Overweening Generalist

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Voting For Unistat President: Maybe I'll Stay Home

It's more like who to vote against. I was dumb enough, naive enough,  to think that, in 2008, I was finally voting for someone I'd actually like, who might at least somewhat represent my values. I had never before gone into the voting booth to vote for someone because I actually sorta liked them. In 2008 I did, I'm embarrassed to say. My guy won, and he's been a crushing disappointment.

So, in less than two weeks, our big national Dog and Pony Show crests (finally!), after $1,000,000,000 has been spent by plutocrats and kleptocrats and fascists of various persuasion, in hopes of a more favorable showing for their money...or property. Whatever.

Obama, who our version of the Taliban (shown on Fox "News") has been trying to convince its viewers that Obama hates white people, that he's a communist, a secret muslim who wants to take our guns and magically install sharia law, who's a crypto-nazi, like "Stalin without the bloodshed" (the actual words of one of our TV idiots on Fox "News") - I'm not making ANYTHING up here, folks who are reading this from outside Unistat - that Obama is all of the above (somehow) and an East Coast liberal elitist who thinks he's so great because he taught at Harvard Law. (On what planet can such a "reality" be possible?)

Yep: Obama, according to the loudest and dumbest in our media, is a latte-drinking radical muslim who is like Stalin and Hitler, and he hates white people. He wants to take away our guns, force everyone to ride bicycles because he's a radical environmentalist too! He wants Sharia Law and will make all our children eat organic vegetables because he thinks he's so smart.

Enough with the Idiot Rundown...

Instead, the reality: Obama's a tool of Wall Street. He filled his cabinet with banksters and the very people who presided over the looting of the country. Obama believes in deregulation, even though he'll pay lip service to regulation when he's talking to his pie-eyed liberal cohort. Torture has been effectively decriminalized under our Barackstar. I find this endlessly shameful. But not as much as the unmitigated shame of his continuance of Bush Administration policies of not only torture, but indefinite detention without trial,his prosecution and persecution of whistleblowers - under the Espionage Act! - which is more than all previous Presidents combined.

And Obama's El Drone Assassino Numero Uno. (Yea, like that doesn't invite what the CIA calls "blowback"! Noooooo.)

Oh, but he gave us healthcare!, you say. You mean he did everything he could to not have single-payer, the only sane system in the world. The insurance companies privately love him, but most of them back the other guy anyway.

Obama hasn't done much of anything, nor has he said anything, about the rise of poverty and decline of the middle class. He was stupid enough (that is, if he actually wanted to be FDR, which I now no longer believe) to try to reach compromise with a Republican Congress that is so far right-wing that they openly told the American public that their number one goal is to make Obama a one-term President...and this was within a week of his election! The country was heading into a Depression like 1930, people were suffering, they were afraid, and these criminal Republicans didn't care: the billionaire fascists that elected them didn't care. But I guess enough people watched the corporate TV news enough to make it all seem legit.

[Am I ranting enough?]

                                                 Danny Schecter, one of my guys

So I read 200 articles by thinkers I admire, who more or less share my values, trying to triangulate, to figure out how or what to do in this upcoming election. Danny Schecter says this election starkly illuminates the overwhelming presence of the one-percenters; we really don't have anyone to vote for. Green Party candidate Jill Stein was arrested for protesting that she wasn't allowed into the Presidential Debates, which are so obviously FIXED, and yet no one in the corporate media will admit that, much less make it a real issue.

More interestingly, Norman Pollack, who admits he'll stay home on election day, argues that at least Romney and Ryan are openly Neanderthal-ish (which I find unfair to the Neanderthals); Pollack is bristling with disgust over the polished bullshit that Obama represents, and at one point Pollack asks, how much worse can Romney/Ryan be? Maybe they'll crack down on same-sex marriage and make contraceptives harder to obtain, but at least they're relatively transparent.

Okay: my whole adult life I've had anarchist friends, educated to the nines, they'd read everything and they made variations on this argument Pollack makes in "America: On the Cusp of Fascism" (skip down below the plea for money). What they really mean is: things are bad and horrible people are in power. Vote for the worst person, so that things get so bad there will be no choice among the populace but to openly take to the streets and make real change, as history has taught us.

Not only have I not read history quite that way, I've always had to argue, "Yea, you have enough material comfort and safety it's easy for you to say. Who will do your killing for you? Are you willing to shoot it our with a hundred-thousand SWAT dudes?" And not to mention the brazen indifference to the increased suffering of the already underprivileged. But at least it works with your Theory of History...This sort of emotional blankness toward the already-suffering reminds me of my problem with the so-called "right" Libertarians. We have a values disconnect.


                                    Daniel Ellsberg. Kids: if you don't know who he is, 
                                    do some research on his life! There is much wisdom 
                                     to be had in looking into the traverse of his story.

