TCBH! Election Issue, Part I: I'm Voting Third Party This Year
I, for one, can’t do it.
As much as I loathe the Republican Party and its standard bearer, the incredibly smarmy shape-changing one-percenter and serial prevaricator Mitt Romney, I cannot bring myself this Nov. 6 to vote for the re-election of President Barack Obama, the Nobel Peace Laureate with the mushrooming Kill List on his desk.
First, by way of full disclosure, let me state that I did, with misgivings and angst, vote for Obama in 2008. I did it with eyes open, based upon a (you’ll excuse the expression) “hope” that the many progressive voters, including a huge cadre of idealistic young people voting for the first time, and an unprecedented wave of minority voters, as well as working-class people of all races, religions and ethnicities, would come together after the vote and press him to be a progressive president, much as the working people of America back in the early 1930s had pressed a new president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the bankers’ candidate from New York, to be a progressive president.
Boy was mine a vain hope!
What we got instead was a president who backed down in advance at almost every challenge, telegraphing his fall-back position, whether it was pulling troops out of Iraq or defending Social Security and Medicare, or even his supposed signal “achievement,” the passage of the so-called “Affordable Care Act,” now known as Obamacare.
Had the president barnstormed the country promoting what his supporters (myself included) had elected him to do -- a massive jobs program, breaking up of the big banks and a restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, passage of a new stronger labor law to make union organizing and bargaining more fair, establishment of a single-payer system for health care akin to what they have in Canada, ending the chain of endless wars, and restoring the Bill of Rights, this election next week wouldn’t even be close. For one thing, the economy would be in much better shape. For another, organized labor would be stronger, on the march, and solidly supportive. And moreover, people across the country would already be reaping the benefit of having all their health care covered by a government insurance program, paid for through progressive taxes. They’d be free of premiums, free to change jobs at will without fear of loss of coverage, and free to strike for better pay and working conditions without out fear of having their families cut off from health benefits.