For years, I have been a conscientious non-voter. It's not that I didn't care. It's not that I'm lazy. It's not that I wasn't informed. It's that I WAS informed and I DID care. The fact is, ever since I've come of age and really started thinking for myself (and not just parroting what my parents or other authority figures told me, like most people do, I realized that most candidates are not good options, as far as I'm concerned. If you've ever seen the South Park episode “Douche and Turd,” Stan's dilemma described me perfectly. Other people criticized me for not voting, but I wasn't voting because I just didn't see any good options to vote for. And really, by telling me to get out and vote, they meant get out and vote their THEIR guy, not for who I wanted to vote for. I even had people explicity request that even if I didn't care, that I vote for who they wanted, thus giving them an extra vote, which I'm pretty sure defeats the whole purpose.
And to give you some perspective on why exactly I didn't think any candidate was a good choice for me, here are some of my ideas on the way things should be. And I will not use the word “belief” here, because I think that's a dangerous word. A “belief” is nothing more than an opinion disguised as a fact. I know my ideas could be wrong, so I'll just call them that. Ideas. They're not facts. They're what I think. And they're what I think TODAY. They could change in ten years, in five years, the day my son is born a few months from now, or even tomorrow when someone points out a different perspective to me that I may not have thought of.
I think abortion should be illegal.
I think gay marriage should be legal.
I think we should balance the federal budget.
I think we should have a welfare system for those who truly need it, but stop incentivizing it so much (such as by increasing the amount of welfare people receive by having an additional child while already on welfare).
I think we should have government programs to supply free birth control for anyone who wants it, because frankly, I'd rather pay for condoms, than for kids of parents who can't support them.
I think our child support system is completely broken and needs redone from the ground up.
I think we should spend less tax money on youth correction systems and more on youth centers, life and job skill training for disadvantaged youth, and child abuse and neglect agencies, so we can save some kids who could be saved and grow into better people than what they came from. Getting a troubled youth behind bars isn't a “win.” Getting a troubled youth set straight and molded into a productive member of society is a win.
I think we should re-institute tariffs (at least until we get our economy fixed), and give tax incentives to businesses who provide products and services in the United States instead of rewarding companies who lay off workers and ship jobs overseas so their executives can buy another vacation house.
I think we need to close tax loopholes and make offshore holdings and investments taxable at the same rate domestic holdings and investments are.
I think investment earnings should be taxed at the same rate as the earnings of people who get up every day and go to a job and perform actual work. I understand that it “encourages investment,” but I still think it's fundamentally wrong for people who make money reading the business section of the paper to be taxed at a lower rate than people who actually go to work, and labor and sweat for a boss they probably don't like anyway. Besides, what else are people with money going to do with it? Stick it in their mattress?
I think it's about damn time we have a national health care system (though I don't know that Obamacare is the right one, at least right now while the economy is a mess).
I think growing businesses should get tax incentives for every new job they create, and businesses should be penalized for layoffs if they occur in the same year that jobs were shipped overseas or executives received pay increases.
I think insurance companies should be regulated a lot more than what they currently are.
I think malpractice lawsuits and settlements should be capped much lower than what they are paid out now for legitimate accidents (as opposed to unsafe or unqualified practitioners) to keep costs of malpractice insurance, health care, and health insurance down.
There. You see that list? You tell me who I'm supposed to vote for. Just about every political candidate to run for anything in the last ten years has been completely diametrically opposed to at least half the items on that list.
But, this year when my wife and I were at the county fair, my wife wanted us to update our voter registrations since we moved within the last year and she said she wanted me to vote. Fine, I said. But if I'm going to vote, I'm going to vote for who I want to vote for, not for who family or friends tell me I should vote for.
So I've paid attention to ads, speeches, debates, political analysis, fact-checkers, and everything else I can think of to decide who I think is the best person for the job. For the first time in 12 years, I intend to vote, and I intend to make the right decision.
And my decision is, we, as a country, are fucked.
Seriously, there are 300 million people in this country, and these two assholes are the best we can do? If there was ever an election that cried out for the abolition of the two-party system, it's this one. I actually wrote down every major presidential candidate going back to the Bush/Clinton/Perot election, and in that entire time, the only worse candidate than President Obama and Mitt Romney is (in my opninion) George W. Bush. Literally everyone else that's been on the presidential ballot since Clinton's presidency began would be a better option in this election than either of the two jackasses we've got.
What blows me away the most is that this election shouldn't even be close. A year ago, people were so tired of Obama that a retarded monkey could've beaten him in an election. This should've been a repeat of the Obama/McCain election where all the Democrats had to do was nominate any smiling jackass and they'd be able to beat the Republicans in their sleep. This should've been the same thing, but for the Republicans. So what'd they do? They just managed to find quite possibly the only living human being that could actually lose to Obama. It's mind-boggling that Obama has been so bad, yet Romney might be even worse.
And it's not just that they're bad candidates, it's that there is such an overwhelming amount of downside to both with very little discernible upside. I've given myself a headache just trying to figure out what the hell the Democrats and Republicans ever saw in these two idiots, because for the life of me, I don't see it. In fact, let's take a look at what we actually know about these two assholes and see if we can get excited about either one. I'll look at the Pros and Cons of each candidate, beginning with President Obama.
