Some thoughts with one week to go...
Having watched the debate season with interest and observed the policies and political directions of both Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama, I have been struck by what I believe are telling behaviors from both men.
Let me first say, I voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 because I felt he possessed both a vision and a hope as to where his administrative leadership might take the country. After four years in office one anomaly appears to be Mr. Obama's governance style is vastly different from his campaign persona.
While he has accomplished a laundry lists of successes, it would appear that only now, after an entire first term in office are the extensive ramifications of the Bush/Cheney era more fully understood. Could Mr. McCain have better handled the economic meltdown Mr. Obama inherited? Perhaps, but I doubt it.
In January of 2009, Mr. Obama stepped into a coalescing and cascading economic recession on the brink of disaster. No one could have foreseen the commercial and financial damage perpetrated in the name of avarice and arrogance during the Bush/Cheney years, which had accumulated to a precipitous flash point after decades of American self-indulgent excess. Add to this the fact that the numbers of attention demanding events which land on every President's desk are endless and varied requiring decisions and actions within pressurized time frames. It is by the character and integrity possessed and displayed by Mr. Obama's steady hand that kept global ruin from occurring more deeply.
To this observer the litany of debates illuminated several factors in reference to both candidates. First, Mr. Romney. After months of political pandering and staunch right wing support, the Romney/Ryan ticket and its surrogates continued to lie, deceive and fabricate at every twist and turn, and on every feasible policy question. This constancy of change goes directly to a fundamental query of; which Mr. Romney and Ryan will be in action each day, if elected? And who is it that will be showing up for work in the Oval Office?
Mr. "severely conservative" or moderate Romney?
I will be voting for Mr. Obama once again. However, there is part of me that hopes that Misters Romney and Ryan win the election. For if the electorate chooses to ignore the truth, let them live with the lies.
It will be sad, but comically interesting under a Faustian Romney/Ryan administration to see which core support group of Republicans will have been overtly lied to, and which group will be disappointed most when the legislative intentions orated by these two candidates are reneged upon. There is no way they can fulfill the empty policy statements they have repeatedly intoned with the different conservatives to whom they pandered and promised.
After the first presidential debate Mr. Obama may have lost, if not the election, perhaps some of his support. And here's why. As is universally opined, Mr. Obama's first debate performance was disastrous. He appeared tired, disengaged and lethargic, as if he had a 'tough day at the office'. I believe Mr. Obama's efforts and lack of intensity at that first debate were the culmination of several factors. First he was sick and tired. Sick to death of 'Beltway' politics and tired of battling congressional Republicans determined to obfuscate his every effort at governance. Next, I believe Mr. Obama was fed up with both the veiled and overt attacks he and his family have to endure incessantly. Third, at no time in (recent) history has a sitting president been the object of so much harbingered political hatred, and such personal racist umbrage. Fourth, he seemed disinterested and lacking an apparent desire to compete and/or win a second term in office. The weight of responsibilities experienced in the Oval Office were in evidence upon Mr. Obama's face and continence. He was not the Obama of the 2008 campaign due to a convergence of reasons. It was seen by one and all, and commented upon by most.
All this being said, I think that first debate with Mr. Romney illuminated a very precipitous and telling revelation for Mr. Obama. One that turned him around, personally and Presidentially. Mr. Romney's unknowledgeable performance in that first debate showed Mr. Obama that his opponent was unprepared, inept and totally void of the competency needed to take over the reins of governance and the executive office duties of this country's highest elected office.
I believe it became crystal clear to Mr. Obama that if he were to give in, lie down and simply allow the Romney/Ryan ticket to win the 2012 election without a fight, that he, Mr. Obama would be complicit in the most grievous injustice any President could possibly be associated with. To relinquish the governance of the country to Mr. Romney would be to condemn the United States citizenry to a future of unbearable Republican disdain and political malfeasance. Mr. Obama realized he could not condone nor participate in such action. Yes, perhaps much of what he had campaigned and worked for over the last four years had not been accomplished. Yes, perhaps many political, commercial and financial items could have been handled differently. Yes, perhaps he had made mistakes and experienced failures in policy implementation. But Mr. Romney's eighteen campaign months of lies and deceptions, plus Mr. Romney's unconscionable debate performances shocked Mr. Obama's system back into reality. A reality of awareness and fiduciary responsibility whereby he now knew there was no way he could turn over to a Romney/Ryan ticket the offices of President and Vice President.
