Saturday, November 3, 2012



We’re days away from an epic, nerve-racking election day and epic conclusion to two campaigns whose theses boils down to “HE’S HORRIBLE”. 

But the two men are as different as a dichotomy from a novelist’s imagination, with past vs. present Romney evoking Ward Cleaver and Mad Men, whereas Obama embodies the face of a multi-racial present. 

One man is the son of a famous and historic presidential contender he idolized so much, he shaped himself in his image; the other never knew his father, and consciously shaped himself the way many heroes in American literature have.

They’re the plutocrat vs. the cool guy, the stiff step-dad vs. the pop-culture icon, “Mr. Capable” who can solve your problems but lacks empathy, vs. “Mr. Likeable” who cares about your problems, but failed to solve all of them in four years. And they were, in this campaign, at war with themselves. Obama is no longer the inspirational, bigger-than-politics symbol, and the shadow of his ’08 self dogged his entire campaign, just as Mitt’s bipolarism damaged his as he veers from severely conservative Mitt to moderate Mitt, like a political version of Sybil.

And it’s been a campaign that’s exposed the fault lines in the American time-warped soul revealing the electorate to have a racial gap and a geographical gap, and a gender gap. But to me, the most frightening undercurrent of the race is one that will live on past November 6th.... That is the TRUTH GAP. 

Politically, we are two tribes living in alternate realities, believing only in the polls and facts that bolster our thesis and disbelieving and attacking all data that challenges that thesis. This is human nature. But the American political landscape has a particularly malignant case of selective truthism disease. 

This election has shown people wanting to fact check the fact checkers. Like the extreme left dismissing Gallup when it showed a Romney lead, and the right dismissing (well every, but lately) Nate Silver reporting an Obama lead. The overwhelming amount of data and opinions available now allows anyone to barricade themselves in their own reality. 

So, we rumble towards November 6th with most of the country certain THEIR guy is leading, and their ideology is about to be vindicated, leaving the left and the right like two Mack trucks racing toward each other. Impact is certain; pain is assured. 

No matter who wins, half the country will walk away dazed, hurt and angry, and convinced the election is just one more reason they need not take as legitimate because it doesn’t fit the narrative they prefer. Obama won in ’08 by 7 points and still got birtherism, obstructionism, and the tea party. 

After a close election, poll trutherism could morph into election trutherism, and in and an attempt to secede, in a mental sense, where 49% of the country acts on the feeling they don’t need to respect the President. 

I’m afraid what will follow the election. Because right now, in America, the American family doesn’t know how to agree to disagree. We are, THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA.


“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country” – John F. Kennedy, on his Inauguration Day

Dear Undecided Ohioan:

I don’t envy your position. I think the 2012 election is a nightmare, and I live in uncontested New York. The media exposure, legal battles over voting, and conflicting arguments must be taxing enough for you. But to be an undecided voter in the battleground state during such a divisive election must be maddening.

I lived all over the country. Although I live in New York, I was somewhat raised in Pennsylvania, and South Dakota, and perhaps this explains why I’m feeling protective and want to reach out to you.

I have some advice about how to handle this election…

If you’re unsure or confused by the choice ahead, it likely means you’re paying absolutely no attention to this election (in which case, I salute you), or you are paying too much attention. And in this case, I want to tell you – Stop!

Take comfort, it’s not you. In 2012, the truth is slippery and words are irrelevant. Given the influx of cash from special interests, the partisan state of media, and 24/7 political spin, it’s impossible to know who’s being honest and sincere.

So as someone who appreciates independence, who has voted Republican and Democratic in the past, here’s my advice to you…

Actions speak louder than words. 

Politics aside, I hope we can agree on the following.

When Barack Obama became President in January 2009, he inherited:

1.) Two unpaid for wars bill due:2010
2.) Unpaid tax cuts bill due:2010
3.) A financial crisis caused largely by deregulation in the banking and mortgage industries, that allowed Wall Street to run wild, with NO RULES that led this country to the edge of a very real depression if not for the controversial bailout (still not paid back)
4.) An economy hemorrhaging over -500,000 jobs a month 
5.) A stock market in free fall
6.) A domestic, and world-wide depression 
7.) Sky-rocketing gas prices  (they were temporarily recessed due to the world recession crisis, but world-wide demand growth returned to pre-Obama 2008 prices)*
8.) an American President leaving office with a 12% word-wide approval rating, the lowest of any President of the 20th and 21st Century combined. 

