Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Voted For Obama!

No big surprise, eh?  I'm a (Buddhist) white guy from New York City with a beard... who the hell else was I gonna vote for?  Simple.. no one.  He was the only choice.

I've only voted one time in my life.  I was 27 years old at the time and I didn't believe in the system.  Politics was just some game that rich people played to make themselves feel important.  My gut told me that "voting" was just a bone that our government threw us common folk to make us feel like we had a say over who ran our country.  Then came Obama - a kinda black guy who seemed different then the rest.  A guy who had something to prove to the world.  I got sucked in.

I watched the debates, read the articles, and found myself getting lost listening to that calm voice telling me that America was finally going to be a place that I could be proud of.  I remember walking into the booth like it was yesterday.  I was nervous as I pulled the curtain closed.  This was a momentous occasion!  I saw his name on a little white card and I knew that once I pulled the lever, I was taking part in history.

It's hard being the president.  I understand that.  But I have trouble reconciling the fact that there are certain fundamental responsibilities that our leaders are neglecting.  When you examine the situation closely, there really are only a few major issues that Obama needed to work on.  If I remember correctly, he even "promised" us the kind of change that would directly address these issues when he said "YES WE CAN!" 

So what the fuck?

I can imagine the amount of stress he must be feeling right now.  His approval rating is at an all time low and I don't think there's a chance in hell that he's going to be re-elected.  I would even go as far as to say that when Mr. Obama lays his head down on the pillow at night he must wish that someone would tell him how to fix the mess he's gotten himself into.  So, ladies and gentleman, I'm going to do just that right here!  (Mr. Obama, if you're reading this... just follow my advice and everything will be okay.)

It's a short list... but I think if he can accomplish these five things, he'll be able to rest easy and we can all feel happy to be Americans. 

1. Fix education!  Wake up and realize that No Child Left Behind really means: No White Upper-Middle Class Child Left Behind.  Realize that all children can't be held to the same standards unless they all are given the same opportunities and resources.  Realize that college was never meant to be a one-size-fits-all requirement that has the potential to run people into bankruptcy.

2. End the war(s)!  We have no fucking business meddling in the business of others and sacrificing young men and women based on decisions made by rich people sitting in comfortable offices.  If I remember correctly, human sacrifice ended with the Aztecs, right?

3. Get your head out of Wall Street's ass!  The world of finance is so royally screwed up at this point, that I say we just end it all and start from scratch.  I don't know a single person that even really understands our economy well enough to diagnose the problems we are having... that includes the people in charge.  HELLO!  NO ONE IS AT THE WHEEL ANYMORE!  If we keep on going, then we're all going to be screwed... rich and poor alike.  

4. Give all people adequate health care!  Is that really too much to ask?  Can't you just make it so that if we're sick, we can go to the doctor without signing over our entire paycheck?  I know it's a complex system... but really when you think about it, isn't it just that simple?  We just want to know that we can get medicine if we need it.  If you can spend 32 million dollars on a helicopter that ends up in flames in Afghanistan, can't you spring for chemotherapy drugs if I get cancer? 

5. Dissolve the two-party system of politics!  Where does it say in the Constitution that the government should spend 90% of its time arguing over whether it's better to be a Republican or a Democrat?  I'm pretty sure that the government is supposed to care for the needs of the PEOPLE.  Does it really matter if you're a member of the Tea Party or the Asshole Party?  No... it matters if people have enough food and a roof over their heads!

Please forgive the simplicity of my list.  I know that complex forces are at work here... but I think we can all agree that it's time for our president to make good on some of his promises, right?

I fear that worse than the fact that he won't be re-elected, he'll just go down in history as a kinda black guy who made it to the White House, which is all well and good... but when I pulled that lever, I was hoping for something more. 

(I know this post had nothing to do with Buddhism... but hey, if you think about it... it kinda did.)


  1. I was very much a supporter of Obama but I'm disillusioned now; he either misunderstood the role the President in government or just he's not going through with his promises, both of which show a large level of incompetence. But y'know... I realized Ron Paul actually has been pushing these issues for years and years now yet people automatically sideline him as a lunatic and I'm very confused about it.

  2. The success of the American ruling class at convincing people that crazy is sane and sane is crazy is truly astounding. For example, as a Canadian, I'm astonished to see modern health policy painted as certain national death in the States, when every other developed country (and several developing ones, including Iraq) has been doing it for generations. Listen, cousins: the worst case scenario is that you'll have a few less bucks to spend on beer at the end of the year. That's the absolute worst; you might even come out ahead. No national collapse, no death panels (which is what you have now, actually; tax-supported systems just make you pay more taxes when they run out of funds, eh?), no loss of doctor choice. In Canada, our system looks exactly like yours on the patients' end but we pay a third less than you do as an economy, while covering every single person. Isn't the USA supposed to be nation of business? How did you make such a God-awful bad deal, Americans?

    Similarly, there is no democracy with a preset limit on the number of parties. If that's what you got, you don't got democracy. Fact is, America has a single party, divided into two wings, neither of them left. If Obama ran for office in my country, he'd be far right; the current chucksters we got in Ottawa now are rightwing, but in many respects their platform is left of your alleged Democrats.

    It's weird, really. How is it that Americans are kept so totally in the dark about such stuff, on a globe like this one? Canada has its own problems, and Canadians can be first-class morons as a people, but stuff that basic is hard to hide, at least in my country. I really have to hand it to the people who run yours; they've made ignorance cool.

    Thanks for the post!


    Rusty Ring: Reflections of an Old-Timey Hermit.

    1. You hit the nail on the head. Now they are fighting over gun control. It's divide and rule. Republicans don't want the simplest back ground checks done. It's unbelievable how this country is ruled by arms manufacturers. Of course they have to sell their arms, hence the wars and no back ground checks.

  3. I'm curious - I have nevr been an Obama fan and am not surprised by his - not so much incompetence - but inability or unwillingness to just do his job. Agree or disagree with DOMA, the man swore an oath which he simply violated so the rest is all predictable in my view. But do you seriously think he will lose the election? Please don't get my hopes up! With all due respect, I think you Americans deserve him.

  4. I'm not even remotely involved in politics so I can't comment on the issue, but the chemo argument stuck in my mind in a bad way. Don't ask for that. It kills more people than it actually cures.
    That aside, you have an enjoyable style of writing.