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Why The Left Shouldn't Support Obama

Obama has not, however, defended the principles that made this country great once

I want to tell you a joke.

One year the White House needed a fence repaired. So they brought in a contractor from Florida, one from Ohio, and one from New Jersey. Out at the fence the Florida contractor took some measurements, made some notes and told the White House Aide that it would cost $400 to repair. The White House Aide asked why that amount. "Well, $200 for materials and $200 for my crew." The Ohio contractor made some measurements and wrote up some notes. "I can do it for $800. The materials will cost $400 and I'll need to pay my crew $400. The New Jersey contractor looked at the fence for less than one second and said "$2,400." The White House Aide was floored. "You didn’t even look at the fence, let alone take a single measurement, or make a single note. Where can you possibly be getting that figure?" The New Jersey contractor leaned in and whispered "$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the idiot from Florida to fix the fence."

I like that joke for two reasons. One is because it’s a very American joke; it depends on a stereotype to work. In this case it’s the stereotype that people from Jersey are less than honest; it evokes the notion of the mob. The second reason is that the joke reminds me of Jack Benny. Mr. Benny was always the butt of his own joke. And that joke is about us, the American People. We are the butt of the joke because it really doesn’t matter who is in the White House, we won’t have honest government because the American people are not particularly honest, especially with themselves.

I wish I could state that the left shouldn’t support the President because he didn’t do anything, or because he didn’t do enough. I can’t because that wouldn’t be honest. He has accomplished quite a bit. Next time you hear someone make one of those arguments, ask for specific examples. They won’t have any. There aren’t any. If you bother to Google Obama’s accomplishments, you will find the truth for yourself. Very few Presidents, you can count them on one hand, inherited the type of toxic sewage mess Bush left behind. On more than a few levels Obama has done an admirable job, especially with an obstructionist Congress.

Obama has not, however, defended the principles that made this country great once; the principles that we have never lived up to; the principles that offer the world its only hope for an Enlightened form of Government based in the ideals of Equality and Individual Freedom. Obama, like the vast majority of presidents before him, has failed miserably at defending those ideals; in fact, like the vast majority of presidents before him, Obama has actively worked to erode those ideals. And it is in that manner that Obama has actually harmed our country. The extreme right claims the same thing, that Obama has harmed our country, but they cannot give you one valid example of what they mean. They can’t make the argument I’m going to make because they would have to become much more honest about the actual nature of our country.

The United States of America was based on two intertwined ideals: Equality and Freedom. You can’t have one without the other. If one person isn’t equal with everyone else, no one is equal and no one is free. The United States has never had equality. We are and have always been a nation of bigots and racists. Bigotry and racism are so institutionalized that if you are white, it’s almost impossible to see how deep the sewage of oppression runs.

Obama did not prosecute the war criminals of the Bush Administration. Nor did he prosecute the bankers who committed the largest heist in the history of the world, and then crashed the global economy. People were tortured in our name, families were made homeless in our name and Obama didn’t lift one finger to restore us to a moral path. He continues the oppression and the abuses will expand.

In addition, Obama has maintained the Bush Administration’s "Kill List;" a list of people the administration has decided need to die. In most cases they have made this decision based solely on hearsay. Because of this list, American citizens, such as Anwar Al-Awlaki, have been assassinated. The President is a Constitutional lawyer who has willingly violated the most basic principle in the Bill of Rights—due process. These American citizens were never arrested, they were never accused, they did not get their day in court. They were simply murdered on the orders of the President of the United States.

That type of murder might be one thing for a “C” student like Reagan or Bush The Younger, because “C” students have limited intellects and are not capable of fully grasping complex, nuanced notions; I say “might” because I don’t believe the notion of due process is particularly complex or nuanced. Obama has a law degree from Harvard, he edited the Law Review, and he is a constitutional scholar. A “C” student he wasn’t. He knows better than most of us the line from the Magna Carta to our Bill of Rights, and why due process needs to be held sacred. By ignoring due process he signals a return to the 1200s and the absolute power of King John.

Because we give the right to due process to all citizens based on the morals behind the ideals of equality and freedom, we should extend that notion to everyone in the world, citizen or not. Freedom is simply not possible without due process. However, even if you don’t want to extend due process to all citizens of the world, it’s unamerican to deny it to our citizens. Denying due process to American citizens so they can be murdered in cold blood fits the definition of a high crime. Obama should be impeached and then tried for murder; he should not be elected for another four years. Not if we want to continue to pretend that we are actually a moral nation and a force of good in the world.

