We All Have a Choice in the 2012 Election

YES, WE DO!

My choice come November 6, 2012 will not be a surprise, as I will vote to re-elect the incumbent President, Barack Obama.

The reasons why I will work hard to re-elect the President and try to give him an overwhelming congressional majority in both the House and the Senate are very clear to me, and self-serving as they are, I believe my actions will also benefit a majority of Americans; even those who don’t quite know it yet.  By reading the rest of my commentary,  the reasons for my stubborn partisan stance will be made clear,  and as the election cycle progresses, I shall often make myself clearer still.

What I’d like folks to envision in the meantime is what would happen if progressives woke up the morning of November 7th, and reality hit that the President-elect is not Barack Obama?

Sure,  some on the Left would feel vindicated to witness Barack Obama defeated, believing that they had won the battle of “principles” they’d waged for four years to show President Obama their disappointment in him.  They would inevitably blame him for their choice not to donate, not to work, and/or simply not to have voted.

I believe, however, for those progressives willing to be intellectually honest, and who understand the concrete reality of political consequences (see Election 2010), we must also be willing to ask ourselves hard questions before the election, as opposed to after the fact.

You see, these questions will be answered regardless, either now, or for four long years (or eight even longer years) following November 6th.

Again, if the worse-case scenario were to occur  and we end up with a President other than Barack Obama (which is not out of the realm of possibility, as there are powerful forces working hard on this as we speak), what will happen then?

Some will say that my questions are nothing more than my cynical attempt to use fear, but I strongly disagree.  I am only asking you to picture what could very well happen.  If it is something to fear, you should duly note it.

I respectfully suggest that some of the questions we should all ask ourselves, especially those who haven’t already done so, are as follows:

How will you feel when the new President nominates partisan cabinet members like Phil Gramm for Treasury, Jeb Bush for the Justice Department, John Kasich for the Office of Management and Budget, Scott Walker for Labor Secretary, Paul Ryan for Health and Human Services, Rudy Giuliani as Secretary of State, John McCain as Secretary of Defense, and Newt Gingrich as UN Ambassador?  Sure, it may not be those particular ideologues in those exact positions; in fact, it could be worse still.  Keep that in mind.

How will you feel when the new President gets a chance to replace Justice Kennedy, or worse yet, Justices Breyer and Ginsberg?  What about all of the other judicial nominees that the new President will get to choose?

How will you feel when the new President gets to sign into law the privatization of Social Security?

How will you feel when the new President gets to sign the the age increase for Medicare eligibility,  and the cutting of benefits for seniors?

How will you feel when the new President decides to nominate folks over at the FCC who would vote against Net Neutrality?  How mad would you be if the Internet became less of a factor for free speech, and more of a factor for message manipulation and propaganda?

How will you feel when the new President eliminates the mortgage modification partnership it has with banks, and you are back to being underwater, left to drown… on your own?

How will you feel when the new President re-instates the reproductive gag order on Third-World countries?

How will you feel when the new President dismantles the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

How will you fee when the new President pushes to reverse the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act?

How will you feel when the new President works to reverse Dodd-Frank?

How will you feel when the new President rescinds benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees?

How will you feel when the new President reduces or eliminates the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka Food Stamps)?

How will you feel when the new President doesn’t extend unemployment insurance for the unemployed, and won’t compromise on the issue whatsoever?

How will you feel when the new President reverses policy advances made in our relations with Cuba?

How will you feel when the new President signs the bill repealing the Affordable Care Act, and thereby nullifies the ability for patients who have pre-existing conditions to be covered by insurance companies?

How will you feel when the new President re-establishes a middleman for student loans?

How will you feel when the new President refuses to hold any discussion with labor, or to have anything to do with them?

How will you feel when the new President ignores the United Nations, and becomes their nemesis?

How will you feel when the new President decides that the Afghanistan timetable for bringing our troops home shouldn’t be followed?

How will you feel when the new President reverses the ban on torture?

How will you feel when the new President resumes the Star Wars program?

How will you feel when the new President cuts federal education spending, and pushes vouchers?

How will you feel when the new President declines to identify who comes to the White House?

How will you feel when the new President pushes to reverse the FDA tobacco disclosure rules?

How will you feel when the new President advocates to deny national funding to NPR and Planned Parenthood, and the National Endowment for the Arts?

How will you feel when the new President increases taxes on the working poor, and decreases taxes on corporations, capital gains and the estate tax?

How will you feel when the new President pushes to abolish the EPA, the Department of Education, and the FAA?

How will you feel when the new President denies climate change?

How will you feel when the new President sells federal lands to pay down the deficit?

How will you feel when the new President advocates for corporations’ right to accelerate mountain-top removal, and assures oil companies that they have nothing to fear in reference to their subsidies?

How will you feel when the new President decides to push for a DOMA-style Constitutional  amendment?

How will you feel when you have to look at this new President on the television. a President who talks in bumper sticker slogans, while being divisive. ideologically driven, and grossly arrogant, and who governs with regard to his own base and not all Americans?

As importantly, how will you feel that you didn’t do everything possible to assist in the 2012 re-election campaign because you rationalized that there was nothing good you could say about President Barack Obama, or you conveniently convinced yourself that someone else would handle your share (or so you assumed)? How will you justify protest then, or even be angry knowing that you always had a choice and yet you chose to do less than you could do?

Will you be glad you stuck to your principles, or appalled at the avalanche of radical changes proposed by the new administration? And what will you do about it at that time, that couldn’t have been done before?

Yes, there is a very clear choice, even if you really would rather not think about it right at the moment. I, on the other hand, have been thinking about it all along,  and  I’m sure there are even worse things that would come down the pike, unimaginable to me at this time.

But you know what? Perhaps this is the kind of reality-based exercise that we really need, especially those who claim to care about our future.  Perhaps now is the time to start  getting FIRED UP AND READY TO GO, because waiting until we are in an unthinkable position will be, for sure, way too late.