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Whaddya Mean, Don't Vote!

By       Message WILLIAM FISHER     Permalink
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  By William Fisher  

Thank God, we are almost finished with the stupidest, least helpful, most irrelevant, presidential contest in living memory.

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Garnished with the most brainless series of "debates" in the history of Presidential candidacy.

At least, when it began -- during the primary -- some of it was fun, in a prurient way. Women came forward to accuse Herman Cain of crotch-grapping. Rick Perry couldn't remember the third of the three Cabinet departments he was promising to abolish. And so forth.

Funny? Yes, up to a point. After that, downright embarrassing. Not for the candidates; they're free to make total fools of themselves -- and they did. Embarrassing for the country.

Just think of it. The people who thought they would be absolutely dandy leaders of the richest, most powerful country in the world, unable to enunciate a simple declarative sentence!

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But what there was of fun soon melted into disaster -- when people began to realize what wasn't being debated. Climate change. Immigration. Our off-the-charts incarceration rate. Our so-called "war on drugs.' Racial profiling. Our military-industrial complex. Our vanishing middle-class. Our abandon of the mentally ill. And on and on and on.

There is arguably only one other kind of issue so elemental that its omission conceals the incendiary material that could actually bring us down.

It is our civil liberties -- the freedoms we are guaranteed in the first ten amendments to the Constitution -- the Bill of Rights.

By which I mean such issues as prisons, extraordinary renditions, Guantanamo, indefinite detention, military commissions, gun crime, warrantless wiretapping, National Security Letters, the Drone Kill List, Afghan corruption, infiltrating Muslim mosques, the rule of law, religious freedom, judges who aren't ideologues, and on and on and on.

In hour after hour after catatonic hour, the words "civil liberties' were not mentioned once. Not once.

Yet there are no values that come even close to constructing the picture of America these freedoms help us build and maintain.

And on these, our candidates were silent.

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To my in-box this morning came an article written by an Internet friend of mine. It urged me to "not vote, or vote independent." Well, as Rachel Maddow likes to say, "That would be fulfilling someone else's plan."

And indeed it would. So, no I won't sit this one out. I'll vote for Barack Obama as far superior in everyway to the tin-man of Washington.

I'd rather vote for Gordon Gecko.

And hope we do better four years from now.


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William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)

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