I am the apathetic weight dragging this nation down. In two weeks, over 100 million Americans will cast their votes, and I will not be one of them. Both campaigns and their many acolytes on TV, Twitter, Facebook and street corners keep telling me that this is one of the most important elections in our country’s history.
This very newspaper has given ample space in an effort to help you choose who and what to vote for in these critical times. But the more I hear out of the mouths of these two “leaders”, the less guilty I feel about my choice.
The last debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney did nothing more then confirm how little a difference my choice will actually make. Rather then a substantive debate about foreign policy, the candidates battled to prove who loved Israel more, and tolerated Iran less. In the preceding events, we heard the pro-life, trickle-down conservative defend binders full of choices and seemingly reverse every part of his tax plan.
But it was the supposed socialist who really turned my head; I heard the progressive Democrat I voted for in 2008 defend guns, Israel, and the unlawful murder of thousands through drone warfare. Tell me again how important my vote is, how much it could change things?
The left loves to cite an obstructionist Congress, a still stifling economic climate, and the limited sample of four years.
While I accept all of these as contributing factors, I cannot assign them all the blame. Nearly four years after the Bush Administration, the security state it created has yet to surrender any of the powers and privileges taken in the name of “national security.”
An American citizen, Anwar Al-Awlaki, who was never convicted in a US court of any crime, was assassinated on the orders of the President. It took more then two years for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, one of the most ridiculous policies in the history of our military, to finally be abolished, and more then three years for our “progressive” leader to finish his evolution concerning civil rights and finally support marriage equality.
How am I supposed to believe that four more years will grant this president the courage of his convictions?
Spare me your earnest appeals to the spirit of democracy and the responsibilities of a citizen. I am not uninterested, uninformed, or undecided.
I prefer the policies Barack Obama doesn’t have the courage to defend, to the policies that Mitt Romney only pretends to support. Maybe others can accept the electoral reality that necessitates concessions, compromises, and outright lies.
Liberalism is a dirty word because no one with any real power has borne it with pride in nearly half a century.
Barry Goldwater, although a conservative, is a model for that pride that is nonexistent today; he chose ideals over votes and lost in a historic landslide. Yet modern conservatism rose from the ashes of that defeat to dominate the decades that followed.
Until we find a liberal nearly as brave as Mr. Goldwater to call herself or himself a bad name, and stand for unpopular ideals, then I see no reason to vote.