Mr. Obama realizes his place in history hangs not in the balance of this election. His prominence and place in the annals of the American record is assured by at least the singular aspect which disturbs many of his opponents and political foes, far more than any executive or legislative excuse or verbalization they might proclaim. It is the African ethnicity of his heritage. Following the first debate with Mr. Romney and after the Vice Presidential debate I believe he came to understand the gravity of his responsibility to himself and his countrymen. There came an inner awareness that he could to not leave the future of America and much of the world under the tutelage of W. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
After following the political campaigns from the outset of the Republican primaries up to and through the major election campaigning it is my opinion that Mitt Romney's sole skill set appears to be the ability to manipulate the system in order to take advantage where and when it behooves his personal gain. He seems to have an overall lack of character and integrity.
Is Barack Obama a wunderkind as President? No. He has repeatedly failed in his first term to uphold and further his 2008 campaign goals and promises. As I see it, this failure is two-fold, 1. Like all politicians without extensive congressional experience who arrive in Washington to take the office of the presidency, and thereby have little or no Washington 'Political Capital' Obama was initially in over his head, with little support and an enormous set of problems left by the Bush administration. 2. The republicans in congress led by their party leadership swore to do all they could to insure that Obama administration failed at every possible and policy twist and turn. They have intentionally spent four years obstructing all legislation, because they do not want to see a black man (technically, Mulatto in Obama's case) succeed as POTUS.
At the expense of all American citizens, values and traditions a few old, white, racist and self-deluded congressmen rooted in self-aggrandized, self-indulgent political reasons have set back American society's progress. They should be ashamed and embarrassed by their blatant disregard of their fiduciary responsibilities to their constituents specifically and to the American people in general. And we should be ashamed of ourselves for re-electing congressional incumbents who have abused their positions of trust for years.
If there has ever been a time for a third party in the American body politic, this may be it. The Tea Party was an attempt which morphed into a creation of self-righteous extremism, bordering on Fascism with leanings filled with conservative Neocon nationalist propaganda. Perhaps the seedlings of a third party may have been planted within the failure around of our two political party institutions. We can only hope so.
With this national dilemma in mind, what are we to do? What can we do to salvage this electoral situation?
Here are my suggestions.
1. Vote for President Obama. I believe he, more so than Mr. Romney, has the best interests of the American people at heart. I also believe in his second term as President, he may have more fortitude and presidential experience to not be pushed around as much, resulting in actual and real actions on behalf of the American people.
2. Vote against all incumbent members of congress, on both sides of the aisle.
3. Demand political leadership address the needs of our country, its infrastructure, and its people.
4. Demand the culture of Washington lobbying and Wall Street financial corporations be brought under control and regulated.
5. Put the American people and their needs before any outside or foreign aid in any and all forms. Address and solve the food, housing, medical, education and transportation needs of the American people first.
6. Revise the federal tax codes to reflect a flat tax rate whereby every individual and corporation pays the same percentage rate, without any deductions.
7. Build the world's finest and best equipped defense forces to oppose tyranny and terrorism.
Are some, many, or all of these 'utopian' in their appeal and approach?
Perhaps, but no dream is achieved without belief, determination and effort.
Take back your power. Vote in the election Nov 6th and support with your dollars, only businesses who respect you as a consumer and provide you with goods and services of value, ethical transparency and the customer service you deserve.
In all cases stated herein, no one is holding a gun to your head. Your life is about the choice you make.
Make the ones which are truly in your best interest. You know what those are. Act accordingly.
In the Hawaiian language, "Mana'o" (ma na o) is the word used to describe 'thoughts, ideas, and opinions'.
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