Here in Virginia, there are five teams on the ballot.
- Barak Obama & Joe Biden (Democratic)
- Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan (Republican)
- Gary Johnson & James P. Gray (Libertarian)
- Jill Stein & Cheri Honkala (Green)
- Virgil H. Goode Jr. & James N. Clymer (Constitution)
First, let me say up front, that there are some positions the Republican party espouses that go against things I believe strongly about. Particularly their position on same sex marriage. The fact is that the issue of same sex marriage is exactly like the issue of interracial marriage was some 50 or 60 years ago. There is no reason beyond prejudice, ignorance and hatred for anyone to be against this. Additionally, they prefer to deregulate everything they can, which is a big part of the problems on Wall St. There is also the whole "women's reproductive rights" brouhaha with the abortion debate and contraceptives. This is a bit of a straw man argument, though. There is very little that even a Republican White House with a Republican Congress can do on those fronts, really. It's simply can't happen and frantic hysteria to the contrary is counter productive.
On the other side, we have a political party that critics claim is socialist and trying to undo everything the Founding Fathers built. While this is laughable, it does hold a kernel of truth. The position taken by the Democrats is more regulations and governmental control over the economy, healthcare, social services, finance and industry. Fundamentally, the Democratic party is of the opinion that the citizens of the country are incapable of taking care of themselves and, like children, must be "watched over." You can see this in the way they push to help women, minorities, "the poor" and other demographic groups they feel they can manipulate. That's not to say the GOP doesn't do this. Look at the way they've tried to coop religion.
Basically, the two parties are fighting to gain the upper hand by taking extreme positions on issues that effect voters but have little real impact when it comes down to making things happen. "Obamacare" hasn't changed the healthcare system as much as either party would have you believe. There are much more incredibly serious issues facing the country, and the world, with which both parties are in lockstep. Just look into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for one example. There are also issues like Climate Change, Education, Geopolitics and such which neither party is interested in giving more than lip service to.
"But Joe," you say. "You haven't come close to telling anyone who you're voting for." And I say, right you are. The proceeding was my attempt to break down the election as I see it. And, as I see it, neither choice is good. There are, however, some elements in the above commentary that give an indication as to my leanings. Plus, there are two other facts that I haven't mentioned which made the final difference.
- I was born and grew up outside of the US for most of the first half of my life
- The huge socioeconomic disparity between the supporters of each party
Point two is one that surprised me completely. The Occupy Wall Street noisemakers talk incessantly about the one-percent verses the ninety-nine-percent. The assumption is that the GOP backs the 1% while the 99% are who the Democrats support. This couldn't be further from the truth. The fact is that the bulk of both parties members are all one-percenters. And the bulk of the money they get is from more one-percenters. The interesting part is, when it comes to "regular" folks, it is the Democratic party which is supported by the elitist, privileged, arrogant, chosen like celebrities and intellectual academicians in their ivory towers.
But what about the support of minorities like the African American and Hispanic communities that the Democrats have? Surly they aren't members of the privileged.
No, they are not. But the actions of both parties; the propaganda, lies and misinformation, that gives the impression that the "right" is against and the "left" is for them. Neither party sees them, or any other voting demographic group, as anything but peons they can manipulate into voting for them. That's all we are.
"But Joe, you STILL haven't told us who you're voting for!"
Right you are. If anyone has actually made it through this wandering treatises, some might say rambling rant, I will tell you that I am voting for. . .
Dun, dun, DAH!
Ok, not really.
The true answer is: I'll tell you after the election. And I'll explain why I voted the way I did.
Bet no one actually read this entire post, too.