and will take those issues into account as she governs. and if, god forbid, something should happen to mccain while in office, i have little doubt that she would be up for the challenge. at any rate, i can’t say that this changes my voting plans any, but it’s making me think about it. and, if i do ultimately vote for mccain because palin’s on the ticket, it’s really not a vote for him; it’s definitely a vote for palin.

will the real obama please stand up?

i’m in high procrastination mode at the moment. anyway…

check out this article by andrew sullivan that first appeared last december at atlantic.com. entitled “goodbye to all that: why obama matters”, it’s a look at the fact that obama and clinton are not all that different policy-wise, but that that doesn’t matter. what matters, according to sullivan, is that his candidacy is happening now, and sullivan goes on to give his opinion about the cultural significance obama represents.

i first came across this column a few days ago via a public forum on the integral institute website entitled “the teal revolution begins with obama”. and this is my problem: one moment i think obama is fluffy, nothing more than an empty suit, then in rooting around the integral world, i see other people’s opinions on him, basically indicating the belief that he could be our first integrally minded president. now, part of me is of the mindset that all that candidates are basically alike, and have been from the start, and it’s just been a matter of who has the most money. i’ve pretty much decided that i’m not voting for anyone this fall, because i believe nothing will change, no matter who gets into office. but then, the idea that obama actually understands that by working within our own separate groups nothing will get accomplished – that we have to take the best of what each group has to offer in order to even begin to get things done – well, that’s exactly where my head is. as ken wilber says, everyone is right, it’s just that no one is 100% right. an integral political viewpoint attempts to take the best of all approaches. obama seems to understand that idea, even without having much exposure to integral thinking (that i’m aware of, anyway). so, i don’t know. i still have yet to read ‘the audacity of hope’ or ‘dreams from my father’, both of which have been touted as being green/teal (go here for something of an explanation on ‘green/teal’ and a brief explanation of integral politics; go here for a much more thorough explanation). maybe i’ll get a chance to read one or both later in the summer (certainly not now). anyway, my point is that, i don’t know, i’m willing to give the man a chance, if i can see signs of ‘integral-ness’ in him; i guess it’s up to me to open my own eyes and take a serious look. but what i’m seeing currently, as presented by mainstream media anyway, is not a lot more than a good-looking bunch of fluff.

and, in the meantime, look at this video, where wilber discusses the idea of a ‘third way’ politics that transcends the democrat/republican dichotomy (and some of the difficulties inherent within that), which may be what obama is starting to represent.

pfleger tells the truth

other than the rev. michael pfleger mentioning hillary clinton’s race in this entertaining tirade, he’s not far off. most people do have the (correct) feeling that she was the presumptive democratic nominee until obama stepped up to the plate.

another tirade involving a fringe presidential candidate

did you know that alan keyes is running for president again? i had no idea until a couple of days ago, when i heard it mentioned on a local talk radio show that he would be one of the choices in the upcoming kansas caucuses. and i was like, ‘wow man, why won’t you just go away?’

i’m embarrassed to admit this, but in the mid 90s, during the height of my fundamentalist fervor, i was a big keyes fan. i thought he was what america and the world needed, but as my worldview began to evolve, i began to think of him less and less as being viable. sure in some ways i remained (and remain) conservative, but his brand of controlling conservatism makes george bush look like howard dean, and it just made less and less sense to me, especially as i became exposed to true libertarianism. and the way he looked at the world was positively myopic. sometime in the late 90s i remember him doing a tv interview regarding his opinion on music and popular culture, and he stated that young people needed to listen only to uplifting christian groups such as point of grace. (as an aside, i’m sure they were or are nice godly women, but i’ve met them on a couple occasions and i’ve found them to be complete godly bitches…) that further downgraded my opinion of him, as did his 2000 campaign in which he was, in my opinion, something of a laughingstock (to be fair, i agreed with some of his ideas, such as the sales tax, but too much other stuff bothered me about him). i will admit to being impressed with the idea that he once beat al sharpton in an informal debate, but am of the opinion that this only happened because it was two black men. if a white man had said the things said by keyes, he would immediately have been labeled a racist.

…and i digress. let’s fast forward to a couple of years ago, after his laughable run to be the u.s. senator from illinois against the then unknown barack obama. shortly after this loss, it was discovered that his hot little daughter maya was a lesbian. what did the loving supportive christian father do? kicked his daughter out of the house and cut her off completely financially, including ceasing to pay her college tuition. i lost all respect for him at that point, and it’s because of actions such as his and other so-called christians i’ve known that helped to pave the way in my being the libertarian omnisexual tree-hugging heathen that i am today.

anyway, i really had no idea what he had been doing between then and now, and really didn’t care. (and still really don’t.) i thought maybe he was in cahoots with fred phelps or busy picketing a planned parenthood building somewhere in northern alaska. and it turns out that he’s been campaigning for the 2008 republican nomination for the presidency. i’m no fan of bush, but i believe if this man won through some truly freak occurrence, we’d be begging to have bush back in office.

i do not identify as either conservative or liberal. someone once described me as being too conservative to be liberal and too liberal to be conservative. still, i definitely have conservative opinions when it comes to issues regarding abortion and gun control and government spending. and even regarding gay marriage, i hold a conservative position, although not for the reasons typically held by conservatives. so if he weren’t so hard core, it would not be impossible to see myself supporting someone like keyes. my problem with him is that he wants to use the presidency to enforce his morality on everyone, allowing very little diversity of thought. people say that about bush, but as far as i’m concerned, there is no comparison; bush has his hardcore moral stances to be sure, but even though he’s said things that may cross the line, he’s still pretty much laissez-faire when it comes to people’s morality.

morality is a personal, individual issue and cannot be legislated. the key is to realize that our actions as moral individuals affect other moral individuals. i take the point of view that we should be responsible for our own morality (of course this depends on how you define morality; it seems to me that most of keyes’ definitions of morality revolve around the right kind of sex: between one man and one woman married to one another for the purpose of procreation – how boring) and if it affects someone else negatively, then appropriate action should be taken to make sure that no longer happens. but you cannot tell another person how he or she should behave behind closed doors (as long as it doesn’t involve children or animals) nor who he or she should or should not be allowed to fall in love with, and that any deviation from the ‘proper’ beliefs means that in this life you are a bad person and breaking the law and will be punished, and in the next life, you will really be punished.

keyes doesn’t stand a snowflake’s chance in hell of getting any delegates, let alone winning the nomination (although it wouldn’t surprise me if he ran as a third-party candidate somewhere down the line). this post was probably a waste of time as well, as most people familiar with him know that his presidency would be all wrong for our country. yet, i felt led to write, just as a reminder that there are people like this out there (although i’m reminded of this every time i listen to talk radio, or walk outside my apartment building, for that matter). my beef is not with his conservatism as much as it is his wanting to force that conservatism upon anyone calling himself or herself an american, under the guise of ‘taking back this country for christ’. if the country consisted only of the state of kansas, maybe it could happen, but thankfully it’s not gonna happen.

because keyes is in this country, he certainly does have the right to say whatever he wants, however bigoted and narrow-minded it might be. but as he is seeing, just because he can say it doesn’t mean that we’re listening.