No matter who wins in November, the United States will remain a war-making superpower. We will remain immoral and a force for evil. I know that doesn’t bother most people where I live. But it bothers the hell out of me. In every single war women and children have been killed. In every single war women have been raped, repeatedly. War impoverishes nations and kills spirits. War destroys entire cultures. Only the Masters of War win.

And the smartest thing the Masters of War ever did was to let people in Southern California get a small, miserly share of war profits. The Masters of War built an Upper-Middle Class who live in perpetual Summer. These folks live in large, lovely homes with a view. These lives of semi-luxury would vanish if we weren’t killing people half a world away, and the more people we kill, the more those lives of semi-luxury seem like the real deal. Obama has expanded and compounded this problem.

"Let me ask you one question/ Is your money that good/ Will it buy you forgiveness/ Do you think that it could/ I think you will find/ When your death takes its toll/ All the money you made/ Will never buy back your soul." – Bob Dylan, "Masters of War"

Worse yet, Obama has expanded the drone program, which means increased mechanical killing—calculated kills, remotely controlled, mechanical, without any attempt at due process, all done in our names followed by a hollow “and may God Bless The United States Of America.”

If you add in the abuses by A.G. Holder, the failure to reverse the unconstitutional policies of the Bush Administration, the failure to make good judiciary appointments and more, there is absolutely no reason the left should support Obama. Yes, the Unions, Farm Workers, Women, Minorities, LGBT, and other groups will be much better off if Romney doesn’t win, but far too often I have been asked by the Democratic party to vote for the lesser of two evils.

