Sex, race, and FEMA in the 2012 election

Lyon Keating:

As horrible as having a hurricane sweep across the eastern part of the U.S. is the one small benefit is that the media focus has shifted from anxiety-laced reporting on the election to disaster reporting on Hurricane Sandy.  It is a nice break for at least a few days to hear of something else as I am normally glued to political shows and articles pertaining to every angle of this election.  It’s not really good for me and I need to stop but it’s a deep addiction where I relate politics to the ultimate competition of life and there is only one more week so whatever.  This has been one of the most intense campaigns in history and it’s boiling down to the very last minute.  I don’t want to go to sleep on Nov 6th and be disappointed, bitter, and depressed at my fellow man.  Unfortunately I might be, but I severely hope I don’t have to embark into that world.

I’m making a huge deal about this election.  It defines so much.  You might be saying to yourself, ‘yeah well they all are big and define so much.’  True, but there is a monumental shift going on in America and the pendulum is swaying in the balance.  People aren’t bent out of shape like they were four years ago to finally get Bush out of the white house.  There was too much energy, pizazz, meaning in either Hilary Clinton or Obama from the Democratic Party.  The true race in that election was who won the Democratic primary.  There WAS going to be a change.  People were too pissed, full of hope, swayed by emotion to really vote for another Republican.  It was fairly obvious that Bush era policies were not working and destroying America.

This election is much different.  People have short attention spans and have mostly forgotten about Bush?  “Obama created the worst depression since the great depression and NOTHING has changed” is what I hear from people.  It reminds me of years ago when people proclaimed the outlandish reason for invading Iraq was because Osama Bin Laden attacked us.  Both statements are clearly wrong and have no connections whatsoever.  People assume that since Obama took office on day one everything that happened from that day forward was his doing.  Is it the fireman’s fault when they come to a burning building to extinguish the fire when the homeowners have left?  America is the land of instant gratification and Obama has not delivered.  There is no attention being paid to the fact that Obama has weathered the storm and that America is slowly getting back to it’s former self with something like 30 months of positive job growth.  Instead, many Americans have been swayed thinking Obama is a Muslim, that he started this whole mess, and that the color of his skin is going to destroy the fabric of American society?  After four years of moderate progress, people are actually noticing now how different Obama is from past people in the white house and don’t know whether to think if it’s good or bad.  Don’t let the extreme right wing run with their thoughts or else other people will actually start believing them.

The problem now is that Obama does not have the gusto of hope and change to fall back on because people have merely forgotten what was going on four years ago.  People are thinking more about the words of the Romney campaign and how Romney now represents “the big change.”  Does it all add up?  Does the guy who was bringing the change in 2008 and taking over from the failed policies of Bush that led to the worst U.S. economy since the great depression now not stand for change?  Is his opponent who is aligned with the ideals and details related to what brought on the country’s horrible situation with Bush now actually stand for change?  The answer is yes?  Obama is no longer the candidate of change.  He is the candidate of going forward with his original ideas that are four years old now.  Romney represents change in going backwards.  Back to what we had before Obama.  It’s really not that complicated but something that resonates well in the short-term memory American psyche.  ‘Romney represents change so lets all vote for him!  Bring back what we had before and let’s create real change!’ is basically one of their campaign slogans.

What worries me most about this election are some obvious things.  Romney and the Republicans support hateful policies towards certain groups of people.  Ann Coulter who is a popular Conservative journalist came out recently and called Obama a retard.  Besides this being an extremely immature thing to say she offended a whole group of mentally handicapped people who view that word as a black man would view the word nigger or a gay man would view faggot.  There have been pleas upon pleas for Coulter to apologize but she actually insisted that she would continue to use the word because it is a word that defines a certain group of people who are mentally handicapped regardless of how the word has changed over the years.  I’m sure there was a time when hard core conservative racist traditionalists refused to not call black people niggers or Negros too, however, that point doesn’t resonate with Coulter.  Romney has not come out against Coulter’s remarks.  Strike one.

In probably the two more famous quotes of the year Republican Congressman from Missouri Todd Akin claimed that women could not become pregnant from rape and Republican Indiana Senator Richard Mourdock claimed that abortion is still wrong and should be illegal even in cases of rape.  I guess since women can’t get pregnant through rape then it’s not as much of a big deal and Mourdock continues to claim that if they happen to get pregnant then it was god’s will to happen and abortion should not be allowed.  Fucking scary, crazy as fucking shit if you ask me.  Since women are exponentially more likely than men to get raped and women are the only ones who have the option to get an abortion this is pretty much a women’s issue.  Claiming such things is an attack on women and their freedom to defend themselves.  An attack levied on them by men.  It is gross, bogus, and represents a very wrong and hateful direction we are moving towards if we put these men and those that support them in power.  Mitt Romney has refused to come out and speak against these men or their ideas directly and actually is putting out campaign commercials supporting them or just deciding to passively support them by not really commenting on the matter.  Worse still, you have Romney and other political pundits actually saying that these issues are mere distractions from the real issues of this election, which pertain to the economy.  I’ve noticed only Republican men saying this.  Is this not absolutely offensive to women that something like rape and abortion which are strictly women’s issues and crucially important and personal to being a women are not being given credit as real issues to this election?  I’m sure that if men got raped and got pregnant this would be an absolute 180 degrees difference in regards to how much attention and importance these issues faced.  Strike two and three and four and five and six!  You were out like three strikes ago crazy republicans yet you still claim you’re at bat!

