Don’t tell me there is no difference between Obama and Romney
Before Obama was elected, i predicted he would disappoint. I certainly had a very strong preference for Obama over McCain, who had been completely co-opted at that point, kissing up to the conservative religious right, who he had dissed 4 years earlier. McCain is the same type of adventurist hawk as Romney, who believes the military capacity the US has is an invitation to use it.
But despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama ran on a pro-war platform (for those who forgot it was the “Iraq is the wrong war, Afghanistan is the right war”) and has bombed Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and then went on using drones to bomb Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. I will do a longer piece on drone killing later, but the practice of coming back and killing people who try to rescue civilians who have been bombed by the first wave of drones, or those attending funeral services, is especially repugnant and mentally taxing of survivors.
Obama caved on his campaign promise to tax the oil companies. Then he proposed cutting tax breaks to oil companies but congress keeps shooting it down. Obama promised transparency, he delivered executive secrecy which makes the Bushies look forth coming. Obama has given FDA to Monsanto.
He is a war criminal, corporate whore and a traitor to the progressives and liberals who elected him. And i am going to vote for him anyway.
I understand the arguments against him. And there are some compelling pitches to not vote for this man. And of course there are compelling anarchist arguments for not voting for anyone ever. If you don’t want to vote at all, i can support you.
Jill Stein has an impressive set of progressive stands as the Green Party presidential candidate. If you wanted to vote for her, i could get behind that.
But if you are part of this uber naive group of progressives/radicals who think there is no difference between Obama and Romney, i am going to call you out as the idiot i think you are.
These folks point to all of Obama’s serious disappointments and say “he is a tool of the system, just like Mitt Romney, there is no difference.” This is like saying a canoe and an aircraft carrier are both boats, so there is no difference.
There is a concentration of wealth problem in the US. Romney is clear he plans to make it worse by taxing the middle class to pay off the rich who are funding his campaign. Obama is less bad in this. There is a war on reproductive rights going on in this country, Obama has put forward supreme court justices who are holding it back. Paul Ryan backs the Republican party platform of no abortions, no exceptions. Which then supports the 31 states which currently give visitation rights to rapist fathers. The vacancies with the supremes will determine this issue for decades to come. Oh, and i would rather not go to war with Iran, something Obama has been avoiding so far and something the Romney team is planning on once they are elected. Romney invented ObamaCare, but to get the nomination he had to flip positions on it, like he did on abortion. I have no interest in going back to tens of millions uninsurable because of pre-existing medical conditions (and there are better solutions than ObamaCare, but replacing it with ER rooms is not a solution). There are solar panels on my commune because of Obama stimulus money, Mitt Romney and Ryan are only interested in supporting the oil and nuclear industries. Saying there is no difference between these two men’s policies is either confessing your myopic privileged status because your personal affluent world does not change (while millions of others less rich than you does) or that you are merely stupid.
If you don’t want to vote, i get it. If Obama disgusts you and you want to vote for a 3rd party candidate, have at. If you live in California, do what ever you like. But if you are pretending the presidency is so simple that there is no difference between the two bought off major party candidates, i suggest you pitch this madness to someone who is not going to scream at you about how pathetic your analysis is.
24 responses to “Don’t tell me there is no difference between Obama and Romney”
Trackbacks / Pingbacks
- October 16, 2012 -
- November 20, 2012 -
- October 4, 2013 -
- January 30, 2014 -
Great post. I think you make an important point about the personal versus collective. For many it will make no difference on a personal level, especially if you are male & heterosexual (and ironically, especially if you are not super rich), but for many in the US and abroad this choice has many everyday consequences.
on a personal level, a romney presidency would be worse. considering the global consequences, either candidate would be a disaster.
Pax, read this post by David Solnit’s sister and then tell me what you think of it.
i like it, o read some of Rebecca’s stuff and mostly think she is right on. I certainly agree with the contention that without hope we are screwed. i fight reactors, until fukushima we have historically lost almost all those fights. It did not stop them from being the right fights, it just meant you had to be willing to lose to play the game.
Certainly there are bitter radicals, there will always be bitter radicals. Is there bitterness always a poison? I am not sure. Obama and the transparency stuff is a real problem, so are the drones. i want him to beat Romney, but i a terribly afraid this will become a mandate to keep doing terrible things (which Romney is down with, by the way). With a political system so badly broken, it is not surprising that some people are seriously pissed.
To build hope you need to point out the victories, i certainly try to do this (perhaps the part of what Obama has done well needs to be developed more in this article). But the problem with our lesser evils selection system, is that when you are done, there is a lot of evil there which still needs to be addressed, and a bunch of folks go back to sleep until the next polls.
There are some similarities between Rebecca’s arguments and mine, tho a different focus of attention. What did you think of her piece (and of course of mine)?
Paxus at Twin Oaks
30 Animals in Heat 2012
when bush was in office, the liberals ranted about his warmongering. when it’s a democrat, they’re largely silent.
Pax — strongly worded, and appropriately so. Nice to see a radical who’s willing to break from the pack and think for himself.
I don’t feel this election is legitimate. The real election is on which 3rd party candidate is going to come in third. Rosanne Barr or Gary Johnson?
