Now, you might be thinking, “But what about a third party?” Well, I’m not saying you’re stupid… but I am thinking it. I’d like third, fourth, and fifth parties in America more than anyone, but I would also like a summer cottage on my own private island made of solid gold (both the cottage and the island are gold, or no deal). In fact, if I had three wishes, extra political parties in America wouldn’t even be one of them. It’s not even in my top one hundred.
We don’t need third parties so much as we need two parties that work. In fact, I’m willing to settle for one that works, and even that seems to be setting the bar awfully high for America. Regardless, there’s really no contest on which party is better.
People try to equate the parties as being equally bad, but they aren’t. Republicans politicians are all either retards or whores, while Democrats are all either traitors or pussies. There’s a big difference there. Only some Republicans (the whores) know any better, while Democrats all know better, they’re just either paid off or too cowardly to do the right thing.
In case you’re wondering the difference between a whore and a traitor, the whore says what they’re told to say, even though they don’t believe it, while the traitor says what they know is right, then does the opposite. Both are paid off, both know what they should have done, but the traitor breaks their promises, while the whore lies from the outset in order to get naïve fools to like them.
I actually have a bit more respect for the whores, because they at least honestly tell you upfront how they’re going to fuck you.
The problem here is money, if you break it down. When people say, “Both parties are equally corrupt/bad/whatever,” what they should be saying is, “Both parties are equally paid off.” While that isn’t even entirely true, it’s much closer to reality, and it’s true enough. Both parties are bought and paid for, both parties are beholden to wealthy interests that don’t care one bit about the good of the country.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We can take away the mechanisms by which wealthy interests fund the campaigns of politicians, and we can take away the means by which politicians benefit financially from decisions they make in Congress.
As much money as is being thrown around, elections are still not purchased (yet). They are decided based on votes. The money problem is not, “The one with the most money always wins,” it’s that no matter who wins, both have been paid off, and both will cater to their donors.
Which brings me to 2012…
I’m very confident Obama will win in 2012. I’m confident he will be facing Romney, and that Mitt will not have the kind of voter turnout needed to beat Obama. It’s not Obama’s election to lose, it’s Obama’s election, period.
A lot of liberals and Democrats (never confuse the two…) are not so sure. I understand their trepidation. They can, after all, point to certifiably unqualified Republicans who got elected and ran the country into the ground, despite facing much more qualified Democrats. Namely, I’m talking about Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
Bill Maher recently donated $1 million to an Obama SuperPAC, because he said that liberals need to take this election seriously. I love Bill Maher, but this is no election to take seriously. He, of all people, should see what a joke this contest is.
There are two historically comparable elections I would point to that assure me of the outcome of this election. The first election I see as being very similar came recently, in 2004.
Here we have an incumbent president, hated by the opposition to the point of comparing him to Hitler, facing off against a non-Protestant, wealthy Massachusetts politician with no charisma, who is known for being a flip-flopper. Bush/Kerry was more or less identical to an Obama/Romney showdown, and it didn’t bode well for the salt-and-pepper haired challenger.
But those are just convenient comparisons that I find amusing. The really comparable election happened in 1948, when Truman faced off against Dewey.
Dewey was unpopular in his party. He ran a campaign that was notable for being particularly vague and platitudinous. He famously said, “You know that your future is still ahead of you.” An editorial at the time wrote:
No presidential candidate in the future will be so inept that four of his major speeches can be boiled down to these historic four sentences: Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have freedom without liberty. Our future lies ahead.
The remark about rivers being full of fish seems eerily reminiscent to me of, “The trees are the right height.”
Part of why Dewey runs such a dumbed-down campaign is from his experience in past failed attempts at the presidency. He ran as the most moderate Republican in a close race for the nomination.
Dewey’s primary opposition came in the form of ultra-conservative Ohio Senator Robert Taft, whose supporters primarily came from the South and Midwest, while Dewey was strong in the Northeast (he was New York’s Governor). Taft railed against the New Deal’s social welfare programs as being too expensive and damaging to businesses, but was seen by the party establishment as unelectable in the general election.
Interestingly, while there were no televised debates, this election saw (or rather, heard) the first radio debate, between Dewey and an upstart rival who rose out of obscurity in the middle of the nomination process, Harold Stassen of Minnesota. The entire debate focused on whether or not to outlaw the Communist Party in the United States. The debate went out over Oregon airwaves, and Dewey’s decisive rhetorical victory catapulted him to a win in that state.
The Republican National Convention that year was televised, the first ever to be broadcast. Delegate voting went two rounds without deciding a nominee, and after Taft delivered a concession speech immediately before the third round of voting, Dewey was selected through verbal acclamation by the assembled delegates. Dewey chose voter favorite Earl Warren of California to compliment the ticket.