When you vote for the lesser of two evils, you are still voting for evil. I am done supporting evil. It isn’t right. It isn’t good for my country. It isn’t good for my fellow citizens of the world. It isn’t good for the world’s children. There are not enough prayers in the world to wash away that stain.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dan Avery September 14, 2012 at 06:08 PM
mfriedrich, Most European countries are like that and their people are much more well represented because of it. A two party system is marginally less oppressive than a one party system.
GreenInOC September 14, 2012 at 06:14 PM
@Dan - my error, I thought that I had read you hadn't voted in the past - sorry about that.
GreenInOC September 14, 2012 at 06:15 PM
@Dan, why not write as long of a piece that you want and publish for download on Amazon? You could even publish it partly here and then if people were interested in reading further they could download it and read at their leisure.
Dan Avery September 14, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Green, I'm thinking about it. I should look into how AWS works and what it costs. Or once I learn Rails I might do some sort of publish by chapter deal on Heroku. The way we use both education and law enforcement to oppress is interesting. Many of the laws are aimed solely at the lowest economic class in order to keep them impoverished. And if a cop stands by while others are committing abuses and does nothing to stop those abuses from happening again then that person is guilty of oppression as well. Same goes for education. I tried not to oppress in my classroom but I didn't do nearly enough to change the system or to speak out against the system. Since I didn't have tenure, had I done so my contract wouldn't have been renewed. That is another form of oppression. The biggest opiate the average person in the US is hooked on is the myth of the Middle Class. Romney has now redefined middle class as those making between $200,000 and $250,000 a year. :) Once the middle-class finishes evaporating in this country we will see change. History teaches us that much.
tiny September 14, 2012 at 06:27 PM
You're not serious. Arguing with you would be like wrestling a guy with no arms.
Dan Avery September 14, 2012 at 06:30 PM
What aren't I serious about, Tiny? What I think the thesis of my piece is? I should know; I wrote the danged thing. Or was that your way of just saying you have no more points in your argument?
tiny September 14, 2012 at 06:50 PM
You claim the Americans are, and have always been, a nation of racists and bigots. And you state that our educational system, which you say you were part of, is an instument of oppression, which one could imply from you thinking it's because of our racism and bigotry. I'm denying your claims and you come back with some made up in your head reasoning that I think the education is not oppressive because I deny it's sub-par. Here is in summary the difference in us. You think Americans are racist and bigots. I think just the oppossite, but that we've been taken over from the inside, and this alien to our nature takeover is the problem, not Americans.
MFriedrich September 14, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Those multiple parties also gasp at the budgets and financing rules of American congressional political campaigns. It's silly money and unbelievable to them.
Dan Avery September 14, 2012 at 07:39 PM
tiny, I'm purposefully avoiding the argument you want because I could give you specific examples of bigotry, racism, and inequality from now until the day I die and it wouldn't be enough for you. This piece, by the way, isn't about racism or bigotry. Nor is it about inequality. Those are all sub-polnts. A fact that you clearly missed since you asked about my ancestry which isn't relevant to any issue in my article. You clearly don't understand what I am actually saying in this piece. That, to me, suggests something about your education. You claim I am wrong about it being sub-par and your area of expertise is???? Mine actually is education, reading, and writing. Go ahead and cherish your beliefs; I won't stop you, but kind stop trying to pick a fight because you have hang ups about the United States being racist and bigoted. I really don't think much of your ideas clearly, nor do I want to hear more.
tiny September 14, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Dan, I give credit where it's due, which would be your reading/writing. But it's clear to me you really don't know what your talking about, from the top down, on important issues beyond reading/writing. And you're the one begging for a fight with your constant insults to people you feel somehow better than, but fail to demonstrate.
MV Dadster September 14, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Interesting subject. I take your point, and yet I will still be voting for Barack Obama. The truth is, governing is an ugly business, conducted among many stakeholders, all of whom believe their ideology and interests are the correct ones. This results in a lot compromises, many of which are inevitable. Plenty of which are morally disturbing. All of which reveal the flaws of our leaders. Lincoln was a hero in spite of the Sedition Act. Roosevelt was a great president in spite of the internment camps. Kennedy brought us the great society -- and Vietnam. We are not a perfect country. Change happens incrementally, but it does happen. It happens because idealists like you light the path, and that shames pragmatic politicians into moving in the right direction over time. But if you are unwilling to pick the lesser of two evils, the greater of two evils is elected and we lurch backward instead of forward. So yes, I'll be voting for Obama this Fall, but I am grateful to idealists like you who remind us to strive toward something better.
Dan Avery September 15, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Thank you MV Dadster. I appreciate a thoughtful comment like yours. And I see your point as well. And I truly understand what you're saying about our country being better off if Obama does win. In many respects that is true. But it seems to me, upon reflection, that our political system has been in disrepair for a good 30 years now. The differences between the two parties are truly becoming extremely nuanced and that shouldn't be the case. As I've said elsewhere, I don't see the people on either side as particularly bad necessarily and I've been working hand in hand with folks I have very little in common with on the local level here in MV, because there is a group of extreme right wing folks who would love to do away with the Library, the animal shelter, the senior center, the school resource offices and the crossing guards. That is in no one's interest for Mission Viejo except for the folks who see no value to those services. It's actually given me hope for our country because people of strongly opposing political views can work together to make the place better. Anyway, thanks for the comment. Yours was one I was hoping to see in the thread. :)
Dan Avery September 15, 2012 at 04:24 AM
tiny, I've given you all the credit you're due. now run along and pick another name. Remember you've used Josephine and tiny tom. I guess Josephine was left over from your AOL chat room days eh, dude?
tiny September 15, 2012 at 05:04 AM
I understand you more now. Hey, how about a vid: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UbDj42RfYo
Dan Avery September 15, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Funny how you folks love Clint right up until he starts in on his views about marriage equality. Then he's not so cute anymore is he? He's not so great is he? He's not such a wonderful patriot at that point is he, tiny? What a bunch of fair-weather friends you folks are. Did you know they actually told Ray Charles he was singing at the Democratic Convention? Shame shame....
