Thursday, August 28, 2008

Time for Un Cambio!

Seventy-five year old Inocencia Coto in South Florida who has always supported Republican candidates in a district of predominantly Cuban Americans who usually vote 90% Republican in national elections won’t be supporting the Republican in her district this year. She’s actively working for the Democratic challenger, Raul Martinez, who is within four percentage points of eight term Republican incumbent, Mario Diaz-Balart.

Coto and many of her friends say the same thing.
"The cost of living, the war, health insurance--too many things are getting out of hand," says Coto, fixing a yellow flower in her hair as Martinez tours the center. "It's time for un cambio--a change."
I have a love/hate with Bill Clinton, as I suspect many of you also have. He fought to a standoff the right wing of the Republican Party that would have gutted laws protecting workers, environmental protection, endangered species, and more. When I think about what kind of a president he could have been had he been able to keep his pants zipped, I get angry all over again.

That said, in his speech to the convention last night, I think he made one of the best and cases for why we dare not elect John McCain.
Bill Clinton was respectful, succinct and used precisely the tone that I believe will appeal to undecided voters:
“The Republicans will nominate a good man who served our country heroically and suffered terribly in Vietnam,” he said. “He loves our country every bit as much as we all do. As a senator, he has shown his independence on several issues. But on the two great questions of this election, how to rebuild the American Dream and how to restore America’s leadership in the world, he still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years.”

“They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more,” he said. “Let’s send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America: Thanks, but no thanks.”
Clinton underscored a point that is often missed. This year, more than any other, “party” matters. The reason it is more important this year is that more Republicans and Independents recognize its importance and the bankruptcy of the Republican Party. It is not just John McCain who is running for the presidency; it is the Republican Party. I cannot bring myself to believe that the electorate will opt for four more years of the last eight. Life-long Republican Inocencia Coto gives me hope. “It’s time for un cambio.”

I’m looking forward to Obama’s acceptance speech at the stadium tonight. Hope you will be watching it too!
- Milo

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