Sara Paretsky’s Blog

welcome to my world
October 28, 2008, 8:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Why I Support Barack Obama

by Sara Paretsky


I grew up in rural Kansas, with the kind of Norman Rockwell, regular-gal childhood you hear a lot about these days: our two-room school’s baseball diamond was carved from a cornfield.  My dad, who held Army medals for marksmanship, owned two rifles.  I never killed a polar bear, or shot at wolves from a helicopter, but I took care of my share of rats at the garbage dump where we took our trash in those pre-green days.  It’s been a while since I held a rifle, but I used to be able to clean and fire a .25 pretty well.

Our family was typically American in other ways: we were a Heinz 57 mix of religions and ethnicities.  One of my great-grandfathers was a Hasid, an ultra-orthodox Jew in eastern Poland; another studied for the Catholic priesthood before realizing that life wasn’t meant for him.  Other great-great grandfathers were part of the generation of Puritan preachers who settled New England in the seventeenth century.

In my family, as in so many blended American families, our central holiday was the Fourth of July. On the Fourth of July, my father taught us the history of the country.  My mother had my brothers and me memorize sections of the Declaration of Independence and of the Constitution.  We learned:

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do establish and ordain this Constitution for the United States of America.


We the People.  Not, we the billionaires.  Not, we the believers in Creationism.  Not, we the oil industry lobbyists.  Not even, we the blogging novelists.   Just, we the people.

This is why I support Barack Obama for President of the United States.  He understands this mandate, and he has lived it during fourteen years of public service.

The Founders of this country could not have imagined our health care system when they wrote that they wished to “promote the general welfare.”  But they surely did not confuse “the general welfare” with the wealth and health of the few.  In America today, we taxpayers give the Republican president and his would-be successor free health care of the highest quality in the world.  When Mr. Bush returns to Crawford, and Senator McCain to Sedona, we taxpayers will continue to provide them this gold-plated health care.  Meanwhile, Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain have told us taxpayers to go to the emergency room when we’re sick.

Barack Obama, from the day he entered public life, has understood that we all share the blessings of liberty, and that we all share the costs and the benefits of those blessings.  As a state legislator in one of America’s largest states—with almost twenty times the population of Alaska—he worked with Republicans and Democrats to create affordable health care for Illinois children, so that when they were sick, or born with disabilities, their mothers didn’t have to line up in an emergency room.  He worked for the welfare of our oldest citizens, who  had given a life of service to this country, and did not need to spend their final years in poverty and indignity.  As a United States Senator, Barack Obama has continued that important, bi-partisan work.

When the Founders of our country talked about “establishing justice,” they wanted justice for all Americans without fear or favor.  We’ve lived in a poisonous atmosphere for the last eight years, where if you paid lip service to religion, you could buy and sell our natural resources while having cocaine and sex parties.  You could fire federal prosecutors for not supporting the president.  You could threaten to put librarians in prison for the crime of consulting a lawyer when the Department of Justice came calling at their libraries.

 This is also why I support Barack Obama for President of the United States.  He believes that justice means observing the law impartially for all, not just for the wealthy, not just for people who pay lip service to religious beliefs.

I have spent the last forty years working for women’s rights to be treated as full and equal citizens under the law.  And this is the final reason that I support Barack Obama.

I have a fourteen-year-old granddaughter, and like all grandmothers, my beloved granddaughter is dearer to me than anything else on this earth.  I want her to grow up in a world where she can make the most important decisions about her life in the privacy of her home or doctor’s office: her decisions about whether to become pregnant, whether to be a mother.  She doesn’t need a government telling her what to do. 

Governor Palin has demanded privacy for her teen daughter’s pregnancy, and for the Palin familiy’s decisions about sex education and contraception, but the governor, and Senator McCain, both want my granddaughter’s decisions to be the government’s business.

If Barack Obama is elected president, he will keep the government out of our bedrooms.   He will return our nation to the serious work the Republicans have abandoned for far too many years: providing for the common defence, promoting the general welfare, securing the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.


12 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Welcome to blogging Sara. Great post, which tells me more of what I want to know about the election than the news.

Comment by bookwitch

Hi Sara!
I’m really pleased that you decided to go ahead with a blog – and what a blog! I’m one of the terrible three (solstice) and I’m sure that many people will read you, comment and interact.

The result of the imminent election will echo around the world and so it’s of tremendous importance to many of us who are not American citizens. Many of the things you say are (the healthcare info plus women’s rights) are so true and worrying.

I do so hope that Obama is elected to give the US and the rest of the world a chance to recover from the damage inflicted on it by the present arrogant, self-serving, right-wing Republican govenment.

Keep up the blogging!

Comment by corkhead

Hi Sara,

Really pleased that you decided to do a blog. Your comments on the US Presidential election are really interesting and true.

Comment by corkhead

Sara, thanks so much for your insightful comments. I completely agree with everything you say.

The Axis of Evil (Bush, Cheney, Rove) have done their best to destory this incredible country. However, they didn’t do it alone—every person that voted for Bush/Cheney must also accept responsibility for their actions because their vote put the Axis of Evil in office.

Barack Obama represents what is best about this country. His statesman like handling of the campaign is a breath of fresh air after the desperate tactics of republicans who have shown that there is no level too low or no lie too outrageous.

We’ve had the country hijacked by the Bushies and the Supreme Court. It’s time to return the country to the people.

Sara, thanks again for starting the blog.

Comment by genny

Hello there, Solstice!

Now that we are “all” here, let’s spread the word about Sara’s new blog.

Comment by bookwitch

Amen, Sara. I’m and American who’s lived in London for nearly 20 years, and so desperately want to look back across the Atlantic at a country I can feel proud of. Been thinking of the values I was brought up to believe: Liberty and justice for all, all men were created equal, that sort of pipe dream. Obama is the first hope I’ve had in years.

Comment by meg rosoff

Yes, this is a tough day. I’m leaving now (6 a.m) to vote, and then will go to Indiana to work. And try to keep my courage from flagging

Comment by saraparetsky

Very pleased for you. I’m assuming we can trust the news reports this morning, and that it went well for Obama. I did have weird dream during the night that went the opposite way, but decided it was only a nightmare.

Comment by bookwitch

Well done America! Good news indeed, Sara.

Comment by corkhead

Thanks, Corkhead, Bookwitch–I’m off to bed. More later

Comment by saraparetsky

A belated welcome to the blog world. Thank you for a great piece for starters. One might add Barack Obama understands gay rights. The day he won the election brought tears to so many eyes.

Comment by ab

This probably not the right space for this but I just finished Bleeding Kansas. I grew up in Lawrence Kansas and could relate to the setting. I want you to know that in my Home House there were bullet holes from when Quantrill came through. I graduated in 1957 and I am African American. I am a little older than you but I enjoyed the book. I do not live in Lawrence but remember my mother working against segregation at that time. She was called a communist. I could go on and on, nice to hear of an author from my home town. Thanks Sara.

Comment by Glenda Atkinson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: