If you’ve read any of my other posts you know that I am a leftist. Many would sneer and call me far left and I welcome their hatred.
I know the left critique of Obama. I agree that he is a mainstream shill for capitalism. I agree with Glenn Greenwald, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, etc. that the Democratic Party is just the slightly softer wing of the Corporate Party.
I agree that his foreign policy has been nearly as militaristic as that of the Bush administration. Some say he has actually been worse. His kill list and use of drones is unconscionable. His failure to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay was a betrayal.
His unwillingness to stand up to the Rapacious Right on tax policy, corporate welfare, and deregulation is disgusting but not surprising. He was late to the game on gay rights and his refusal to advocate for a single payer health care system was pragmatic at best, pathetic at worst. His failure to fully address global climate change may someday soon be recognized as tragic.
And yet… He is not Mitt Romney. Where I part ways with my left brothers and sisters is in their insistence that there really is no difference or that voting for Obama rather than for a third-party candidate is simply capitulation.
There are significant differences and the future direction of the Supreme Court is just the most obvious.
Despite their immoral militarism, an Obama administration is far less likely to make an ill-advised foray into Iran. The compromised and weak Affordable Care Act is clearly better than the No Care Act of a Romney/Ryan administration. Obama’s pandering to the wealthy would make him look like Castro in comparison to the thousand-dollar-boot-licking we would get from the Ayn Rand crowd.
Women, children, the poor, immigrants– all would be severely harmed if the unthinkable were to happen and the soulless bullies, greed-mongers, and closet racists were to ascend to power again.
Sorry my leftist friends. I do love you and I agree with most of your analyses. But it is too easy for privileged academics and pundits to make the argument that things have to get worse before they can get better. Not voting for Obama is casting two votes for Romney. I would rather jump into an active volcano.
For more thoughts on this imperative check out a recent Nation blog post: http://www.thenation.com/blog/169999/why-progressives-should-vote-obama#