If I Only Had A Vote! Please, Bring Back the Hope?

A brief interlude from usual content to satisfy my own political leanings agenda.

It is compulsory to vote in Australia. The outcome of an election between two, essentially similar parties has very little impact on my own life, so I try to vote in a way that might benefit people who have not had the colossal leg-up that I’ve had in life. I believe this makes me a socialist? Put me on continuum where you choose, tell me where to pay my taxes and I’ll go along with it. Hopefully, someone who needs it will be a little better off. If you could also support gay rights (particularly marriage), asylum seekers, public healthcare and a few other things, well I’d be ecstatic. Sadly, on these really big issues, our government and opposition spend a lot of time and money arguing two sides of the same coin. Progress is slow. Still, it is, or it has been, progress, and I hope it continues.

This post is not about Australia.

As conscientiously as I may try to vote here, it has always distressed me that I have no say what goes on in US politics. More distressing is that the non-compulsory voting seems to mean that people who could have a say seem to sway in and out of indifference. I have been been increasingly distressed in the last few months at the seemingly unstoppable rise of Mitt Romney and the Republicans. What exactly is going on in the Obama camp? Why is it so darn quiet over there? Ok, he hasn’t been universally popular in his first term, but wasn’t that why you elected him? To shake things up? The guy has made some unpopular decisions, but then again, unpopular, radical, necessary decisions were pretty much the platform of the Hope campaign. Did you expect universal popularity? Or that he’d be able to fulfill every campaign promise? Have you ever expected that from a professional politician?

Strangely, the answers I have been looking for popped up in a McSweeney’s piece that I read this morning. Perhaps the issue isn’t so much that Obama supporters have become detractors, they’ve just crawled back into their apathetic hole, forgetting to exercise their extremely valuable democratic rights. It cannot be that the enormous body of anti-conservatives has disappeared in the course of one presidential term… Where did you go? Come back!

Without further ado…

The excellent McSweeney’s piece, Introducing 90 Days, 90 Reasons, in which McSweeney’s wakes up to the very real risks of punishing Obama, namely that “an arch conservative (will) rule the most powerful nation on earth”.

Did I mention the McSweeney’s article links to a fantastic initiative: 90 Days, 90 Reasons. This site provides a daily essay by notable Americans in support of the Obama campaign. So far, there are essays available by Ben Gibbard, Roger Ebert, George Saunders and Adam Werbach. Looks like we are in for some great reading.

Please vote.

9 responses to “If I Only Had A Vote! Please, Bring Back the Hope?

  1. Good post. Apathetic is the appropriate term. I’m just returning for Saudi Arabia. We, over here, don’t quite get how good we have it. I don’t know why. History should show us that.

  2. I agree. It’s very scary to watch history repeat itself from the outside! I try to appreciate how lucky we are as often as I can.

  3. I’m relieved that someone is doing something to try to get Obana re-elected but I wish there had not been quite such a flavour of desperation about the article.

    Maybe the rest of the world should set up a petition asking the Americans to re-elect Obama; it seems that we are the only ones who see the good that he has done. 😦 I’d sign that in a heartbeat.

    • We could start the petition? I don’t have facebook, so I think I’m handicapped from the outset, but could we start one? Don’t they have websites for that?

  4. Bottom line. This country is spoiled. As in big-time! I’m sorry but it’s true. Speaking for myself here as well. WE TAKE SO D*MN MUCH FOR GRANTED, most especially the democratic “rights” this wonderful country of ours has given us through the freedoms that are part and parcel to being an American that …we the people…have forgotten to hold up our end of the deal! The responsibility factor that goes with being FREE! It’s called voting! It’s called actively participating as a part of the democratic process. (Sorry, on my soapbox – a real sore spot for me!). Excellent Post. Thanks for caring and writing about something really important, that more people should be paying attention too! Once again I thank you, Penny

    • Oh Penny, you are welcome to jump on your soapbox around me anytime! It really gets my goat too. I’ll post about it again in a week or so, I figure even if I’m raising only tiny bits of awareness at a time, it’s an incremental step in the right(left) direction?

      • Yes, speaking up when you have something important to say is always a good thing, I think! My favorite slogan that I made up years ago is “Freedom is a two sided coin, on the one side is Freedom on the other is Responsibility, You can’t have one without the other”. Works for me! You go girl! 🙂

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