I used to consider myself a pretty independent voter and voted for whoever I felt was the best person for the job. Over the last eight years though I've really changed to the point where my vote first goes to whoever has the best chance of keeping a Republican out of office. I know that will offend a lot of people but I've got good reasons for coming to that point of view.
What really bothers me about Republicans more than anything else is that they motivate and control with fear. Bush for example, those terrible terrorists will come get us if we don't go invade and occupy a country that had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attack.
If we don't pass a bail-out for wall-street fat cats; our whole economy is going to tank and die. I got news for them, it has already tanked. If they didn't fake the numbers it would be clear we've been in a depression for at least half a decade.
They fake the numbers in a variety of ways. The unemployment figures are made to look artificially low by excluding all "discouraged workers". Anyone who has run out of unemployment benefits is a "discouraged worker". Thus you can have a 30% unemployment rate, but as long as only 6% are presently qualified to receive unemployment benefits, we've only got an official unemployment rate of 6%. They exclude housing, energy, and food from the core inflation calculation. What is more important to people than these three things? And what has inflated in cost more than these three things? So you can have a 300% inflation rate and make it look like a 3%.
Given that the value of the dollar in real terms is declining at a much faster rate than the officially acknowledged rate, the gross national product, in terms of the real value of the dollar has declined year after year during the Bush term.
As bad as the stock market is performing, given the real value of the dollar, it's actually performing much worse. The bail-out isn't designed to help the economy, it is designed to transfer yet more money into the pockets of rich bastards manipulating the economy. And the fear of an already collapsed economy collapsing even further is used to motivate people to go along with it.
Look at Dean Rossi's campaign, what is he doing to try to motivate people? He talks about all the sex offenders that the state has lost track of. Talks about a supposed deficit which actually is bogus, it's a projected deficit projected by republicans.
We've got tens of thousands of illegal wiretaps totally in violation of the constitution, but the American public tolerates it because they're convinced we're in grave danger. We've spent billions of dollars on this new "homeland security" which doesn't make us anymore secure, it only takes our constitutional rights away. The people that flew the planes into the twin towers were all here on legal visas, so requiring passports to travel to Canada and back will do absolutely nothing to stop them, it only goes to transfer money from our pockets to the treasury and gives our government an excuse to again violate our constitutional rights against illegal search and seizure by requiring an FBI background check without a warrant or probable cause.
If you really look at the number of people that died in the 9/11 event, we lose more people to lung cancer in three days, more to automobile accidents in a couple of weeks, but we aren't devoting nearly the resources to those largely preventable causes of death.
The Republicans do exactly the opposite of what they pretend to stand for. They claim to be fiscally conservative, but the last two presidents to balance the federal budget were democrats, and the last three Republican presidents each ran up record national debts and deficits.
They claim to be for small government but government has grown faster and larger during each republican administration and any reduction has been during democratic administrations.
Another thing that I find problematic is that the reality of life is that change is the only thing that is constant, but the republican party wants to pretend like we can just keep on doing what we've been doing forever and it will never catch up with us. We're at the edge of collapse now.
If we are ever to achieve our human potential, we need to get out of the me/greed mode and get into the what's best for this planet mode. That's not going to happen under republican leadership.
I'm not all happy with the democrats either. Bush has stomped on almost every constitutional right we have, a number of states have petitioned the house for impeachment. The constitution requires that when such a petition is presented to the house, impeachment is the first item of consideration. When republicans controlled the house, it was no mystery why it never came to the floor. I had expected things to change when we got a democratic speaker, but Nancy Pulosi has ignored the requirements of the constitution just as her republican predecessor.
I do feel fairly good about Obama, because he is capable of thinking of energy in terms of things other than oil. He is familiar with new technologies and options available to us. McCain can only say drill drill drill. Drilling won't provide long term relief, nor will it provide immediate relief.
We've ignored our energy problem to the point now where we really have to pursue every option available to us. Neither McCain nor Obama have indicated a willingness to do this but Obama is willing to attack the problem on a much larger and broader scale than McCain. It is still inadequate, but it is less inadequate than McCains' proposals.
Lastly, I don't like the Republican party because while they are for greed and rich individuals benefiting at the expense of the masses, they aren't for allowing individuals comprising the masses the freedom to be creative and do what they do best. This country in the past rewarded individual efforts, but now it rewards corporate greed. Inventors are no longer rewarded for their inventions, instead corporate entities that own them are rewarded for their inventions.
We need to somehow turn this around. And while I am disillusioned with both the republican and democratic parties, with the possible exception of Obama who is the first leader I've seen really in my lifetime that motivated with hope and by pointing out what our true potential is, I don't find third parties entirely acceptable either. The libertarian party for example; two aspects of that platform I don't agree with are the flat-tax which doesn't take into account the ability of citizens to pay tax, and the libertarian parties support for the military industrial complex while at the same time denying that government has any other legitimate role in infrastructure.
We do need a cohesive transportation system, electrical grid, educational system, health care, etc. People who are afraid of a national health care system really should consider what we have now. We pay more per capita for health care than any other nation on the planet; yet our life expectancy is only 47th in the world and our health is generally poor.
Our existing system does well for insurance companies and lawyers, it doesn't do much good for our well being. There is so much potential we could realize if we were willing to get past the fear and do what we need to do to change our future for the better.