John B. Greet September 15, 2012 at 06:13 AM
"I'd like you to explain why you thought my thesis was we can't have freedom without equality." Gee, I don't know, Dan, maybe it had something to do with this phrase in the sixth paragraph of your column: "...Equality and Freedom. You can’t have one without the other." Are you suggesting that you have forgotten your own words?
Dan Avery September 15, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Clearly, John, what I am suggesting is that you aren't aware of what the thesis of the piece is. I didn't state my thesis in the piece. The most effective form of writing never states the thesis. Of course when one writes that way, one limits the audience to those who read to infer, to those that understand there is negative space in a piece and that is often where you need to look to find out what a writer is saying. Clearly, the equality/freedom connection is a sub-point in the piece. I find it fascinating and rather telling that you and tiny got hung up there. But then the piece itself is an analytical trap for the people on the right. In order to agree with me, you would have to let go of your beliefs in persecution. In order to object, you need to find something to object to, rather than simply supporting Obama for doing something you already approve of, i.e., executing American Citizens without the benefit of due process because they are Muslims and our enemies. The idea of supporting Obama is too odious to you so you fall back, predictably, on trying to argue that racism no longer exists in this country. So if you really don't believe it exists why don't you and tiny drive up to Lou Dillon Avenue, knock on Mother Alice Harris' door and make that argument? Or better yet, go to the reservation in Pine Ridge and make it.
fact checker September 18, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Dan, it's just a little difficult to take you seriously when you accompany your words with a doctored pic of President Obama. How old are you? And are you feeling the same about supporting Obama now that the alternative has dismissed anyone who doesn't support HIM as not his responsibility to represent?
Dan Avery September 18, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Seriously you evaluate an argument based on the visuals? Gee, that's, um, thoughtful. Surely you can see a metaphor in "What Me Worry?" Do you think Obama is worried given his competition? To quote SNL, Romney is like a Christmas Miracle. Obama has a worse record than Bush when it comes to civil liberties. No, I haven't changed my mind. You should read http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/we_won_--_for_now_20120917// and http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/we_vote_they_rule_the_case_for_voter_rebellion_20120917/ Don't be shocked. They are both from a radical site. But then I am writing about the radical left.
Dan Avery September 18, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Or maybe you're not old enough to remember Mad Magazine and Alfred E. Newman. Probably that.
fact checker September 18, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Weren't the visuals part of your message? You really want to put your country into the hands of a man who has no respect for anyone who requires help from the government for any reason?
Dan Avery September 18, 2012 at 06:16 AM
Writing shouldn't depend on visuals, except those created in the mind by the writing. Our modern society, however, is so dumbed down it has different ideas. Hence the visuals. I wouldn't put great store into visuals. So let me ask you this, would you really have me do something I don't believe in? Are you really that much of a partisan? Whatever happened to standing up for what you believe? I truly believe we can be a better nation, but we have to stop automatically supporting people who don't deserve it. Do you really want to put your country into the hands of a man who has less respect for civil liberties than Bush? Nixon's guys committed a burglary and went to jail. Bush's tortured people and didn't. That doesn't bother you? And now Obama has doubled down. Did you read the pieces at those links?
fact checker September 18, 2012 at 06:55 AM
Do you really think that anyone will ever meet the needs of every citizen? There are checks and balances that are used freqently and that is as it should be. Simply going back and forth between the two parties is not going to accomplish anything more than sticking with one party, the platform of which you agree with most, and letting democracy grind through the inevitable gears. I find the choice as clear now as I did 4 years ago. You seem to advocate abandoning your candidate when everything isn't fixed or delivered as promised. Am I wrong?
Dan Avery September 18, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I think the person I vote for should at least honor due process. Or don't you understand what that is. He ordered the deaths of American Citizens without ever charging them, arresting them, and giving them a trail. You are willing to support that because of some sense of duty to a party? I am not. I want better than that for my country.
Mercury September 18, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Mr. Avery, your criticisms of the president come from a position of ignorance. Obama has maintained programs that currently exist for reasons which (1) you do not know about and (2) you cannot really understand. Thus your article reads like another piece of misguided conservative punditry. In politics, and particularly leadership, you have to be in-line with the status quo, to a certain extent, to maintain credibility - as the majority of people are centrists. And you can't change what is defined as the "center" overnight. Mountains are not moved in a day. And with this strategy, short-sighted, ignorant people will be sure to complain, but that's only because they can't see, much less understand, what real change is all about.
Dan Avery September 18, 2012 at 08:49 PM
And I don't understand that about change because...? Your reasons for my ignorance are pretty easily shot down because they are vague and trite. He doesn't have to maintain the kill list, or the constitutional abuses. His attorney general certainly could have tired people for war crimes. That was done in the past, I remember from hIstory class, directly after World War II. It's called Justice. And you should check your definitions. Just because I advocate the left not supporting Obama, it doesn't make me a conservative pundit. A conservative pundit would argue that Obama should maintain the kill list, for example. I am a member of the radical left. Not the radical right. I would be considered a Social Democrat in many European countries. The problem with politics in the U.S. is this us versus them deal you cling to. I attack Obama ergo I am a conservative. Actually I am just someone who thinks for themselves, rather than buying into the "group mind."
fact checker September 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM
And you really think the radical right will be a better choice this election?
Dan Avery September 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM
fact checker, Where in the heck did I say that?
Johnny Utah September 23, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Nice pic Dan... I will expand the photo to the largest size possible and display in my yard for all to see! NØbama 2012!
Dan Avery September 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Mail me a check for $500 first Johnny.

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