A message to voters from Thailand


To the Editor:

After my recent return to Chiang Mai in Thailand, after spending time on the Vineyard and casting my vote there without really being inspired by politics, a friend gave me a couple of issues of City Live magazine – Chiang Mai. There I found the editorial written by Pim Kaminski who is the driving force behind that magazine, publisher and editor, and there I found what I was looking for. I am not trying to change anybody’s conviction. I just want to share this paragraph in case some of my many friends here feel like Ido.

“I am a liberal, and were I to hold American citizenship, there is no doubt that I would be a Democrat. It is not because of some vaguely energizing notion of hope or change, or the sheer thrill of President Obama that would swing my vote, though there would definitely be some swaying, it is simple ideology. I believe that religion is a personal matter not to be imposed upon others; I believe women have the rights to control their bodies; I believe that government, with the help of our taxes, is obliged to help society’s neediest, in fact I believe that society must provide a safety net for those at their most vulnerable; I don’t believe that large corporations are the answers to our future economy, and I do believe that these big naughty giants need to be scrutinised and regulated; I believe that global warming exists and that we are already decades behind schedule in not only facing up to, but combating it; I believe that the world must work together to disarm and make peace, not invest in more weapons; I believe that drugs should be decriminalized; I believe in rehabilitation over penalization; I believe that my gay friends deserve all the rights I take for granted; I believe that while the U. S. has shown leadership in the world, its hubris has led to some atrocities which must be acknowledged and accepted into the national psyche. And yes, learn that apologizing is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. And, I believe that a government that is of conviction opposed to all this is not only not my cup of tea, but can even be dangerous. But that’s just me.”

I admire smart people like Pim. Her editorial made it clear to me that we support people of the very group with Social Security or welfare in our society that produce everything with their actual physical labor, a sub-group to be specific that happens to be temporarily or permanently unable to do so. They must not be degraded for that reason, especially not by those who have the most profit from that labor and the lifestyle to match.

Ralph Braun

Vineyard haven