Election day letter from Garden Street
A Hoboken resident who lives on Garden Street – Send Hoboken411 this letter about the state of our country – and who you should vote for in tomorrow’s election.
We need a true world leader
The flurry of renovations on our block came to a screeching halt about eight months ago. Soon the “For Rent” signs went up. It was the first time I’d seen those in years.
Even though there are about five levels of government above our town (actually here in New Jersey it seems like eight or nine) the national elections tomorrow have the potential to directly impact the lives of my wife and me, and even more importantly, those of our kids. Some say this election is about “risk.” The devil you know versus the devil you don’t.
Some say it’s about “change” but I’ve canvassed and campaigned enough to know that change doesn’t come with just one election. I’ve spent many, many hours watching debates, doing research, and digesting election coverage, and the only thing that seems clear is that this feels like the most important election of my lifetime. I hope everyone else feel the same way and gets to the polls tomorrow.
Like most other people, my perspective on this election is shaped both by what I experience here at home – like higher and higher property taxes and less accountability – and what I’ve experienced in travels. The tax and spend nature of local government here would make a Republican out of just about any Kennedy I could imagine. And as reckless (ok, pathetic) as I feel our local government is here I am also frustrated by the carte blanche financial bailout approach the current Republican president is dishing around the country. Now a full month into a financial meltdown, the two dramatic showers of cash on the financial industry will finally be followed up with some relief for struggling homeowners. You have to wonder what has taken them so long to get here. And GM, with it’s product development philosophy akin to any drug dealer (“sell ‘em whatever they want”) is right there too amongst the idiots who got us into this mess.
When I think about what I want my family to enjoy in life, it is much less about limitless choices on cable TV and cheap 30-packs of soda from the local big box store, and much, much more about seeing and experiencing different places and cultures while they can, affordably and safely. Our current President came into office proclaiming loudly that the US was not going to engage in “nation building,” and one 9/11 and many mid-East inflammations later it’s clear our nation still has that attitude. We’re not doing it very well. This summer the Beijing Olympics illustrated that western culture is quite short on tradition and in many ways social style.
READ THE REST OF HIS LETTER – AND HIS ENDORSEMENT – AFTER THE JUMP…
(Election Day Letter, continued…)
(Did anyone else think Tom Petty was the best we could drag out for the Super Bowl last year? That’s a great band, but as he was singing “Running Down a Dream” I was hearing the “American Dream Run Down”). In a decade we’ve seen the financial influence of the US dollar eclipsed by other currencies. The exchange rates have dropped so far my family can’t afford to travel abroad; even if those nation’s wanted us to visit. Its safe to say we can expect more of the same. The dollar just ain’t all that anymore.
In struggling to make sense out of this election I’ve been up but mostly down. I was glad to see Giuliani uncovered for everything he is and isn’t, and I was glad that McCain got the chance to step up. I was surprised to see Hillary slide, and became very curious about Obama. I mean, if a name like “Kennedy” and the thought of a Catholic in the White House was bizarre to people a half century ago, well, to this amateur historian it seems like déjà vu all over again.
The crystallizing moment finally came for me in the second debate. Tom Brokaw asked the two candidates that given the many challenges this country faced “the war on terrorism, energy security, and health care”
which would they tackle first.
One candidate answered, “Tom, I think I could do all three.” My eyes rolled. I cringed.
The other guy answered, “Tom, I would tackle energy security, because it is linked to the war on terror and if we can develop other sources we can have energy security and global security.”
The biggest thing that surprised me in those two responses was who gave them: McCain was the candidate who claimed he could tackle all three.
Obama focused on energy and drew the link between energy and terror. It was almost a role reversal, for the “maverick” to give the pandering response, and the young upstart to crystallize the issue which to me, will define our lifetime.
I remember over 30 years ago standing in line at the gas station for hours with my dad as we tried to cope with the gas shortage. Actually he was trying to cope. I was totally getting on his nerves and raising his blood pressure. This summer, it was shocking to me that in the southeast Atlanta and Charlotte had lines for gas again. And shopping last night at the grocery store and seeing that the prices of milk, bread and other family staples haven’t come down yet reminds me that our dependency on foreign fossil fuels is unhealthy on so many levels.
If our new President can help break this dependency and develop new alternatives and sources of energy, perhaps we can ensure that American Dream for our kids, and make the world safe for them to experience and enjoy again as many of us were fortunate to do.
I hope you will join me and vote for Obama. Like it or not, the American President is not just a national leader, they are a leader of the world.
And I think that’s what our world needs now — a national leader who can and will be a true world leader – more than any time in my life time.”
From Garden Street, Hoboken, NJ
(one person’s perspective)