Sunday, November 2, 2008

An Open Letter to the Integrity-Bereft Republican Who Stole My Obama Sign

To the person or persons who took my Obama/Biden yard sign not even 24 hours after I put it up:

Do you really feel so threatened that we might finally succeed in electing a strong leader with vision, intelligence, outstanding communication skills, and policies that will ultimately restore our prosperity and credibility as a society, that you felt you had to commit a federal offense, trespass onto my private property, and violate my freedom of expression?

Are you filled with so much hate, small-mindedness, and fear that you cannot tolerate the display of an opinion that differs markedly from yours?

Do you really believe your larcenous actions and efforts to suppress our freedom of speech offer the kind of example your party wishes to propagate about itself, when so many people are already fed up with its penchant for lies, dirty tricks, contempt of habeas corpus, xenophobia, poor judgment, and voter suppression?

Don't think I didn't consider scouring the area for an enormous replacement banner to drape over my front balcony, then reconsider, because I don't underestimate your capacity for resorting to immature, ignorant, base behavior, like vandalizing such a banner and destroying the property to which it is attached. We've seen it before, and I wouldn't put it past you to descend to that level.

But do you actually think that invading my space, stealing from my home,and trying to shut me up is going to discourage me, suppress the energy Senator Obama has ignited across the country, and squelch his message and spirit of hope?

No, Sir or Madam, I think NOT. Take as many signs as you WANT. Go ahead. Make yourself look like a sleazy, cheating, low-class crook. Let that speak for your grand old party. Go. Take the signs away. It won't matter. You can try and take away our voice, if you fear it that much; but you'll never take away our spirit: the transformational power of a people united in concern and hope for every member of society, especially the voiceless; a people that truly does put country - not corporate pockets and special interests - first.

(In case you hadn't noticed, I'm MAAAAAAAD. Just had to vent. But the galaktoboureko I had for dessert tonight should be kicking in right...about...now, so I'll be calmer in a minute....)

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Thanks to Michael Leddy for this:




And to the Huffington Post for this:

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Addendum, November 3, 2008: A Follow-Up Letter to the Sign Thief

Dear Integrity-Bereft Republican Who Stole My Obama Yard Sign,

Just wanted to fill you-in on what an inspiration you've been since you trespassed on my property and tried to violate my rights and freedoms. I want to tell you about the amazing night we had tonight.

I replaced the sign you stole, of course, so yes, that's more money for the Obama campaign. Oh, and I bought three t-shirts, 4 buttons, and another bumper sticker, while I was at it.

Your behavior only served to remind us of how strong our admiration for Barack Obama really is. We don't just support him. We love him, the way we imagine the supporters of people like Kennedy, Lincoln, Gandhi, and King must have loved them. Our family has supported other democratic candidates in the past, but this one's different. His power to inspire is so great that my 11-year-old begged me to take her to the Obama headquarters in our area so she could volunteer to make calls. And you know what, tonight I did, and she did, encouraged by her little brother (her "trusty sidekick"), who stood by her side. I am immensely proud of both of them and the way they participated in their country's democracy (not to mention warmed to my core to hear her cute, sweet little voice cheerfully calling voters to encourage them to participate in the election tomorrow).

Obama's office was a-buzz with volunteers filled with spirit (as one commenter put it on 538, "This is what happens when a community organizer uses his much-ridiculed experience."). There was a kind of joy in the air that stoked the fire in our hearts. We were proud to be there, to be part of this historic "ground game." Charisma comes from the Greek word for grace - the spirit-filled kind, the kind that moves mountains. This candidate's charisma not only draws people to him but also flows outward from him and bestows on all of us an energy that produces willing, heart-filled action.

I am glad we didn't let your childish actions discourage us. I am glad we left ourselves open to adventure tonight, on a school night, found our way to campaign headquarters, and in our own small way, participated in this inestimably important political process.