Pros for President Obama:
He says we'll be better off in four years than we are today.
Cons for President Obama:
To date, he has broken 86 promises made during his first campaign.*
He has lied 30 times on the record throughout the course of his re-election campaign.**
He's still learning on the job how to be an executive since he didn't have any executive experience before he got elected to the highest executive position in the free world.
Has had four years to improve the economy (including initially having Democratic control of both houses) and didn't get it done.
By his own admission, he should be a one-term President, as he said when running that he would be a one-term President if he didn't turn the economy around.
He said, during his term, that the debt limit had to be raised, despite opposing the same thing when Bush was President, saying it was a “leadership failure.”
He was for gay marriage, then he was against it, now he's for it again.
He watched the extremely high unemployment numbers he inherited get worse, only to take almost his entire term to get them back down to the extremely high levels they were at when he took office. And this doesn't even count people who have left the word force entirely.
Government reliance (most notably food stamp usage) has gone through the roof during his term.
In 2008, he attacked John McCain for proposing cuts to Medicare, then made cuts himself.
He doesn't seem to get the whole “Be careful what you do with cameras around” as he made the internet very happy between his fly-killing and calling Kanye West a jackass with rolling cameras.
While on the subject of saying stupid things on camera, he went on The Tonight Show and made a joke about his bowling being “like the Special Olympics or something.”
Didn't have enough security (despite requests for more) at the embassy that was attacked in Benghazi on September 11.
By the end of his first term, he will have added as much national debt as all his predecessors COMBINED.
He has a very dangerous personality. And by that, I mean he's so charming, well-spoken, and charismatic that, just listening to him talk, you almost forget what a dumbass he really is.
Pros for Mitt Romney:
He says we'll be better off in four years than we are today
Cons for Mitt Romney:
He has lied 62 times on the record throughout the course of his presidential campaign.**
He was more than happy to tell everyone he was more qualified to turn the economy around than Obama because of his background in business. At least until it came out that his background in business included a background in closing plants, laying off workers, shipping jobs overseas, and saddling companies with huge amounts of debt.
Oh yeah, and that time he was a director of the Damon Corporation, and the company was defrauding Medicare of millions.
Of course, any time any of the questionable things that happened under his watch are brought up, he is quick to say he was in charge “in name only,” or that he was a “silent partner,” or that he was concentrating on other things at the time, or some such bullshit. As though being hands-off and silent while your minions do questionable things that have your name attached to them is any better than pulling the trigger yourself.
Earlier this year, when discussing how he would appeal to independent voters after emphasizing his conservative leanings in the Republican primary, Romney's senior communications director said "Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again." This would explain why it seems he regularly says one thing and does the opposite, and why he says something different based on who his audience is at the time.
He has suggested a tax cut for everyone, plus $2 trillion in additional funding for the military (that they haven't asked for), yet refuses to explain how he would make up that additional money without adding to the deficit. The closest he has come is saying he would close tax loopholes for the rich (without specifying any loopholes), and cut unnecessary programs that “aren't worth borrowing money from China to fund” (again, without specifying which programs other than Obamacare and PBS).
Seriously. Dude wants to take PBS off the air. My first child will be born right around the time the winner of this election will step into office, so saying he won't be able to watch Oscar the Grouch is very disconcerting. And yes, I said Oscar the Grouch. Big Bird is an over-rated jackass. And fuck Elmo. Okay, Romney can fire Big Bird and Elmo, but not Oscar the Grouch.
He has criticized Obama for raising taxes on business, despite the fact that businesses in Massachusetts paid 20% more taxes during his governorship. Etch-A-Sketch.
He demonstrated that he doesn't have his pulse on the political climate of the Middle East by going to Israel and proclaiming Jerusalem the capital of Israel (going against US and United Nations official recognition and pissing off just about every Muslim in the world).
Then, he showed that he doesn't understand Middle East geography, either, by saying that Syria is Iran's route to the sea, when in fact Iran is a coastal country and doesn't even share a border with Syria. Whoops, maybe he should've gone to one of those Massachusetts schools he's taking credit for being so awesome, despite the fact he's repeatedly said class size doesn't matter.
He invests in China and hides money in Cayman Islands accounts to avoid taxes.
Speaking of taxes, he absolutely refuses to release the customary history of tax returns, but won't tell us why, yet insists he isn't hiding anything.
Speaking of selectively disclosing financial information, he has a corporation in Bermuda that he failed to disclose on seven different financial disclosures.
He has said on numerous occasions that the first thing he intends to do after being sworn in is to repeal Obamacare. Except that Obamacare was largely based on his health care plan from when he was governor of Massachusetts that he was so proud of and said should be a model for the rest of the country. Etch-A-Sketch.
He has criticized the most controversial parts of the Arizona immigration law that effectively legalizes racial profiling, yet is using the same man who drafted the Arizona law to help with his immigration plan. Etch-A-Sketch.
