Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why I'm voting for Obama in 2012

“Don’t blame Wal-Street, don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich blame yourself.” These are the disgusting words of republican Herman Cain. Words like these are not limited to just one man in the republican party however. Mitt Romney calls the poor “envious” and further states he’s “not concerned about the very poor.” Newt Gingrich says that he’ll teach the NAACP that blacks shouldn’t be satisfied with food stamps and should stop being so lazy by saying "And so I'm prepared, if the NAACP invites me, I'll go to their convention to talk about why the African American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps." Gingrich also added that perhaps it would be a good idea for poor children to work as school janitors and clean up the shit of rich kids for ten cents an hour. Rick Santorum, not to be outdone, said completely without any prior context of black people, "I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money."  These words, some racist but all disgusting, are sadly completely tied to the nature of the republican party. Herman’s words in particular, deserve a closer look. They deserve a closer look because he was the only black republican running for president, and of all people, you would think he would understand the need for a hand up in an unfair society.

Later in his hateful little rant, Herman mentioned that he was “blessed to have had parents that didn’t teach me to be jealous of anybody.” Well, guess what? Some children didn't have parents around to raise them. Some had one parent, and some children had none. What about them Herman? Is it the kids' fault too? Should they blame themselves? Not to mention all the other societal and psychological factors that goes into not getting rich. There's depression, there's gang violence, there's sickness, there’s lack of fair pay in minimum wage jobs, and there's lack of good public schools. Herman doesn't care about any of this. Herman also comically defended the big banks and their involvement in the 2008 recession by simply saying "we're in 2011, okay?"

The bottom line is that the corporations have swallowed up everything in this country, and many can't get a living wage. The disparity between the rich and the poor has never been greater. The top one percent of people in America control 33.8% of the nation's wealth, while the bottom fifty percent of people in America survive on only 2.5% of the money. Many people have had bad luck in life and can't go up on the ladder to success. They need a helping hand, not a piece of trash like Herman to spit on them. I'll go a step further. It's a common fact that blacks are suffering in poverty in rates far worse than whites due to the specter of racist Ronald Reagan policies, so for Herman to follow republican policies like trying to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid, and generally trying to destroy programs and groups that help poor blacks, Herman is in effect a traitor to his race, an uncle tom.

The reason I focused so much on Herman is because he shows the true colors of the republican party. Herman’s beliefs are the beliefs of the republican party. These are people who have the audacity to support the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, but at the same time, try to destroy the social safety net of Medicare and Medicaid with Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. Why they are so evil, I cannot say. I can only guess. It might have something to do with Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” of Objectivism that taught selfish, over-privileged rich kids that “greed is good” and altruism is bad.

Whatever the reason for their disgusting behavior and beliefs, the Democrats stand in stark opposition to them. The Democratic Party is one that is built on respect for other people and giving someone who needs help a hand. There’s only one party for the working man, the single mother, and the sick child, and that party is Democrat. This is the party that Barack Obama belongs to.

While it’s true that Obama is not my ideal candidate, he has fought the good fight. He passed the Affordable Care Act, which prohibited insurance companies from barring children from health coverage because they have a “pre-existing condition” like cancer. He ended the Iraq War and killed Bin Laden. He tried, but sadly failed, to end the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. He saved the auto industry. He’s fought for reproductive rights for women. He’s fought for gay rights such as repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He’s fought for Medicare and Medicaid in the face of republican attacks. He’s even added 2.6 million jobs to the private sector despite a terrible recession he inherited from Bush. There’s plenty of things that I wanted Obama to do more on, like adding a public option to the Affordable Care Act. Still, Obama has tried his absolute best, and the only reason that things aren’t even better is because republicans have whined and blocked him the entire way.

The Democrats and Obama in particular, have the fundamental belief in human dignity, republicans do not. There’s a reason why you have never heard a Democrat say “Don’t blame Wal-Street, don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich blame yourself.” Obama wouldn’t say this because he’s not an asshole, don’t vote for an asshole, vote for a guy that actually cares about people. Vote for Obama in 2012.

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