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.