Single Mamas for Obama!

by mssinglemama on February 4, 2008

This single mama is 100% behind Barack Obama. If you have a minute – read this article to find out why. Here is an excerpt from the article by Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic:

“Sometimes, when the world is changing rapidly, the greater risk is caution. Close-up in this election campaign, Obama is unlikely. From a distance, he is necessary. At a time when America’s estrangement from the world risks tipping into dangerous imbalance, when a country at war with lethal enemies is also increasingly at war with itself, when humankind’s spiritual yearnings veer between an excess of certainty and an inability to believe anything at all, and when sectarian and racial divides seem as intractable as ever, a man who is a bridge between these worlds may be indispensable.”

And watch this amazing video. It’s a beautiful music video directed by Bob Dylan’s son and featuring Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas…very, very stirring.

Regardless of who wins tomorrow (the polls now show the two neck and neck)… one thing is for certain – this election has energized our country. Republican or Democrat – we should all be extremely proud to be Americans in this moment in history.

Unfortunately my state isn’t voting until March 4. But it might not be locked up tomorrow – so I might get a chance to vote for him. Posting this is the least I can do.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny February 5, 2008 at 2:33 am

Ok, it looks like I really will have to start my own blog now, if only to provide a counterpoint to this post. Great post, though — I wish more single moms could get a breath long enough to get out the vote.

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mssinglemama February 5, 2008 at 3:39 am

A counterpoint? Please…make your case here… by all means, this is an open forum for discussion.

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singlemomseeking February 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm

I just put my Obama vote in…

Wait: why can’t you vote until March 4?

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mssinglemama February 5, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Yay!!! My state’s primaries aren’t until March 4th. Sigh. So glad you voted for him…crossing my fingers that he wins California.

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Jenny February 5, 2008 at 3:44 pm

Well, it may be an open forum but political discussions, like religious ones, tend to take on a life of their own.

That said, here’s my counterpoint. I apologize in advance for its length and any perceived level of forcefulness of opinion.

Basically, my feeling is the only person who I trust to run my life and spend my money is me. Even with all the personal and financial mistakes I’ve made, I still do a heck of a lot better than the government. Democrats have a long and distinguished history of making sure I am my brother’s keeper (whether I want to be or not) and that my money is appropriated before I get to spend any of it, whether it’s in the interest of me and my family or any of the causes I support. And to be fair, in recent years, the Republicans as a party have taken an active part in sharing this history. Indeed, people who know me also know my favorite political line for being party agnostic: The Republicans want to make me their servant. The Democrats want to make me a servant to everyone. No matter who is running under these banners, their reason for being is to make sure I have no life, no money, and no stake in where the country is headed.

Personally and politically, I want to be left alone. I’m a responsible adult trying to raise a responsible, conscientious child. The person who should be elected President should want to stay out of my life and out of my state. They should understand and accept that I can spend my money better than the government can and that when I spend my money it has a far more impressive positive impact on American lives. They should understand and accept that I am a moral human being and that I do not require federal babysitting to ensure my child receives a quality education, does not break the law, and earns a living to support themselves.

In this election, there is only 1 major-party candidate who agrees with me, and that candidate is not Obama. He looks good and speaks well, but as President he would actually cost me more money than I can hope to earn on my own, without resorting to other less savory employment (or marriage which is practically the same thing). Indeed, I’d be lucky if any raises I get kept pace with inflation.

As a single mom for several years now, it’s become clear to me that, although there is less stigma attached with being a single mom (compared to when my mother was a single mom in the 70s), our culture still assumes an eternally paired model of living, actively penalizes those who choose to remain single, and demonizes those who choose to form families that do not follow the so-called traditional “one man, one woman” configuration. That would not change under Obama. If anything such penalization would increase. Obama doesn’t want to be President to preserve my right to the fruits of my own labor, live my own life, love whom I would, and raise my child as I wish. He wants to be President to preserve others’ ability to co-opt what I’ve earned and get up in my business. If I want less of what I earn to be co-opted, then the only alternative is marriage (which is not an option for me, btw).

Sorry, to harp on the money thing. But for me, finances are the hub of all other activity. How much money I have at any time determines how much I can save, how well I can educate my child, and how well I can live (as opposed to merely surviving). It also determines how active I can be in my community and how much I can support social causes I believe in. Money is the function of our capitalistic society and quite frankly, I wouldn’t change that economic model for anything. Obama, however, would change it in favor of socialism and that alone makes him the most unqualified (dare I say, dangerous) candidate for the American Presidency.

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mssinglemama February 5, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Jenny – very, very good points and thank you so much for sharing. I guess it boils down to the basic moral difference between democrats and republicans. As a democrat and a borderline socialist myself – I will be the first to happily pay higher taxes IF it means better schools and especially early childhood education options for the poor.

This is something that Obama brings up time and time again – that we are our brother’s keepers. And why should we be? Because if we continue to ignore what’s happening to this country our children won’t have much of a country left.

The biggest issue – far and above any other in this election (for me) – is the war in Iraq and what it’s done to the world’s perception of America. I just want someone in office who has no ties to the war (Obama) and the ability to unify people across party lines to work out a reasonable way to eventually withdraw. As Obama has said – this is our mess and we have to fix it. My worst fear is my son being drafted for World War III. Sounds crazy – but every empire must fall and ours is … we’ve just got to try to build our foreign allies and earn their trust again.

Thanks for your comment!

