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forty miles from wood, fifty miles from water, and ten feet from hell
Friday 4 May 2012

I’m voting for Barack Obama because…


In response to the Obama campaign’s graphic contrasting the ways in which Obama’s policies and initiatives would help one woman, “Julia,” over the course of her life HuskerRed wrote:

“Julia” is a fictional character created by Barack Obama’s campaign to advertise the litany of government benefits they promise if you just vote for him. This is the exploitation of naive people’s self interest at their finest.

I find this line of attack perplexing. Of course I’m going to vote for the guy who I think will do the best job creating the country I want to live in. Why else would you vote for anybody? Because you’re an edgy rebel and want to vote for the suckier candidate? I think the government should provide certain services. I like sidewalks. I like clean water. I like health codes. I like a functioning court system. I’m happy that somebody is inspecting elevators. And fire departments are brilliant.

“But it’s not free!” HuskerRed might reply. Of course it isn’t free. I pay for it. I’m happy to pay for it. If I need to pay more for the things we need as a society, I’m happy for that.

If you want things that you haven’t earned given to you, vote for Barack Obama. Never mind centuries of a community ethic of hard work and self-reliance. It’s someone else’s money, and you want it now!

I don’t want your money. But a properly functioning society provides some public servants—and we all need to chip in, as appropriate, to pay for them. One of our other great community ethics is that we actually believe in community ethics. We believe that maybe if we get together to do something important, we can accomplish awesome things. We believe that when you’ve done well, you can help the guy behind you. Or at least help up the person you knocked over on the path to success. Everybody contributes. That feels a lot more reasonable than the alternative.

“I have a disproportionate share of the wealth and I want to cut of life-saving services to other people so I can have an even more disproportionate share of the wealth.” I don’t have a lot of patience for that sort of selfish entitlement.

…the other side is lodged in the clutches of anti-intellectualism, anti-science, anti-smartypants; basically, in the grip of insanity.

Once, in a younger, more idealistic modal, I voted for third parties. Until research and study exposed how foolish that act was in a rigid bicameral structure — voting for third party simply rewards one of the two “main” parties, and it’s almost always the one ideologically distant from the one you’re casting a vote for.

So, I am relegated to choosing between the ‘D’ and ‘R’ brands. One wants to return (or, as the contemporary conservative bunch, maintain the status quo of the political institutions established in the past 80 years) to the 20th century; the other wishes to regress back to the 19th century Gilded Age robber baron political philosophies. And for added effect, toss in religious fundamentalism and xenophobia to its mix.


59 notes

  1. istoleyourboots reblogged this from squashed
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  6. anitakatyzita reblogged this from squashed and added:
  7. thecheekylibertarian reblogged this from squashed and added:
    No, I’m not kidding. Congratulations, Julia, we’ve decided you’re just a dumb woman who can’t possibly take care of...
  8. peelman reblogged this from squashed and added:
    Love this.
  9. azplace reblogged this from squashed and added:
    …the other side is lodged in the clutches of anti-intellectualism, anti-science, anti-smartypants; basically, in the...
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  14. jgreendc said: HuskerRed

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