[Image taken from here]
Why Obama? There's a lot I can say here (although in my opinion, the unpleasant alternative--Mitt Romney--should be reason enough), but I'm just going to quote Matthew Remski's platform in a recent article on Elephant Journal, which I wholeheartedly agree with:
"– Given that Mitt Romney’s discernible platform stands to set socio-economic justice, women’s rights, ecological stewardship, scientific research and foreign relations back by several generations, and
– Given that much more of his platform is actually indiscernible due to his pathological lying and opportunism, and
– Given that he is an ordained operative in an exclusionary religious institution rife with the anti-rationalism, anti-environmentalism, and magical thinking that is anathema to the culture of yogic inquiry:
– Incumbent President Obama remains the better and at least known choice, and should be passionately supported by yoga practitioners.
Simple, no? Anyone disagree? I know: I apologize to third-party advocates. Obama is not a perfect choice, given his mediocre record on human rights, upholding international law, and environmental progress. But the immediate legislative impact of a Romney administration is a far heavier price to pay than the ground we lose in reshaping the electoral landscape. Remember Nader, 2000, Florida. It’s not worth it."
I was planning on keeping this post short, but now I can't resist saying more myself. So I'll say a few more things here. If you think it's somehow unyogic to brazenly support a political candidate and espouse a political position on a yoga blog, try asking yourself these questions:
(1) How yogic is it to stand by and say and do nothing while somebody who is a card-carrying member of a religion (Mormonism) that has a very poor track record on women's rights (to put it mildly) stands at least a fair chance of becoming the leader of what is arguably (at least at this moment) the richest and most powerful country in the world, and who will, if elected, have much more executive power to put his retrogressive views about women in place?
(2) How yogic is it to stand by and say and do nothing while some spineless flip-flopper continues to flip-flop his way to, God forbid, the highest poltiical office in this land? Sadly, if the polls are any indication, it appears that close to half the country (maybe even more) actually believe in his flip-flopping ways. Can an opportunistic flip-flopper be allowed to take the highest office in this country?
Or, if you still don't see what I'm saying, recall this phrase of the Ashtanga closing prayer: "May the leaders of the Earth protect in every way by keeping to the right path."
Can we trust a spineless opportunistic flip-flopper to be able to "protect in every way by keeping to the right path"? Think about this.
(3) How yogic is it to stand by and say and do nothing while a plutocrat who advocates more tax breaks for the rich and more trickle-down economics--the kind of economics that got this country into the deepest recession since the Great Depression--stands at least a fair chance of attaining the highest political office in this land and putting these policies into place; policies that can only make the rich richer and the poor poorer, making it easier for those who already have much to continue to violate aparigraha (non-grasping) and asteya (non-stealing)?
As Remski points out above, Obama is far from being a perfect leader. But he easily beats Romney by a thousand miles (probably more...). And besides, it takes guts to be able to start doing his job at the time he did four years ago, when hope was in short supply, and the economy seemed like it was in perpetual freefall. Well, we're not out of the woods yet, but I'm confident that if we at least stay the course (and not regress to trickle-down economics), things can only get better. But I won't say any more here; economics is not my cup of tea.
Last but not least, I have something to say in response to a question Remski poses at the beginning of his article. Remski asks:
My question to the yoga community at large is: why have we not seen a single prominent teacher or yoga organization formally and publicly endorse the Obama-Biden ticket? Do we not want to get our hands too dirty? Are we too busy pretending It’s All Good? Are we even a community at all?
Well, Matthew (if I may), there is at least one prominent teacher who has been formally and passionately endorsing Obama for the last few months: Kino MacGregor. Check out her Facebook page. Ha! I guess this means I'm endorsing Kino too; glad to be of service :-) But then again, Kino is not running for any political office...