Saturday, November 03, 2012

Whaddya Mean, Don't Vote!

By William Fisher

Thank God, we are almost finished with the stupidest, least helpful, most

irrelevant, presidential contest in living memory.

Garnished with the most brainless series of "debates" in the history of

Presidential candidacy.

At least, when it began -- during the primary -- some of it was fun, in a

prurient way. Women came forward to accuse Herman Cain of crotch-grapping. Rick

Perry couldn't remember the third of the three Cabinet departments he was

promising to abolish. And so forth.

Funny? Yes, up to a point. After that, downright embarrassing. Not for the

candidates; they're free to make total fools of themselves -- and they did.

Embarrassing for the country.

Just think of it. The people who thought they would be absolutely dandy leaders

of the richest, most powerful country in the world, unable to enunciate a simple

declarative sentence!

But what there was of fun soon melted into disaster -- when people began to

realize what wasn't being debated. Climate change. Immigration. Our

off-the-charts incarceration rate. Our so-called "war on drugs.' Racial

profiling. Our military-industrial complex. Our vanishing middle-class. Our

abandon of the mentally ill. And on and on and on.

There is arguably only one other kind of issue so elemental that its omission

conceals the incendiary material that could actually bring us down.

It is our civil liberties -- the freedoms we are guaranteed in the first ten

amendments to the Constitution -- the Bill of Rights.

By which I mean such issues as prisons, extraordinary renditions, Guantanamo,

indefinite detention, military commissions, gun crime, warrantless wiretapping,

National Security Letters, the Drone Kill List, Afghan corruption, infiltrating

Muslim mosques, the rule of law, religious freedom, judges who aren't

ideologues, and on and on and on.

In hour after hour after catatonic hour, the words "civil liberties' were not

mentioned once. Not once.

Yet there are no values that come even close to constructing the picture of

America these freedoms help us build and maintain.

And on these, our candidates were silent.

To my in-box this morning came an article written by an Internet friend of mine.

It urged me to "not vote, or vote independent." Well, as Rachel Maddow likes to

say, "That would be fulfilling someone else's plan."

And indeed it would. So, no I won't sit this one out. I'll vote for Barack Obama

as far superior in everyway to the tin-man of Washington.

I'd rather vote for Gordon Gecko.

And hope we do better four years from now.