No question mark. The powers that be, whether “the people,” the “military-industrial complex,” the amorphous “corporations,” the Illuminati, or whatever other ambiguously contiguous/nonfictional entity you prefer to blame have decided that the next man to take a term of office as President of these United States will be one of these two blokes. Either ex-governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Willard Mitt Romney or current President Barack Hussein Obama will take the next term.
If you care about who takes office on January 20th of next year, then rest assured that it will be one of these two specimens. If you are ambivalent, rest assured that concordant with popular belief your vote would indeed mean little anyway. There’s an Electoral College, after all, and Massachusetts is not a fabled “swing” state.
Why, you may ask, am I voting for Obama over Romney? Because I am. Simply put, I’m a Liberal. I see the Keynesian and moral logic behind publicly funded “safety nets” during economic downturns, and I disagree with Ben Franklin’s opinion that directly aiding the impoverished and unemployed must necessarily solidify that poverty. Having studied introductory micro- and macroeconomics, I like the notion of a free market for scarce goods, but see no examples of them in practice. I dissent with libertarians on whether reducing regulations will cause problems to naturally fix themselves as the mythical market adjusts around them, after all, there is the “tragedy of the commons” to consider. I think that a progressive tax code is a good idea, allowing wealth disparity to get too wide is a bad idea indicative of the lead-up to the Great Depression and the collapse of overextended empires. If there is a better tax system for our unique economic circumstance, I don’t think it’ll be implemented any time soon, not with the first-past-the-post voting system protecting the Democrats and GOP from needing to address “radical” ideas except when it conveniences them.
But in the end, we’re just talking about two men here. Which do I like? They both smile a lot and declare their pride and confidence in America, so it’s tough picking which demagogue to join. The gay-fearing religious right, oil and gas industries, Birthers/”his middle name is Hussein”/”he only cares about the blacks” closet racists, and “not-slightly-raising-taxes-on-the-wealthy-will-make-them-spend-money-and-invest-in-American-businesses” fans clearly like Romney more. Meanwhile, I’m down with the gays, the EPA, access to college education for all, the American auto industry, the nondiscrimination against people with alleged “pre-existing conditions,” and the health care under my parents’ insurance plan until I’m 26. In short, these are some of my reasons for supporting Obama over Romney.
We have suffrage, sort of. We may as well use it.
Tom Lynch can be reached for comment at [email protected]