Because I CAN Vote

Update: My favourite blogger, Audra, has corrected a huge mistake I made in the original posting of this entry.  It turns out the Oct. 6 is the deadline for registering overseas absentee ballots, and 180 days before the election is when one can begin to apply for the ballot!  I can vote after all!  If any other American ex-pats are interested, check out this site, the Overseas Vote Foundation, where you can get all the (correct) details.

Stupid me.  I waited too long to look into how to register for an absentee ballot to vote in the upcoming U.S. election.  It turns out that the deadline for the application for registration is 180 days (6 months!) before the election, which I clearly missed.  Why so much time is required to process these applications makes little sense to me.  To make amends, however, I will continue to use space in my blog to broadcast sensible information and opinion about the election, in hopes that some of my far-right relatives decide to read it someday.

Today I want to point you to a blog entry that V. forwarded to me from an email from our friend Donna.  It's written by Deepak Chopra, a man I know little about, but I sure do like his blog.  Here's part of what he wrote on Sept. 4 about Sarah Palin, titled "Obama and the Palin Effect:"
I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin’s message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision.

Look at what she stands for:

–Small town values — a nostaligic return to simpler times disguises a denial of America’s global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.

–Ignorance of world affairs — a repudiation of the need to repair America’s image abroad.

–Family values — a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don’t need to be heeded.

–Rigid stands on guns and abortion — a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.

–Patriotism — the usual fallback in a failed war.

–”Reform” — an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn’t fit your ideology.

Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from “us” pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of “I’m all right, Jack,” and “Why change? Everything’s OK as it is.” The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness.
I am trying to stay optimistic about the future, but I am afraid that John McCain's crafty choice for VP is going to lead us all down the wrong path.