Having considered this as well, and on the verge of not voting for anyone for the first time in my adult life, I value your article. Still, this point in US “democracy” is at an all time low, if we’re faced with either voting for a presidential contender as empathic as a bullet, interested in the rich getting richer, and undoubtedly willing to maintain the war investments this country already has and perhaps expand; or the current incumbent, who has demolished the tenants of civil liberties, violated the legitimate value of governmental checks and balances, and who, may I correct you, has a full intention to back up Israel into attacking Iran.
Obama is an authoritarian. He is a relativist willing to swing the law to his side, and he is a manipulator. I don’t care how much more intelligent and overall likeable he is in comparison to Romney; backing him witha vote is swinging a prettier noose around our necks. Your argument to “stand for the lesser of two evils” is equally ignorant as the idea you argue against. The most important action we can take is to demand accountability. Can we do that with Obama? We can’t even have a protest near him without risking imprisonment (HR347). If this country were to wake up and ask for a real government, if we would take any action necessary to assure that ‘We the People’, as stated in the preamble to the constitution, were the real focus of policy and governance, could we do that under the regime Obama is co-manufacturing?
Strong argument, and you may well be right about Obama and Israel. What i am not compelled by is that if we vote we are signing on to the past and likely future behaviors in full. I am happy to organize protests against Obama’s policies the same day i cast my vote for him. Voting is part of a mechanism, that you are engaged in, even when you dont vote. i want a prettier noose, if it is only nooses i am choosing between. And i am happy to also work to knife my executioner as he bends over to put the noose on. i want to be in all the games and maximizing my influence
if you vote for him, it doesn’t matter if you protest. they will ignore you until it costs them.
Don’t vote for no one, make a statement and vote Jill Stein and her Green New Deal. Vote 3rd party at the very least in order to evidence that the People long for an expanded political field,
Great post, Pax. I don’t feel particulaly inclined to vote for a few reasons. I’m not thrilled with any of the candidate choices who have a chance in hell of winning, for one thing… although as you say, I would choose Obama over Romney without hesitation. My main lament though, is the fact that my vote simply isn’t going to count because of the state I live in. No way in hell will WV carry Obama and sadly, it has more to do with the color of his skin than his political stance. I’m not the type to scream racism and I tend to think it’s as overused as Ritalin with children, but as a ‘white’ person (in quotes because I don’t believe in race) living in this state, I’ve been witness to so much covert racism that I’m thoroughly disgusted with it (the State that is, I was already disgusted with racism). I voted for Hillary in the primaries last time and I wish she had gotten a chance to be President. I don’t agree with all of her stances, but I think she would have made a fine President (nothing at all to do with her gender). No matter though, my votes are wasted in this State and it’s just damned frustrating. I’d love to see an end to the antiquated ‘electoral college’ system.
if, like me, you live in a state where your vote has no effect on the electoral votes, a 3rd party vote that helps build a stronger option for the next election is the best use of your vote. not voting registers as apathy, not protest.
Paxus, did you ever consider voting libertarian? Gary Johnson is going to be on the ballot in at least 47 states this year.
Obama has been far worse than a disappointment. Yet you are right that he is considerably better than Romney. They are the same only in that neither of them will significantly change the banker /corporate/ military ownership of our government, and both will likely lead us down the road to a police state protecting the 1% from everybody else. I will be voting for Jill Stein, because Obama has a large margin in California, so I have the luxury of doing so. If I was in a swing state, I would vote for Obama, but I wouldn’t feel good about it at all.
“I am not a purist. There is no such thing as a perfect political party, or a president who governs in accordance with one’s every ethical judgment. But some actions are so ruinous to human rights, so destructive of the Constitution, and so contrary to basic morals that they are disqualifying. Most of you will go that far with me. If two candidates favored a return to slavery, or wanted to stone adulterers, you wouldn’t cast your ballot for the one with the better position on health care. “
i take issue with your idea that equating the two major parties comes from a position of privilege. ignoring the ways they are the same is something you have the privilege of doing if you are not likely to be victim of drone attacks or indefinite detention. as a woman, if i wanted to vote selfishly, i’d vote for obama. but my ability to live a little cushier than i already do is not worth the actual lives of pakistani children.
All good points, but i am curious – who will you be voting for if anyone? There are several desirable 3rd party candidates, but they are unlikely to get elected. The powers that be have us all in a bind. I can respect the choice not to vote for Obama, as i outlined in the article – he has done some terrible things, and will do more in a second term. BUT it is 99% chance he or Romeny will be elected. Are you protesting this game?
Paxus in Heerlen NL
6 Falling Leaves 2012
i’m voting for gary johnson. he doesn’t have to win to make a difference. i’m worried less about this particular election and more about the political system as a whole.
“After Ross Perot won nearly 20 percent of the vote in the 1992 election, change happened believe it or not. Perot’s biggest campaign issue in ’92 was the debt. What happened after Perot won 20 percent in 1992? Former President Clinton and the Newt Gingrich-led Republican Congress balanced the budget for the first time in a few decades.
Clinton and Gingrich both deserve credit, but I also believe Perot raising awareness of the debt and earning a significant third-party vote forced the issue. If Johnson can win just 10 percent of the vote nation-wide, it would scare the Democrats and Republicans into straightening up a little more. And I think even a lot of Democrats and Republicans would agree that’s a good thing!”