(NOTE: Please get out and vote, if you are informed enough to do so. The strange thing is, if you don’t vote and you are informed, the politicians have you right where they want you. I think that an informed voter should be able to elaborate on their decision, so I choose to do so right now).
It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
The young people of America were bound to learn a harsh lesson when they led the charge to elect Sen. Barack Obama to the Presidency in 2008. President Obama ran on revolution, when the best he could likely do was moderation (which, compared to his predecessor, could be seen as fairly revolutionary). He was handed an economy in freefall, and while he was given a party majority in Congress, he was also given an opposing party that - within months of his election - to stop him from getting a second term was their ultimate goal.
But President Obama has proved an effective leader, if not the radical that the right wishes they could demonize him as or the left secretly wished he was. He is the President that passed Universal Health Care. ACA is a controversial piece of legislation, but already we are reading stories about how it has helped countless Americans. I know that if something happens to me before I turn 26, I will not abandoned because I don’t have my own insurance yet. President Obama saved the auto industry, and it appears has gotten us through the worst of an historic recession. He has made college more affordable, and demanded equal pay for equal work from women.
These are just a few of the examples of what this President has done domestically. America’s standing in the world has improved greatly under Obama. He has been unquestionably better than President Bush as Commander in Chief when it comes to the military, ending the war in Iraq and making the tough decisions that needed to be made that led to the murder of Osama bin Laden.
President Obama has been far from perfect - drone strikes killing innocent people, an unnecessarily long wait to put gay marriage on his platform, Guantanamo Bay is still not closed, we still haven’t fully recovered from the recession - but his list of failings is shorter than his list of accomplishments. He has brought integrity and dignity back to the office. And he has done so in the face of an opposition of out-of-touch monsters.
You see, the Republican Party has not grown up in the wake of the utter mess left by President Bush, which is something they desperately needed to do. They needed to not only return to the fiscal responsibility that built their party (two wars on a credit card, an $8 trillion deficit) but move toward the center when it came to social issues (LGBT equality, reproductive rights, immigration) that remain popular with the younger generation that carried Obama to the oval office. There are young Republicans that will need to (and I have faith, will) make the necessary adaptations the party, but this is one last hurrah of the old guard to give it a shot.
They have failed miserably on all accounts. Instead of suggesting fiscal responsibility, they have re-purposed an old, useless, proven-wrong idea (trickle down) and mysterious “across the board” tax cuts without actually saying what they will cut. They refuse to cut military spending even though we spend more on war than at least a dozen of the next highest spenders combined. Their party’s Presidential nominee says he’d be “delighted” to sign any bill that struck down abortion rights, and while they have come to see gays and lesbians as not just people you denigrate and/or have secret affairs in bathrooms with, they are still far from what I am confident will be the right side of history.
This is simply not a party with good ideas at the top. Their proposals on immigration (more fences!) will lose them a generation of Latino voters. Their refusal to increase taxes on higher-income Americans will leave us even further in debt. Any time anyone in this party is asked about rape, they manage to respond with the dumbest fucking thing you’ve ever heard anyone say. Is this really a party deserving of another chance to run the country yet?
Lets leave the party behind, and move on to their cipher, the President’s challenger, Willard Mitt Romney (does anyone else find it weird that it’s the white candidate who doesn’t use his real name?). Let’s talk about him. What is there to say about him?
… I don’t know, because I haven’t heard his most recent speech, and that’s the only true way to know what Romney really believes. Until the next speech. American politicians have had a long known propensity for bullshit, but when did we start treating it like an asset rather than a liability. The people who called John Kerry a flip-flopper see Mitt’s same ability to say anything to get elected as a promise that he will govern in the center. Does he have core beliefs? Have we ever learned less about a serious candidate for the Presidency before? How the fuck is this man being taken seriously by anyone with any common sense?
Mitt Romney is not you or me. This doesn’t matter, but let’s take an honest look at what he claims his character is. He is not even you or me if you or me had billions of dollars. He claims he says things like “fudge” and “h-e-double hockey sticks” instead of swearing. He doesn’t drink alcohol or caffeine. He follows a religion that, until about - oh, I don’t know, the time he started running - most people had agreed was barely beyond cult status and almost certainly bullshit.
He is a decent businessman, and that’s fine. He is not a good politician. Let me ask you this: why is it that wherever people seem to know Mitt Romney the best, they do not approve of him? Obama is going to beat him in Massachusetts - the state where he was supposedly an isle-crossing iconoclast as governor - easily. Obama is going to beat him in his home state of Michigan too. And Romney couldn’t even gain the endorsement of the biggest paper in Utah - Utah! - as the Salt Lake City Tribune endorsed the incumbent.
His allies in Congress will likely be given carte blanche to make up beliefs for him, that’s the most dangerous part of this whole thing. Republicans in Congress will change the definition of rape, they will strike down bills proposing LGBT equality. Romney will almost certainly get to nominate two supreme court hjustices, and you know they will be gunning for Roe v. Wade the second they are approved. Mitt Romney is harmless. The men holding the marionette are radicals. They are dangerous. They will not make us better off four years from now.
When you look at it that way, it’s easy to see Mitt Romney, as I said before, as a last gasp of the old guard of the Republican Party. It’s cute to look at Paul Ryan as a token attempt at the youth vote (all bluster, no substance budget plans and stolen stories from Kurt Cobain about why you’re against abortion go crazy with the kids today!) but Mitt Romney is one last attempt to keep the United States in the hands of the white male.
The Latino population continues to increase in large amounts in the southwest. In other parts of the country as well, but the southwest (and small pockets of the southeast) are Republican strongholds. Democrats have already won over the African American community, and - based on how popular Obama’s DREAM Act is with them - will almost definitely help them carry the Latino vote as it becomes important. If he wins, Romney will be the last President who was able to win with nothing but the white - and more specifically, white male - vote. And thank fucking God for that.
Cause, I’ll tell you what, everyone, I am sick to fucking death of these middle-aged, elderly white assholes telling people what to do. Telling gays that they are not equal. Telling women that they do not get to control medical decisions in their own bodies. Telling young people who were illegally immigrated to this country by their parents that, too bad, go fuck yourselves. These people - and those that follow them - are the most bitter, cynical, un-American and anti-American people on earth. Their party cannot be allowed to get control back, not until their party gets control away from them. You are smarter than they believe you are.
President Obama has proven himself a leader, not driven by cynicism or even idealism, but by realism. He has tried to work with the party that publicly stated that they were trying to drive him out of office. He has gotten a remarkable amount done in four years despite them. He has promised enough for his second term that I not only see as reasonable, but potentially historic. Even if the Republican Party weren’t content to spend the past four years spewing hateful rhetoric and playing obstructionist politics, I would say he’s earned another term.
Because I believe that, when you look at the record I laid out of what President Obama spent the last four years doing, and what the Republican Party spent those four years doing, I think I’d greatly prefer Obama’s. I’d greatly prefer another four years of that to whatever the people controlling Mitt Romney have planned. I am voting to re-elect President Barack Obama. I urge that you do the same.