amnesiack: (ccninja)
I've seen enough at home and abroad to know how thoroughly broken our political and governmental systems are. I could very safely be labeled a liberal, but unlike many of my liberal friends, I've never expected the Democratic party to fully represent my interests, and I'm rarely surprised when it screws us over. I don't become disenfranchised because I never bought into the chain to begin with.

However, I've been a registered independent voter since I turned 18, and I vote in every election, be it local or national. In this election, I'm voting for Barack Obama.

I have my beefs with him, as I do with all politicians, and I don't think he's going to magically fix our country. But I think he will tear down some important barriers, both real and symbolical, and that's something.

Adrienne Maree Brown, a political activist and pursuer of election reform, wrote an essay on similar thoughts that I found to be extremely compelling. If you can't read the whole thing, I think that this is the most important part:

what i realize is simply that i feel like two people watching this.

one sees this strategic, dynamic, mixed race man, skillfully touching all the bases on his way home to the white house. that self drinks the kool-aid as much as a cynic can, i am impressed by his grasp and execution of community organizing and mobilization, how he has crafted himself as king and kennedy and more. he seems to have been made for this moment, even for skeptics and community organizers. i lean in when he speaks, trying to disguise my own smiles at some of the lovely lines that slip in between the ones that hurt me, or disappoint me.

the other side sees the parts i disagree with, the special interests, the effects of a broken and at this point actively stupid and elitist, capitalist, empire-protecting system. i see how he has to say things that are morally reprehensible if he wants to consider being elected to this position, and god knows which of his values will have to be compromised once he's in office, that place most distant from the people of the nation. i believe that we would need 50,000 baracks or people more radical than him running at the local level to experience any changes based on leadership like his. and yet...

what the rest of world will understand with this shift!

i am not on a fence between republican or democrat, i am not tempted by green at the federal level. i want a multi-party system with permanent records of voting (paper ballots), same day registration, a vote for anyone paying taxes, and proportional representation, but i don't think the path to get there is by placing us in john mccain's fragile, feeble, maverick hands by splitting the progressive vote. i specifically want barack obama to be the next president of the united states, in spite of all my doubts and cynicisms and fears. i like how he splits the difference on the hardest issues, i like his (or his speechwriter's) ability to find a common sense middle ground, and i like that he is passionate and visionary at a time when the easiest space to occupy is debilitating and isolating anger.

and because it scares me to feel even slightly authentic in my excitement about a candidate, understanding what i do about the history of candidate failures, disappointments, flip-flopping or sheer incompetence, the broken system, the inherent flaws of humanity that makes us desire hierarchy so...i will not hit the streets stumping for obama, i will not start a little fundraising page for him that spirits more money away from the projects i work on 365 days a year election or not. i will continue to pour my energy into election protection, and raise money to support grassroots organizations who make sure candidates who are willing to listen have organized bodies to hear from.

but behind a closed door, rereading the transcript of his speech on race, delving into his organizing analysis from his early years in chicago, seeing parts of my story in his own, and wanting to debate him about those issues on which i deeply disagree with him, i confess: i want barack obama to be the next president of the united states.
amnesiack: (skull panda)
This blog entry is pretty challenging for me. Vegetarianism, once I got over the initial hurdles, was an easy choice because it felt like a simple means of living out parts of my ethics in regards to exploitation, and it didn't take that much effort. Approaching the problems surrounding the exploitation of the human labor involved in producing food, both plant and animal, is much more difficult and without anything resembling easy personal solutions. Why are big, difficult problems always so big and difficult, dagnabit?
amnesiack: (commie star)
I went to the Democratic Caucus today. It was my first time participating in one, and it turned out to be extremely disorganized, but once everything worked out, it was really cool. There were three precincts, including mine, meeting in the room where I was. The final delegate counts ended up being 5 Obama - 1 Hillary, 5 Obama - 1 Hillary, and 10 Obama - 1 Hillary. I ran into my friend Dan afterwards, and he told me his 6 delegate precinct ended up with all 6 going to Obama.

I hope this is a state-wide trend.

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