I've mentioned before on the blog that I have sort of a rule against political posts. This isn't because I don't care about politics - I care a lot and love discussing politics, even with people who disagree with me. (Heck, especially with people who disagree. Just saying "I agree" over and over doesn't make for interesting conversation.)
Of course, if you follow my blog you also know I break this rule a lot. Well, since it's election season I thought I'd break it again. If you're not interested, feel free to ignore this post. I'll probably be posting again later this week so tune in then to hear me rant about some video game or something. For the rest of you, yes, I voted for Barack Obama in 2008. While I think that might have been the wrong decision I stand by it. He was the best choice that I saw, and I will not apologize for voting for him. I will, however, say that I'm not going to be voting for him again this year. Allow me to explain why not.
First off, I know that right now some of you are saying "well of course you shouldn't vote for Obama!" So let me start by explaining why I voted for him in the first place. I can still tell you the exact moment when I knew I was going to vote for him. The point where Obama hooked me - and many other Americans - was ironically the number one thing the Republicans loved to scream about during the 2008 election season: the Reverend Wright incident. For those who don't recall, Rev. Jeremiah Wright was an anti-semitic, America-hating former pastor whose church Obama had attended briefly. The American people were understandably worried when this information came out and demanded to know, how could Obama ask to lead us when he had associations like that? Obama responded by doing something very few Presidents have ever done before: he told the truth.
There were any number of ways he could've handled the situation. He could've denied knowledge of Wright's beliefs, he could've denounced the man, he could've embraced the man. Any one of those would have earned him a lot of votes. Instead, he spoke to us all as if we were actually thinking human beings, explained that while he didn't share the Reverend's beliefs he couldn't condemn a man just for being angry at the injustices he's suffered in his life. Obama made himself look like not just another politician, but a human being. That was why America elected Obama in a landslide two-thirds decision.
That leads us to the most notable failure of Obama's presidency: the "Obamacare" health care bill. This was potentially the biggest thing he would have done, and we NEEDED him to walk us through it, to answer our questions, to alleviate our fears, to explain step-by-step what he was doing and how it would make things better, not worse.
And...he didn't. He put the bill up before Congress and just let them have it, all for the purpose of getting it done. This was a chance not just to prove himself, but to actually do something real that would really help America out, and he failed catastrophically because he didn't do it the right way.
And that's not even the worst part. The whole time he kept going on about healthcare, I just kept asking myself, why haven't we brought industry back to this country? Why haven't we lowered the national debt? And don't tell me that it's impossible. While my own state of Virginia may have many problems it has always been very good about keeping a balanced budget, in part because both of our last two governors willingly slashed their own salaries. When was the last time you remember hearing about anyone in D.C. doing that?
Hell, the politicians in D.C. keep raising their own salaries and voting down acts that would force them to balance the budget because they know doing so would require them to make sacrifices. They're actively resisting any and all attempts at forcing them to behave responsibly, all the while demanding more and more money and power, grabbing selfishly for whatever they can take, and blaming the rest of us for all of our country's problems. Whether you believe Obama is a part of that or not, you can't deny that he has done nothing to stop it.
Look, I honestly believe that Obama is a good person, and that he really thought he could make things better. You know, and I really would love to believe that he has made things better. But he hasn't. He's made things worse - way worse. I'm sorry, folks, but the numbers don't lie. Obama has -in just one term- raised the national debt over twice what George W. Bush raised it in two terms. He's not been good for this country, and the fact of the matter is that myself and many others do not believe America can survive four more years of his presidency.
America as we know it is on its deathbed. Greed, cynicism, and laziness have poisoned it. We need a leader to bring us out of this mess. Checks and balances can't do it. We need someone who can take charge, say "no" to the corporations, special interests, and career politicians who are tearing our country apart for their own selfish gain. Obama has proven that he is not that leader. Despite what he made us believe four years ago, Barack Obama has made it clear that he couldn't unite two lego bricks, much less a country.
Mitt Romney ... is also not that leader. I do not believe that Romney is capable of fixing our country, nor do I agree with the vast majority of his ideas and goals. He is another prime example of why I hate politicians - a man who makes more money in one day than most Americans will make in ten years and yet still demands more. But... at this point he is the lesser of two evils. My only hope is that maybe he can keep the country alive long enough for a real leader to show up.
Or, who knows? Maybe whoever wins will prove me wrong by actually making things better. Wouldn't that be swell?