Truman, the sitting president who had taken over after FDR’s death early in his fourth term, was grossly unpopular with the public and the press. Many in the Democratic Party actually wanted Truman to step aside and let someone else run in his stead (a claim I never hear seriously leveled against Obama). Groups formed within the party with the sole goal of causing Truman to lose at the Democratic Convention, but to no avail.
A third party also began to take shape behind FDR’s former VP, Henry A. Wallace. The group called itself the Progressive Party. Though they had no true ties to Teddy Roosevelt’s Republican movement of the same name earlier in the century, some of the ideology was very similar. One of their primary campaign issues was ending the persecution of labor unions and Communist Party members in the US.
Truman himself remained unpopular in his party, particularly for his stance on civil rights. “States Rights” supporters led by Strom Thurmond (see also: Southern racists) walked out of the convention, and many claimed they would refuse to support Truman and his opposition to Jim Crow laws. They formed their own party, the States Rights’ Democratic Party, or “Dixiecrats.”
So, you have a strong Republican ticket and a sharply divided Democratic Party. In many ways, the experts were right in assuming a Dewey victory, but that isn’t what happened. Truman slowly ate away at Dewey’s double-digit lead in the polls through an effective campaign late in the election cycle.
In some ways, Truman’s presidency is comparable to Obama’s. Truman made a controversial decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan, a decision he did not take lightly, but which was popular. Obama managed to kill Osama bin Laden, which is similar, only without millions of innocent people dying.
Truman’s presidency saw economic turmoil as a result of the transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy, a housing crisis, inflation, and feelings of alienation from his political base, who felt he had betrayed labor interests. During the mid-term elections, Democrats lost their majorities in Congress. Truman tried, and failed, to enact a national health insurance policy.
In fact, in many ways, Truman overcame far more by defeating Dewey than Obama will have to overcome to defeat Romney.
“But Bret, Truman didn’t have to compete with the kind of money that rich Republicans are throwing at Romney.”
Money doesn’t win elections, though. People have this false notion that whoever has the most money wins, but that just isn’t the case. Are you going to be swayed by a commercial you see on TV or in print? Is a radio spot by Romney going to make you change your mind in any way, shape or form?
The truth of the matter is, elections are not won through advertising, they are won through passion. While most people are just voting for who they hate less, the one who people like more is the one who wins. The loser is always the one whose side was not excited about voting for them.
Sure, people are not as excited about Obama as they were in 2008, but it cannot compare to how unexcited Republicans are about Romney. I have a feeling Republicans would vote for anything with a pulse over Romney. Romney has yet to win a state with a vote of over 50%. He barely won his home state. His candidacy has been glowingly referred to by fellow Republicans as “inevitable,” and many speak of how they will “hold their nose” and vote for him (I guess Republicans vote in some sort of outhouse or something).
Romney is not the choice of Republican voters, he’s the choice of the Republican establishment. Romney will win the nomination, not because anyone likes him, but because it’s “his turn.” There has been a mad dash by voters desperate for an alternative to try to find someone else, anyone else, who can get Republicans excited. And yet, every time a non-Romney gets out in front, they start saying things that make you wonder if they know what that little red light on the camera means.
While I see a lot of calls to donate to Obama, and I suppose I don’t much care if you do (though you should know that your money is wasted), the real difference you can make is by ceaselessly calling out the Republicans on their bullshit.
Why do I say this? Quite simply because my mind was changed, and it wasn’t because of big money SuperPACs running slick ad campaigns. Well… it sort of was about that, only they weren’t Obama’s. It has been all this focus on the campaigns of Republicans themselves (and the Republican crowds cheering for atrocities) that have me voting for Obama in 2012, as much as it sickens me to say so.
There are few things more comforting to me than being able to say, “I didn’t vote for Obama,” because I knew from the outset he would be a president I couldn’t get behind. I still don’t like him, both as a politician and as a person (I would rather spend a night alone and hungry than eat dinner with him). However, at this point, I’m willing to vote for him, not because I want to see Obama re-elected, but because I want to piss off Republicans.
It’s not so much that I’m voting against Romney, either, because I am actually quite confident he would be almost indistinguishable from Obama in all matters not pertaining to Supreme Court appointments.
You can disagree if you want, but you’re wrong; Romney’s real record indicates he’s an Obama clone (well… chronologically speaking, Obama would be a Romney clone, but that’s neither here nor there). Rather, at this point, seeing Republicans throw another hissy fit for four years would be more enjoyable to me than the smug satisfaction of knowing I didn’t vote for President Do-Nothing.
I’m not voting for who I support this year, I’m not voting for the lesser of two evils (neither one is “evil,” to be honest). This year, I’m voting to spite Republican voters, because I hate Republicans so much, I’m willing to vote for a horrible president just to watch Republicans throw another tantrum.