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September 17, 2008

Why Obama, by Daniel Ingala (Plushgun)

Why Obama is a series of guest essays by musicians and authors, where they share their support for Democratic United States presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama and offer arguments why he needs to be elected president of the United States.

Daniel Ingala is the frontman for Plushgun. The band recently released their debut self-titled EP on vinyl (that included a free digital download).

In his own words, here is Daniel Ingala's Why Obama essay:

When asked to write a small piece on why I supported Barry Obama, I had originally written a pretty cut and dry opinion piece, as most should expect. I academically went through issues that were significant to me, broke them down, and explained why, and how Barack Obama took the cake against McCain on every front. I went on a long-winded rant about contraception, and McCain's dream of nuking Women's rights back to the stone age, while providing Viagra to old men everywhere. And then, it happened, the decision that would make me violently rip to shreds my previous prose (read: select-all, delete) and start anew. And the decision, as we must expect, is the tapping of unknown former-beauty Queen runner-up from the great state of Alaska. And then I got angry....and you don't like me when I am politically charged with partisan anger...

Why is this political stunt so utterly disgusting, that wrapping my head around it makes me want to eat a bar of old-school dynamite with a glass of soy milk? Because it is an offensive attempt to undercut the long battle for social justice by driving a wedge within the movement itself. Conservatives are once again playing into the reactionary sewer of identity politics, and while watching the long fought primary process between Obama and Clinton, they saw an opportunity to use the identity of women against everything feminism stood for.

The same man who thinks birth control should NOT be covered by healthcare is trying to win the votes of former Hillary supporters by assuming that just because there is a female on the ticket, such supporters would vote for him. But social justice is not about identity, they are trying to make us think it is Black vs White, Men vs Women. Social Justice is not a game of entitlement, who "deserves" power more, and though many will be tempted to move towards the idea of a female vice president, take a long look at where they are going to take this country. Palin, though female, is against the proliferation of women's rights. While claiming to be a "Maverick" she takes an extremely conservative stance on choice and contraception, just like McCain. I'm sorry but anyone that is able to "motivate the christian right" (according to CNN) cannot at the same time be trusted to protect the vulnerable legal infrastructure balancing reproductive rights. And with a supreme court so disturbingly lop-sided towards social conservatism, we simply cannot allow any more steps backwards. Liberal Justice Stevens is 88 years old, the appointment of another pro-life judge would effectively null and void Roe v. Wade, and when that happens, lets really sit down and have a conversation about female empowerment.

And to anyone who is considering switching their vote to McCain because of this choice, please just take a second to consider the consequences. Think of your gay friends who are told by Palin's church to "pray the gay away," think of a young woman left with no choice at all, because Palin doesn't seem to think that rape nor incest warrant an option, and think of generations who will be stuck with abstinence-only education and creationism in schools while "drill drill drill" continues to be our earth-shattering energy policy.

Conservatism has long and effectively used distraction and reaction to blunt change. This is the equivalent of using homophobia to avoid talking about failed international policy. They are trying to divide us so blatantly before our eyes, and we cannot let them win this time around, we cannot have another 4 years of buyer's remorse. We are better than this, and I'd like to think that Obama characterizes the evidence that we are better than this. More importantly, Obama represents generational change, a scary thought to older voters, to the baby boomers who got us out of Vietnam but so blindly into Iraq, change is empowering our youth. We are empowered because it is our world now, it is our country that is being plundered from the forces of a political generation who've been acting like a CEO about to retire with a golden parachute. Our angst is justified, our methods untraditional, and our desire for change warranted and tenacious. We are a generation that cares for this country more than any other, and we will come out in droves to vote, this time we will not be stopped.

Plushgun links:

Plushgun website
Plushgun MySpace page

Barack Obama link:

Barack Obama presidential campaign website

also at Largehearted Boy:

other Why Obama essays
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews


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