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I'm a longtime contributor to MTV, Billboard, Alternative Press and MovieWeb. I've worked as on-air reporter, host, writer and producer for MTV, MSNBC and E!. I have provided opinion and commentary to programs on VH1, IFC, G4, Fuse, Current and Oxygen. I have written for Huffington Post, Premiere, OC Weekly, SFGate.com, NextMovie.com, MTV's television and movie blogs and other publications. I am the founder of Superhero Productions, providing broadcast, online and aftermarket content for a number of clients including Lionsgate, Sony and Warner Bros. I personally handle artist management for a handful of bands. "Ryan Downey has established a history of breaking some good scoops in the last few years, and you could certainly do worse than bookmark [him] to check in on." -- Ain't It Cool

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Open Letter To McCain Voters:

I wrote this to a close friend today who is voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin. I decided to post it here in a slightly edited form (remarks that would indicate who this close friend is have been omitted):

They say never to discuss religion or politics haha.

Here goes anyway:

We have to recognize the fact that McCain is old and his health is relatively poor which means if he's elected, there's a VERY real possibility that Sarah Palin could be president. It's not bad enough that she can't name any Supreme Court decisions aside from Roe v Wade. And remember when Bush said he doesn't read the newspaper because it's "full of opinions"? She's dumber. But it's not just that she's an idiot. She's also a hard-right neo-con ideologue, more-so than the Bush camp, who wants to ban abortions even in cases of rape and incest and when the life of the mother is threatened and wants to ban books, which she worked toward in that small town when she was mayor. And worse, public access to her has been limited to a near totalitarian degree. The public has a right to get to know this person!

China, Russia, Al-Qaeda, the economy -- do we want this person dealing with those situations? Or do we want John McCain, who will abandon any supposed "core" ideals he holds in favor of quick-fix gimmicks and straight up politicking? Yes, all politicians lie, all of them have unsavory relationships with major corporations and lobbyists, but McCain exceeds the amount of that we are used to accepting. Lobbyists are literally (I'm not joking here) running the guy's campaign. John McCain has proven he will do anything to get elected, anything to have power, and that is inclusive of hasty / gimmicky decisions (Sarah Palin, suspending his campaign, trying to force the bailout through before it's been properly examined and discussed).

Bush went with his "gut" and used 9/11 to push the hard right neo-con agenda drafted by Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney and co back during his father's presidency but never pursued fully until 2001. Bill Clinton left behind a record surplus which Bush has turned into a record deficit, with McCain voting with him 90% of the time. NINETY-PERCENT!

Obama was wrong about the surge. McCain, on the other hand, and his buddies were wrong about WMDs, wrong about Iraq's "connection" to 9/11, wrong about being greeted as liberators, wrong about Sunni and Shia, wrong about Afghanistan, wrong about veterans (veterans groups give the "Maverick" a very low rating for actual "support" for the troops) -- and he continues to focus on Iraq as the frontline of the so-called "War Of Terror" which is ridiculous.

Obama listens to people, he's considerate, he's an intellectual -- motherfuck this increasingly "Idiocracy" society for frowning upon Harvard Law grads in favor of hockey moms who didn't bother to get a passport until a few years ago. Bush charges ahead no matter what... Worse than that, McCain flails wildly like a major label throwing bands at the wall with no real belief or conviction that any of them are "good" but rather just hoping one of them sells and sells big enough to justify the failures.

I know that one of your core issues as a voter is government spending. And I know taxes is another. Guess what government is spending $10 billion a month on? IRAQ! Guess what pays for that? Your taxes!

I directed you to Andrew Sullivan's blog because he's a to-the-core conservative with Libertarian leanings. "Give me liberty or give me death!" is his response to the way the neo-cons have shredded our Constitutional freedoms. He is a former John McCain fan and supporter who is openly advocating Obama.

I know you are not cheerleading for McCain. I know this conversation has devolved into a lesser of two evils. I have to say, however, that I don't feel like all politicians are "evil" inherently. I don't find Ron Paul to be evil or Al Gore to be evil and I certainly don't find Ralph Nader to be evil, just strategically misguided. There is a lot to admire about Bill Clinton but also plenty to despise -- I'm talking about the triangulations and quest for power detailed brilliantly by Christopher Hitchens, not whether he cheated on his wife (again and again). And I most certainly do not find Barack Obama to be evil whatsoever.

I'm fairly conservative about a lot of things, as you know, in particular government intrusion into our lives, separation of church and state, taxes. How do you think Sarah Palin, John McCain and George Bush feel about those things? Eight years in power and government is bigger than ever, we have a record deficit, the PATRIOT ACT, wire-taps...

And while McCain strangely scolds Obama for his hawkish but obvious assertion that we should go into Pakistan if Bin Laden is there, he has no problem singing jokey songs about bombing Iran and talking about making North Korea extinct. He loves bashing Iranian leadership (or at least the colorful face of it -- does he even know who leads Iran?). But his rhetoric? Similar.

And should we really talk about separation of church and state? I'm a CHRISTIAN. And these folks scare me.

Quotes like this are such double-speak, it makes my stomach turn, and makes me feel like using that tired cliche about it being "Orwellianism" that is often overly-dramatized but in this case, scarily appropriate:

Gov. PALIN: I have quite a few people who are giving us information about the record of Obama and Biden, and at the end of the day, though, it is–it’s so clear, again, what those choices are. Either new ideas, new energy and reform of Washington, DC, or more of the same.

She's right! Except, she's talking about HERSELF! Is this opposite day?

Obama is not going to raise your taxes (or mine), he's going to cut them. He's also not going to raise your dad's; he's just going to roll back the Bush tax cuts and make your dad's taxes what they were in the '90s.

And as my dad is fond of saying: what about the REPUBLICAN TAX? What's that, you ask? Oh, a Republican tax is the increasing amounts you pay at the pump, at the grocery store, for healthcare... All thanks to Bush policies. ;)

We had a great opportunity to ask Americans to reduce consumption, develop renewable (and domestic) energy, learn more about the world, and help each other after 9/11 when everyone was ready to act. Instead, Bush said (literally) "go shopping" and moved everything in the direction of a select few elite ideologues whose agenda is stone-age.

Four more years my brother? Seriously? These people? They have had nearly unbridled power for eight years. Why would we look to them for to change the current course the country is on? It defies logic, in my opinion.

And to my evangelist friends: what has Bush done for any sort of Christian agenda by anyone's definition?


Zach and Katelyn Hodges said...

Good article. I continue to wish I didn't have to vote for either of these teams, I'm seriously having trouble deciding which one dislike less, and your article just made it harder! Haha, good job.


Don Clark said...


Ryan J. Downey said...

"Barack Obama will cut taxes on American small businesses with a Small Business Health Tax Credit that stands to cut employee health care premium costs by half. He will eliminate all capital gains taxes for small and start-up firms, and offer a $500 "Making Work Pay" tax credit for employees"... Is this email from the Obama campaign a lie? Or is "non-partisan" RightChange.com's assertion that Obama will increase taxes on small businesses a lie? Hmm...

jeff said...

all I know is McCain's stance on health insurance will essentially wipe out a lot of health insurance that people get at their jobs. Taxing the health care benefits (regardless of whether you offset those to the workers with Tax Credits) will cause most employers to change or drop their current coverage.

Ian said...

Great job sir. The more people learn about McCain's proposals, the less they should like him. However, no one will bother to research either candidate's actual policy proposals and will instead vote based on personality. Yippee!

Jessica Lee said...

I'm glad I'm not alone in this battle as a Christian whose voting for Obama! I think I may have to copy and paste this post on my blog...