Because I want what's best for this country and its relationship with the rest of the world, I hope to see Barack Obama as our new president. I hope the people who constructed the polling machines had more integrity than you, and will not have rigged those machines to default at a Republican position just so they can steal the election by cheating. I hope this country has the courage and honesty to let the people's true choice be recognized. And whatever the outcome tomorrow, I do wish you well, and I hope this country moves in the right direction for both of us in terms of human rights and freedoms, natural and financial resources, and care for every member of society. Despite people who behave as you do, I believe this country deserves that.

11 comments:

Michael Leddy said...

T., take a look:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivy_windchaser/2939110809/

Anali said...

You tell 'em T! That is so ignorant that someone did that. I hope the dessert kicked in and you're feeling better. I guess it's probably too late to get a new sign. *sigh*

Well, one day left and hopefully our country can start moving in the right direction.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Personally, I think you got away fairly mildly with just having your sign stolen instead of bombed with a malotov cocktail, or your car keyed with various epithets...

Looks like there are people bereft of integrity on both sides of the aisle.

As an aside, I wonder if you thought it would be alright for someone to practice medicine without passing the licensing exam?

You probably wouldn't blame in the least a potential patient flatly refusing to be treated by that person.

Please think of that when thinking of voters who can't bring themselves to vote for a presidential candidate who wouldn't be able to qualify for a security clearance!

T. said...

I have no doubt that there are people on both sides who are patently HORRIBLE human beings, and if those acts of violence happened to you, I am truly sorry. Terrorism, even the mildest sort, is NEVER right.

However, I find your point about "qualifications" ironic in light of McCain's choice of running mate, and in light of what the previous administration's "experience" resulted in for this country (TOTAL DISASTER).

I also find somewhat ignorant the insistence of many in the Republican party on turning a totally blind eye to the years Senator Obama has spent working in the United States government, as if those years were completely without value. His grasp of foreign and domestic policy and his unsurpassed organization and communication skills are proven. The comparison to an unlicensed physician would be far more appropriate for Governor Palin than for Senator Obama.

I leave you with Dr. Moore's thoughts:

"WHAT IF?

Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin, what if things were switched around? Think about it...

Would the country's collective point of view be different? Could racism be the culprit?
Ponder the following:

What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review? What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?

What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair with her while he was still married?

What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)

What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?

What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline p roblems and a record of crashing seven planes?

What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?

What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?

What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?

You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

Educational Background:

Barack Obama:
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)

vs.

John McCain:
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin:
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world.
You make the call."

-Donnica L. Moore, MD
President, Sapphire Women's Health Group LLC

Editor-in-Chief, Women's Health for Life

Anonymous said...

an educated fool is still a fool- but i won't list BHO's myriad shortcomings. we've both read and seen enough to be able to recite our respective lists in our sleep, i am sure.

you did NOT, however, address the question of 'licensure'.

Catherine said...

Hi T, thought you might enjoy this one:
http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/politics/Woman_paints_lawn_after_sign_is_stolen

T. said...

Thanks, Catherine!

Anonymous - on the subject of licensure...

Inasmuch as licensure is the "official" index of professional qualification, the short answer is no, I'd prefer not to have an unlicensed physician practice medicine, of course. That said, there are plenty of awful licensed physicians out there and plenty of wonderful physicians who have not yet passed their licensure exams; I could probably write a whole separate blog post about the validity and relative merits and shortcomings of the licensure process.

But as I wrote before, the comparison that you make is validly applied, in my opinion, to Palin but not at all valid for Obama. Clearly we must agree to disagree on political matters.

Bperhaps we CAN agree on the fact that having this discussion at all, openly, publicly, and freely, is why the democratic process and the founding values of this country are worth fighting for in the first place, and why no matter where individual opinions lie, I believe members of both parties sincerely have what they believe to be the country's best interests at heart.

Øystein said...

T, check out this Public Service Ad (PSA) from 1953:
http://politedissent.com/images/nov06/fs.html

T. said...

Oystein, that's great. Hope there's some Obamamania in Norway! :)

Anonymous said...

Why would you assume it was a Republican who stole your yard sign?
Have you considered that the unemployed welfare recipients who wanted his HOPE and CHANGE need signs for their yards too! They are just showing you how taking from those who have something and giving it to someone who does not have something, works!