I voted for Obama the last go 'round, but he's not getting me this time ...
The reason has nothing to do with birth certificates, debates, health care, Frankenstorm or even the fact that the United States, for the first time in its history, has had its credit rating degraded
... Weirdly my reason deals with a topic that's fundamental to the underlying concept of the United States, but something that appears to be so removed from the Universal American Mind that no one even talks about it: civil liberties.
Politics in America -at least the way it's talked about online- has become so polarized that everything
good that happens is explained by advocates of one party as completely due to their amazing work, everything bad is due to the nefarious nature of the evil other party...
Unfortunately in the case of civil liberties, it hasn't been so clean cut. Thanks to an overreaction to 9/11, George W. Bush pushed forward the biggest threats to civil liberty since the internment of citizens during World War II
, including such things as the Patriot Act
, Guantanamo Bay
, and an overly deep-reaching authority in the Department of Homeland Security.
Not only has Obama not struck down a single one of these items (although he promised to close Guantanamo in his 2008 campaign), he's done quite the opposite and strengthened every one of these concepts. But the absolute worst, by far, was an assassination order to kill an American citizen by drone in Yemen
This may sound complicated, or even histrionic, but it's not. Here's the deal:
* You don't hold people without giving them basic constitutional rights.
* When you hold people, you give their names and publicly state the charges.
* You don't hold people off of proper American soil because you know you cannot conveniently give them the constitutional rights due on American soil.
* Regardless of how you feel about the death penalty, don't condemn citizens to death without due process.
All of these fundamental, basic, principles are currently being not only violated, but bolstered by the Obama administration today in the United States.
Obama seems to get a free pass from nearly everyone is because they confuse civil liberties and civil rights ... but, strangely, it's possible to be strong in one and not another.
I can hear the Obama apologists from my snack bar here in Spain ... "But Romney is no better!"
Without any way of knowing, I'll concede that that's probably true -- although there's no way of knowing ... civil liberties have never been talked about by either
major candidate in this election.
Even though my residence is in a swing state, my degree in applied mathematics is more than strong enough to let me know my vote counts for nearly nothing ... but the vote isn't what's important here.
What´s important is awareness and discourse. If the United States wants to become exactly what the Soviet Union claimed it would be during the cold war (and we´re well down that path), that´s fine, I guess ... but I don´t understand how we get there without saying something
So the something I say is this missive right here ... and a lack of check in the Obama box at the polls.
(If this topic interests you at all, here´s some additional background reading: