Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Posted by CJ Louis at 1:21 AM
Apparently, I am acquainted with some really smart liberal folks who have really smart liberal friends who are somehow still "undecided" about how to vote today because they are so smart they are dumb enough to think that the privilege of voting in this and any presidential election also allows the luxury of overthinking it. Honestly, I think it's rather naive and moronically idealistic to be so torn in your consideration of voting for one man in one presidential election, particularly Barack Obama, when your alternative is quite clear. You already know what you want and don't want, so what exactly is your reservation?
As a staunch liberal, can you not see yourself voting for Barack Obama because he indeed was unable to heal the sick and lower the rising oceans (not that he promised to, as Governor Romney routinely likes to incorrectly state)? Of course not. Perhaps then it may be cause he can neither prevent unmanned aerial drones from bombing innocent civilians abroad as a routine practice in the War on Terror nor suspend the practice of terrorists and suspected terrorists from being detained for life without trial or getting their fingernails pulled out in dark undisclosed corners of the Earth? Will you not rush to support the President because he can't personally concoct a foolproof method to give everyone with a decent résumé and/or a college degree a good job that pays well all while uniting Black, White, Red and Yellow men underneath the same banner of freedom whether they were born here or not?
Maybe you're a more conservative-minded liberal, like myself, and feel that your lack of enthusiasm stems from his downright refusal to prevent hundreds of developing humans from being burned out of wombs daily as the highest court in the land says, 'that's okay!'? Perhaps you also disagree with the President's desire for all people to be treated equally based on universally applicable, mutually inclusive moral principles despite others wanting the different to remain marginalized based on individual religious beliefs?
For every single aforementioned issue, either an institutional reform is required that transcends the limited presidency of one man and the institution of the Executive Branch of the United States, in general, or you just need to grow up and accept the fact that the President makes decisions for everyone and not just you and yours. To feel so entitled to your anger over one particular, or a host of issues, that the President was unable to address in 3.4 years that you can't even make a choice is just as bad as voting for the other guy.
So, since we are at this impasse, I could list all the reasons why you should vote for your most liberal major party candidate this year, but instead, I want you to ask yourself, "Who taught you that it was alright to inject such idealism into politics, a machine of just the opposite?" When everything is on the line, is it okay for you to be that selfish? Did you honestly expect the "change" that the President promised in 2008 actually meant that all your solutions would be born right then and there? Simpleton, wake up. We both know there's more to it than a glass-half-full-half-empty analogy, but at the core, that's what it boils down to.
Look, I'm sorry he let you down. I'm sure he's sorry too. But the truth is, the world isn't black and white; there are at least 50 shades of gray from what I've heard (pun intended). There is such a thing as a "lesser evil" and choosing the lesser evil in this case does not necessarily meaning you are permanently accepting or compromising a fundamental ideal, but choosing a means least destructive to your end.
We all know change takes more than the hard work of one man, one presidency, one generation. If you really want things to work, prepare to sacrifice your life, dying daily if you truly believe and want your ideals can be manifested. Until then, that sacrifice includes being responsible and sane enough to vote with conviction for the candidate who does the best he can to carry out the will of the People through the lenses of a deeply flawed, evermore complex and perilous system.
You got to take what you can get. Not anybody who matters will judge you for voting for an imperfect candidate in an imperfect time for the right reasons, so neither should you (not that you should seek validation from others as it is an unhealthy practice). Besides, there will come a time when the choice is less clear, and even then your voice will be necessary. When that time comes, you may recall this moment, when you had to muster the conviction to vote for Barack Hussein Obama, even though you didn't like what he did or didn't do sometimes. Just imagine how much easier this decision will seem, in retrospect, compared to the options of the future.
So, go out there and vote, Libs! And work towards the future that will one day tolerate your idealism on election day.
C.J. Louis is a contributing writer to PolicyDiary. Follow him on Twitter @TheCeeJayLouis