Sunday, November 02, 2008

The tail end of the campaign blues

Iwas reading Decoding Election Day, state by state and felt like I'd been sucker punched. This was the part that hit me.

Tennessee: It's amazing that Obama is doing so well right now but getting killed in Tennessee. This is a state that has a pretty good presidential track record and Democrats normally don't win the White House without the Volunteer state, but the Republican stranglehold on the state is stronger than ever. Lamar Alexander is also coasting to re-election.

It's not what the writer is saying. I know Obama has less chance than the proverbial hellbound snowball of carrying Tennessee. The yard signs and bumper stickers are everywhere for McCain. Obama signs are getting trashed. I receive so many emails every day from people still trying to get me to change my vote that I'm just really stunned. It was the writer's choice of words that got to me though.

If it had been up to at least one Tennesseean, Obama would have been killed. What I'm seeing in this election has saddened me more than even the election scandal of 2000. There are many people here who are truly scared of an Obama presidency, and the level of hatred, rumor mongering and ugly campaigning is off the charts. This is a deep, genuine gut level fear for some, and I don't get it. I've seen the idea of Obama as president bring out an eye widening, skin paling, panic reaction among people. I try to understand it. A lot of this is plain old racism, even sneaking up in people who would never think of themselves as racist. A lot of it is xenophobia about his African father. Some of it is an anti-intellectual bias. (That group seems to have found their icon with Sarah Palin.) I blame much of it on the increasing ugliness of Republican party campaign tactics over the last decade.

I'm used to heated, impassioned debate about politics. At times, I even enjoy it. My votes have crossed party lines, and on a national basis, I would come up not too far left from the middle of the road. Around here, I feel like I'm on the extreme leftist fringe. This year, I just got tired of trying to be heard. No one has really wanted to listen to any point of view other than their own. That's the real stranglehold I've seen on this state, and I don't think it's really all that different anywhere else.

All I know is on Tuesday, I'm voting Barack Obama for President. I dont think McCain is on the right track to handle all the problems that this country has now, and the idea of a potential Palin presidency makes me ill. I do believe in Obama's potential to be a good president. Head over to Rather Than Working. He said why much better than I can now. Whoever wins this election has a hard row to how ahead. This new president will make mistakes. A lot of people are going to be angry and disillusioned with whoever wins. The next president will be a president, not a Messiah and not the Anti-Christ. I'm not expecting miracles, but I feel that Obama is the responsibile choice.

Oh, I won't be voting for Lamar Alexander because of the patronizing, completely dismissive responses I've received in letters from his office when I wrote to him expressing my opinions. I don't expect my Senator to always vote the way I want, but I do expect his office and even his form letters to treat dissenting opinion with respect. If I can't get that, he can't get my vote.

presidential campaign, Obama, Lamar Alexander


Blogger gigi said...

It boggles the mind, that gut-level fear of an Obama presidency. I find it truly frightening, that combination of knee-jerk racism coupled with inexplicable American anti-intellectualism. A British column has pretty much my take on the issue:

Hmm...I wonder if that link will work.

Let the Voting be done!!!

November 02, 2008 5:40 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I read a New York Times editorial online the other day... Don't remember who wrote it, but he basically rambled on and on about how this election is not about race, and people who think racism is still a factor in this country are out of their minds.

And I couldn't help but think, what planet are YOU from, buddy

I think Mr. Obama will win this thing. And I wonder what is going to happen when he does. It promises to be an incredible time in the history of the US.

November 02, 2008 7:41 PM  
Blogger Woman on a Mission said...

Thank you for being brave enough to post your comments. So many are afraid to say how they really feel for fear of retribution. I, myself, really like Palin and I'm voting for McCain. My best friend of almost twenty years lives in Colorado and is a huge Obama supporter. What her and I do is acknowledge that we are concerned about the same country, the same people and the same issues, we just disagree on how things should be handled. I love her as much today as I did before this election and its because we can respect eachother. Unfortunately, the respect component seems to be missing in so many and race is an issue for many. We have come a long way in that front but there is a long way to go and we have to call people out on their exclusive behavior. Anyway, though I feel differently politically than you, I respect your post and your voice. I also appreciate your giving light to the hatred that seems to exist. People need to calm down and not let fear drive their actions. At the end of the day, whoever is elected tomorrow is going to have one heck of a job ahead of him and you couldn't pay me enough to do it. They are going to need our prayers and support. I hope that someday you can put the sign of the person you support in your yard, even if its not the same as your neighbors, and not have to fear about it being trashed. Bless you for swimming against the stream.

November 03, 2008 7:08 PM  

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