Enough Already: Another Two-Parter Nov13

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Enough Already: Another Two-Parter


A blogumn by Jordan Weeks

2008 Election Special Part 1: ‘Til Victory

Barack Obama is the President-Elect of the United States. What does this mean? Well, at the very least it means that for the first time in eight shitty years we have someone in office who can speak in public. Beyond that…I don’t know. I guess we’ll all see. This guy has stepped into the king of all shitstorms, and while he seems to be incredibly smart, and is certainly charismatic, I don’t know who could deal evenly with all of the battles he’s facing. But I’m keeping hope alive.

(By the way, did anyone else find it kind of amusing that Jesse Jackson was crying during Obama’s acceptance speech, given that Jackson publicly stated under his breath while his microphone was still on in-between interview segments on a Fox News show this past year that he wanted to “cut [Obama’s] nuts off” for “talking down to black folks” regarding “faith-based” initiatives? That’s just me? Okay; fair enough.)

I considered not voting this year – basically because, I observed, neither of the two candidates who were actually going to wind up in office were the same people they had been before they started their (ultimately negative, sickeningly partisan) campaigns over two years ago. Early in his campaign, Obama talked a little too aggressively about Iran for my taste, and his proposed health-care plan leaves a lot to be desired (as did Her Majesty, Hillary Clinton’s). Just ask a Canadian.

McCain talked too aggressively about a lot of stuff – especially about bombing people. I mean, he talked about bombing a country in his little “Bomb, bomb, bomb / Bomb, bomb Iran” Beach Boys “joke” – but I wonder if he realizes that Iran is not just Ahmadinejad, that there are people in that country. He also publicly “joked” that the U.S. exporting some $150 million worth of cigarettes to Iran over the last seven years was “maybe…a way of killing them.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think the potential leader of the free world should be talking publicly about bombing and killing people, not even jokingly. Maybe especially not even jokingly. He also flapped his gums about how we were winning in the fight against terrorism in Iraq (which hadn’t really existed there until about five years ago), the entire premise of which was a lie, much like his and his running-mate’s assertion that Obama had “palled-around” with “terrorists”.

So you had a panderer (Obama) and a pandering liar (McCain). Which is worse? I don’t know; I kinda think the one who’s TWO bad things is worse. So…yaaay…?

But ultimately something subconscious kicked in, and I did vote. I only realized later (like an hour or two ago) that I voted because I can. Because it’s not only my right as a citizen, but a fulfillment of my end of the contract of living in this country – a contract that I signed, without reading, upon being born here (which I never asked to be, but which I very well might have, had I been presented with all of the other options).

Subsequently, I see voting as an ethical obligation which I’m interested in upholding, much like the right to peaceably assemble or to speak freely when something’s not right –  and, of course, the rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” bear similar ethical weight. With all of this country’s horrendous faults, many of which hinge upon malicious or ignorant hypocrisy, the right to vote is an extension of and connecting path to these other rights. It really is the root strength of the United States as proposed at its inception, and is the core of the United States in which I want to live.

You see, for a couple of centuries after the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were drafted, millions and millions of people who wanted desperately to vote in this country were not allowed to. It was illegal, in fact, for them to vote. One group of people about whose opinions the U.S. government didn’t give a shit were called “women”. Another group of people whose opinions they didn’t give a shit about were called “black people”. A lot of people who belonged to these two groups – and some of them, if you can believe it, who belonged to both of these groups – fought, and many died, for this most basic right of a citizen in a truly free and democratic society, that of fair representation in government, the vehicle for which is the vote. So I chose not to squander that fundamental right, one for which I have not even had to fight. Yet.

All of that aside, I think I like the new P!nk song.



Peace. (And it’s serious, too.)


Word Jumble Credit: Heather Katsoulis; Obama Victory Art Credit: Shepard Fairey (of course)