OK, I put my name and my ass out there on the line, in this little hill-jack town, for what I believe in....what are you gonna do???
Published September 10, 2008 12:09 pm - Dear Editor:
When I was a kid, I saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. I still remember seeing body counts on the evening news with Walter Cronkite as reports from Vietnam came in.
Obama supporter speaks out
When I was a kid, I saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. I still remember seeing body counts on the evening news with Walter Cronkite as reports from Vietnam came in. I remember MLK and RFK being shot. I remember when Elvis died. I remember when Nixon resigned. I remember the Iranian hostage crisis, and how it ended abruptly when Reagan took office. I remember when Squeaky Fromme took potshots at Ford, and when John Lennon was killed. I remember when some loser tried to impress Jody Foster by shooting Reagan. I saw Mondale speak when he ran for President with Geraldine Ferraro as his VP candidate. THAT was exciting for an independent, emancipated woman like me.
But, I never thought I would see what has happened in American politics this year. I think our country is finally beginning to grow up. It's about time. For a country that was founded, allegedly, on the idea of tolerance, we have been one of the most intolerant nations on earth – intolerant of race, religion, sex, height, weight, differences of opinion. Our ancestors, those who came here of their own free will, came here for a change, yet so many people in this country are afraid of just that, change. "It's always been that way, so just leave it," "If it was good enough for my mom and dad, it's good enough for me, " and so on and so on. But, on Aug. 28, with one loud, clear voice, projected out into a clear, cloudless beautiful Denver sky, a group of diverse people – different colors, different sexes, different religions - all came together and asked for CHANGE.
That, in itself, was amazing enough. But the most amazing part is the man they asked to help them achieve it. After centuries of placing the most powerful office in our country into the hands of one type of man, a different type came forward. He was not like all the others before him in appearance, but in heart and soul he was much more like those early leaders and founders of our country than most of the recent leaders of our nation have been. He cares more about US, the people, than himself or his friends. His name is Barack Obama.
A funny name, yes. His father, Kenyan. His mother, Kansan. Of course, you know all that by now. Oh, but many of you say, (and yes, I have heard that and gotten that e-mail from folks right here in Rushville) "I have read/heard/been told he is a Muslim, because his father was/is!" No, he is not. He is a Christian, and attends a United Church of Christ. "Well, he doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin, or participate in the Pledge of Allegiance!" To the first part, he does, on occasion, wear the flag pin. Do YOU wear a flag pin every day? Does that mean YOU love your country any less? My father was a WW II veteran and never wore a flag pin a day in his life. Does that mean he was unpatriotic? No, it was a personal choice. An outward sign of patriotism does not always mean the heart is in the right place. As for the pledge, if you are referring to a photo passed around and around on the Internet, that photo was taken during the singing of the National Anthem, and none of the folks in that photo are looking at the flag behind them. Really hard to judge what they are looking at. But, what about him being sworn in on the Quran? That is completely false. A Minnesota Congressman named Keith Ellison, who is a Muslim, chose to carry a Quran instead of a Bible, since he would not actually be sworn in on a Bible anyway. And, the Quran he carried had been owned by Thomas Jefferson.
There are many other concerns out there about Obama – but on this night – this one night – the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's stirring "I Have a Dream Speech," Americans, some Americans, enough Americans, finally began to "judge not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character." And how appropriate that Dr. King even said, "Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado!"
For those who felt Obama did not give enough information early on in his campaign as to what he wanted to do and how, he spelled that out last night. Strangely enough, much of it is what he said to a small group, gathered in a room for lunch, back in April this year. I even felt he used some of our words last night, and was honored. He wants to work for you, for me, for all of us out here trying to merely make a living, raise our children, and be good people. He is NOT going to work for the oil companies, the polluters, the insurance companies turning us away without care. He IS one of us – he knows our lives, and he wants to help. As a man from Indiana who spoke last night at the convention said, "we need a government who puts Barney Smith before Smith Barney."
On the Republican ticket, John McCain, for whom I have the utmost respect for his service to our nation, has chosen a young, unknown woman governor as his running mate. Interesting choice. Trying to get the women's vote, obviously. Trying to reach out to young people, OK. But, choosing someone just because of her sex and age is not enough. I believe this was an attempt to get the vote of those women who supported Hillary. As a woman, as a mother, I have looked into the beliefs and policies of Gov. Palin and do not feel that, as an average American woman, she and I share very many things in common. Many people have touted her experience, but she was mayor of a town not much bigger than Rushville before she was elected governor. Did you know she is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest? She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species – she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska; and the list goes on.
It is time for change. Our country does need to grow up. How many other nations have had minority or female leaders since the mid-’60s? Dozens. While I am excited that we have both a woman and a minority in this race, my heart and soul are not with the female candidate because she does not stand for what I stand for. I believe Barack Obama does. If people would take the time to educate themselves, not just blindly believe every rumor or e-mail that comes their way, they might find something to believe in, too.
Yes, I believe. Yes, I think together, we CAN! And it is going to take all of us, together.
Bonnie J. Locchetta
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