It's Time to elect Jeff Merkley to the US Senate

Albert Kaufman

This is a time for Democratic leadership. This is a time for Oregon to elect Jeff Merkley to the US Senate. Considering the challenges we face right now such as the economic collapse and global warming we can’t afford to make mistakes, and that’s all we’ve gotten from Gordon Smith in the past. We can’t afford to lie to ourselves or be lied to about funding programs that aren’t effective or just plain don’t work such as abstinence-only education for our young people. Such programs lead to an uneducated public which make bad personal decisions. We need to be better educated, better trained, and in the best health possible. With Smith and the Republicans we’ve gotten a system that favors corporate agriculture when we’ve known all along that the path to personal and environmental health lies closer to home through eating local and organic food. Instead, we’ve turned into a country that gets its calories through high fructose corn syrup in just about everything we eat. We don’t have time for misinformation about food nor about energy, anymore.

With Gordon Smith we’ve seen an emphasis cars and roads which has led to suburban sprawl. Instead of promoting mass transit, Smith has gone in the exact opposite direction and prevented cars from even getting better gas mileage. We can’t afford that kind of mistake at this time in history – we need to fund mass transit and alternative fuels such as solar and wind and we don’t have that long to make the switch. Our world faces the biggest challenges we’ve ever seen as a species – global warming. What has Smith done about that? Nothing – voting in lock-step with the Bush administration which for most of its tenure fought against even suggesting that there was a problem. We don’t have the leisure time to allow ourselves to be lied to anymore.

We need strong Democratic leadership right now at all levels. We need representation in Salem and Washington, DC, who can cut through the clutter, tell us things straight and make the hard decisions that will have to be made to save our species from extinction. We all hate the idea of sacrifice, but that’s because of the messages we’ve been receiving from people like Smith & Bush, that it’s not necessary – that we can continue shopping our way out of crisis. Instead, what we should have been hearing is: “it’s time to change how we exist in this country – start learning how to grow food; start learning how to work with your neighbors; stop driving so much; stop consuming so much; learn ways to take care of your physical health and that what you eat and how much you exercise matters”! We Americans make up 4% of the world’s population but use up 25% of the world’s resources – how much longer did everyone think that was going to last? Well, my sense is that it’s not going to last forever, and it looks like we’re coming to a fork in the road where we either choose to change how we live, or we continue paying half of our US budget ($600 Billion or more) to defend our way of life, our way of shopping, our way of farming – all of which are killing the planet and in turn killing us.

We need smart leadership at the top right now and not those who will cave in to corporate interests. I believe Jeff Merkley will advocate for tough decisions and speak out in a way that should have been coming from an Oregon senator for a long time. Merkley will vote to get us out of expensive foreign wars; he will better partner to Senator Ron Wyden and thus present a united front from Oregon – a front that will take a stand for cleaner water, clearer air, and a smarter way forward.

That’s why I’m voting for Jeff Merkley for Senator and voting for Democrats on November 4th, 2008.

connect with blueoregon