To be fair, Democrats and Republicans, alike, had fingerprints all over the problems Obama inherited. Leading up to 2008, Democrats, too, voted for wars, deregulation, and tax cuts that contributed to the mounting debt.

While the degree of responsibility may vary, had Democrats stood by their convictions and not been so intimidated during the Bush years, the financial crisis could have been minimized or avoided all together. There’s enough blame to go around.

But this is 2012. And another 4 years have passed. From my perspective, the question is no longer, who caused the crisis (because, make no mistake, we’re still dealing with the same crisis).

Instead, I’m asking – Who took action and most effectively dealt with the mess?

I understood Obama would be tasked with addressing the failures of the prior Administration: poorly managed wars that led to the loss of American lives, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and a decimated middle class on life support.

Despite the crisis Obama inherited, I also recognized that investments in America, like extending unemployment benefits, providing additional tax cuts, and saving the auto industry, were necessary to avoid calamity.

In 2008, I knew that ending two wars, implementing financial regulations, and restoring the middle class wouldn’t be easy tasks, especially when faced with deep-rooted unemployment, a housing crisis, and special interests with bottom lines.

Despite the toxicity of politics and corruption in Washington, D.C., I genuinely believed the Senator from Illinois would prevail.

Four years later, I’m happy to report: Obama delivered. And it’s not a question of opinion. It’s a matter of fact.

Because of Obama / Democratic efforts:

1.) One war is over and another is ending.
2.)More homes are being sold, values are on the rise, and foreclosure filings are at their lowest point in five years.
3.)Consumer protections against predatory banking are being implemented.
4.) The hemorrhaging of jobs in the private sector by a loss of 500,000 a month has been mended by 31 months of continued job growth.
5.) The rates of annual spending, revenue, and budget deficits have all decreased to levels not seen since before Eisenhower.
6.) The American auto industry is back on top delivering high gas-mileage cars, and more on the way – thus relying less OPEC
7.) Bin Laden, and 3 top leaders of Al Qaeda are dead, Qaddafi is gone without the loss of ONE American life
8.) And America is more respected in the world (except Pakistan)

Romney compared Obama to Hoover, who, similarly presided over a depression. But if one looks at the statistics, the reality is (I’ll give you just a few, to keep this short):

-G.D.P. plummeted by more than 25 percent under Hoover; it has increased by almost 7 percent under Obama.

-Share prices had their worst losses in history under President Hoover, losing four-fifths of their value during his term. Under President Obama, the stock market has had the second largest average annual gain experienced under any president (the best was under that other raise-taxes-a-bit-on-the-wealthy president, Bill Clinton), so far increasing its value by almost two-thirds.

Other than vilifying the President and terrifying the electorate on Fox News, where were the Republicans from 2009 to 2012? Because their actions reveal they certainly weren’t accepting responsibility or giving a damn about America:

Republicans engaged in record-breaking obstructionism using filibusters to bring congress to a complete stop. Over 320. To put history in perspective, during Lyndon Johnson's term with a Republican controlled Senate there were exactly two filibusters. 

They rejected bills they once sponsored, turned the Senate into minority rule, and blocked job creating efforts that prolonged high unemployment.

Republicans incited unnecessary panic by threatening to default on debt and shut down government, causing S&P to downgrade the US credit rating, which further depressed consumer confidence and impeded economic growth and hiring.

Republicans have repeatedly held the middle class hostage, insisting the Bush tax cuts need to be extended for the wealthy “job creators,” yet they ignore an inconvenient fact: the Bush Tax cuts did not net a single job and the rich have only gotten richer.

The Romney/Ryan plan will not only extend all of the fiscally disastrous Bush tax cuts for the rich—he will lower their tax bills even more. At the same time his tax plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class families, in effect turbocharging the rising income inequality that has plagued our economy.

