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Web Letter

Alexander Cockburn has truly hit the nail on the head. My vote was more against McCain than for Obama. His vote for wiretapping and his about face on campaign funds raised a lot of concerns for me. Its true that his election is historic and that he is well-spoken & charismatic, but when push comes to shove he appears to be just another politician.

Robert F. Zack

St. Louis, MO

Nov 6 2008 - 2:34pm

Web Letter

Alexander Cockburn asks, Why vote for Obama, in light of his relative centrism? Why settle for such compromises of principle? Why not, instead of accepting the corporate-delivered two-party system, stand up and support a true progressive like Nader? Because like the rest of us, Mr. Cockburn lives in America in 2008, and is smart enough to see the country around him for what it is: a huge country heavily influenced by the corporate-political establishment where most people don't see things the same way we do. Because the "exciting or liberating moment in America's politics such as was possible after the Bush years" was not possible to the extent that he envisioned it.

Sadly, we are still the country that let the Bush administration set us back so far. A lot has changed in eight years, but many people can write off the last eight years as a bad president instead of the logical effect of a despicable brand of ideology. We vote for Obama because we will be putting an intelligent, decent man back in the most powerful office in the land. I can only speak for myself, but I see myself as the intersection of idealism and pragmatism. Strive for the best, plan for the worst; then, deal with what actually happens.

And what actually happens if all the true progressives vote for Nader? Fifteen percent Nader, 38 percent Obama, 44 percent McCain. If voting for president is really about voting for the candidate who most closely represents your principles, why not write in Alexander Cockburn? Ah, yes, because the presidential election is not an abstract exercise to show your principles--the results will affect all Americans (not just the ones who agree with you) for years to come.

I also took issue with Cockburn's claim of Obama's ascendency due to his "blackness." It is a double-edged sword, to be sure. Just as Cockburn criticizes claims that Obama would "be cantering effortlessly" were he white, I call Cockburn on his similarly one-sided hypothesis. The unmitigated certainty that were Obama white, he would be viewed as a "second-tier senator with unimpressive credentials" is dubious, considering the lack of those characterizations of John Edwards during his run this year.

Robert Helmuth

Middletown, CT

Nov 3 2008 - 3:18pm

Web Letter

Alexander Cockburn has quite a lot of nerve thinking he can determine anyone's "most salient physical characteristic." In fact, he sounds like an old-fashioned anthropologist, so overconfident in his own objectivity that he inadvertently reveals his own limited thinking. (To put it kindly.) Personally, I'm voting for Obama on account of his boy-next-door good looks!

Elizabeth Treadwell-Jackson

Oakland, CA

Oct 31 2008 - 11:26am

Web Letter

A vote for Nader is not and never will be a vote for McCain, simply because our government is not strictly a two-party governnment. We should fear the day it becomes one, and we should rebel against corporate party dominance every chance we get. Voters have power and every vote sends a message. While a vote for Nader sends the message that one more voter is willing to demand real change, a vote for Obama/McCain is a vote for a continuation of the status quo. A vote for Nader is a vote for Nader, who is not the least worst of two, but the very best of six--a great leader standing up for a progressive, populist platform. A vote for Obama/McCain is a vote that further entrenches us in the stagnant two-party mindset that is speeding this once-great nation to its demise.

Christine Chimienti

New Hyde Park, NY

Oct 29 2008 - 12:30pm

Web Letter

Are you kidding? Standing up for your principles and voting for a candidate that has a progressive platform is admirable--except that Nader has no chance to win, and you know it. A vote for Nader will put McCain in office. Is that what you want? McCain will stay in Iraq until we "win"! He will eliminate a woman's right to choose. He will give tax breaks to the wealthy. Can you even imagine sending Palin to other countries as our representative? Maybe Obama is not the perfect candidate, but he is an intelligent, mild-mannered, thinking politician, and I want him and not hot-headed, impulsive, war-loving McCain. The Obama-Biden ticket is far superior, and with a Democrat in office and a Democratic Congress we have a better chance of having a future Supreme Court nominee who will protect the rights that Democrats want to protect. A vote for Nader is a vote for the Republicans!

Sharon Spinak

Salisbury, MD

Oct 28 2008 - 1:34pm

Web Letter

The post from Geneva, says a lot. It is alot easier to worship Obama from afar. (I suppose he is a US citizen?) The "world wants Obama"? Good.

Give up your single-payer heatlh care. Bail out your stock markets with taxpayer dollars, and give it to the thieves that stole it. Set the "rate of richness" at six times what the average citizen makes. (Offer working people a $1,000 bribe). Give up regulation of trade, and allow your government to hold people agaisnt their will, spy on them illegally, etc. Oh--dont forget to increase your military budgets, even as the middle class suffers--we have to keep up that "war on terror"!

Then--you too can have an "I love the free market" nation"! (Obama's words)

I don't agree with everything Cockburn said, I am not voting for Nader. I may even vote for Obama! But, it will be either because (1) I am so sick of hearing racists in Ohio--so it would be a "racist" vote, to vote for an African-American just to spite my bigoted neighbors, or (2) so that, maybe, some of my middle-class family and friends can get some help. I am one of those "stupid poor people" you keep goading. I was actually dumb enough to go into social work--MSW--and you thought teachers were broke!

If the press says Obama is a "socialist"--that's rich! I am a socialist--and never more proudly! After Wall St., I never want to hear a capitalist say that we "can't afford anything" again! But, of course, even with Dems in both Houses and the pseridency, it will be the cause of choice. "If only we hadn't had to bail out Wall St." Bull.

The "healthcare plan" stinks. Fifteen million will still be without, and it is market based. It is doomed. The FISA amendment, the Wall St. bailout... (Sanders, Kucinich, Kaptur, et al. all had plans that would've left more of the burden on the thieves--the Dems wouldnt even allow votes on them!)

It's fine to vote for Obama--it's a strategic decison. But, dont try to pretend he is a progressive.

Or better yet--stop trying to pretend the Democratic Party is progressive. Other countries want Obama? Sure--and I want single-payer healthcare, progersive taxation, five parties to choose from, a Parliament, etc.--and I cannot afford to move.

This is neo-liberalism, and it boggles the mind how many of my former "heroes" have bought into it. After eight years of Bush, this should be the "progressives' year." If it is not now, it never will be.

One more thing--to the censors at the "liberal" websites. Well, you've lost me as a Democrat for life! Common Dreams is particularly bad on this--there are entire websites set up to chat about "being banned from CD"! Is this the "progressive " hope and dream? For shame.

Kyle Christensen

Dayton, OH

Oct 27 2008 - 4:20pm

Web Letter

I don't know where Cockburn got the idea that Obama is a "reformist" candidate. Perhaps he is being led astray by the feeble attempts of the McCain team to brand him a "socialist." Nor can I think of an avowed "reformist" over the past century who has ever been elected to the presidency, with the possible exception of FDR in his second term. Get real, man! I like a lot of the things that Nader says and, along with fellow lefties, even voted for him in 2000. But politically he is zilch. To my knowledge, he has never lifted a finger to found a political organization that fields candidates at the grassroots level. At best he is a narcissistic spoiler. If voting for Obama is a vote against McCain/Joe the Plumber, a vote for Nader is a vote against Obama--nothing more.

Thomas Ganiatsos

Geneva, Switzerland

Oct 25 2008 - 8:11am