I guess Daniel Ellsberg (and Noam Chomsky) make about the most sense to me: yes, Obama is bad, but Romney/Ryan will be far worse. There really does seem to be a difference that guys like Schecter and Pollack don't point out: Romney and Ryan will be the same or worse as Obama on every thing I indicted Obama for above, but they seem to want to attack Iran, the economy would probably be worse, women's reproductive rights, health care, the safety net (what little there is of it) would all be worse under these assholes. And I really do think both of them are classic white rich-guy, wealth-worshipping-above-all 8x10 glossy assholes, with zero empathy for anyone else's suffering. Not to mention they're both astounding intellectual lightweights.

Oh and under Romney/Ryan: they'd be worse on climate change, green energy, and the environment in  general.

And last, but certainly not least: do we want Obama or Romney to choose who gets on the Supreme Court? (Actually this seems - maybe - like the best reason to vote Obama.)

But I'm still not sure. Ellsberg makes maybe the best case I've seen. And yet I'm still not convinced. In fact, the action of vengeance (which I think Obama knows a lot about; I'm not a big fan of Saletan, but he makes an interesting point here, methinks) is something that might down Obama nonetheless.

In 2008, I didn't expect much of him. Bush/Cheney had done almost irreparable harm to the economy. But I did think one egregious injustice - marijuana prohibition - could be effectively dealt with. And Obama said pot was very low priority. But for whatever reason, he's gone back on his promise to not fight the war on pot. And for that, I may withhold my vote. Because I'm vengeful enough, I guess. I know my state - California - is going for Obama. Withholding my vote for him would be symbolic, it would mean something on some other level (possibly even less significant, if you can imagine some quark-sized entity).

But then I remain haunted with complicity because I did a "protest" vote for Nader in 2000, possibly helping in the argument that allowed W. to steal the damned thing; I was assuming Gore, his evil among the Two Lessers, would win...

                                   2012 Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who's my 
                                   idea of a sane Republican, but because that party
                                   has apparently outlawed sanity, he jumped parties.
                                    I believe him when he talks with disdain about both
                                       Obama and Romney.

David Sirota has a very interesting idea that the state of Colorado and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson make a "perfect storm" for defeating Obama, and it's because there are enough cannabis-toking civil libertarians who have HAD IT with this shit. I know I have. And perhaps "vengeance" is too strong a word for a peacenik like myself. Let us call it spite.

We shall see if Gov. Johnson siphons off enough angry stoners' votes in Colorado to change history and petard-hoist Obama. Hey Barack: you think you can get away with being one of the biggest hypocrites in history? We might have a say. (I'm suddenly feeling like I might show up and write in "Robert Anton Wilson.")

Meanwhile, I will make a prediction about the US election that I feel is 100% accurate: rich people will win.

                                               Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party candidate
                                               In a halfway sane world, she'd be 
                                                 electable. She's my choice, stands
                                                     no chance.


Bobby Campbell said...

I find yours to be the clearest head in 21st century politics. (Though which may be just another way of saying we are of a similar demographic!)

I condensed my own 2012 political analysis down to a tweet: (w/ enough room to link to one of my scribbles)

"No matter who is Prez US will be corporatist & militaristic but O better for Women+Latinos+Gays+ACA+SupremeCourt twitpic.com/b7aiua"

Though honestly I don't care who for or if others vote. Everyone seems to have their reasons and that's good enough for me! I'm very much enjoying processing contesting political viewpoints. I've got way too much I need to learn to start shutting people out. Though also I think a good way to learn is to bust balls sometimes

I bet I can guess several things about Norman Pollack! Not a woman? Not homosexual? Not poor? Not a minority? Not suffering or dying from a pre-existing condition and unable to get health insurance?

I think that maybe sometimes it is difficult to tell when our opinions are a privilege. I'm sure I'm oblivious to some!

michael said...

Opinions as privilege: always worth pondering. If we're lucky enough to have something like an "informed opinion" I think it might be an underrated thing to express that opinion with some sort of STYLE. It's not easy, but I think we oughtta try. I read some of my own stuff and when I see a cliche I wince. But hey, I write this stuff quickly...which ain't an excuse, but I might try to be funnier or more informed or obtuse in a delightful way if I'ze gettin' paid.

In Berkeley, there are prodigiously well-educated people everywhere, they're "progressive" and all that, but, speaking of getting paid, I wish I had a dime for every time an extremely well-informed (and pissed) guy, in a discussion about - as you say: corporatism and militarism - said, "There ain't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties!" Just a dime!

That jit adds up, man.

I was trolling a bit in that blog, hoping people would chime in an try to convince me to vote for so-and-so, and why I oughtta.

Thanks for the articulate response and the kind woids and I'm actually leaning towards the Radical Muslim Nazi Harvard Law Professor Who Wants To Force Us All To Eat Kale, because I find Robmey and Ayn Ryan just too too odious...and dangerously close in those goddamned polls.

What gets me: the sheer brazen open-ness that the Rethugs are going to try to steal the election. Jeez...

PQ said...

AMEN to this post.