On Not Voting for Obama This Time

Vote Oregon!

Vote Oregon! (Photo credit: jugbo)

I should actually say that I am not voting period in the 2012 POTUS race. I did in 2008 though I declined to vote at the state level and didn’t vote at all in the 2010 midterm.

Part of the reason is that I am committed to the immigrant thing here in Canada. My ancestors left their homes in Ireland and Sweden and became United States citizens first and last and that is the right way to do it. It’s the Christian bible, I think, that says one can’t serve two masters and that is about right too.

Though the U.S. doesn’t have an official yea or nay on the dual citizenship thing, it is clear about having first dibs and could care less if a person has chosen to be or was previously a citizen of another country.

This policy has vague and ugly undertones that imply indentured servitude at best and ownership in pre-Civil War Mississippi plantation sort of way that grates against my entitlement attitudes regarding personal liberty.

And so, for this reason, first and foremost, I am abstaining from casting a ballot. I’ve just come to the realization that I am a Canadian though not quite in fact yet, it’s inevitable.

The other reason is that like many others who voted for Obama in 2008, I don’t think much of his effort, the direction of his policies on civil liberty, financial regulation or foreign policy. I don’t think he has any idea of what to do about the economy that isn’t tired and already a proven failure. And the whole secret warring thing and the way he whole-heartedly endorsed all the loathsome police state policies of the Bush II era makes my skin crawl.

Although, I have to admit, the guy gives a good speech.

We were in Iowa when he was bus stopping through the center and northeast. In fact, we got re-routed in Waterloo when his motorcade came through and the local police blocked off our exit strategy while we were stopped for dinner.

There were no more tickets available for his appearance in Dubuque the next day, but we watched him on the local television station.

Dee sat on Rob’s lap and occasionally asked him, “Is that true, Dad?”

And he would explain, “Sorta”. Then give her the actual facts.

At one point my 11-year-old nephew walked into the living room, saw Obama and announced, “I will NOT listen to that man!” and stomped off in the kind of huff only a preteen can manage with any semblance of dignity.

His mother, DNOS, explained later that N2 listens to Rush Limbaugh in the afternoons when he gets home from school. Like his father, he is quite the conservative.

In addition to addressing the misinformation issues for my daughter, I had to correct some of the misleading details of the “scare the old people about their entitlements” with Mom and my Auntie.

“Nothing will affect you guys,” I said. “All the reform is directed at people under 55 whether it’s the Democrats or the Republicans.”

“Well, I don’t know who to vote for,” Mom said.

“Dad would have voted for Ron Paul,” I pointed out. “You can always just write him in and not vote for either Obama or Romney.”

“I can do that?” she was genuinely amazed and seemed a bit relieved.

She didn’t vote the last time. Dad had just died and the election came and went pretty much unnoticed by her.

I used to rail at my Dad for “throwing his vote away”. I don’t think he voted for anyone but 3rd party candidates since Reagan. He was hardcore Republican prior to Bush I. He hated the senior Bush. Thought he was shifty and power-hungry.

“Can’t trust a man who headed up the CIA,” was his opinion.

And a fairly sound voting rule, in my opinion.

Now though, I think Dad had it right. Defensive voting is a losing game. You are forever setting yourself up to be disappointed and not substantially better off in the long run.

Vote for Obama because Romney is the harbinger of the Zombie Apocalypse. Or something like that.

Nothing, however, is going to change really regardless of who wins. There are too many snowballs rolling down the mountainside and no one can stop them or mitigate the damage they are going to do once they roll into the populated areas in the foothills. Perhaps when the powder settles and the people have started digging out, they will get serious about putting into power positions candidates who care more about achieving something than simply the power game itself. I won’t hold my breath but stranger things have happened.

Finally, I am not voting because my best interests aren’t served by involving myself again. I compromised my integrity by letting myself be somewhat peer pressured into accepting Obama as the Democratic candidate in 2008 despite my thoughts that he played dirty with Clinton during the primary and my estimation that he really didn’t have the experience at that point. His rather ham-handed performance in his first term proved the latter and the distraction issue campaign he’s run against Romney has confirmed the former – that he is a politician first and foremost. He is not change at all.

On Facebook, I have been nothing if not contradictory, putting up articles that make it seem that I am a liberal while simultaneously posting conservative views. The fact is that I am neither. I am too much of a realist. There is good and bad on both sides in terms of policy and opinion. To mire myself too far inland on either side would leave me unaware and uninformed on too many important issues.

While it would be nice to be someone who is okay with following for the sake of acceptance and warm fuzzies that has never been me.

So I am not going to vote although that won’t keep me from commentary. George Carlin once said that it’s only those who don’t vote who have the right to complain. People who participate in the system are the ones who should shut the fuck up because by voting, you are agreeing to be okay with the outcome.

The outcome is going to suck. I feel sorry for whoever has to clean up the mess in 2016.

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2 responses to “On Not Voting for Obama This Time

  1. It’s not easy being an informed voting United States citizen right now, but I have three grown children who have lives that will continue well into this century and will possibly have children someday. This United States has come back from worse than this and we will again. The beauty of our representative democracy is that people can have their opinions, vote or not vote, and still have all the rights that belong to them as a citizen. I support President Obama. As much as I disagree with just about everything you said, I support your right to say it. I vote democratic because I believe everyone deserves a chance and as a country we can always do better.

    • I had a friend tell me that she has to focus on Obama’s positives b/c that is all there is better hope than despair, and I get that. However, I don’t share the optimism that America will weather this and come out again as she was. Things have changed. The world has changed. America will have to become more realistic about itself and its place.

      Until there is full disclosure of how deep the financial ruin is and the knowledge that everyone is going to have to shoulder the burden (and it will suck), I don’t look for improvement. Neither candidate or their parties are ready yet to be honest and fix the things that need to be fixed.

      I am not on the ground, but I know ppl who are and that fuels my interest more than anything else.

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