Monday, November 05, 2012

Americans, get out there and VOTE FOR ROMNEY!

Scratch that, I was attempting to make a joke there and that's kind of an anti-joke.

Of course, after the 2004 fiasco, some of you Obama voters are probably afraid you're going to find yourselves unwittingly voting for Romney. The truth is you probably don't have much to worry about from the machines themselves this time around. (Romney's son does not own all the machines in Ohio, for one thing.) So don't fear the machines. Fear, instead, the voter suppression tactics used mostly in swing states and usually, but not always, by Republicans. 
Up here in Canada, we've had our own political scandal, which is still percolating and fostering outrage. The voting irregularities in the U.S. are considerably more brazen and widespread, but for some odd reason they don't seem to provoke the same level of antipathy. I ascribe that to a perversion of the American Dream which suggests that since winning is all-important, a little cheatery is only to be expected and tacitly encouraged. Canada, being a little more (gasp!) socialist, has less tolerance for cheating.

Every election in the United States is elevated into a pitched battle of universal importance. The opposition is out to destroy the American ideal and way of life, to bring on Armageddon, to annihilate the universe. Without engaging in wild hyperbole, this particular election actually is critically important to the future of the United States.  Of course, depending on who you ask, it is vitally important that you vote for Romney, and just as important that you don't.

Republicans will tell you that Obama is not only the first un-American president in the nation's history, but also the first anti-American president. Notwithstanding the  thoroughly debunked yet remarkably persistent "birther" theories, there is some truth to these allegations. Barack Obama is by no means a typical American. His father was very much against American colonialism and Obama was raised in a stew of American criticism, especially concerning the country's treatment of blacks.
This is most evident in Obama's foreign policy, which critics dismiss as hopelessly naive and destructive, and people outside America tend to hail as a welcome and refreshing change. Obama makes comparatively little effort to promote American hegemony, preferring diplomacy and what appears to be apathy where his predecessors might well have responded with outrage and bombs. There is thus the perception of a power vacuum opening up, centered in the Middle East (where else?) This, more than anything else, scares and angers conservatives. There should be no power vacuum in a world  with America in it, they say. No good can come of it.
I'm not so sure about that. It can be argued that American meddling in affairs of sovereign nations hasn't worked out so well. Regardless, a Republican presidency would most likely seek to restore American notions of might and power, starting (where else?) in the Middle East. Romney's on record as saying he wants no part of a war with Iran. Then again, as Warren Ellis notes, the Republican candidate is "only coherent when he's lying".

Domestically, don't buy the carefully crafted narrative of economic recovery. The U.S. is in for a world of hurt no matter who wins. Look out for the Fiscal Cliff, and if that one won't get you, the debt cliff most certainly will. (Don't look at this site if you have a weak heart or stomach.)

As disappointed as many on the Left must be with Obama's first term, it is worth remembering that the Republicans vowed to block any bill the Democrats advanced, "no matter the content". It's also worth recalling that Romney's company specialized in buying up going concerns and shuttering them, exporting well-paying American jobs to China. In that sense, I'd suggest Romney is every bit as anti-American as is Obama. ("There is no God but Money, and Dollar is His Profit".)

My endorsement of Obama is probably predictable. Were I American, I would consider voting for a moderate Republican, if someone was willing to send out a Huntsman to find such a thing. But there being no moderate Republicans in the race, and a flip-flopping, equivocating fence-sitter at the forefront, I feel the choice is obvious.

Americans, get out there and vote.

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