I don’t know how you feel about the election, but I can’t wait until it’s all over. We’ll either be breathing a sign of relief or we’ll be scared shitless. Either way, after this election the American people need to move this country in a new direction entirely because neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are the answer. Right now I’m voting for the lesser of two evils. It’s either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. We do have other choices — namely Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala — but they won’t be making a dent in this election. Personally, I’d vote for Jill Stein in a heartbeat if I thought the vote wouldn’t benefit Mitt Romney. But I believe it will.
Before people go berserk, I’m not saying that there aren’t some progressive-minded politicians out there. There certainly are. I happen to think that one of the most progressive is Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He’s got it right from top to bottom. I also think that Congressman Dennis Kucinich does too. It’s unfortunate that we are losing his voice in January. There are others. Elizabeth Warren will be a breath of fresh air in the Senate, and I do believe that when the smoke clears on Tuesday night she will take back that Massachusetts seat. Scott Brown continues to claim he’s an independent legislator, but he has voted far too many times against women and the working class. He has done absolutely nothing for the people of Massachusetts, and he’s been obstructionist on a national level. If he’s “independent,” why isn’t he running as an Independent? Returning Alan Grayson to the Senate in Florida would be helpful. I’m totally psyched that Tammy Duckworth is making life difficult for Tea Party moron Joe Walsh (as of October 26, they give her a 10-point lead). And I’m absolutely thrilled that Joe Donnelly has a double-digit lead over Richard Mourdock. (In case you don’t know who Richard Mourdock is, he’s the GOP clown who says that if a woman conceives a child out of rape it’s what God intended. He must have made a visit to Mt. Sinai in the past month.)
Many of the candidates running on the Democratic side are indeed progressive-leaning, if not progressive. Unfortunately for them, the Democrats are the only party they can attach themselves to in order to win because this country is firmly locked into a two-party system. Can you hear me now? That’s not what the Founding Fathers intended. That is the biggest change that must be made. It’s also the biggest challenge and it does seem somehow to be insurmountable. But we have to try. At the end of the day, it’s up to the people to demand that change. You can forget either of the two parties inviting members of third parties to the debates, even though they belong there. Enough of this nonsense that they must carry a certain percentage of the electoral vote to be invited. That’s bullshit. The American people have a right to hear all sides of the story. The American people have a right to hear all of the ideas out there about where this country should be going. The last thing the Democrats and Republicans want is that. The last thing the Democrats and the Republicans want is an informed public. It may rain on their proverbial parades. But there’s no reason why Jill Stein and Gary Johnson (Libertarian party) should not be included in the mix. This country is supposed to be a Democracy, but it has strayed far from that.
Now, my 15-year-old daughter came up to my room the other night and said, “People are saying that if Barack Obama is reelected, he’ll go down in history as one of our greatest presidents.” Let’s get real here. In case you haven’t figured it out, he’s the lesser of the two evils I’ve been referring to. Barack Obama sounded like a progressive when he was campaigning back in 2008, but he has been far from being a progressive on any level. There is no doubt that what is now called Obamacare is better than what was out there, but without a strong public option there is no real health care “reform.” That’s my first beef with the incumbent. Yes, indeed, he is now the first sitting president to stand behind same-sex marriage. However, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: We have Joe Biden to thank for that. Had he not gone on national television and given his views on the subject, Barack Obama may never have “evolved” on that issue. Once the lesser of two evils has been reelected, there are several issues that the American people must address.
First, the whole notion that a presidential assassination list is justified in the name of protecting the nation from terrorists. The terrorist thing has gone too far since 9-11. This is supposed to be a nation based on laws, yet this president doesn’t seem to have a problem trampling over those laws. (On a related topic, I would not brag about executing Osama bin Laden. If it were up to me, I would have brought him back here to the states and put him on trial.) Next, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which allows for indefinite detention without charges and without access to an attorney. This is absurd and flies in the face of the American justice system. Then we have the Patriot Act. Our knee-jerk approval of this law after the 9-11 terrorist attacks hasn’t made us safer. In fact, it has made us less safe in our own nation. We have basically coughed up our rights in exchange for being protected from terrorists, and the power players in Washington knew we’d be so shell shocked that we would just allow our government to do what they want. There are a number of questions surrounding the whole 9-11 thing. I won’t go into detail here about my theories on 9-11. Suffice it to say that nations, including this nation, have been complicit in allowing things to happen in order to justify war to the American people. Take a look at Pearl Harbor. I mean, take a look. (You won’t find this in the history books, folks.) Next up, the drone wars, which again supposedly targets terrorists. The fact is that too many innocent men, women and children are being killed. Call them collateral damage. Call them whatever you want. It’s just plain wrong. Finally, Barack Obama has waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers, using the 1917 Espionage Act more than any other president in history. He campaigned in 2008 on a platform of government transparency, yet when truth doesn’t support his political agenda he doesn’t have a problem coming down on the truth-tellers. As a nation founded of the people, by the people and for the people, we have a right to know what our government is doing — for better or for worse. Again, the last thing our politicians want is an informed public.
On to the GOP. Not much to say here. I can’t find one redeeming quality in this lot. Not one. While I’m not enamored about Barack Obama, the answer is definitely not the GOP. Things will only be much worse on the issues I’ve mentioned above, plus the economy, taxes, women’s reproductive rights, LGBT civil rights, war with Iran, global warming, health care, safety nets (read: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security)…you name it. We’re far better off with the devil we know. However, once this election is done, it’s high time we made some progress toward changing the political landscape. We cannot allow ourselves to remain complacent and unattached. It’s time for us to take back this country. These clowns work for us.