Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yes, I know who Gary Johnson is. I'm still voting for Obama.

I'm not voting for Gary Johnson.

From what I hear, from those pundits and random folks on the internet that are above all the political nonsense, this makes me a horrible, horrible person. Or, to be generous, a really stupid one. One that will willingly trade away rights for security from terrorists, one that is shielded from children being blown up in the Middle East because my focus on Obama's soothing, deep voice is all that matters. One that has compromised their true principles. One that just holds my blue pom-poms and cheers for whatever quarterback they serve up this year.   And as such, any post that might even hint at support for Barry needs to be shouted down, shut down, and dismantled because MY PET POLITICAL CAUSES MATTER THE MOST. MINE. And being that I fully admit I suffer from the same over-inflated, self-righteous ego as everyone else, it follows that I'm starting to get a bit tired of this.

I mean, sure. Perhaps my refusal to vote for Johnson could be because this Obot is just not paying attention. Perhaps it's because I totally heart the Barackster, I have to admit that it is true that I like to look at the White House Flickr pool. And yes, that man can orate the hell out of everything, so perhaps it is because I'm moved by good speeches because feelings. And in the spirit of keeping an open mind... perhaps it is because I'm just a complete idiot that puts more effort into deciding who to vote off of the latest America's Got Talent episode than I do my political elections, even though I don't watch that show.



Perhaps it's because I just don't like Gary Johnson. Yes, this is possible!

Because perhaps my refusal to give Johnson the trump card in this election and all future elections ever centers around his completely fake anti-war cred. Perhaps it's because I know that Gary Johnson supports "humanitarian" wars, which I have been paying attention to the political circus long enough to know is just shorthand for "Your wars bad, my wars good" and clearly remember when Iraq became a "humanitarian" war after those WMDs didn't surface. Perhaps it's because Johnson has said he actually might not stop those predator drone attacks his supporters constantly lambaste Obama over, and because - get this - because he wants to "keep all options on the table". I've heard that one before, too! Perhaps it's because he straight up said he won't close Guantanamo, perhaps it's because I'm not going to buy into this whole backpedal claiming he won't do bad things there anymore, pinky-swear, he just thinks we we need an offsite detention center because... tax breaks on balloons for birthday parties there? Perhaps it was his statement that he finds Bradley Manning's discretions "problematic". Perhaps I'm not impressed by his supporters whistling loudly past that graveyard...

 Perhaps I think the fact that he has no chance in hell at winning the presidential election makes this even worse (say what you like about Dr. Ron Paul, but he knew damn well he didn't have a chance in hell either, which is why he could create the illusion of being ideologically pure on these issues which is exactly what the anti-war movement needed). But perhaps I still want a candidate that is an adult, and knows I'm an adult, and seems to know at least a little bit about what he's making grand, uncompromising statements about and instead acknowledges that this is a complicated issue and not a way to rake in support. So perhaps, just perhaps, the 100% anti-war cred Johnson is granted automatically by making vague, non-specific but awesome-sounding statements about "bringing them home" sounds pretty much like all the other simplistic political nonsense that every other campaign makes. Perhaps I stopped buying into the "My pet political issues are more ethical/moral/awesome than your pet political issues" stance a long time ago and stopped using that as a character attack to argue in favor of my preferred candidate. And perhaps, just perhaps, since I'm just not seeing that issue as the best trump card ever that Johnson and his supporters can use to peel off some disillusioned Obama supporters, I'm free to look at other things. And perhaps, just perhaps, I find them seriously flawed as well.

Perhaps I can't really support Johnson because despite all the lip service he plays to the failed War on Drugs, I find giving marijuana a softer classification cause all the white middle class bros are totally into the weed now and we can't have police shooting them up isn't going to stop the drug war and is just cheap pandering to the younger libertarian base. Perhaps it's because Gary Johnson was a big supporter of privatizing prisons while the Governor of New Mexico, and it's pretty blatantly obvious (cash 4 kids, anyone?) that making incarceration profitable within the law-enforcement industry is going to lead to the creation of more crimes to create more "criminals" ready for incarceration which ends up bringing more civil liberties violations than you can shake an illegal raw milk ice cream bar at. Perhaps I can't take someone seriously when they talk about how legalizing marijuana is going to fix everything, because they don't understand that while the War on (Some people that use certain types of) Drugs is sold as a social boogeyman to the public, the real motivation behind it is financially based.

