As we approach the last 24 hours of voting, I urge everyone to be patient, put up with long lines, and miss work and school if you have to, in order to vote. This election is too important to miss. So much is at stake.
I have complied a preliminary list of 11 things that are at risk in this election.
What Is At Stake:
1. American Soldiers. Literally.
Obama plans to end the Iraq war as soon as possible. McCain has pledged to continue th
e war indefinitely, in pursuit of an elusive and undefined "victory." America has been down this road before. Remember Vietnam? Many soldiers died. We won nothing. The outcome of this election will determine how many more American soldiers sacrifice their lives unnecessarily. Since McCain has consistently voted against social programs for veterans, the high rates of suicide found among returning veterans as a result of insufficient mental health assistance, will continue and more veterans will also die under McCain.
2. Grandma and Grandpa/Mom and Pop:
McCain plans to privatize social security and to reduce medicare and medicaid. This m
eans voting for McCain may seriously impact the lives of seniors, most of whom rely on these programs. Obama is opposed to privatizing social security and has promised to secure
social security for seniors.
3. The Economy (aka your savings):
McCain plans to keep spending 10 million/month on Iraq despite the huge Bush deficit. He is opposed to social spending to help those suffering in this economic crisis. He wants to offer billions of dollars we don't have in tax cuts
to corporations and oil companies. The economy is already in the dumpster. We can't afford to spend this kind of money any more. Bush and the Republican congress have spent the most money, built the biggest government,and created the largest deficit in the history of this country. In order to dig this economy out of the gutter, we need to stop spending our taxpayer dollars on war, subsidies to oil companies, and corporations. Obama will end the war and the huge defense expenditure. He will also stop giving tax breaks to oil companies and give them to us instead. He will not start new wars without exhausting diplomatic channels first.
4. The Very Sick
McCain's health plan will not provide enough funding for people who are actually sick and uninsured. Nobody with a serious disease, with heart disease, liver disease, cancer, etc has medical bills under $5,000/year nor can insurance be bought to cover these conditions for only $5,000. If you are healthy, then McCain's plan might work out for you. Obama's plan will provide insurance coverage for everybody, including the very sick, including those with pre-existing conditions.
5. Our Standing in the World
Since Bush has been in office our standing in the world has seriously declined. His Bush Doctrine- starting wars with people you imagine might one day be a threat has cost us the respect of most of our allies and most of the world. McCain supports the Bush Doctrine. Obama supports diplomacy as a first resort and war as a last resort. McCain wants to fight wars and label people as terrorists. His whole persona is about "fighting," as is evidenced in his campaign speeches. Nobody likes a bully. As a country we can't keep acting like a bully in the world. Our reputation cannot
tolerate more of this behavior.
6. First Nations/American Indians
Obama is committed to tribal nation building and h
onoring federal treaty obligations to First Nations peoples. He has voted for increasing funding to the chronically under-funded Indian health Services, and supports the rights of tribes to ensure the economic sustainability of their nations through fishing, hunting, energy and gaming enterprises. McCain, despite serving on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, has voted against or failed to support various health, housing, and educational programs for Native Americans and has, according to tribal leaders in New Mexico, made openly anti-tribal sovereignty comments. Palin's record in Alaska is profoundly anti-Native. Meanwhile, more than 100 tribal leaders (including the largest nation, the Navajo) have endorsed Barack Obama.
7. Your Paycheck
As long as corporations are rewarded for sending jobs overseas, and as long as unions are under siege, workers in the United States will continue to see a decline in wages, loss of
jobs and decreased benefits. Obama is endorsed by all of the unions (including the plumbers union- that's right, the real Joe the plumber is voting for Obama) and is committed to improving worker conditions. Obama is also committed to ending the wage gap that unfairly causes women to be paid less money than men for doing the same job. McCain has voted against ending the wage gap. Since Obama's tax cut will also decrease your taxes if you make under $250,000, your net take home pay will be larger under him.
7. Women's Lives. Literally.
Every year 1400 women are murdered by their husbands and boyfriends. Obama co-sponsored the Violence Against Women A
ct, designed to make it more difficult for men to assault and kill women and easier for women who have been battered to get assistance. He was also the chief sponsor of the victim's Economic Security and Safety Act which protects victims of domestic or sexual violence in their request for leave from work to seek medical and legal assistance. He was also the chief c0-sponsor of laws passed to increase penalties for repeat domestic offenders and to to increase penalties for those committing battery near a domestic violence shelter. He was also a co-sponsor of the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Database Act of 2005, a bill to protect children from known sex offenders, a law expanding the rights of victims of sexual assault, and a law to make date rape drugging a crime of aggravated battery.
McCain voted against the Violence Against Women Act, voted against legislation requiring hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims, and has sponsored no bills to protect women's lives.
Women are also dying in large numbers from undiagnosed heart disease. According to the America Heart Association, women are almost twice as likely as men to die after their first heart attack and yet are often undiagnosed as a result of the fact that 80% of all medical research is done exclusively on men. Obama has supported legislation providing funding for the Center of Excellence in Women's Health and is committed to encouraging research into gender and health disparities. McCain has voted consistently against women's health. He has voted 125 times against bills for women's health.
9. Your Taxes
Unless you are rich or a corporation, you will get little or no tax break. McCain's tax plan will give $4 billion in tax breaks to corporations and oil companies (This number has been CNN fact-checked)
10. The Supreme Court/ Your Privacy Rights
Three of the four liberal judges currently seated on the supreme court, are either very old or talking retirement. If McCain gets into office, he will likely replace these with conservati
ve judges making the Court entirely conservative. If elected, Obama will not be able to tilt the Court in a new direction. McCain has promised to overturn Roe V. Wade if given the opportunity. If he is elected, women will lose the right to choose and this will result in numerous deaths of women, as was common before Roe V. Wade. McCain's court may also render decisions taking away other privacy rights of Americans and given McCain and Palin's commitment to mixing religion with government will likely begin to infuse their evangelical Christian views into our government.
11. The Planet Earth/ Animals
Obama has pledged to stop drilling, stop subsidizing oil comp
anies, stop importing so much foreign oil and begin to develop alternative energy sources like wind and solar power. He is committed to reducing the greenhouse effect and increasing emissions control. He has plans to provide federal subsidies to auto companies who develop fuel-efficient cars. McCain wants to "drill, baby drill" regardless of the negative impact oil drilling has on our environment. He has voted fro drilling in wildlife refuges where animals in d
anger of extinction live. He wants to develop more nuclear power and does not think the risks of nuclear contamination of our planet are worrisome (despite Chernobyl or Three-mile island). He thinks we should begin offshore drilling despite reports of the harm this will case sea life, subsidize oil companies, and and fight wars with any country that challenges our access to middle-eastern oil.
McCain received a "zero" on his League of Conservation Voters 2007 scorecard of senators and congressmen, where 100 indicates voting with the environment every time and zero indicating a vote against the environment every time. He has a well-documented voting record in which he has consistently supported Big Oil and has voted against renewable electricity, energy efficiency standards, and green tax incentives. Despite his claim to fighting against global warming, he has refused to support global warming solutions that do not include a big role for the development of nuclear power, regardless of its risks.