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mssinglemama February 5, 2008 at 4:09 pm

Oh! And yes, completely agree with you on changing the way married couples are rewarded with extra tax breaks – BULL! I hate that. Maybe because Obama was raised by a single mom – he’ll be the most open to helping us out.

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mommypie February 5, 2008 at 6:27 pm

LOVE this mssinglemama – and what great discussion you instigated! I know I’ll be glued to the news today…

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Jenny February 5, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Thanks for the soapbox mssinglemama…I appreciate the space for discussion.

Thing is, I don’t agree with your point about raising taxes if it gets us better education and early childhood education options. Mainly because taxes have only gone up and both these items have not gotten any better. We keep hoping someone will give us what we pay for, over and over again, but it never comes. This sort of thinking process is very like that which produces bad, unstable relationships, to my mind: Oh, he’s says all the right things and makes all the right promises, but when our back is turned taking care of the little ones, he’s sneaking inside our purse, “donating” our pennies to the countless others he’s made the same promises to.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for paying for high quality. It’s just been my experience that the feds couldn’t produce high quality anything if their very souls (if they have any) depended on it. So, to me, continuing to pay higher taxes for something they’ve proven they can never give me is insane.

As for the poor, I assume we’re talking about the working poor — they get hit hardest by high taxes since that means they get even less of the low wages they’re paid. I have no problem at all with supporting an organization whose mission is to provide decent childcare options for low income families so parents can work. However, it’s MY decision to support that. It’s not the feds’ place to commandeer my money under the pretense of supporting that and use it for anything but that.

Indeed, that’s really at the heart of socialism vs. capitalism, in more practical terms. Do we empower the government to take care of everyone, knowing full well they will do anything but? Or, do we trust that when given the choice and the means, people would rather support others on their own without any cattle-prodding by a federal authority?

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Jenny February 5, 2008 at 8:25 pm

As for Iraq — I agree with you there. We don’t need to be there and it’s actually against our charter as a country (i.e., the Constitution) for us to even be so involved. However, I don’t agree that Obama’s the only one who can get us out of that action.

Yes, Iraq is our mess and we’ve got to fix it, but withdrawing is only piece of the “fixing it” pie. Yes, there’s the diplomatic repair that needs to be done with other countries, but there’s also the repair of what’s been done to our own country. Before we can earn the trust of other nations, government has to earn the trust of the people who give it license to exist at all (e.g,. you and me). Indeed, every citizen has to believe that they have a hand in making sure the government follows its own rules and abides by its founding principles. That’s not the case right now, and Obama isn’t particularly interested in changing that.

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mssinglemama February 5, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Jenny – yes – this country is in major trouble and the politicians have been misusing our tax dollars for decades. It’s really, really depressing and that likely won’t change – whoever wins.

But on your last point – that Obama isn’t interested in changing the way people have a hand in making sure the government follows its own rules… you’re definitely wrong. Hate to say it like that – but Obama is all about involving us – everyone. Since day one he has said – “I am here because you want me to be – and WE have to change this country – together” His web site is all about mobilizing community groups into action. His book – the Audacity of Hope – preaches one thing – to do something – whatever cause you choose – but to do something for your community through volunteer work or organizing your own community action group.

This is one of the #1 reasons why people feel so moved by him.

Thanks again for the honest discussion. I think we can all agree on one thing – our government is a flipping mess!

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Jim February 6, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Jenny: Ever use a public institution? Ever been on WIC? Have you or your child ever gotten free healthcare? Has your child been in any HeadStart programs? What about the roads we drive on, etc? Do you/will you send your child to a public school? Ever report a problem to the police?

My point is, pretty much all of us have used something funded by the government (and in turn, by the taxpayer). People always want the “government” to stay out of their pockets, but really, I’d hate to think of the consequences if all the goverment services we use were just switched off one day.

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mssinglemama February 6, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Yep…one day I actually locked Benjamin in my car and locked myself out of the house. It was those silly automatic lock things. Anyway – I had to call the fire department. He was fine – sitting in the back seat reading a book, ready to go out on the town. But i of course, was freaking out. The fire truck showed up 10 minutes later and they had him out of there 5 minutes later. I have never been so happy to pay taxes in my life!

If the debate is about city vs. state vs. federal taxes…let’s look at schools. The wealthy neighborhoods get great schools, with computers, swimming pools – you name it. 15 minutes down the road the poor kids are learning in sub-standard conditions. This is appalling. And we, as a country, should be ashamed of this! And it’s a direct result of leaving education in the hands of individual states. Clearly – not working.

Should education be funded and mandated on the federal level instead? What can we do about it – other than opening more private charter schools? See – the questions could go on and on. There are no clear cut answers.

My point is – we need a government – we need to pay taxes – but we need to start holding politicians accountable for the promises they make and don’t keep. I think Obama would stand up for what he believes in and he would encourage political action during his presidency. Just look at his web site! It’s amazing – you can find other Obama supporters in your area and join groups… start blogs. Amazing.

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mommypie February 6, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Not to make light of an important discussion (and Jim, I agree with you), but, I have to tell you, I did the SAME thing when my daughter was about 14 months old. Locked her in the car at the gas pump, and had to call the fire dept, who came racing to the rescue in the 100 degree heat. As I’m freaking out, thinking she’s going to pass out from the heat, my daughter just held her hands up and shrugged on the other side of the glass as if to say, “Uh, Mom? What are you doing?” Silver lining? Try seven very cute firemen 😉 Sorry, just had to interject…

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