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Don't Sit This One Out!

By       Message Jill Jackson     Permalink
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From Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader?
Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader?
(image by Gage Skidmore)

Yes, I'm disappointed by President Obama. I had a lot of hope when he was elected. I was hoping he'd be more like FDR, with a dynamic stimulus program that would create jobs across the US. I was hoping he'd prosecute the Bush regime criminals. I was hoping he'd raise taxes on the rich to Eisenhower levels and reinvest the dollars in the poor, and the working and middle classes. But, between the money sources to which Obama was beholden for his election, and the active intransigence of the Republican opposition, perhaps it was idealistic to expect the President to be able to do more. Simply getting the Affordable Care Act through and insuring 8 million more Americans was a heroic achievement. So, no, Obama didn't create Social Security, but at least he didn't decimate it. No, his mild stimulus programs weren't a TVA "New Deal", but at least he didn't impose crippling austerity to magnify suffering for everyone except the .001%. Do I wish that Obama had been less of a war president? Of course. Aside from the human costs overseas, those dollars would have been better used here at home. Do I wish that Obama had moved forward with a balanced and reasonable immigration reform program? Again, yes, but clearly he couldn't climb the wall of resistance that the Republicans put up to limit his actions and achievements. Nevertheless, though Obama could've done better, things could've been much worse. And will be if the Republicans have control over both the Senate and House.

Let me count the ways: Chipping away, or even frank repeal of the flawed but better than nothing Affordable Care Act. Decimating Medicare and Social Security. Decimating Medicaid, and leaving the growing numbers of poor, working class, and disabled Americans in a Dickensian hell without food, shelter, or healthcare. Starting the Keystone Pipeline to further destroy our climate and maintain our focus on fossil fuels rather than alternative energy. Decimating women's rights and restricting women's freedom. Suppressing minority voters. Austerity programs that will cut social services, salaries, and pensions--targeting the poor, disabled, working and middle classes. Tax cuts for the rich, who will continue to grow richer and pass on their wealth to their relatives in their elite communities and institutions. Boots on the ground in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. A Republican wave would be a disaster that would further promote the devastating inequality that is making the 99% suffer, kill millions in the war zones, and bring us once again to the brink of a cold and possibly nuclear war. All serving to enrich the 1%, who could easily hop on their Gulfstreams and escape to Singapore or another haven to avoid the destruction they have wreaked in the US.

The 1% and corporations now control the media. Progressive talk radio is a mere whisper, no longer a voice, in the wind. I find it amazing to see middle and working class people in states like Kansas once again voting against their own interests, fooled by the Mad Men barrage that has been bought and paid for by the 1% to convince the 99% to suffer further so that the super-rich can become ever richer. If you are a progressive and, either because you are disappointed in the President, or believe you have nothing really at stake in this election, plan to "sit this one out", please don't. We have an incredible amount at stake, and we must all vote, and vote the progressive perspective. And, even more, even at this last minute, we much all go out and try to undo the damage that the 1% have done to our centrist and conservative friends and colleagues, and show them why voting for a progressive or Democrat will more likely improve their lives.

Don't sit this one out. Our future depends on it.

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Jill Jackson is a writer, mother, wife, military veteran, and hard-core pacifist and liberal. She swallowed the red pill after 9/11.

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