America. You. You scamp. You had me going there for a minute. I was reading all of the “50/50 election,” “country split down the middle” stuff and it made me, I dunno, leery. I mean, I did the math on the electoral votes and saw how clear the path to victory was (Ohio, all Ohio). If he won Ohio, it looked like a lock, barring madness or theft.
But I kept reading and watching and seeing the “people still undecided” and how “torn” you were.
Honestly, it confused the hell out of me: here we had a President: intelligent, Harvard magna cum laude, happily married, cute family, fiscally responsible, and inheriting a hot mess of problems: bank bailouts, 2 wars (already in progress), an economy in freefall, a full-blown housing meltdown, small business lending evaporating, tax cuts that weren’t growing the economy, a massive baby boomer population ready for their social security checks, health insurance out of control, and (oh yeah) that guy who slaughtered hundreds of American citizens before he was even elected, was still on the run. Then, in 2010, the House gets highjacked by nutjobs posing as spiritual descendents of the founders of our country and things grind to a screeching halt, amid statements from said whackos of their highest priority is “ensuring Obama is a one-term President.” The quote is slightly out of context, but the spirit certainly carried forth over the next two years.
And so, despite having high hopes and a belief that the sweeping changes he promised in his campaign could be implemented, he began to work to clean it up: more regulation to get housing loans under control, bailing out banks in a way that resulted in profits for US taxpayers, pushed through a brilliant health care (interim) solution that enriches the private sector and ensures everyone is covered, got out of 1 1/2 wars (didn’t start any new ones), and killed OBL.
By all accounts, this guy’s done pretty g**damn good. Did he give me the lolly he promised in ’08? No. But he gets a pass because, well, he was f***ing BUSY.
But still you seemed to hand-wring, so I thought, maybe this Romney guy has some horsepower. Maybe I’m going blindly into this election just following dogma and party and not objectively assessing his qualifications. Maybe, dare I say it, I was wrong? Hell, I like Mormons, I watched, “Big Love.” I don’t care what anyone’s faith is, as long as they don’t try to jam it down my throat or eff with my life over it.
But the more I dug into his background, the more I realized you were giving your ear to a snake oil salesman who’s positions changed more than the karma sutra. Is he pro-choice or pro-life? Well, he was pro-choice as governor, then pro-life in the primary, now he’s…well, whatever you need him to be. Math doesn’t work in the tax/budget plan he’s proposing? His answer: trust me. Taxes seem hidden? Wonder why? His tenure at Bain Capital and Bain & Company a little suspect? Maybe not as good of a businessman as he proclaims? Maybe kind of a robber baron? It seemed that way: voter misdirection, wildly misleading ads, re-polishing his history as needed for the moment. Obama’s horrible performance in the first debate punctuated this for me: as the questions come up and Romney is changing his positions on the fly, Obama’s like, “uh…I did not prepare for this new candidate…”
Honestly, America, he seemed a bit slimy. Kind of wrong for you. I tried to hold my tongue, but I had to speak up every once in awhile: you could do better.
And so I waited for today, waited to see what you’d do, what decision you’d make. Would you go with a–despite crazy billionaire claims to the contrary–pretty damned transparent President who champions the middle class or go with a guy who was all things to all people (which meant he was nothing to everyone), and clearly in the race to line his own (and his hidden backers’) pockets?
Damned if you didn’t come through tonight. We may still be an culturally divided country, but a majority of us still can make smart decisions. And you can’t ask for more than that in a democracy.
You done good. I’m proud of you.
PS – I believe you will get your lolly in this next term. We’re certainly better off today than we were in ’08, there’s a lot less to clean up.