Andy Stone: A Stone’s Throw
Aspen, CO, Colorado
I know we’re all sick, almost to the death, of this election business, so I’m going to give some of you a pass on this week’s column: All you rock-solid Republicans can stop reading right now.
Go on! Go about your business, doing whatever it is you guys do. This isn’t for you.
And while I’m at it, all you rock-solid Obama voters – you “Hell yes! I’m voting for Obama” people – could skip the rest of this column, too. But you know what? I want you to read on because you might need to pass some of this along.
So here we go: I am writing this week specifically for those of you who ought to be voting for Obama, who would be voting for Obama, but are getting ready to just skip the whole thing because he “disappointed” you.
Yes, you! I’m talking to you. You know who you are. I know you’re out there.
My point, to make it quickly before you get all huffy about it, is this: Don’t be an idiot.
In slightly more detail: Don’t even open your mouth to start to say, “There’s no difference between Obama and Romney.” Or worse yet, “It won’t matter who gets elected.”
Hey! Remember the 2000 election? When some of you didn’t vote at all. Or voted for Ralph Nader. Because “there wasn’t any difference between Gore and Bush.”
Tell me: How did that work out for you? How did that work out for the whole damn world?
No, Al Gore was not a great candidate. But for sure he would have been a much better president than the guy we got instead – the guy we got because a few thousand people decided “it won’t make any difference.”
It’s hard to know for certain what might have happened, but I’m betting that many thousands of Americans – and hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in Iraq – would still be alive if Gore had been president.
So don’t try to pull that “it doesn’t make any difference” nonsense.
And now you want to whine that Obama has “disappointed” you? He’s “let you down”?
Well, suck it up. You poor, fragile little thing.
You’re disappointed because he wasn’t Superman? Because he couldn’t leap tall filibusters in a single bound?
You’re disappointed because he was forced to actually accept political reality?
Are you familiar with the expression “get real”?
Look, I have been deeply disappointed in every Democrat who has been elected president in my lifetime – with the possible exception of John F. Kennedy. But I was just a kid way back then, so it doesn’t really count.
Otherwise: Johnson, Carter, Clinton – all deeply disappointing, each in his own special way, but all so much better than the alternatives. (Barry Goldwater, Gerald Ford, G.H.W. Bush, Bob Dole.)
But you’re feeling all wilted, flaccid, because Obama wasn’t enough of a fire-breathing liberal. You’re upset because he wasn’t the rigid, no-compromises ideologue the Republicans have been pretending he was.
Let’s see …
Sure, you’re right: Obama didn’t get all-inclusive national single-payer health care. (Medicare for everyone.) But he did pass a sweeping affordable health care program that will guarantee adequate care to tens of millions of Americans.
And – just to be clear – the Republican candidate has promised to destroy that program if he is elected. He will take health care away from tens of millions of Americans.
Yes, Obama was shamefully slow in supporting same-sex marriage. But – pay attention! – he did support it.
The Republican candidate has pledged to support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
You’re right – Obama still allows drone attacks in Afghanistan. But he did keep his promise to get us out of Iraq.
His opponent seems almost eager to start a war with Iran (and his top foreign-policy advisers include several unrepentant cheerleading advocates of the Iraq invasion).
True, Obama didn’t completely crush the greedy reckless Wall Street fat cats. But his opponent actually is a Wall Street fat cat.
Sadly, Obama hasn’t acted or spoken strongly on Global Warming. But he pushed through a requirement on automobile gas mileage that will have a major effect on carbon emissions. And his opponent wants to drill here, drill now; burn more coal; and run pipelines pretty much everywhere.
Hey, I could go on, but you get the idea, don’t you?
And while we’re on the subject, I have to take a moment to mention abortion. Obama supports the right to choose abortion and opposes efforts to restrict that right. Romney is opposed to abortion, with exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. But don’t forget that the Republican Party platform calls for a constitutional amendment to outlaw all abortions. No exceptions. Do you really want to encourage them? And, if elected president, Romney has sworn to appoint the kind of Supreme Court justices who are highly likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Obama isn’t perfect. He isn’t the liberal crusader we might wish for. But he is a calm, smart, moderate man whose heart and head are in the right place. His biggest mistake has been to try too hard to compromise with an opposition party that has been determined to destroy him, no matter what the cost to the nation might be.
Do you really want them to succeed?
OK. Sorry. I got all worked up and went on too long.
But, damn it, it’s your fault.
You’re the ones who are thinking – even, in some cases, almost bragging – that you won’t vote for Obama because he’s let you down.
So get over yourself. Get over that little snit. Stop sulking.
This is not about you.
It’s about all of us and it matters.
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