I was driving home from work the other day behind a car that had three bumper stickers on it. Here’s what they said:
Nobama 2012 (The “No” and the “2012”) were in red.
God Bless America.
Mitt Romney: Believe in America.
Here’s the rub: The damned car was a Ford Focus and a woman was driving it. No, it wasn’t an SUV and it wasn’t being driven by a rich, white male. I don’t know what this woman was thinking, but I’m pretty sure she’s employing some kind of twisted logic, or she’s lost in the ozone. Because if she’s thinking that Mitt Romney gives a damn about her, she’s dead wrong. In fact, I used to think that being a gay Republican was the only oxymoron, but that’s all changed. In my mind, a Republican woman is an oxymoron. A middle class Republican is an oxymoron. And if you’re a lesbian middle class Republican, you’ve hit the damned trifecta of stupid. It’s as simple as that.
Now, of course, I understand how some women Republicans think. I have one in my own family. She’s far from being wealthy. In fact, her husband (a great guy) died prematurely and he was a Republican. As her husband voted, she voted. He was a Viet Nam war vet who voted GOP because of the whole patriotic thing. I, of course, don’t vote on one issue but I know some do. She will continue to vote GOP because her husband did. She’s stuck in that ozone. Try as I might to get her to understand that the whole “terrorism” thing is a bunch of crap, that the GOP is anti-woman, that it doesn’t give a shit about the poor and middle class in this country, she isn’t buying it. I’ve tried. I won’t stop trying because that’s the way I am but, frankly, it’s like pissing in the wind. And I know it.
However, over the last several months my own voting thought process has gone through a metamorphosis of sorts. I will never vote GOP. I’m a middle class lesbian. Doesn’t work for me. Never did. I was originally going to vote for Barack Obama, but I have come to the realization that the alternative isn’t much better. In fact, I have some real issues with Barack Obama, and they just won’t go away. I have problems with his anemic “reigning in” of Wall Street and the bankers. Basically, it’s a bunch of bullshit. He’s as tied to Wall Street as any member of the GOP is. Whatever so-called reforms he championed in the wake of the 2008 meltdown were just for show. He did a lot of talking as a candidate, but he’s done squat as the leader of the free world.
I have issues with a president who cuts back-door deals with the outgoing regime promising not to investigate war crimes. I have issues with his drone warfare that continues to kill innocent men, women and children all in the name of eradicating “terrorism.” (We all know that’s not going away anytime soon.) I have issues with a president who has named himself judge and jury with his secret assassination list. All of these things bother me. A lot. Let’s add to that Barack Obama’s failure to do what he was mandated to do when he swamped McCain-Palin back in 2008: Create change we can believe in. Instead, he’s played a game of backyard dodge ball with the GOP that has gotten him nowhere. Here’s an example: He allowed the Bush tax cuts to be extended with the promise that the middle class tax cuts would be extended. Well, the GOP got their way, but it looks like now the GOP isn’t going to hold up their end of the bargain. Are we surprised? Really? The fact is that the Bush tax cuts should have been eliminated and the middle class tax cuts should have been extended. Period. It’s time for the wealthiest in this nation to pay their fair share. Instead, we’ve got the GOP trying to cut the deficit on the backs of the poor and middle class by proposing absurd things like raising the retirement age, cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and screwing the American public out of its health care. Here’s the fact: If we force the wealthiest to pay their fair share, force them to bring the trillions of dollars they’re hiding in offshore accounts back into this country and pay taxes on them, and raise the Social Security tax for the wealthiest Americans instead of allowing them to pay at the middle class level, we wouldn’t have a deficit. Nope. And Social Security would be solvent for years to come. But hell, no! The GOP doesn’t want that and the president doesn’t either.
There are a whole host of other issues I have with him. Yes, he suddenly came out in favor of same-sex marriage. He pretty much had no choice after Joe Biden went public with his support of same-sex marriage. Sorry all you “true believers” out there. It kind of forced the president’s hand. In the same breath, however, our esteemed president also said it is a states issue. It is not a states issue. It is a constitutional issue. The right to marry does not belong on any ballot and the general public doesn’t get to vote on who gets their rights and who does not. I’m pretty sure that African-Americans wouldn’t have the vote today if we left the decision up to the voters. So let’s not get all ga ga over Barack Obama’s sudden embrace of same-sex marriage. He didn’t put his neck out all that much.
Same with the decision to not defend DOMA in the future. He did defend it early in his first term, and Obama’s justice department used all the bigoted reasons for the defense, including the whole pedophilia thing. The only reason he isn’t defending it any more is that it has been declared unconstitutional six times in the courts. All it proves is that he’s a bit smarter than Speaker Boehner who continues to piss taxpayer dollars out the window defending this absurd law which won’t be on the books much longer, folks. And, of course, now the Obamabots on the social networks are positively starry-eyed over the inclusion of same-sex marriage in the 2012 Democratic platform and are giving Barack Obama the credit for that as well. He has nothing to do with it. The kudos go to the drafting committee, and to those who have openly championed its inclusion…like Nancy Pelosi and others in the Democratic party.
So, I have come to the conclusion that, yes, we must build a progressive movement from the ground up. It doesn’t start at the presidential level…at least not with this president. Anyone who insists that Obama is a progressive has done a lot more than drink the Kool Aid. They’ve pretty much smoked the stupid weed. He’s no progressive. He’s not even close. Voting for candidates like Alan Grayson, Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren will help. It will move the Democrats down a more progressive path if elected, but this is long process. It does not solve my dilemma about what to do about this year’s presidential election. The more I thought about it, the more difficult it became for me to vote for Barack Obama. I’m not the only one in this position.
I’m tired of Facebook groups named “I’m Voting for Barack Obama in 2012 and You Should be Too,” or “I’m Voting for Barack Obama on November 6, 2012,” or “I’m Voting for Barack Obama.” Blah. Blah. Blah. There are hundreds of these groups. Now there’s a group who is advocating boycotting the election. Listen, staying home on election day is nothing new. Hell, Americans are pathetic at voting. Some elections have seen percentages that are so low it’s embarrassing to be an American. Boycotting an election doesn’t send any message. Besides, in my opinion, if you don’t exercise your Constitutional right to vote, you don’t get to piss and moan for the next four years. How about trying this: For everyone who simply is unmotivated to vote for either Barack Obama or the nitwit on the other side of the aisle (I can barely bring myself to use his name); for those who want to send a message to both parties by “boycotting” and not voting: Why not simply get the hell out to the polls and vote for the Green Party? I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to do, and it has taken me a while to get to this point. However, I cannot in all conscience vote for either of the candidates offered to me by the traditional parties.
For the record, the Green Party is about as progressive as you can get. It’s not just about the environment either. Why not read the platform? They don’t have SuperPAK money. They aren’t funded by Corporate America, so there’s little chance they can pull it off. But if enough people start moving in that direction it will be more of a message to both the GOP and the Democrats that they simply aren’t good enough anymore. It will be a bigger message than any boycott can deliver. If you think the traditional politicians are going to reform themselves, you need to get out more. The only way things change in any country — including the good old United States — is if people force that reform.