Like a lot of people in the United States, I can’t wait for this year’s presidential election to finally be over. I’m tired of the constant stream of negative television advertisements, the incessant ringing of the telephone with pre-recorded messages from politicians, and the hard-lined divisiveness of my country.
We have an awful lot of problems that will never be solved with ten second sound bites aimed at painting one’s opponent a villain hell bent on destroying the country. Unfortunately, it seems that if a politician doesn’t play that game, it hurts them in the polls. For whatever reason, the American public still prefers the image of the swaggering tough guy who beats the hell out of his opponent to the detriment of having a civil productive conversation that actually gets at real solutions for the many problems our country faces.
Problems like making good education available and affordable to all Americans, getting ourselves out of the endless pit of war that the previous president so flagrantly got us into, creating decent well paying jobs, energy independence focused on alternatives to fossil fuels, making sure that we don’t spend more than we have, and ensuring a safety net for the poor and elderly. In my humble opinion, these are the most important issues that our country must grapple with in the coming decades if we are to have any hope of climbing out of the mess that we are in. I say decades, because these are not problems I’m naive enough to believe can be solved in a short period of time. It took decades to get us where we are and unfortunately, it may take that amount of time to get us to some place much better. We can’t always have what we want when we want it. I learned that as a kid.
Both candidates are talking about these issues in their ten-second sound bites. But, given the complexity of these issues and the manner in which they are discussed in the political campaign, it’s often hard to trust that the candidates have a plan let alone a means by which to achieve it. That’s why, for me, I’m voting based on which candidate I believe has his heart in the right place and isn’t simply saying what he thinks I need to hear. Based on my own personal experience, I do not, nor will I ever trust Mitt Romney. That’s why I will never vote him.
I recall when Mitt Romney was running for United States Senate against Ted Kennedy that he said he would do a better job of protecting gay rights than Senator Kennedy. I really liked what I’d heard from this supposedly fiscally conservative socially moderate Republican candidate. Fast forward to spring of 2004. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts had determined that it was unconstitutional to prevent people like my long term partner and I from marrying. All the while that we were planning our May, 2004 wedding, Governor Romney was doing everything in his power to prevent our marriage. I believe at my core that he did it because he wanted to eventually run for president. He said what he had to say to get elected in Massachusetts and then threw the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens under the bus. I will never forget what it felt like to be so excited and happy about getting to marry the love of my life juxtaposed against the fear that it could all be pulled out from underneath us at the last minute because of one man’s political ambitions. He called his change in position evolution. I call it a self-serving lie.
I recognize that blogging about politics is a risk, but the issues of our country are just too important to remain silent. Wouldn’t it be nice if both parties could set aside the nonsense and really work together to solve our problems. As long as we either encourage, or let them get away with the nonsense, don’t expect them to do it. They wouldn’t sell the nonsense if we didn’t buy it.