Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My video testimonial as a Republican for Obama

I am making a video for YouTube, and here's my script.

I'm Chuck Lasker, and I'm a Republican for Obama. My favorite president was Ronald Reagan. I loved him. He put country before self, as no other president has since. The economy was strong. Americans could travel the world with heads held high, feeling safe, and rich from the strong dollar. If we'd had candidates like Ronald Reagan since then, the Republican Party would have remained in full power.

Since then, however, the Republican Party leadership has pulled the Party off course. The extreme right evangelicals and the corporations have taken over. From Bush Senior's New World Order to the current administration's free pass for monopolies and conglomerates that crush small businesses and innovation, the Party is barely recognizable.

Do you remember how upset we Republicans were when Clinton wrote executive orders? Now Bush rules with them everyday. Remember the Republican phrase, “we are not the world's police” when Clinton sent our troops to fight foreign wars? Remember how Bush Sr. had us out of Iraq in 100 days? Remember how pro-life meant reducing pregnancies and abortions, not failed attempts at discouraging premarital sex for moral reasons that have nothing to do with abortion? Do you think pro-life Reagan would support killing over a million Iraqis in order to “free them?” And at what point did it become Republican to believe safety is more important than liberty – after 9/11 or when the public started disagreeing with the Bush administration?

Remember when the War on Drugs was about arresting drug kingpins, not drug users? Do you think Reagan would approve of us having a higher percentage of citizens in prison than China, mostly being people who smoked a little weed? And prisons being private companies owned by judges, prosecutors and sheriffs? That doesn't fit with smaller government and keeping government out of our personal lives, does it?

Remember when trickle down economics worked because the rich would spend their money in America and invest in small businesses? Today they spend their money overseas and invest in oil and foreign investments, so it's trickling away, not down. That's why Bush's tax cuts for the rich have not helped our economy at all, but has created a debt to China it will take generations to repay. There's another one Reagan would love, a trillion dollar debt to The People's Republic of China.

So, my fellow Republicans, I put it to you. Is the current Republican leadership truly Republican, the Party of Lincoln, the Party of Eisenhower, the Party that created the civil rights movement, the Party of Ronald Reagan who attracted people from both parties to his campaign?

No, the Republican Party – at least the national leadership – has betrayed us. They've sold out to mega-corporations, lobbyists, the far right, and the military industrial complex. The economy is in the tank, our military is stretched to the limit on an unnecessary war, and our Constitution has been shredded with government spying, free speech infringement, and more Executive Orders than all previous presidents combined. Heck, Americans now claim to be Canadians when they travel oversees because the world hates our arrogance. But FoxNews actually claimed that European people liking Barack Obama is a “red flag” against him, as if it's a Republican desire for our allies to hate us. How does that fit with the Republican free trade agenda?

And the maverick John McCain? He is not even recognizable from the John McCain of 8 years ago, since he lost the primary in 2000 and realized he needed to pander to the new Ultra-Right Republican leadership so they'd give him a chance to be president. His voting record of 95% yes votes on Bush initiatives last year shows he's not a maverick anymore, and his recent reversals on so many issues shows he'll do and say whatever it takes to win the presidency, where he'd be completely beholden to the corporations who funded his campaign. As an example, McCain reversed his opinion on new drilling for oil, and his donations from oil and gas companies increased ten fold immediately. His current hateful personal attack ads against Obama that question Obama's patriotism and support for the troops show a do-anything-to-win moral vacuum that he claims to be above with his "Straight Talk Express." McCain 2000 would simply hate McCain 2008.

There is an alternative to blindly following the orders of the Party leadership. The alternative is Barack Obama. Just as Reagan's non-partisan, big tent agenda attracted Democrats in both of his elections, Senator Obama is attracting Republicans like me, who feel betrayed and ignored by the current leadership, and who don't believe John McCain represents us.

Do I agree with Obama on everything? No. Do I believe he loves this country before self, and do I trust him, and believe he's a brilliant leader? Yes I do. I am voting for Obama, not against McCain because I truly believe nobody can better get us out of the horrible situation we're now in. It's time for a new direction – not just any new direction, but one that pushes against special interests, Washington corruption, and the pork barrel status quo.

If you're feeling disaffected, like me and thousands and thousands of other Republicans throughout the country, please read “The Audacity of Hope” by Barack Obama. Go to an Obama event, especially if he'll be speaking. Go to www.barackobama.com and read up on the issues. If your mind is open, you'll see that he is not a “tax and spend liberal,” that he's not an elitist or leftist, but instead, is a centrist with amazingly nonpartisan ideas. Then, join us in our nonpartisan effort to clean up Washington and bring back the freedoms we've lost in our misguided attempt at making us “safe.”

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