Why West Virginians Should Support Obama…

Posted: April 27, 2008 in Obama, Politics, Religion, Sarah Einstein, West Virginia
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Does anybody else remember that West Virginia used to be a “yellow dog Democrat” state, meaning that we would rather vote for a Democratic candidate who was a yellow dog than a Republican, no matter what his/her qualifications?  There was a good reason for this:  more than most of the country, the people of West Virginia deal with poverty, disability, and the issues of rural communities.  We voted for candidates who stood behind labor, were willing to fight the war on poverty, and supported initiatives to ensure that people living in rural communities had good schools, good roads, and the chance to raise their children to have good lives. 

Then, somewhere along the way, we let ourselves be told that those things didn’t matter.  That, in fact, the folk who wanted to build roads, improve schools, and care for the elderly and disabled were, in fact, the bad guys.  Why?  Because somehow we let ourselves be tricked into believing that “Christian” and “Republican” were the same thing.  We let ourselves forget that Jesus gave us not The Ten Commandments, but the far more difficult and demanding Sermon on the Mount. 

I believe that if you look at the issues, you can’t help but come to the conclusion that Obama is the best candidate for West Virginia.  He supports strengthening the supports for persons with disabilities–a key issue in the state with the highest percentage of citizens with disabilities in the entire country!  He supports initiatives to ensure rural small business can compete by bringing high speed internet to currently unserved areas, and he supports keeping the market open to these small businesses through net neutrality.  He has the best plan for providing health care to everyone–a key need in a state that only a few years ago saw the head of DHHR refuse to answer the legislature’s questions about how their healthcare reforms were impacting West Virginia citizens!  On these, and so many more, issues, Obama is clearly the candidate with the best plan  West Virginia’s future.

It is time for us to have hope again.  That’s not something that comes easy here in West Virginia, where wave after wave of reformers have come and gone without providing much relief from the hard times that seem always to hit us the hardest.  But Obama isn’t offering us a hand-out.  He’s offering us the tools to carve out our own prosperity, and better lives for our kids.  And isn’t that what we all want?

 

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