How do you spoil something that is already rotten?
1. We're stuck in a corrupt game, in which we simply move around the players -- a Democrat here, a Republican there -- each election. It doesn't matter which of the two parties wins -- we still have a corrupt sytem in which the public interest is betrayed by elected officials who have sold out to the highest bidders. The rules have been made by the two dominant parties and they thrive from them. If we're ever going to break out of that perverse game and create a new paradigm where concentrated wealth no longer calls the shots in Washington, we need to vote for a real alternative. We may not win this election, but each of us can send the message that we won't stand for this diseased plutocracy any more.
Not to make light of any of this, but I saw a cartoon recently that makes the point powerfully: Choosing among the Republican or Democratic candidates for president is like choosing between a window seat or aisle seat . . . on a plane crash.
Our job is to do all we can to save our nation from the plane crash.
2. We each need to draw our own moral and political line in the sand -- a line beyond which we will not go. I've drawn my line: Under no circumstances will I vote for anyone who (1) engages in (and ramps up) illegal wars of aggression; (2) sells out to Wall Street, with no accountability for the massive financial fraud that contributed to the crippling economic meltdown; (3) fails to provide leadership on the climate crisis, the gravest challenge facing our planet, with horrendous consequences; (4) targets U.S. citizens for assassination without any semblance of due process; (5) orders drone killings, knowing that hundreds of innocent civilians have been, and will be, killed in the process, in nations where Congress has not authorized acts of war pursuant to the War Power Clause of the Constitution; (6) signs a bill into law providing that our government can round people up, disappear them, incarcerate them for up to the rest of their lives, without charges, trial, legal assistance, or the right of habeas corpus (probably the most un-American act by any president in our nation's history).
I know someone might be worse than such a person, but in every race there will be someone who is worse than the other. That doesn't mean I will support the other. There must be a moral line we can each draw that will lead us to say "No," regardless of the other choices. When I'm 80 years old, I want to look back and say I did everything I could to oppose the atrocities, including not supporting even the "lesser evil" among two terrible candidates.
3. Obama might, in one sense, be the "lesser of two evils," but he is indeed the more effective of the two evils. If George Bush -- or a Mitt Romney -- were doing the things Obama has done half (or more) of the country (including, I would hope. many Democrats in Congress) would be rising up in vigorous opposition. Imagine if Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld were sitting around in the oval office deciding who would be killed by drones, knowing that hundreds of innocent civilians will also be killed in the process. Democrats would be demonstrating, holding congressional hearings, and blasting the Republicans for their war crimes and human rights abuses. However, since Obama has a "D" on his jersey, his teammates (other Democrats) simply remain complacent and fail to voice any opposition, becoming complicit in our nation's war-mongering and march toward totalitarianism. The absence of opposition by both major political parties in the face of the many abuses by the Obama administration is perhaps the most frightening facet of our nation's present circumstances.
Please join with us in saying "No more." Make your vote count, along with those of many others, to signal your insistence that we eliminate the corrupting influence of money in government and that we restore the rule of law, the system of checks and balance, and fundamental constitutional values.