World Asthma Day, Plus Politics

Happy World Asthma Day!

(How likely are you to hear that greeting ever again?)

I’ve mentioned some awareness events, reports and projects in the last couple of posts (links below). But today I’m celebrating World Asthma Day by explaining why I hope Barack Obama emerges as the Democratic candidate after today’s primaries and wins the presidency in November.

What does one have to do with the other?

Well, I’m starting with the “green” reasons because I think Obama more than any other candidate has the vision and desire to clean up the U.S. energy policy and environmental profile, particularly in light of recent events.

My reasons:

Environment

1. Up until this year when all 3 candidates’ scores suffered because of campaign-induced absences, Obama had a lifetime League of Conservation Voters score of 96%.

2. Friends of the Earth Action endorses him, partly because of his stance against the ill-advised gas tax holiday.

3. Well, there’s that gas tax holiday:

McCain’s for it, to no one’s great surprise, but Clinton has disappointed activists everywhere with her support. Economists hate it. Environmentalists hate it. Scientist and founder/executive director of the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions hates it and sums it up nicely over at Grist:

I write this post with some sadness. I would not have expected a major progressive politician who obviously cares about global warming to propose a gas tax holiday, which has no public benefits whatsoever and at the same time undermines the entire rationale behind a national climate strategy that includes, as it must, a pricing mechanism for greenhouse gases. Kudos to Sen. Obama for opposing this absurd proposal — double kudos because it might cost him a few votes.

In brief—and since I wrote a longer article on this for another site—I don’t think a short-term fix is going to get this country closer to a sorely-needed, comprehensive energy policy or reduce our dependence on foreign oil and it will probably delay serious thinking about permanent transportation solutions.

Money

Obama’s raised most of his money through 1.5 million small donors rather than Clinton’s bigger ones. His campaign stays alive through Internet donations of regular people, not a handful of wealthy donors.

The entire electoral process needs an overhaul, but Obama’s made a good start with this.

Political Dynasties

I don’t want one here. Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton for 24 years is too much. I’m actually sort of sorry this is a consideration, but America’s roots lie in welcoming new blood and new ideas, not locking up politics with 2 powerful families for a quarter of a century.

The Florida and Michigan Primaries

Neither of the candidates spoke up when the DNC rendered my state’s primary invalid. Clinton’s cagey concern over disenfranchised Florida voters just rings false in light of her earlier silence over the debate.

There are more reasons, but none of them easy or quick to explain.

In the end, it comes down to gut feeling and personal preference, anyway. Both candidates talk of shaping policy into forms I like, and I actually prefer Clinton’s health care plan over Obama’s. And I admire Clinton’s tenacity and ambition. In fact, I abhor the way Clinton detractors call her out for that very quality.

Hello? It’s the presidency. No one—and I mean no one—aspires to the White House without bucketsful of ambition. It’s not a bad word.

But Clinton is divisive and she’s abrasive and she’s let that ambition take over to turn a history-making, hopeful contest into something ugly and bitter. At the end of the day, this Asthma Mom believes instead that,

There has never been anything false about hope.

4 responses to “World Asthma Day, Plus Politics”

  1. kristi says:

    Great post. And while I am a Clinton girl, I do like Obama for all the reasons you state here, and especially for his dedication to the environment. I’m writing an opinion piece for my city’s newspaper this Friday on why drilling in ANWR is a non-solution to the real problem: this country’s obsessive consumption of foreign oil. It is astonishing to me how short-sighted people can be when the environment is concerned.

  2. Amy says:

    This is an unpopular opinion in some quarters, I know, but we’re probably not going to get better solutions to the foreign oil problem without these high gas prices. I mean, Europe pays around 8 bucks/gallon but they also have much better public transportation than we do, and part of that is paid for with gas taxes.

    Yet here in the U.S., all these highly congested areas (South FL, CA, Chicago area, etc.) have proposals for high-speed rail services, but they’re dead in the water, mostly for lack of funding.

    Anyway, send me the link to your story when you get it—I’d love to read it.

  3. Asthmagirl says:

    Happy WAD!
    Thanks for your comment today. You always make me sound wiser than I really am!

    Excellent post as usual. That’s the first time I’ve really considered the political dynasty angle!

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