I have had trouble deciding who to vote for in the upcoming presidential election; and if I should even vote at all. Since I don’t have a television, I haven’t been able to watch any debates or speeches by any of the candidates. Sure, I see little quote here or there on youtube and the likes and I read articles where I learn what the writer thinks, but I haven’t done any real research. Just knowing that in order to raise between fifty and one hundred million dollars per month some corruption has to be involved makes me not want to put my energy behind Clinton, McCain, or Obama. The other night however, I watched the Austin, Texas debate between Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama and was quite blown away by the latter. He is the first politician I have ever seen who does not seem at all like a slimy, robotic machine (like Hilary Clinton obviously is). His answer to the first question (about holding diplomatic talks with Raul Castro) blew me away; where Hilary’s was obviously based on talking points. Seeing this made me want to backhand anyone who uses “experience” as the reason for supporting Hilary Clinton. George Bush has experience, Donald Rumsfeld had experience, Dick Cheney had a ton of experience; where did all of this get us? There are still things (besides being owned by corporations) that disgust me about Mr. Obama; like the fact that he wants to put more troops in Afghanistan and is against the Iraq war not because it is an unnecessary war, but because it wasn’t well thought out and consequently is not going well. The question for me has become whether to look past this and accept his as the least corrupt, least political of the three candidates or refuse to vote for any of them, knowing that nothing I do inside of that little box in November is going to make a difference compared to what I can do on the streets.
Despite the fact that I’m torn on whether or not to vote for this man, I am disgusted beyond belief at the tactics that the right wing is already using. Bill O’Reilly threatening to lynch Michelle Obama (doesn’t he realize the significance of lynching? It wasn’t something that went on thousands or even hundreds of years ago; many black people alive today had parents or grandparents who were actually lynched right here in the United States of America) just shows – again – his vast ignorance and racism. However, what annoys me the most is the attackers who are calling him a Muslim and/or un-American because he refused (which isn’t even true) to salute the flag. The worst thing is when these right wing bloggers and other hacks call him by his middle name – Hussein. However, the more I think about it the more I can’t really blame people like Ann Coulter for playing on people’s stupidity and fear, I can’t help but blame the stupid, fearful people who are allowed to cast a ballot. There are people – a lot of people, mostly scattered throughout the middle and southern parts of this country – who know absolutely nothing about Mr. Obama, save that his middle name is the same as the bad guy who used to head Iraq (the bad guy who, many people still believe, was behind the 9/11 attacks and had weapons of mass destruction) and that he might possible be a Muslim (which he is not). These things are enough for a high percentage of the voting public to be not just disgusted, but angry and hateful towards Mr. Obama. I think the part of me that wants to cast a vote for this hopeful man wants to do it just to do my part to offset all these goons.