Vote 2012

My fellow Americans,

I wish to confer to you my reasoning behind voting to re-elect Barack Obama for President, and generally voting across the board for the Democratic Party.

I graduated from college in 2006 and walked straight into trying to support a family. By 2008, we were a family of four and watched the value of our one asset collapse, while also witnessing stagnation in both our careers. We luckily never were out of work, but those external stresses were there. They are still there today in different forms. This situation of ours, combined with how successful our international policy has been, is why I intend to vote for Obama and the Democrats yet again.

There are a good number of reasons not to vote for President Obama again. The unilateral use of drone strikes to kill even US citizens is beyond reproach. While ending the use of torture by the government, indefinite detention and Guantanamo still remain. And generally the increase in power of the Executive has continued unabated through the Bush Jr era and beyond.

That said, there are plenty of good reasons to vote to reelect the President. He signifies a major turnaround in our relations with the rest of the world. I think it may be forgotten just how hated our country was in 2004. Obama managed to end the war in Iraq and has planned out the end in Afghanistan. He handled Libya well and managed to repair relations with Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia.

As much as this is about the head of our federal government, it is never wise to discount the fact we are not alone in this world. We operate incredibly interconnectedly, more so than most imagine. I think many people see the world as it was when Marx and Engels were writing in the 1840s. The intricacies of international business and politics are staggering. And having someone with a reasoned and pragmatic temperament on the global stage is best. Obama has been a tremendous success at this. Romney would be too much of an empty suit, built only to pander toward his own success, to delicately approach China or Russia or even the United Kingdom.

Domestically, I have seen large reforms for the organization of our national health care system come to pass. Not without pains, not without sausage, not without compromise, but it got pushed through with Obama’s leadership. I wouldn’t characterize a mandate to buy private insurance as socialism, particularly since we have to do it for our homes and cars by order of the law at a state level. When it comes to medical expenses, if those bills are largely footed by the federal government, then it makes sense for it to be a federal mandate. Mostly for me, it gets us one step closer to being like car insurance in that it belongs to the individual household, not to the employer. Having it tied to the employer, I know first hand, is a tremendously limiting factor burdening we middle class folks. Plus I do agree with so many of the provisions in it, as do most Republicans. They just hate that Obama’s name is on it.

This gets to the crux of why I cannot fathom voting for any Republicans since I was first able to vote in 2002. Especially now when the entire platform is devoted to generating a sense of fear regarding a fellow citizen and sitting President, it’s almost an anti-personality cult. There is no reasoning behind it, and in fact much of the nonsense spewed by leaders of the party is reprehensible.

Nevermind the proudly ignorant attitude toward women and minorities. People who have no grasp on how a human is conceived, and no clue that a full half of all fertilized human eggs are passed out through the regular menstrual cycle, should never be allowed to represent anyone, let alone influence legislation dictating how a woman should handle her body. If my wife were raped, these people would insist that she carry the rapist’s seed to term, that she and our family should be put through that nightmare, and that we should be thankful to God it wasn’t a legitimate rape, otherwise her body would have stopped it from happening. And while those who have said such things aren’t in my district, they are funded and supported and are voted alongside by others of this party.

The GOP has a terrible cancer attached to it, and it’s killing their conservatism. If they were properly conservative, they would be non-interventionist and mindful of societal change. They would work in small steps to make things better, not fighting the existence of themselves altogether. The argument would be ‘why would we need a giant new department, what if we just added a small section to a working department we already have?’

I don’t think that conservatives deserve the title anymore. Conserving or rationing or reasoned apportionment don’t enter into the rhetoric anymore. Now it’s a reactionary extremism bolstered by religious fanatacism. As someone who knows the first amendment protects not only my rights as an atheist but also each and every denomination’s right to not be under the thumb of any other, I am completely rejected by their support of religion-infused mal-education. Tolerance means live and let live. You’re not required to participate in what you disagree with, but you’re not allowed to dictate your views onto the system either.

Mitt Romney does nothing but pander. I don’t see him as an ideologue, though he picked one as a running mate. I see a man who does well when working toward his own benefit and goes on the advice of those who helped put him where he is. None of that sounds terrible until you realize just what environment he would swirl into place around him. The section of society that has funded his ascention to party nomination are there for themselves and willing to step on the backs of those with relgion- and poverty-based fears about their own lives. If the Presidency and the House are captured by this batch of Republicans, then I don’t think it too hyperbolic to say we would be pained socially and economically for decades forth. And nevermind the international relations problem of a trigger-happy supermilitary the likes of which would bring a tear and a grimace to Eisenhower.

While the President may well be amenable to reducing the power of the office by the end of his tenure, the real work rests on the shoulders of Congress. Congress, remember that thing? The proper representative of the will of the people? Congress needs to grow healthy and strong once again. There is reason why the President has had to go the route of unchecked power: Congress doesn’t check it anymore. Congress has had a growing cancer of ignorance and intolerance that became institutionalized by 1994. Since the “revolution”, rather than being a general balance and reign on executive action, the opposite party of the President has been solely reactionary. And now since 2010, we have seen this become fully aged and fermented.

Some dark underpinnings of the Republican party have come to bear these past four years. Where there should be considered opposition to the actions of the President, any President who say fired drones in a sovereign ally (Pakistan) without notice, instead we got members of Congress, on the floor, on our time and our dime, saying that secret Muslims have infiltrated high levels of our government. Rather than members of Congress checking the power of the Presidency and taking back their powers to begin wars, we have people who disavow science, evolution, and have no idea how human reproduction works on house education and technology committees. This does not befit the most powerful and advanced nation on the planet.

In conclusion I cannot see myself voting anything but Democrat for some time to come. I may disagree with some or many of their positions, but they really are the party of inclusion. That inclusion also involves ideas. The Democrats are a party willing to listen to difference of opinion.

The current Republican party I can’t see being willing to hear an outside voice calling for a reduction in Presidential power. Can’t be willing to hear the science that birth control reduces both lost zygotes and abortions. Can’t be bothered to compromise and find a working halfway point.

The Republican party needs to knocked out and their cancer cut out. The party is rotting something terrible, and not even having a rational second party is even more detremental to our republic. Vote no to Republicans, knock them out, and give them time to go to rehab and clean up their act. Only after that could I see myself ever voting their way again.

A couple parting thoughts:

  • If you really are undecided at this point, don’t vote. If you can’t tell the difference, if you don’t see a worthwhile adjustment to our leadership, then don’t bother. Your indecisiveness won’t affect the election and you don’t care about your will anyway. Vote for the few things you have decided on and leave the rest blank. I’d really love to have the campaigning peter out at the end of October just to give us all a mental break to compile our own opinions.

  • A vote for a third party is a vote thrown away at the national level. It’s a novel idea that other parties could have a voice, especially since we’re the 3rd largest country in the world. But these parties need to kick off regionally, and voting third party nationally just adds waste to the vote and can often rob us of qualified people.

  • My district is number 6 in Minnesota. I am represented by Michele Bachmann. So I really get to feel the pain of being represented by pure, uncut absurdity. If she is re-elected, I’ll be waiting to hear when she declares that the spirits of aborted fetuses are haunting the halls of Congress and will await Bill Murray’s return to push for efforts banning contraception and education for girls.