And as a last little detail of an example, we’re experiencing one of the biggest hurricanes in the history of the east coast.  Obama has taking time off to direct the federal government’s handling of the crisis through FEMA operations.  Lots of people need help and deaths are occurring, housing is being destroyed, and many awful things are happening that need instant and direct attention and all the help the situation can afford.  Yet, in the Republican primaries Romney declared that FEMA was a waste of money and something that should be cut from the federal governments budget.  Have we forgotten how the recent George Bush stood by and dealt horribly with the disaster of hurricane Katrina?  How apathetic the government response was and how many people suffered and died and were displaced for months when there were resources that could have been used by a good leader to save lives and spare some of the hardships of the victims of that hurricane?  It was a total nightmare and Bush displayed he simply did not care about the welfare of normal people and now Romney wants to fall in his footsteps and even take away the option by supporting the removal of FEMA altogether.  Would this really be a good thing?  Have people actually forgotten how horrible those republican policies actually were?

So why is this election so close?  Why isn’t Obama completely running away with it with an opponent that comes from the same party and ideological base as these other people mentioned above?  Well, it surely has something to do with people not having more money in their pockets and forgetting where we came from in the Bush years.  Romney is doing a great job making people forget and making the economy the only issue as he pummels against the rights and freedoms of anybody else claiming there are other issues.

It’s also the fault of people not being informed and the sexist and racist society we still live in.  People voted for change in 2008 and they expected a sweeping change where their lives would go from awful to prosperous.  People held outlandish expectations and thought that maybe a black man who could speak well and inspire and motivate could deliver us to a better future.  These outrageous expectations were not met and now people are fearful that they have just upset the balance of the core of what makes up American society.  America desperately needs a white president again and people are being passively racist about it.  They claim they need a man that they would like to take to prom or home to meet your mother.  Why is Obama not a man you would take to the prom or home to meet your mother?  Direct reasons aren’t given and a simple smirk just usually comes about.  White America needs a man that it’s used to again and someone who can create the true change back to how things were before.  We need to dive back into putting women in their place and putting their issues second and third priority.  No more black presidents or talk of this silly change away from how it’s supposed to be.  No more abortions or silly rape charges made by women.  We tried that and it didn’t work!  God does not support it!  People are lashing out because Barack Obama did not create sweeping wealth and a conservative backlash is upon us.  People have taken a step backwards.  These idiotic people are starting to really dig deep into their traditional psyches to see what’s changed in the last four years and how it could be turned right.  They fear what Obama has brought to the table.  They fear the true change they see upon the horizon and him getting credit for it.  They want to change back now to what they know even if it harms them.  They are fearful of the physical appearance of change even though deep down they might actually agree with the substance of how it will actually end up benefiting them.  Looks speak louder than anything else unfortunately.

Even though Romney and his campaign machine are putting forth complete smut in setting the agenda for what people should be thinking about and fearing in this election it does come down people and their decision.  Given that there is no voter fraud on the side of our leaders (which is hard to believe sometimes) people themselves ultimately decide the fate of things.  One begs to wonder, though, if people are capable of making good decisions.  Can we really rely on people for deciding and voting for what is best for most people or will they only be led by their desires, fears, and half truths and what certain leaders tell them is important?  Will they blow it in the end and make the wrong decision?  The common man comes across as a powerful person, but only if he makes an effort to do so and even then he can be swindled by others more knowledgeable of manipulation tactics, those with money, or simply by the fact that he is bogged down by his own life pursuits and doesn’t have the means and knowledge or care for such things that seem outside his control.  In the book “Independent People” by Halldor Laxness it is stated, “To be poor is simply the peculiar human condition of not being able to take advantage of a generous offer.  The essence of being poor is the inability to avail oneself of the gifts that politicians offer or promise and to be left at the mercy of the ideals that only make the rich richer and poor poorer.”  I’m obviously not saying this is completely true.  Nothing is such in its extremes but it must be true to a certain extent of people voting for Romney.  There is a decision out there to be made that is much less limiting and hateful than the other.  It is one that will give half of the population in women more rights and freedoms and give other groups of people more respect.  It is one that will put more people in line to be part of a stable economy that is growing strong for the long run instead of short-term payout promises.  It is one that will include a government run emergency organization team to help people when natural disasters strike.  It is one where millionaires and billionaires stay as such but are taxed a little bit more to help out people on the bottom.  One of the American dreams is to get rich quick and Romney is the only candidate who proclaims that he will do something along the lines of this for people (or really get a job quick as I’m sure his vision of what a good job is will be different than most peoples).  We will somehow return to prosperity with twelve million new jobs and return to our core values of what made us American.  People are used to this type of political jargon and might make a bad investment in themselves.  Will they lose out on a generous offer yet again and vote in Romney and the ideals that come along with it for the already rich man while being kept content in their probably low paying new jobs?  It sounds an awful lot like a deal with the devil as very little details have been given by Romney about any of these new plans.  However, it’s a rich man’s gambling game where they set the rules and a lot more people will go broke testing out the gambling unknown and the glorious mental visions of possibly having the chance of winning big vs. those that just walk away and invest in something more consistent.  I guess we’ll find out in a week and thank god that’s all that there is left.

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