Blue or Red / by Nate Westheimer

When people congratulate me on the Obama win, I tell them to congratulate Fran Ginn. It's a cliche in politics to talk about your prototypical volunteer or case-study supporter, but the case-study story-telling comes easily to those who are out on the campaign trail talking to hundreds of voters and volunteers. Someone stands out to you and reminds you why you're doing what you're doing, whether you're the candidate, staff, or a volunteer -- and that person makes everything you see and do on the campaign tail make sense. That person stands for the campaign.

I had two such people while in Ohio. One was Fran Ginn: a woman who, in her 60s, just got her college degree a few years ago. She's religious and cares about many moral issues, not just one. Health care is a problem for Fran, because both she and her husband need it and need it to be affordable. She knows the truth because she lives it: no free-market solution will ever exist for those with pre-existing illness. Obama's plan was speaking directly to the systemic neglect of her condition.

Fran's also a great writer. The essay below, called "Blue or Red" was published in the local County weekly. I asked her for an electronic copy because I think it's important for you -- my reader -- to know the real people we should congratulate for Obama's victory. It's Fran, for the hundreds of doors she knocked on and the dozens of minds she helped make up to support Barack Obama's unlikely victory for this Country.

Blue or Red, by Fran Ginn

I got dressed this morning so my dear husband could take me out to breakfast. As I walked out to his truck I realized I was wearing a red top and blue jeans, I thought to myself, there I go again being indecisive.

I used to be all red all the time. Red stands for pro-life. I am definitely pro-life. Red also stands for a laissez-faire economy; if we leave the economy alone competition will take care of it; I don’t believe that one anymore. Red stands for banks and whatever they want; lend money to everyone and then expect the government to bail them out. They insist that some people sign papers letting the bank take payments out of their accounts. When an emergency comes up and these people don’t have a payment to give, the bank takes what little money they have left, then closes their account. Red stands for loss of our freedoms; government meddling into our private business. Red stands for a war that almost everyone knows is wrong, except the ones in charge. We need new bridges, college costs are up, public schools are failing, and our elderly have to go thumbing because there is no money for them either.

I have to start wearing more blue. Blue is helping people that want and need a union to get one without getting fired from their job. Unions stand for regular raises, protection of workers jobs when they are sick, health insurance, and retirement plans. Blue stands for reforming the way companies go bankrupt and how they handle worker’s retirement accounts. Workers will get their pensions before management takes all the available money. Blue means we will not waste anymore tax dollars in a useless war in Iraq. Blue means passing laws that let older Americans live in their homes with help instead of going to nursing homes.

I realize neither party will have a perfect solution to problems. This year, more than any before it, we need some real change in the way our economy is run. We must not stand still for the United States to go into debt to a Communist nation like China. What happens when China forecloses on the United States? Can that happen? I don’t know for sure. Somehow, we must turn around this economic mess and come out on top. The few freedoms we have left may be at stake. Blue stands for Obama/Biden, and that’s who I will vote for this November.