Home > F. Politics & the Velvet Revolution > Why I will be Voting Democratic in November

Why I will be Voting Democratic in November

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Mitt Romney’s recent gains in the polls have RT worried. After thinking about it a little, he suspects the sudden movement towards Mr. Romney makes sense from a political point of view: President Obama represents change, which is something that Americans historically are uncomfortable with.

1) For starters, he is black, a historic first, but one which can easily be twisted to scare people.

2) Then there is Mr. Obama’s ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and its accompanying photos of military men kissing each other; that is bound to ruffle more than a few feathers, though President Obama ended DADT with the certification of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that ending the policy would not harm the U.S. military, and surely the Joint Chiefs have the best interests of America’s defense at heart.

3) Next, there was the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare), which mandates that all U.S. citizens must have health insurance and helps poorer people make their premium payments–thus raising the dread specter of “Socialism” (whatever that might be), even though the Supreme Court upheld the central provisions of the ACA under Congress’s power to tax (RT can’t help wondering why they didn’t use the “general welfare” clause to justify it).

4) Behind the recent election cycles another issue has been gathering momentum. Though the weak economy the country is laboring under is certainly no fun, there is the long-term decline in the economy to deal with, a decline that stretches back into the 70s.

5) Finally, though Osama Bin Laden is now dead, there is the question: are we now safe from Al-Qaeda-style terrorism?

Cool heads are what we need at a time of great political and economic change at home and around the world, so let’s look at each of these issues separately:

Frederick Douglass

1) Race and Leadership. The fact is, Black Americans have produced an impressive set of leaders that stretches far back. Consider the following individuals: Frederick Douglass (escaped slave, author, and orator); Sojourner Truth (escaped slave and women’s rights activist); W.E.B. Du Bois (sociologist, historian, and civil rights activist); A. Philip Randolph (first President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters); Thurgood Marshall (first black Supreme Court Justice); and Martin Luther King, Jr. (assassinated civil rights leader and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize). These people were brilliant visionaries; we need more people like them–and in places of power!

2) “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” If there was ever a country that has to keep an eye on its military preparedness, it’s Israel. And Israel has allowed openly gay soldiers to serve since 1993, without any loss in its military strength or effectiveness. Of course, Israel is a small country and must use all available manpower (including women) in its armed forces. But is the United States really so large that it can afford to ignore its military resources? And there is no doubt that many U.S. gay soldiers have served with distinction.

3) Obamacare. Here is the fact: 15.7 percent of the U.S. population lacks health insurance, and this figure actually represents a decrease because an ACA provision that allows parents to keep their children insured until age 27 came into effect in 2011. This is nothing short of a national disgrace and the ACA solves the problem in part by increasing the number of clients that insurance companies will serve while maintaining the principle of competition. In sum, the government is intervening in a modest way to help rebuild a broken healthcare system.  This is plain old American compromise.

4) The Economy. It might have started in 1974, with the Arab Oil Embargo. Or it might have been 1960, when Belgium started producing steel more cheaply than plants in the United States. Whatever the starting date, America has been in the grip of a long-term economic decline that has its roots in the expectations that sprang out of our post-WWII boom–everything American was the best and of course we were entitled to the best standard of living in the world: cars; single, detached houses with big yards, and more gizmos than you can shake a stick at: radios, TVs, computer games, laptops, iPods… but then the rest of the world began out-competing us. If we really believe in free trade and economic efficiency, then we will have to accept the fact that our expectations are unrealistic, to say the least. What after all, is wrong with manual labor? In a country where the wealthiest one percent of the population controls forty percent of the wealth, why can’t the rich afford a tax increase to pay for Obamacare? What’s wrong with extended families sharing living space? What’s wrong with taking a high-speed train (or bus) to work? All of these changes will be necessary if America is to once more be a competitive economy that can win back factory jobs. And while some of this change is happening spontaneously, Obama’s administration is helping or enabling some of the rest to take place.

5) American (and Global) Security. War is expensive (and inflationary). And what do you do with the soldiers who come back with chronic conditions and terrible injuries? Far better is successful diplomacy backed up by a military that is used only when there is no peaceful way to resolve a crisis. No wall can keep the world out, or we would still have the Soviet Union with us. In the long run, being a good neighbor is the best bet for peace (and survival). That does not necessarily exclude the intelligent use of force, but, as we have seen with the Arab Spring, there is only so much that can be accomplished by the judicious intervention of the military. Obama, I think, understands all this. And, yes, his administration did get Bin Laden.

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In sum, RT thinks that President Obama has us on the right track; Mitt Romney, when all is said and done, would take us backwards several steps. And so RT will be voting Democratic in November, and he urges his readers to follow suit.

RT

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Photos: Top: Barak Obama; WikiCmns; CC 2.0 Generic; author: brookage. Bottom: Frederick Douglass, WikiCmns, Public Domain.

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  1. Katrina
    December 2, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Thank you for this post,

    • December 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      my pleasure; thx for the appreciation! RT

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