Republicans, who have signed a pledge to Grover Norquist, and pretty much will be the defacto President (if you do no other homework, Google him) to NEVER raise taxes. If Republicans opt out of this pledge, their political careers will be destroyed. How do you think they’re going to honor this pledge?

Why is it acceptable that the political party that spearheaded the wars and financial crisis refused to pay down their debt? And why did they only become sanctimoniously prudent with spending when  Main Street needed them most?

The Republicans love entertaining conspiracy theories, but the one they refuse to engage in is the plot to oust Barack Obama, which goes something like this, when Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president”. They banked on American failure for the past four years putting party over country first, to regain power, at any cost.

It’s not the politics of Washington, D.C. I find upsetting. The reason I’m writing you is to point out – The Republican weapon of choice against Barack Obama was America.

And it all comes down to the re-election of Barack Obama on November 6, 2012… an election likely to be decided by a handful of voters in Ohio.

As someone who has voted Republican and values having a choice, it pains me to say – like the GOP establishment in 2012, the Republican contender for President is irrelevant.

The “severely conservative” Governor from Massachusetts only personifies the hypocrisy and arrogance of the Republican Party in 2012. 

This son of an auto executive, an active, practicing Mormon (a non-Christian religion) is an opportunistic business man propped up on a flimsy platform, built on positions that have all changed, not over time, but weekly, sometimes daily (abortion, gay rights, healthcare, climate change, immigration, stem cell research, tax policy, gun control, foreign policy, etc…).

Like the GOP, Mitt Romney is banking on Americans to not only blame Barack Obama for the crisis sponsored by the Republican Party, but he wants us to accept that additional tax cuts for the wealthy, coupled with increased defense spending (not asked for), in the 21st Century, where Cyberwar is a reality, and tanks are antiquated, and even more deregulation, will be they key to lowering our national debt.

It’s called math. It doesn’t add up. And quite frankly, as a voter, I find the equation – and this Republican party – offensive.

Whether you’ve voted Republican, Independent, or Democratic in the past, we all complain about corruption in politics; a government that no longer works for the people but against us. 

But seldom has the corruption been so blatant, insulting, and egregious. Ask yourself this: why would an honest Republican election work so hard, so relentlessly, to potentially keep 10 million people from voting? 

Sheldon Adleson: No Speekee Investigation
I can reward government malpractice, fortifying corruption and greed into the system by reelecting Republicans to office. 

 I can put in office SUPER PACS who can avoid investigations by the Chinese, or oil men who want low-mileage automobiles. The Republican SUPER-PACS, though experienced record profits under Obama, want more – no rules.

Koch Brothers: Banking on building low-mileage autos and fossil fuels

I can vote for a secretive businessman who profited only from dismantling American businesses that still had value, stripping them down to their valuable parts, and casting the rest aside, and allow him to do the same to our government, and stand by as he sells American spare parts to the highest bidder.

Mitt Romney, Center

I can reward tea party Republicans with their racial, gender, religious, hatred and those that exploit it consciously.

I can vote for an incoming Supreme Court that I can count on voting conservatively on the right no matter what the issue, and “justice is blind” will fade away on nearly every justice building they’ve been carved on.

I can vote for a candidate whose Presidency will look like:

a.) $5 trillion in federal spending cuts, including a 50 percent cut in Medicaid and a $134 billion cut in food stamps.
b.) ban gay adoptions 
c.) bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. 
d.) “personhood” protection to the unborn, beginning at fertilization.

Or, I can dream again and celebrate Democracy. I can back up Midwestern ideals at the ballot box and vote Democratic. I can send a message to Washington, D.C., tailored for the Republican Party in 2012…to go into deep think mode before returning in 2016.

This is America, a land of principles and character. I reject extremism, refuse to be frightened, and I won’t reward incompetence. 

You can drown out my voice, but you can’t buy my vote. 

Step aside. I choose to march forward…

Please help reelect Barack Obama and vote Democratic… assuming Republicans allow you to vote.

Warm Regards,

A New Yorker, Pennsylvanian, with Midwest Ideals who believes in you

CC: Colorado, Florida, Nevada, & Virginia