Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We did it!

Well, we did it--those of us who supported and worked for the Obama campaign, those of us who contributed, those of us who voted have put Barack Obama into the White House.

Tonight, we celebrate.

Tomorrow, we continue to work. We are going to have a Democratic President and Congress, so things can move very quickly; we just have to make sure they are the right things. So, people: what is on the agenda? Here are my suggestions:

  • The economy: We have to restore the middle class. To do that, we have to look at rebuilding infrastructure to seed the economy with jobs that have a living wage. Those workers rebuilding infrastructure will allow entrepreneurs to make a living in areas where infrastructure has crumbled. In the meantime, we must rebuild our manufacturing base. The auto industry must build cars that run on alternative fuels and electricity. We must manufacture solar panels and wind turbines. We must put money into research and development, then take what we invent and manufacture it here, giving jobs to American workers--and we must do it where people aren't currently working. Regulations of the financial sector must be restored. I also think that every family that has lost a home to foreclosure should have loan terms renegotiated, if at all possible. The credit industry must no longer be able to charge outrageous interest rates to anyone.
  • The occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan must end.
  • We must close all secret prisons and Guantanamo Bay, bringing every person in custody to trial, or releasing them if there is no real case.
  • We must eliminate terrorist networks through intelligence efforts and clandestine operations involving international cooperation, not through occupation of countries.
  • We absolutely must address climate change and the rapid extinction of this planet's organisms.
  • We must have universal health care.
  • We must fix Social Security and Medicare.

To do all of the things we must do, we have to organize, and we have to persist in our efforts to contact members of Congress. Obama can do a lot from the Oval Office, but the bills have to come across his desk. I am sure he will take initiative, but we have to support him in getting those initiatives passed in Congress. We can not sit idly by.

Now, there is one other thing we absolutely must address: we must come up with a uniform way to conduct elections, and we have to address issues such as voter caging, voter suppression, voter intimidation, and election fraud. I have no doubt that an enormous turnout is the only thing that saved us from another stolen election. Well, okay--Ohio may have fixed their problems since the 2004 fiasco, as well, and that helped, but there have been a great many reports of voters purged from the rolls, fliers having been distributed to confuse voters, private investigators dispatched to intimidate voters, and, of course, the electronic voting machines have not all been fixed.

I posted an entry here some time ago, when McCain was slightly ahead in the polls, about how the polls were skewed. I still believe that this is the case. If you look at the wide margins of victory in some states, then go back and look at the latest polls, my logic holds up. For example, if we look at Ohio, there was an 11 point victory for Obama there. No poll--no poll the media used, anyway--in the week before the election was within the margin of error. If you look at Georgia, however, it went completely the other way--eleven points in McCain's favor, outside of the margin of error. I think something fishy happened in Georgia. I could be wrong. The polls of Virginia voters turned out to be dead-on accurate--something I don't buy.

My point is that we should not give up making sure that the elections are free and fair, just because we won. We can't rest at that, because the grassroots effort to suppress the vote still remains. We have to remain vigilant.

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