He honestly thinks it's fair that investment earnings, which are largely "earned" by giving money to a broker and reading the business section of the paper every once in awhile, should be taxed less than earnings of people who get up every day and work and sweat at a job working for some asshole they can't stand.
At Otterbein in Ohio, he told university students that to start a business, they should "borrow money if you have to from your parents."
He once refused to sign a taxpayer protection pledge. Then he signed one and bragged about it. Etch-A-Sketch.
He wants to turn Medicare into a voucher program.
He talks about wanting us to be “North-American energy independent.” First of all, not sure what the hell that means, as North America includes Canada and Mexico, which by definition, would mean we are not independent if we're getting energy from either of those two places. Secondly, he has also criticized Obama's spending on the development of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar energy, which is the only way we can ever hope to be energy-independent long-term, as our non-renewable energy sources such as coal and oil dry up.
He's now Mr. Coal Champion, despite the fact that when he was governor of Massachusetts, he stood in front of a coal plant and said “This plant kills.” Etch-a-sketch.
He openly admitted in one of the presidential debates to not knowing there are currently tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, despite his history of being associated with businesses that did so.
He said we should “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” He contends that he wanted them to go through the bankruptcy process and come out better with private financing, as has happened with SOME companies. But the car manufacturers receiving bailouts had very little cash, very poor credit, and were unlikely to receive the help they needed from private banks, which were also in serious trouble at the time. If his “strategy” had been followed, these companies likely would've been liquidated.
He went on an overseas tour to show everyone how good he would be at foreign relations. He made three stops, and had to make three apologies. Maybe his way of getting the economy back on track is starting World War III, since WWII was what brought us out of the Great Depression.
Told a closed-door fundraiser full of rich people that he doesn't care about 47% of the country that are entitled victims with no interest in doing anything to better themselves. When video of the comment was released, he first said that it “wasn't eloquent,” but wouldn't actually deny that was how he feels. It took several weeks for him to recant that statement and start pretending to care about “the 100%.”
Politicized the Banghazi embassy attack within hours by condemning the Obama administration for a message sent to the White House from the embassy before the attack even occurred.
Attacked Obama for not having enough embassy security, despite the fact his own budget calls for less embassy security than what Obama has had.
He said that employers should be able to determine whether or not female employees can get contraception with their insurance.
He thinks in 2012, Russia is still our biggest geo-political foe.
He said we should still have troops in Iraq.
He appears in ads supporting Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who made headlines with his assertion that pregnancy resulting from rape is “part of God's plan.” While the Romney camp has said he doesn't agree with it, he also hasn't withdrawn his support from Mourdock.
And while on the topic of abortion, one of the many things he has flip-flopped on depending on his audience, is abortion. While he was happy to tell Republicans during the last two primaries that he would love nothing more than to ban abortion, he has changed his mind to attempt to attract swing voters and has said he won't pursue any abortion legislation. Etch-A-Sketch.
And while on the topic of flip-flopping on abortion, he used to be pro-choice altogether. In elections in both 1994 and 2002, Romney said he supported a woman's right to choose whether or not to get an abortion. Then, as soon as he wanted to get the Republican presidential nomination, he became pro-life. So during the Republican primary, he was all about banning abortion. Now that he has the nomination, he suddenly doesn't want to touch abortion. Etch-A-Sketch.
He actually sired a kid who was dumb enough to make the comment on the record that he wanted “take a swing” at a sitting President. And for those of you Romney apologists who want to point out that it's his son, not him, he actually had this son campaigning for him in battleground states. He had the guy who was stupid enough to make a physical threat about a sitting President campaigning on his behalf. Genius.
He actually named that kid Tagg.
Oh yeah, and he once drove to Canada with the family dog strapped to the roof of the car.
Not to mention, he's just an asshole.
*The number of promises receiving a rating of “Promise Broken” by Politifact.com.
**The number of lies told by a candidate is compiled from the number of statements personally made by the candidate that has received a rating of “Mostly False,” “False,” or “Pants on Fire at Politifact.com
Well there you have it. We are fucked. Obama's not done anything to make anyone say "You know, I really want that guy to have another term as President because he did such a bang-up job the first time around. But on the other hand, Romney is a rich guy with a history of looking out for other rich people and changing his mind. That's the scariest part about him. You don't know what he really thinks. Everybody has a change of heart on certain issues now and again, but when your own campaign is outright admitting that your stance on the issues change drastically simply based on who you're talking to at the time (as has often seemed to be the case with Romney), then it's a serious cause for concern. I don't want to elect someone when I don't know what he actually plans to do. Of course, I also don't want to elect someone who's had a chance and not delivered, either.
Which is why I'm writing in my vote for Stone Cold Steve Austin. Because at the end of the day, I will be less embarrassed to tell other people that I cast my vote for a retired professional wrestler than I would be to tell people I voted for either Romney or Obama. So there you have it. I'm voting for Stone Cold Steve Austin, and that's the bottom line, because neither one of these jackasses is worth a damn.
Republicans and Democrats think I just spend too much time watching the "other" party's media channels