Should Obama Get My Vote?

“Are you going to vote for Obama?” my 14-year-old daughter, Misgav, asked me the other day.

“I don’t vote in American elections,” I replied, “because I’m Israeli.”

“But you could vote, right?”

“I could,” I acknowledged. “I’m also an American citizen. But the last time I voted was in 1980. Once I decided to make my life here and began voting in Israeli elections, I didn’t think it would be right to vote in American ones, too.”

“You should vote for Obama,” Misgav said.

“Maybe I should,” I acknowledged.

It’s a dilemma. I retain my American passport and file a tax return with the IRS every year, but I don’t maintain a residence in the U.S. I have served in a foreign army and have no intention of ever returning to the country I grew up in.

On the other hand, the results of American elections undoubtedly affect my life as much as do the results of Israeli elections. As Gershom pointed out yesterday, my family is less physically safe because of the Bush administration’s misguided invasion of Iraq and its failure to pursue a vigorous diplomatic initiative between Israel and the Palestinians. My income, largely dollar-based, has declined by more than a quarter over the past year because of the Bush administration’s insane economic policies. And I’m involved in the discourse over American issues and policy through my work as a journalist, writer, and blogger.

Gershom tells me that he once agreed with my position but began to vote when George W. Bush acceded to the presidency after loosing an election. The fiasco of 2000 showed us that every vote counts.

This coming U.S. election will in large measure set the course of my children’s lives. So maybe Misgav is right. Maybe I should set my principles aside and cast that vote.

12 thoughts on “Should Obama Get My Vote?”

  1. I am a lawyer ,a white man,a veteran, a registered Democrat and I live in an affluent suburb. There now in this land an opportunity to give a 1/2 black man a chance to show what he can do and show that this historically bigotted nation has matured enough to elect a man for President “,,,based on the content of his character not the color his skin”.He deserves consideration and Misgav should look to what he stands for and how he lines up in regard to the other candidates and then please vote. Every vote counts even in Florida

  2. As you know, American presidents aren’t elected directly — they’re elected by the Electoral College, whose votes, in turn, are decided by individual state contests. Do you know which state your vote — if you voted — would be counted in? I know that you’re from Montgomery County, Maryland. Would it count there?

  3. I hate to contradict my own granddaguther Misgav (please pass on my apologies to her), not to mention Gershom, but I don’t think you should vote, for the reasons you give for not having voted in the U.S. since l980. I say this though I so strongly feel the need for a new Democratic administration in the U.S., and we could be in a situation where, again, every vote counts. But it’s really insufficient to state that what happens in the U.S. strongly affects you and your family. It certainly does. Yet citizens of virtually every other nation can say the same, and most of those people don’t have the option of voting in the U.S. What happens in Israel obviously affects me as well (because of my grandchildren there), but I can’t vote in Israel. What’s fair is fair.

  4. Mr Hilborn,

    In other words, you are saying the American voter is morally obligated to vote for Obama because he is black, in order to prove that the United States has overcome its legacy of racism, regardless of his qualifications, or lack thereof, for the Presidency.

    Sounds like “political correctness” taken to its ultimate extreme.

  5. Mr. Ben David : Construe it anyway you want. I said an opportunity I didn’t say that he should reject John McBush .If that is political correctness you have a different definition of the term.And our racial legacy is as bad as your’s in Israel. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones
    Yes I made a pitch for Obama and I’m damn proud of it. George had no experience and he was elected. He was unsuccessful at everything he tried and now he has added the Office of the President to it.
    W invoked the name of Hitler the other day .He is different than Hitler because Hitler was legally elected.

  6. Questioning the American Bolshevik views
    1. Is wealth redistribution taking money from stockholders and redistributing it to those who don’t pay taxes?
    2. Is it more important to make sure that illegal votes are not disenfranchised or making sure that groups like ACORN do not nullify honest votes.
    3. Would premature U.S. withdrawal from Iraq grand jihadists a victory and make all of our accomplishments, money spent and lives lost a big waist?
    4. Can this country afford to grant socialist Democrats total control of the government and allow them to sacrifice our safety by cutting the military budget by 25%?
    Now comes the big question. How do we stop socialism from ruining our lives?
    The answer is simple. Don’t vote American Bolsheviks into power and boycott the socialist propaganda media into bankruptcy.

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