Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Romney Or Obama: How About None Of The Above?

Troy Jones makes the standard Republican case to deny President Obama a second term. Cory offers a line by line rebuttal.  As an interesting side note, it seems a bit odd that Cory mentions Governor Romney only twice; Troy mentions Romney only in the concluding sentence's injunction to "vote Romney," hardly a ringing endorsement.

I'm going to unleash my inner Libertarian and argue that "None of the Above" is the best vote. Listening to Romney and viewing Obama's record makes it clear that checking the box for either is really a vote against the more evil of two lessers. In this election, the differences are not distinct enough to justify making that vote.

Troy and Cory focus on economic arguments. This AlterNet post may be hyperbolic but it contains this kernel of truth: "Republicans [are] more committed than ever to repealing every economic gain the working-class has achieved in the last century and the Democrats [are] seemingly unable to resist." Unwilling might be a better term than "unable." Both posts provide the necessary supporting evidence. Troy correctly asserts:
Too Big Too Fail banks are getting bigger and JPMorgan/Chase lost closer to $9Billion in activities banks should not be allowed to do.  D-F made our financial system more unstable vs. more stable.
Cory responds:
I’ll grant Dodd-Frank is flawed. But a Romney return to deregulation and high-finance free-for-all is not the proper response.
I have no confidence that Obama and the Democrats will prevent "return to deregulation and high-finance free-for-all."

Let's move beyond the economy. The tea party party folk frequently contend that health care reform is the biggest existential threat to liberty that the country has ever faced. The Affordable Care Act, whatever its flaws, is not a major assault on liberty.The biggest threats to liberty are the Patriot Act, the expansion of the security state and the dismissive attitude toward civil liberties. President Obama and the Democrats refuse to repeal the Patriot Act, Obama has expanded the security state beyond Bush's ambitions.

When it comes to civil liberties, the choice seems to be between a person who will take them away with an ironic smirk and a person who will take them away with a plastic smile.

The second non-economic issue is the militaryThe United States needs to cut back on foreign adventuring. Our military is stretched too thin; the suicide rate among veterans is alarmingly high, and the drone war justifies killing civilians. Governor  Romney is rattling the sabers at Iran, and President Obama seemingly hasn't seen a drone target he doesn't want to attack.

Finally, I've never seen Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Mitt Romney in the same room.  When it comes to education policy, they may be the same person. Both will continue to pursue policies that harm more than help.

One may be less bad than the other.  For example on a Richter scale, a 10. 1 earthquake is twice as powerful as a 10; both would destroy my house, so there's no reason to hope for one over the other. Both Presidential candidates will ensure an increase in corporate influence on government, a decline in the working class standard of living, a decrease in civil liberties, and continued foreign adventuring; there's no reason to vote for one over the other.


D.E. Bishop said...

Good post DP.

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul now have Ranked Choice Voting for city elections. It works just fine.

Voters rank their votes. For instance:
1st choice - Dennis Kucinich
2nd choice - Barack Obama
3rd choice - Willard Romney

Now my vote for the third party has value. It's not a "wasted vote" as it often is under our current system. RCV opens the door for third party candidates. It's a great innovation, and, as proven by a large metro area, highly functional.

I vote for RCV. What do you think?

D.E. Bishop said...

Oh, I should explain further. When votes are counted, my 1st choice is recorded. If my first choice doesn't win, and neither does any other choice, then they go to my 2nd choice. This continues until someone has 50% +1.

This method is not time-consuming, though it does sound that way. It all happens fairly quickly. No runoffs, less expense, a clear majority for the winner.

Here you can read more about it: http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/160893345.html

BTW, this article was authored by Dems and Repubs.

Tim said...

I have long believed that "None of the Above" should be a choice in every election, even "uncontested" ones. I have also often thought that if none of the above wins, totally new candidates must be placed on the ballot.

The major flaw is that none of the above would probably always win and most offices would be vacant.