November 5, 2012

Why elephant shouldn’t endorse Obama or Romney for President.*

I wasn’t going to endorse anyone, for three reasons. 1) while elephant is big, 1.3 million readers at our peak, our endorsement matters not-that-much. 2) Given my blogs re gay rights, women’s rights, Obama, Romney, Osama bin Laden etc etc, I don’t think my view is a surprise to anyone. 3) I treasure our blog’s bipartisanship—while we’ve received few articles from our conservative readers, I’m all about elephant bringing differing views together, not requiring or encouraging groupthink.

That said, my below endorsement is inspired by hundreds of our readers arguing with this article, an article that urges the yoga community to endorse Obama.  ~ Waylon H. Lewis, ed.

Bipartisanship doesn’t mean we have no allegiance to values. It means we never forget that we’re in this together.

One of the wonderful things about yoga, or environmentalism, or bicycling, or adventure, or family, or the arts, or education…any one of the things elephant focuses on, is that they by nature cross party lines.

What’s needed in America is less partisan news, more getting out of our own bubble, less agreeing with those we already agree with, and more big-umbrella community.

Yoga, for one, supports bipartisanship by appealing to rich and poor, minority and white, hipster and yuppie, young and old, conservative and liberal, male and female. It’s truly a force for united diversity within our greater Union.

For elephant’s part, we welcome different points of view, and articles representing that—dialogue is healthy. While our editor, yours truly, is a moderate liberal, I resist partisanship. I’ve reported nice things about McCain, about Eisenhower, I defended Bush on a few occasions, and I’ve seen Mitt Romney make a few fair points in the course of this campaign, and have said so. No: I’m liberal because I’ve looked at the party’s platforms, and I’ve looked at the two candidates, and with one I’ve seen responsible economic stewardship coupled with compassion and tolerance. And in the other I’ve seen selfishness and deceit.

So it’s not yoga’s role to endorse one candidate over the other—from a partisan point of view. But I do agree with Mr. Remski that bipartisanship does not require we leave behind our allegiance to tolerance, or fairness, or ultimately endorsing a candidate that best represents our values.

And so let what is obvious be said, clearly, in black and white. Based on gay rights, women’s rights, the economy, green domestic clean energy independence, cheaper and more humane healthcare, foreign affairs, terrorism…elephantjournal.com formally and enthusiastically endorses President Obama for another four years. He’s only the second candidate in my lifetime who I’ve heard speak with decency and heart, and he’s the first I’ve heard who combines such authenticity with a decided, fundamental lack of aggressive partisanship.

You’re not a Republican, or a Democrat. Neither am I. We’re Americans, first—in this together. We were reminded of that by Mother Nature, in the form of Hurricane Sandy.

And even before that, we are individually humans, with hearts and dreams and families and loves and triumphs and disappointments, all. And we are collectively humans—part of the big wide small world that, more than ever, requires an America to lead based on humility borne of strength, on tolerance borne of wisdom, of ideals free of aggression.

For more about why and wherefore, click any one of the contextual links above.

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