Tuesday, October 14, 2008


There are many in the heartland of America who fear that the presidential race may yet come down to just that: fear about race versus values. Some have al ready made their minds up that they won't vote for someone "who is not like them". Yet, for all those who call themselves an American, is not what makes our country great itself greater than is the measure of, or absence of, a man's melanin?
For the voter who can make a choice based on pocketbook and kitchen table issues and not pigment or skin tissue, a quiz:
If you are man with a female child, and you want your daughter to be valued as much as any man, are you strong enough for her to ignore the color of the champion who fights for her? If you are a woman who believes that you, your mother, your daughter, your sister or your aunt should have the sole right to make choices which affect your and their lives, which is the only candidate that supports a woman's right to choose?...
If you are a veteran, voting against increasing veterans benefits on six different occasions and against the new GI Bill should matter. Better yet, if you are a u nion member, and you want to protect... no...strengthen the right to organize, can you make a conscientious choice between color and collective bargaining?
If on the one hand, if the only color that counts is green and every penny in your pocket counts, do you really want to support a candidate that will tax your employer provided-health care benefits and make you wait for a health care tax credit that will end up fattening the pockets of out of state insurance executives?
If you are a senior citizen, what does color have to do with preventing cutting $1.2 trillion in benefits from Medicare to pay for those health care tax credits? Not a thing. Speaking of benefits, do you really want your Social Security benefits tied to the stock market? The stock market just crashed, big time. Imagine if Social Security too had been privatized. Seniors just dodged a very big bullet..Bluntly, a candidate's ethnicity does not threaten your poc ketbook and does not take food off your table; what does present a clear and present danger to every American family is policies which support doing the same thing the same way while looking for a different result. Who deserves a tax break more...you or the corporations that just robbed America blind?
Does it make sense to cough up $300 billion more for a taxpayer-funded buyout of all distressed mortgages in America to further bail out the lenders who stuck the taxpayers with a $700 billion dollar cash-for-trash scheme? There is only one candidate who offers a tax cut to 95 percent of America's working families and not to the lenders, banks, or corporations that just ripped off America's workers and retirees.
If NAFTA caused your factory to be shut down or your job to be shipped overseas, can you ignore all that noise about whether someone is white or not and focus on whether a candidate's position against outsourcing jobs is right or not? & nbsp;Only one candidate has pledged to link trade deals to preserving American jobs and to end tax breaks for companies sending American jobs overseas.
And while on the subject of jobs, in today's world you can't get a good one without a good education. If you believe that education is the pathway way out of poverty and to a good paying job and the ticket to the American dream, is it not more prudent to vote for someone who personally experienced the struggles ordinary families go through to get their children through school and to vote for someone who has pledged to fully fund America's educational system.
In all theses instances, that candidate is indeed...that one...Barack Obama.
There is something to be said about being judged by the content of one's character and not by the color of one's skin. As someone wrote recently, there is a big difference between having character and being one. Pigmentation should not have a place in politics. No one is being asked not to see color, just to ignore it long enough to pragmatically focus on pocketbook issues which will directly impact you and your family. For the nation's sake, I ask that you vote your issue and not your skin tissue.
Some will no doubt have to hold their nose while they cast their ballot. If doing so is what it takes to hold on to what's left of the American dream, well, that's a form of personal sacrifice we should all embrace for the sake of our families and the future of the greatest country on earth. In that instance, pushing past our personal prejudices would be the ultimate act of outright unselfish patriotism.

Gregory Murray

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