We were invited to an Obama fund-raiser in Taipei. Diane was very excited about it. “Finally,” she said, “a chance to meet some reasonable Americans. All Obama voters are my friends.”
I’ve never donated to a political campaign before. In Sweden, political parties are funded through taxes and giving money to a political party is a bit like giving money to a government agency like the Dept of Motor Vehicles. You just don’t do it. I always took a position in American political debates — always Democrat — but I never felt compelled to hand over my savings before. After all, it’s not my country and not my problem.
This time around, however, it’s different. The Bush years have not only been bad, they have been disastrous, and not only for America, but for the whole world. Besides, there has not in my life-time been a more qualified Democratic candidate than Barack Obama. It’s very important that he wins, and I’m very happy to support that. With money too.
Here is an interesting question: if you knew for sure that your donation would guarantee the victory of your candidate, how much would you be prepared to give? I discussed it with Diane and we decided, as a family, if it’s an eight year term, we’d be happy to pay 24,000 US dollars. It’s only $500 per family member per year — a cheap price for the opportunity to wake up every morning as proud Americans.
In the end, we didn’t go to the fund-raiser in Taipei. I’m not very mobile and Diane is too busy caring for me. And of course our donation won’t magically assure Obama’s victory. Still, we want to help out and we sent him $100. Obama accepts donations of $5 too. It’s easy to pay online (but, legally, you have to be a US citizen).