Posts Tagged 'barack obama'

Here Comes the Sun

I don’t hide the fact that I am a Democrat and that I supported Barack Obama from the moment he was the front runner in the Democratic primaries. There are many reasons why I am a Democrat and I am not going to bore anyone with that list here. I do, however, want to make note of a few things (and perhaps some of my reasons for being a Democrat will show through).

First I want to say that although in the end I was very much against everything that Bush said and did, I was not totally in that camp. Clearly when he was running against Al Gore back in 2000 I supported Gore, however, I had more of a wait and see policy. It was very obvious that Bush was and still is a major supporter of Israel and for that I will be forever thankful. I think that due to Bush our Country will, for the foreseeable future, be a very pro Israel country. It was not until the Iraq war that I became totally dissatisfied with the Bush administration. I did give him the benefit of the doubt at first, and I really wish that the Republican right would extend the same courtesy to Obama. Everything I read from the right has been so anti Obama it actually pains me to read it at times.

If you look at Rush Limbaugh’s web site, the top headlines read “Obama Executive Orders put Politics over National Security” and “I want Obama’s Policies to Fail”. And even worse “Greg Craig, Our 44th President.” Obama has spent 2 full working days in office and this is what they have to say. Why can’t they wait and see what things are going to be like before they criticize. Of course I understand that someone like Limbaugh is partly entertainment and that the ultra left may have spouted off similarly when Bush won office. But truth be told, are we better off now than we were 8 years ago when Bush became President? I think the answer is an obvious no, and I would love to hear the reasons why someone would answer yes. Let’s wait and see what happens over the next year. When Bill Clinton became president, things were not in the best of shape, but after eight years in the White House, our country was doing the best it had been in many years.

So to my Republican friends, take a deep breath and wait and see.

Second, I am very excited about Obama’s first executive order, issued on his first full day in office. It spells out an ethics pledge that any new governmental appointee will need to sign. You can read it here.

And third, as to the closing of secret overseas prisons and Guantanamo Bay I am also happy about this. Obama said this afternoon “Our ideals give us the strength and moral high ground” to combat terrorism. Where I hear this I am reminded about what Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1775 “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

So in honor of the first days of the Obama administration….

Barack Obama

I get very upset when people, republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, say things like “I don’t like either choice for President”, or “I’ll vote for the lesser of two evils”. I cannot believe the number of people I have spoken with who say they just may not vote this year. Aside from being a defeatist attitude that I can do without, it is also naïve and uninformed.

I am very happy to say that I am voting for Barack Obama, and I want to explain a few reasons why. First off, I was a Hillary Clinton supporter at the beginning of the primaries (well actually John Edwards, but it became very clear early on that he was not going to win). I felt that she would be better suited to get things done, but alas, more people preferred Obama.

But now that the candidates are set, Obama’s message is one that I agree with totally, and fully support. I want to talk about a couple of areas of his platform as it would be futile to try and cover it all.

As an American Jew, I feel the need to discuss Jewish issues first. In actuality, I don’t believe that so called “Jewish issues” should be how I choose the president of the United States, but when speaking with friends and neighbors that is what seems to come up, especially at Synagogue. What are “Jewish Issues?” First thing that always comes to mind is Israel. Is Obama good for Israel and is he good for the Jews? That is what people keep asking. Well, I want to say that the answer to both is unequivocally YES.

Let me look at the last part first. Is Obama good for the Jews? When I hear this question, I cringe. What does it mean? What is good for the Jews? In America, it seems to me; whatever is good for America is good for the Jews. We are privileged to live in the greatest country that has ever existed on this planet. We have more freedoms and more possibilities that any Jews ever had; anywhere, anytime. There is nothing that I can imagine that would be good for America but bad for the Jews or vice versa. The two are forever intertwined. Is Obama good for America? That is easy. Our country and our planet is facing threats that were unfathomable in past times. Climate change, energy crisis and unaffordable education and health care are issues that every American should be using as their tests to choose the next president. People who see these issues in cyclical terms need to open their eyes and see what is happening right in front of them. Only Obama and the democrats will work towards a future that we will be proud to live in.

With five justices of the Supreme Court 70 years of age or older it is quite possible that the next president could be appointing as many. Of those five, three are on the more liberal side of the court and the appointment of conservative justices in their place will forever change the course of this country. I will not speculate what could change, but it is a very frightening thought in my mind.

Is Obama god for Israel? I choose to answer that second, because for the most part I find it an irrelevant question. I am an American and I vote for a president first and foremost based on how good he or she will be for America. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and America’s only real ally there. It is impossible in my mind to foresee ANY president break the bonds between Israel and the United States. Israel needs the United States and the United States needs Israel. So I find using Israel as a litmus test for electing a president to be very distasteful.

There you have it. I am proud to be an Obama supporter and pray for his election in November.

Little Super Tuesday

So today our fellow Americans in Texas and Ohio may very well decide who will be the next Democratic candidate to run for President. I must admit that when I did vote last month I was unsure who I was going to vote for right up until I went into the booth.I am a democrat. I vote democrat and I shudder to think of four more years of republicans in the white house. Looking at Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, it seems to me that they are basically the same thing. Their platforms are similar and their voting record is similar. Either one would probably be a fine president. What I think we should look at, then, is which one of them will be better suited to beat McCain in November.

I am not sure what the answer to that question is. Clinton certainly plays the experience card a lot, and she certainly has more than Obama. Will that allow her to win? Maybe. But one thing that I think is interesting. Clinton was trailing in the polls in New Hampshire back in January but when the voting was over, she won. Through the use of exit polling it was shown that she got more votes from women than had been anticipated. I think this is significant in that when people enter the voting booths in November, many women will pull the lever on her name because she is a woman. Will that be enough to get her elected? I don’t know. But it is probable that the presidential election will be as close as the last two presidential elections. Just a few thousand votes can easily make the difference.

I don’t know what today’s outcome will be, but either way, I hope that we will be able to bring another democrat to the white house next year.

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