Thursday, January 5, 2012

Endorsement: I am voting for President Obama

I am voting for President Obama. My Ron Paul-supporting friend tells me I will be voting for a "Republican" next fall.

So what is the difference between Obama and a Republican? Besides the fact that he is clearly the only adult in the room, especially when compared to the congress and that insane clown posse that passes as the Republican field, there are several significant differences between President Obama and Republicans:

  • The difference between people with pre-existing conditions dying without health care, and people getting health insurance to help save their lives. 
  • The difference a year of unemployment benefit extensions for the long-term unemployed, and seeing the unemployed lose their benefits
  • The saving of the auto industry, versus allowing it to die and lose millions of jobs
  • The end of don't ask, don't tell, versus continued institutionalized discrimination against gay and lesbians willing to serve their country
  • Two Supreme Court Justices who aren't Nazis. 

In these momentous times, these are not negligible differences for those living on the margins; and of course there are many other accomplishments by President Obama as well.

Look, I would love to brag at the coffee shop or bar how I voted for the Socialist, Green, or a Communist; or that I wrote in Bernie Sanders. But my own ideological purity is not nearly as important to me as voting to help make realistic, attainable change, that will really help people. I am not living in an ivory tower. I have been on unemployment myself, I know what it is like.

Sometimes in history there are big revolutions that changes things quickly. But more often, I believe, huge changes are proceeded by years of incremental, non-sensational changes. Change is often frustratingly incremental.

I would rather see people get health care and their unemployment benefits than please my left-wing friends  with my vote. I don't care about  being cool.

Maybe people are right that both parties are corporatized slaves to the imperialist, capitalist system. However, I am going to vote for the "corporatist" candidate who wants to save lives, not the one who mocks the dying; I am going to vote for the candidate who took decisive action to save the auto industry and millions of jobs along with it, not the ones who were willing to see it die.

If I have a choice between "two corporatist candidates," I am going to vote for the one who is working to help people right now, and who will provide room for progressive changes to unfold.

President Obama has the ship turned in the right direction. President Obama has demonstrated that he has the country's best interest at heart, and his accomplishments, as modest as they might seem to the purists, are significant enough for me to want to stay the course.

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