The finish line is in sight and to be completely frank, I am so glad it is almost over. I am bone weary, just exhausted with what I now refer to as the Election of the Century. I want to hibernate, sleep away the harsh, cruel winter and wake up to spring, to sunshine. I want to awake from my slumber, to a new day, a new America.
This race should never have been “too close to call”. It should have been a cakewalk, a Sunday morning walk in the park. Instead, this was undoubtedly the most offensive, dirty, hair pulling, mud wrestling campaign. Both the GOP and the Democratic campaigns bring to mind “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” [Matthew 16:26-28]. Both campaigns have failed the American populace miserably.
From, the onset, the Tea Party/GOP led the charge with accusations of such wild, distorted facts, manipulated data and outright lies of such great proportion that one can only shake one’s head in disbelief, wonder and amazement. The Democratic narrative ran willy-nilly over the landscape, putting out fires that really didn’t exist, but ignoring the message the American public needed to hear. One of many examples of this is the recent attack on the Libyan embassy. This diplomatic nightmare was caught by running back Romney and rather than responding with reflective thought and careful examination of the facts, he ran towards the goal line enthusiastically politicizing a tragedy in which four Americans lost their lives. Dissection of the actual timeline of “who did what when” became the sole thrust of the tragedy fuelling headline after headline. Rather than the GOP and Democratic Party joining hands and standing together in bipartisan fashion against a common threat, they chose to finger point back and forth, in offence to the memory of those who lost their lives serving their country.
I am no longer a big Obama fan. My hopes and dreams for a new era ended in December 2011 with the passage of the NDAA. I tend to react like only the newly converted can react. When it comes to Canada or America, I am an idealist, a romantic . Yes, I did believe ”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free”. When the things I hold up as an ideal is shown to not only have clay feet, but is hollow from within, without substance and without a core, I am the embodiment of the popular maxim “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. My outrage grows exponentially in relation to my crushing disappointment. The NDAA was my watershed moment. It was the moment where I no longer could make excuses, no longer blame the GOP’s obstructionist methods, or blame the Tea-party for the sharp right turn down the road of extremism. The privileged class, those who gave life to the conditions that led to the greatest financial meltdown since the Great Depression, were rewarded for their reckless greed rather than be held accountable. The rule of law, something Obama championed for a short 4 years ago, became a nuisance, an impediment to a political agenda.
This race is more than a choice between two men, neither of which is suited for the office. Obama, who had great promise, sold out for corporate interests and Mitt, wanting it so badly, sold his reputation to the extreme right to fulfill the destiny he felt he so richly deserved.
With that said which candidate is the lesser of two evils? Which choice can forestall the descent into a madness we glimpsed during this race? The 2012 Presidential campaign will go down in history as one which failed to address one fundamental question. What America do we want to leave for our children, our grandchildren and those who undergo immense hardship to arrive on our shores?
America sits at the crossroads, the point where two roads diverge and the populace must make a conscious, informed choice of what road America will take. Rather than concentrating on what America we envision, it consisted of a campaign featuring wedge issues that had no place in the public discourse. Who would have thought that 40 years after Roe v. Wade, the abortion issue not only would take centre stage, but that the right of a woman to choose in cases of rape or incest were up for debate and become a spotlight issue?
I look at what another four years of Obama would do to the country. A slow, but steady erosion of constitutional rights and civil liberties will continue, the rights of the workforce will continue to decline and less and less of middle America will be left. Nothing radical, just more of the same. To be fair, I think that any incoming President would face the same challenges and be limited in the same manner Obama was in his first term. My problem lies with Obama’s refusal or inability to draw that proverbial line in the sand. As we were all being dragged to the right, there was never the “enough” moment, the line a democrat would not cross. With that said, I believe that once the Tea-Party forces were enabled and unleashed, I think it would have been virtually impossible to reign in. In 2008, I believe America needed a decisive enema, purging the previous 8 year slide into madness. Instead we received touchy-feely rhetoric filled with hope and change, which I must admit was immensely effective. There was no real game plan, no narrative, nothing allowing the Democratic Party to lead the way and allow us to find our way home. The one thing I give Sarah Palin credit for is the phrase, “how is that hopey changey thing going for you now”? It is appropriately apt.
The other choice, Mitt Romney, is the stuff of which nightmares are made of, a vision of a future that robs me of my sleep, the final nail in America’s coffin. With Mitt, we will face absolute certainty, an escalation in war, a reduction in funding of the nation’s vital programs, such as welfare, education, social security and health care at a time we need them the most, hard fought for minority rights subverted and a rise in extreme zealotry reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition.
We will see America choose sides in unpopular and devastating conflicts based not on justice, human rights and democratic principles, but on self-interest and greed. As the United States slowly attempts to recover from a GOP induced financial meltdown, we will see what is left of the middle class virtually wiped out, leaving in place a rule based upon furthering the sole interests of financial magnates. Rather than a return to the America we love, remember and yearn for, we will turn back time to an era where robber barons controlled their brand of capitalism.
We need to take a hard look at ourselves and take our share of ownership for what we have become. Without the dissatisfaction the American public felt, we would not have had them turn to the Koch engineered Tea-Party. In 2008, rather than empty promises, rhetoric and sloganeering, America would have been given the unvarnished truth, the difficult and the long road of recovery we would be facing, perhaps the America we remember would have united in their efforts and stood united to create a stronger, better nation.
At the end of the day, we all want the same things. We want to be safe, live in a free society, enjoy our health, provide for our families and ensure a better future for our children. We want to make a mark on the world, leaving it a little bit better for those who follow. I believe that today, the day of the 2012 election is a defining moment, a moment where either we can begin to demand back the America we vaguely remember, or cross the Rubicon leading us to a land where democratic rule no longer is valued, but seen as an inconvenience to the new ruling class.