Dear family and friends,
As is the case in most presidential elections, our upcoming one is marked by serious and complex issues that We, The People are tasked with deciding the course of. More often than not, these issues are about our common humanity and morality and NOT as shallow as partisan politics, as the media and political machines would have us believe. The most urgent issues facing me this election cycle are
• Iraq – a strategy for ending the war and bringing every soldier home.
• Iran – preventing another unnecessary war by exercising creative and intelligent diplomacy
• Nuclear Weapons – halting the development of a new generation of U.S. nukes, and leading the international community in disarmament.
Some very brief facts about each of these topics:
• Iraq - as of NOW – Saturday December 8th at 9am – there have been 3,886 U.S. troop deaths in Iraq, coupled with tens of thousands of injuries and estimates of up to a MILLION killed Iraqis, and all at a cost to our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of more than $475 BILLION.
• Iran - a recent intelligence report reveals that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program as long as FOUR YEARS AGO, and yet the Bush Administration continues to try to scare us with the threat of a nuclear Iran. Reports are showing that President Bush knew about the cessation of nuclear activities, and yet his administration is currently spinning that data as reinforcement for their belief in imminent danger and fear.
• Nukes - this administration has been pursuing production of new nuclear weapons during its entire term, even though we already have a stockpile of nearly 10,000 Earth-destroying weapons (approx. 1/3 of the entire nuclear stock on this planet, and most of them are armed.) each ONE of them carries about 30 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb, and it would take no more than a few hundred of them to destroy a major portion of the world.
Most of our choices for President have a position on these issues, which makes it fairly clear what kind of world we can expect with them in office. Here’s my simplified rundown:
> if your value system and religious morals and American dream include more illegal war, indefinite deployment of troops, military action against Iran, and the production of more weapons of mass destruction capable of destroying all life, then vote for
> if your values include Peace, Justice, and Democracy; if your religion tells you to honor life and creation; if your America is one that leads the way toward Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness for all, then vote for
Of course it’s slightly more complex than that; there are other issues, and variations within my either-or analysis. However, on these three major issues – Iraq, Iran, and Nuclear Weapons – it really is pretty clear who would go in with proverbial and literal guns blazing and who would exercise intelligence and compassion. It is my belief that we vote not for our selves so much as for generations just beginning and yet to come. With them in mind, i refuse to be programmed for fear and a twisted sense of “justice” that amounts to no more than bestial vengeance. I refuse to continue to leave this world less healthy, less just, and less peaceful than when i found it when all the tools and opportunities to do the opposite lay right before me.
If you want to be an active participant in your political community (a Citizen):
1. REGISTER TO VOTE! One super-easy way is to go to rockthevote.com and fill in the form. You print it, sign it, and mail it. Done! You have until 15 days before an election to register or change your party. The Primaries are on February 5, 2008. You have until January 22 to get your registration in their hands.
2. EDUCATE YOURSELF. It’s nothing less than your responsibility. All of the candidates have websites, and many organizations make voting guides and catalogue the candidates’ positions. One that i really like is from Peace Action West.
3. VOTE! The United States is one of the only democracies to place the burden of voting on the Citizens (many other places make it a holiday so you don’t have work or school to contend with). Please make voting a priority! If you’re crazy and believe in being the change you wish to see in the world like i am/do, you can declare it a personal holiday...skip work and school, volunteer at a polling station, and vote!