Monday, November 05, 2012

Last Call for Democracy; Why You Should Vote for Obama

On the eve of the US Presidential election the country is poised with anticipation for tomorrow's results at the polls.

Much mud has been slung and there have been no shortage of political ploys and dirty tricks. Political maneuvering and mudslinging is nothing new, but what is new is the level to which former Governor Mitt Romney and his campaign has sunk to, and no time in my life have I encountered an election in which one candidate wanted to set us back more than 50 years, with an intent to repeal some of the most hard-won liberties in history.

I never imagined that we'd be facing the possibility of losing our right to determine our own reproductive decisions and those of our daughters, that "Big Brother" would come to mean huge mega-corporations reaching into every aspect of our private lives, and that our employers would be allowed to tell us how to vote (under penalty of firing if we chose not to vote the way the CEOs decreed). These types of issues are issues I would have expected from a developing country; a dictatorship; not something I ever thought I would see here in the US.

Living in a "right to work" state (which should really aptly be called a "right to fire" state), I know just how catastrophic it would be if lexisting labor protections afforded to more progressive states were stripped from every state in the union from the federal level. Such an environment only benefits those in top brass positions. What about the vast majority of Americans working hard in the trenches, trying their best to make the money they need for their families, and trying to improve their station in life? In such an oppressive environment upward mobility would be next to impossible, relegating the American worker to eternal indentured servitude.

Big corporations are already out of control enough, taking advantage of those whose backs they bend to the point of breaking just to put more money into the pockets of those at the top. If you have been leaning toward voting for Romney and you buy into his rhetoric that plumping up these CEOs further will result in more job creation then read this independant study issued by the Congressional Research Service which shows otherwise;

The following summary of conclusions drawn in the study; excerpt printed in the Huff Post;
"The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie.

However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. As measured by IRS data, the share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession. At the same time, the average tax rate paid by the top 0.1% fell from over 50% in 1945 to about 25% in 2009. Tax policy could have a relation to how the economic pie is sliced—lower top tax rates may be associated with greater income disparities."

In a nutshell; given the choice to put that extra money the top 1% might save due to tax cuts or breaks into hiring more employees, or to keep it for themselves, these fat cats will likely choose to keep it and not hire more employees. If you were counting on that stimulating the economy you'll be sorely dissapointed when that does not happen. Unless you are in that top 1% of the very rich and highly powerful you will never reap the benefits of such action.

Read the whole report details here;

It should be deeply disturbing to all Americans that the GOP has been brushing these facts under the rug because they don't support their points, that key officials have been creating obstructions to early voting in Florida and certain other states (6-11 hour waits just to vote are ludicrous), and that Mitt Romney is so slippery one can never be sure what he'll actually do if inducted into office. He has changed his story about his stand on many issues, and the ones he has been consistant on should scare you; i.e, opposing the Lilly Ledbetter Act, wanting to repeal Roe vs Wade, his obvious mysogyny and belief that women are not entitled to the same rights afforded to men (economically or otherwise), his thinly vieled racism against blacks and hispanics, and his calelier lack of concern and empathy for the poor, sick, disabled, and elderly (as evidenced by his own statements and preference to cut programs that help those populations).

Romney's statement behind closed doors to a group of his contemporaries deriding (as he calls them) "the 47%" is about as candid a moment as you're going to see reflecting his true heart-of-hearts views and biases and quite frankly, contempt for such populations.

The most obvious parallel to this sort of elitist view held by a politician/leader when taken to it's natural conclusion and put into policy is that of Adolf Hitler. In Nazi Germany during WW2 Hitler spoke of what he termed  "Untermenschen" which translates to "under-man" or "sub-human" . It was just this mind-set that he used as justification for murdering 6 million jews and numerous others he viewed as worthless to his country. From that era came an admonition by more rational people "never again"; that is to say we must not ever allow history to repeat itself, and once identified we must recognize it when we see this particular type of predatory trait in a potential leader, and thus not allow him into a position where he can abuse his power. This is exactly one of those instances. I believe this man has all the makings of a sociopathic dictator, who if allowed into power would wreak havok upon this country and many unsuspecting Americans. Worse yet, he is so beguiling that he could convince others to carry out his dirty work (and in some respects already has). Take for instance that meeting of the minds he had last summer with other CEOs telling them "it would not be illegal" for them to write their employees and tell them their jobs could be in jeapardy if Barack Obama wins a second term. I mean, who does that! At the beginning of the campaigne I thought Mitt Romney was merely a buffoon, but as time went on I could see that was just one of his many acts in hopes his opposition would underestimate him. In my opinion he's dangerous!

He is playing upon the frustration of Americans who want the economy to recover faster than it has, but don't fall into that trap. Just as former President Bill Clinton has said, no president could have fixed the economy in just 4 years. It took way longer than that to be in shambles, and now unemployment is significantly better than it was. It will take at least 4 more years to be where it should be.

Barack Obama isn't perfect, but consider the fact that in many instances his hands have been tied because of the opposition from a majority Republican Congress. If anything I think he has maybe reached across the isle too much for most of his first term, but I must say that lately he has really grown a pair such that I haven't seen before! I think it became clear at some point that the most conservative in Congress weren't interested in compromise; they would not be satisfied until they had their way 100%, and  Obama finally realized that there is only so much one can compromise before compromising yourself and your own values. He came to the realization that he was trying to reason with people who were unreasonable and at some point a leader just has to make a decision, plot a course, and then be willing to stand firm because it's the right thing to do. Barack Obama has really begun to come into his own and he knows now where to draw the line and when not to compromise. He knows whom he's fighting for, and has a clear vision to level the playing field for everybody; not just the richest, or the most powerful; not just the "haves" but also the "have nots", as the average American and the poor American is a human being just as worthy of respect and of our empathy as one who is wealthy and powerful. This is a man who understands that a person's true worth is not measured in how much money he makes. He's honest, and earnest.

That clip that was shown on TV of Obama hugging the woman from New Jersey who had lost everything in hurricaine Sandy was not merely a photo op. His genuine caring was palpable, and for a second he forgot he was the President of the United States, and was just another human being providing comfort and solace to another American. Now this is the kind of man you want to have your back! Not somebody unaffected and disconnected. Not somebody who believes "those people" are of no concern to him. But by the Grace of God any of us could be "one of those people". Hurricane Sandy has shown us that lesson. America is about inclusion, not exclusion, and the American Dream should be attainable for all. Obama wants all of us to have that opportunity.

Now go to the polls (if you haven't already) and let nothing stand in your way :-)

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