Open Letter to a PUMA

Dear Ron:

In your letter, you said:

I’ve supported the Democrats for 40 years because the Dem party was also the democratic party. This year, those two things have diverged.

No, they haven’t.  One candidate won the primary with the most votes and the most delegates.  PUMA is standing against democracy in democracy’s name.  Why should the majority of voters be disenfranchised so your candidate (who now supports Obama) can be installed?

I hope I’ll be able to support the Dem party in the future but with different leadership that respects our commitment to democracy. Leftists have taken control of the party, casting our liberal ideals aside, and they need to go.

We aren’t going anywhere.  It is the centrists, the spineless cowards who caved to Bush on every affront to life, liberty and justice, who need to go.  The word leftist should never be a dirty one to a Democrat.

The only way we can get our party back is to make sure they lose in November.

Right, because that worked so well in 2000.  That’s the same reasoning that led people to choose Nader over Gore in states that mattered.  (For the record, that election was lost in the courts, and not by the slim margin of votes that went to Nader).  The point is that viewing defeat as anything is unrealistic.  If the Democrats lose to McCain, it will be a loss, and we will feel it: in the courts and in our foreign and domestic policy.

Loyal Democrats like us who don’t support Obama have been told by Donna Brazile to shut up and stay home on election day. No, we won’t. She also said that the “new” party doesn’t need us, it’s long loyal base. If the “new” Democrats succeed under these circumstances, we won’t even have a party to go to in the future. We’ve been put out and have no place to go right now except to McCain.

I don’t want you to stay home on election day.  I want you to vote.  But keep clearly in mind that if you actually vote for McCain, there is no way in hell you are a loyal Democrat.  Not because you are voting against the party’s candidate in the race.  Because by supporting John McCain you’d be supporting the disaterous foreign and domestic policy of George W. Bush, and joining in an assault on everything Hillary Clinton stood for.

You say you are a loyal Democrat.  Do you support freedom of choice?  An end to discrimination based on sexual orientation?  Peace in the Middle East?  Universal Healthcare?  Economic policy informed by economists, not lobbyists?  Preserving the environment?  Stopping torture and domestic spying by our own government?  Freedom of speech?  Separation of Church and State?  The Rule of Law?  Tackling excessive lobbyist influence and political corruption?

If you actually support John McCain over Barack Obama, recognize you’ll be taking a big step back on all of these issues.  In some cases, even further back than George W. Bush himself has dragged us.

Barack Obama is not the best candidate in the world, but he is a solid candidate.  And he will move us forward on each and every one of the issues above.

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4 Responses

  1. I think you need to be careful here. You’re mixing some things. Not all people who believe the middle to be the better place to sit are “spineless cowards”. It could be that the people who are in office are not well suited for the job…seems that the Dem’s farked it up eh?

    I remember everyone rejoicing at how change would happen with new ownership in the Capital, but the truth of the matter is that things don’t change. And, even though Obama might side on human rights, he isn’t going to be able to effectively change much. There are too many wheels set in motion.

    But, I do think you are right about McCain…if he takes office he will push us further from where we _should_ be. Just don’t be surprised if Obama cannot do everything he says he will.

    Also, the middle east wont have peace for a very long time…pulling troops out or leaving them there will have no effect on that. We’ve effectively destroyed the ability for peace to exist there for many years.

  2. Nick,
    I think centrism, within the context of elected Democrats, has been shorthand for giving the Republicans what they want. So you are right that I want to be precise.

    I think the truth of the matter isn’t that “things don’t change”, or that “Obama will change everything”. I think that an aggressive focus on change, year after year, will slowly push change-averse politicians out, and bring a higher quality of politicians in.

    I won’t be surprised, but I again, we agree that two issues forward with Obama is better then 10 issues backwards with McCain.

    The Middle East could move a *lot* closer to peace if we work towards it honestly. Its the difference between throwing oil or water on a fire. An effort forward is always better than an effort backwards.

  3. Dan — I agree with you that any progress with Obama beats the hell out of the continual downward spiral we’ll see with McCain. But I think we’ll see plenty of progress on some key issues concerning our judicial system and health care under Obama.

    By the way, I noticed that we both got erased from that PUMA site we commented on. Funny how they scream about not being heard and then they delete comments from people who disagree with them. Nothing like pure power politics to bring out intellectual dishonesty.

  4. supercynic,
    Not to mention the supreme court not getting shot irretrievably to hell.

    Its hilarious in a “that guy just walked into a brick wall” kind of way.

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