I'll admit it, I was a diehard Obama fan. I lost sleep in the 2008 election worried about the possibility of a President Palin (Yeah, I was fearing the worst). When he won, I just remember feeling, and thinking, "Things have changed and will continue to change. This president is going to be different." I know he had an incredibly hard job to do. Eight years of a presidential mess that has to be cleaned up in two years, because our election cycles are ridiculously and unnecessarily long. Yet, I had (what's that word?…) hope. Not just hope, faith that Obama could get many of his campaign promises completed, and put America on a different path.
He started off well by promising to close Guantanamo Bay. Then a democratically controlled Congress reared it's ugly head, and despite the President's party having the majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives, nothing the president wanted got voted through, or whatever was voted through was so watered down the law might as well not have existed. I was still hopeful though, until I started looking at Obama's foreign policy where he plays a 'real' executive role. Even after winning a Nobel Peace Prize, he did not really end America's two wars and don't even get me started on his severe use of drones.
He failed me, and other Americans, domestically and internationally, but somehow if we voted him in for a second term, he would finally get the confidence to do what he should have been doing during the first? I guess he forgot to factor in lame duck status. If he thought it was hard to get laws passed in a democratic controlled Congress, wait until his final two years in office where no one even cares that he is president anymore.
So, I didn't vote for Obama. In this duopoly we have, that would lead people to thinking that I voted for Romney. Two sides of the same coin, my friend. I chose to give my vote to a third party candidate, Jill Stein of the Green Party.
She has sound economic policies that would have blown both candidates out of the water had she not been arrested when she tried to walk in to the main presidential debates. She is for bailing out families and students, stopping drones, vetoing NDAA, which allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens without trial, and fighting the climate war, which Hurricane Sandy proved is necessary.
Climate change wasn't even mentioned once during the presidential debates, because it doesn't matter to those that have money. As Hurricane Sandy proved, you need to be rich to be able to weather the storm. So climate change at its heart, is a poverty issue, and the 100+ million Americans who live at or below the poverty line, along with climate change, weren't mentioned once during the debates either. Coincidence? I think not.
As I mentioned previously, I believed in Obama, and that's probably why I couldn't bring myself to vote for the person he became as president. What angers me the most is that Obama had, at the minimum, a chance to change the conversation, and he didn't. Are two morally ambiguous terms better than one term where he stood up for those that don't have the money to lobby Congress or buy elections? Had he done that maybe then people wouldn't be defecting to third parties or, worse yet, not bothering to vote at all.