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I'm Voting for Barack Obama in New York

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I'm voting for Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries. I live in New York.

This wasn't an easy decision.  I made it at the end of December.

I would have been happy with with any of the Democrats.  Their positions were - and still are - different only in nuances.  The question of what the election of a candidate would symbolize and accomplish in a larger political sense thus looms in importance in this election.

Hillary Clinton's election would have the wonderfully beneficial effect of putting a woman in the White House - as President. Barack Obama's election would have the equivalent effect of making an African-American our President.

Which statement to the world, which redress of American wrongs, is more important?

To some extent, comparing the mistreatment of women and blacks in our culture is comparing apples and oranges. But, all in all, I think African-Americans have received the worse treatment. They were brought here as slaves. We fought a Civil War to free them, but they were hanged in the South, anyway, for decades after the war. Their leaders - Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers - were assassinated. Nothing like that has ever happened to women as a socio-cultural-political group.

I therefore think that the election of Barack Obama as President of this nation would make the most powerful possible revolutionizing statement - to the world, to the future, to the past, to ourselves.

Beyond that, I like Obama's style - his quick wit indeed reminds me of JFK. And there are a few of Hillary Clinton's positions and actions that I'm not very happy with. She should not have voted in favor of labeling Iran a terrorist nation, as President Bush requested. She should not have even considered legislation cracking down on violence in video games. This last might seem like a small issue, but when Bill Clinton was President he signed the Communications Decency Act into law - an act so afoul of the First Amendment, that even the Supreme Court struck it down.

Nonetheless, I would happily vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election, and would also be delighted to see her on the ticket as Obama's Vice Presidential candidate. 

But on February 5 I'll be voting for Barack Obama in New York.


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Paul Levinson's The Silk Code won the 2000 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has since published Borrowed Tides (2001),The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), and The Plot To Save Socrates (2006). His science fiction and (more...)
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