Perhaps it's because I've reached a point in my life where I feel trying to pragmatically approach these issues and make a real change for those around me is more important than patting myself on the back for setting ideals that can never be achieved. Perhaps I don't see myself as the savior of all by supporting someone that will never have a chance to run this country, but thankfully can never prove my idealism wrong when they fall short because of it. Perhaps it's because I know that politics has an real impact on people's lives and is not merely some intellectual discussion, and that for those that do not have the same privileges that I have in this life, it matters far beyond internet arguments and self-righteous circle-jerks because it hits home at the dinner table, or place of employment, or even the doctor's office. Perhaps I just can't take someone seriously when they swear that all veterans and soldiers will receive the bestest care possible always and always and always but also swears they are too ideologically pure to vote for the NDAA, which provides the funds for those sorts of things. Perhaps I can't take someone seriously that actually takes the pundits' words out of their mouths and claims they will use the "bully pulpit" to enact change, as if they fancy themselves some sort of wizard... or dictator.

Perhaps it's because eroding federal protections against discrimination does not strike me as what liberty really looks like. Perhaps it's because I don't believe that property rights trump all other civil rights, perhaps it's because I know that people are a little more complex than simple one-size-fits-all solutions and pleasing slogans about liberty and the Constitution. Perhaps it's because the Obama administration has done more on equality issues than any before it, and because I find it silly to say that a sitting president coming out in favor of gay marriage is pandering but a governor that has no record on this issue is seen as a messiah when he states he same during his run for president. Perhaps it's because I don't find my rights as a woman to be a "distraction" and an so happy that finally, a sitting president gets that.

Perhaps it's because I realize that the position of President does not equal that of a dictator, and as such, a sitting president cannot wave a magical wand and grant everything on my wishlist. Perhaps it's because I know how congress works and realize that half-assed libertarian theories will easily ram a pro-corporate policy through a big-business friendly congress while leaving the pro-people one sitting on the shelf.

Perhaps it's because I'm old enough to remember that election that was so close it was decided by the Supreme Court, that election where everyone was telling me to stop being pragmatic in my voting and go for idealism in the form of Ralph Nader instead. Yet, I didn't see where doing so changed the country or politics forever. But perhaps I did see the wars start, and perhaps I was first witness to seeing that door to widespread surveillance of citizens busted wide open, and I saw this country taken down. Perhaps it's because I'm too cynical. Perhaps it's because I'm looking at a candidate that, despite it obviously being his most loyal and numerous selling point in this election against Obama, seems to shrug off talking those civil libertarian issues in anything other than soundbites but can repeatedly provide detailed opinions and links to information on the Flat Tax. Perhaps I just don't agree with what Gary Johnson's view of liberty looks like, no matter how many flags you can find in his YouTube videos and text images on social networking sites contain his picture with some vague statement about liberty.

Perhaps it's because even though I know a complete trust in government is naive, a complete trust in private corporations is even more so, because once you go that route, you don't have the option of voting them out as your overlords. But perhaps it's also because can I see that false dilemma pretty clearly.

Perhaps it's because of the basics of libertarian theory, and I see an economic policy as boiling down to "Trade in your safety net for this crossbow and bag of beans" as naive. Perhaps it's because I know that it is survival that is key for people, so if we fall on hard times and can't get help we are not going to be Dagny's pet Peter, eternally crying on the train tracks at the life they cannot have, but will instead take any path necessary to keep going.

Perhaps it's because when the most important question ever was proposed to him, Johnson went with the horse-sized duck, which is certain death, people.

To sum up, yeah, I know who Gary Johnson is. And I'm still not voting for him.

Spin that.

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