Not to many years ago if you told me that you weren’t going to vote I would have given you the sternest of stern lectures that would have had you crying like a two year old child by the time I was done with you. I would have smacked you with the Constitution, waved multiple flags and thrown in dozens of analogies about how you were crapping on the graves of people like my great-grandfather who served in World War II, in the defense of this great nation and our democracy.
However now, I’m just as likely to give you the same lecture if you tell me you’re going to take part in the pointless charade that is the electoral process.
People will tell you that this is the most important election in our lifetimes. When you challenge them and ask why, they will then go on a rant, and depending on their political persuasion, tell you that either Gov. Romney is a rich twat who has no ability to relate to you and I and is only looking out for ‘the man’, or that President Obama is a muslim socialist who wants to take your money and give it to the 47% of the country who doesn’t want to work.
Meanwhile, I’m developing a serious vision disorder from my eyes rolling around so Goddamned much.
Here’s the problem. At some point in my life (coincidentally since the invention of the 24 hour ‘news’ networks), both parties, one more than the other, decided that there needed to be a shift away from the center. Rather than appealing to the broadest base of people, politicians have decided that their base is all that matters, and for the rest, we are forced to decide to vote ‘against’ the other person, because ‘he’s worse’.
Barack Obama believes he deserves another term because he’s not done anything terrible. He’s steadily improved the economy (even though he really hasn’t) and he authorized the killing of bin Laden. The ACA is rather haphazardly put together, and in my case simply gave my already overpriced insurance a reason to raise their premiums. He has kept spending down; except he isn’t the one who did that – it was the republican Congress (which is why I don’t get why the republicans keep saying he spends more than anyone. you’d think they’d want to show everyone they can control the spending…).
Really, the only thing I can think of that encourages me to vote for Pres. Obama is that he ended Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney has done nothing to convince me to vote for him. He plans on repealing the ACA, yet wants to keep all the provisions, sans the ones that pay for it. He wants to lower taxes, yet somehow thinks (I assume through magic) it will be revenue neutral. I don’t even want to get into what his social agenda would end up being.
Oh, and he wants to start another war. Yay.
So what does that leave someone like me with? Well who am I?
I’m a fiscal conservative. I want a balanced budget. I frowned upon the debt ceiling being raised, but at the same time, the United States needs to pay our bills. We have obligations, and the credit of this country cannot be (further) damaged due to politics. That said, the deficit and the debt need to be dealt with.
I believe SSI and Medicare should be subject to means testing. If you have money, you don’t get it. Period. For people my age, the retirement age needs to be raised. There are various other things that need to be done to cut the burden on the system and ensure it’s survival and lower its footprint on the budget.
Plenty of other savings can be made. If the Navy doesn’t want or need 15 new destroyers, then we don’t build them, regardless of whether or not our navy is smaller than it was in 1916.
I’m also socially liberal. I live under a simple philosophy. Does person A’s actions (directly) harm or affect me (or person B)? No? Then it should not be illegal.
I’m not going to go into a huge debate here about ‘but doing this affects you via this (degree 1) (degree 2) (degree 3) (degree 4) (degree 5) (degree 6)!’ You can connection someone’s actions to someone else all the time. As well, personal responsibility needs to become a factor at some point.
As well, I believe fully in equal protection under the law, which is why I both support same-sex marriage and oppose hate crime laws (something which I know seems counter to each other).
While my views are obviously my own, I do belong to a group. Yes, we are in fact a minority, but we are a group. According to Pew, we’re the 37 percent of the country that are considered ‘moderate’. Views that tend to drift across both ideologies.
There’s no (viable) candidate for us. It’s vote against Romney or vote against Obama, since you’re certainly not voting for someone you really don’t believe in.
I was considering voting for Gov. Gary Johnson, the libertarian candidate, as the libertarians do match up with my beliefs, but my apathy caught up with me and I missed the cut off date for registration. As well, it seemed to be a moot issue anyway. Oklahoma is the reddest state in the country and Gov. Johnson would do well to get 0.1% here, mainly from disenfranchised Paul supporters in OKC.
But honestly, I just don’t care, and quite frankly that’s the saddest thing I have ever typed. Our democracy has seemingly lost its way. Our President, regardless of which one wins, will be someone who had to win the battle of best advertisements, after winning the battle of party loyalists, thanks to closed primaries. Anyone who dared challenge the status quo; shut out by the corporate media; since they won’t have a chance to win.
Of course they’d have a chance if they could get some media attention, but you know, that’s not really the media’s problem, now is it?
The debates, closed off to only the two major parties, run by some unelected body that somehow put themselves in charge of the debates.
We will then get to repeat this futile exercise once again in 2016. Months and months of lies and lies, polls and more polls, name calling and yammering on about how who did what.
Two thirds of the country, again, like good soldiers will march into the polling booth and click R or D. The other third will be conflicted. Some will hold their breath as they vote against the other guy, others, like me again, will just sigh, and shake our heads and mumble.
“What’s the fucking point?”