Thursday, April 17, 2008

Obama Fundraiser and Art Auction. Green Building Gallery, This Sunday!

We are now less than a week from the Pennsylvania Democratic Presidential Primary. Although Hillary Clinton's initial poll lead has narrowed, it still appears that she is the favorite. Of all the states that have already chosen their candidates, Pennsylvania probably has the most in common with Ohio. Unfortunately for the Obama campaign, he lost that contest. While the perception is that PA is a bit to the political left of OH, there probably isn't that significant a difference between Democratic party members in the two states. Whatever factors have been leading voters to favor Clinton will probably sustain themselves next Tuesday. Rasmussen has Clinton polling ahead by a 9 point margin.

So what can any of us do about it? The time when I had the most possibility for impact has passed. In Pennsylvania you can change your party affiliation up to a month before the election. There were several people who invested time into trying to persuade me to register as a Democrat. Although I felt that their arguments were strong, there was just no way I could do it. As I've written previously on this blog, I abhor party politics. The binary system we have in this nation lacks cultural sophistication. I'm not interested in being on one of two teams that have a chance of winning. With this system we are not voting according to our beliefs, but rather our identities. Sorry... I can't and won't accept that. The primary process is a sham anyway.

With that established, it's reasonable to ask why I would get involved at all. Perhaps I am simply exposing my naïveté, but I truly do believe that Obama would make a difference. If for nothing else, I would like to have a leader representing the United States that other countries might actually respect. Perhaps if Obama is elected, the world's citizens will contain their resentment, and actually take what he says at face value. If I don't really trust Hillary, then why would foreigners? I have to admit that I have a very strong preference in this race. It does matter who becomes the nominee. Aside from the fact that I strongly prefer Obama- I don't think that Clinton can beat McCain. If anyone can mobilize Republican voters in November, it's Hillary.

Because of my strong feelings, when my friend Bob Ziller asked me to donate some art for an Obama fundraiser- I decided to help out. I have to admit that I have never contributed to a political campaign before. The party machines are just too monstrous, and I never thought that any amount I could afford would have the slightest impact on the outcome. But I share with Bob the belief that Barack Obama is the first major candidate in a long time that I don't have to hold my nose to vote for. I don't think that offering a few framed pieces of artwork is going to affect our fates. However I can get behind this effort, and just for one single occasion believe that small gestures accumulate, and can ultimately 'make a difference'.

If you are in the Pittsburgh area, please join us on Sunday, April 20th. There will be a silent art auction at the Green Building Gallery (5515 Penn Avenue, Garfield), and the bidding starts at 2PM and runs until 9PM. Participating artists include Thad Mosley, Tina Brewer, John Sokol, June Seale, George Gist, Mary Martin, Bob LaBobgah, Jorge Myers, Laura Jean McLaughlin, Bob Ziller, Christine Bethea, James Shipman, Jill Larson, Peter Lambert, Amir Rashidd, Emory Biko, David Grim, Tommy Bones, Bill Pfahl (and more!). There will be jazz music in the evening, and some refreshments. The suggested donation is $10.

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