Barack Obama is a nice guy. He’s certainly easier to relate to than Rick “I Want to Barf But It’d Muss My Sweater Vest” Santorum, Mitt “I Judge Trees” Romney, Newt “Why Even Bother With a Nickname” Gingrich and Ron “The Second Coming” Paul. But I don’t think people who are optimistic about Obama’s victory have been paying much attention to reality.
Yes, Obama has been polling marginally better recently, but his approval rating is still pretty low (around 45% according to Gallup*, but I’ve heard anywhere from 27% on Rasmussen to 53% at Daily Kos). Setting aside for a moment that people who are likely to vote for President Obama are already unlikely to be voting at all, we’re still faced with a very tight race, if we assume that all of those poll respondents go out and vote the same way they did in these polls. And, yes, the approval rates of the prospective GOP candidates aren’t particularly thrilling, but we also have to remember that most people don’t pay attention to politics until around Halloween.
Young people and minorities aren’t nearly as excited about Barack Obama as they were in 2008 and many young people have defected to Ron Paul because they were too busy drawing boobs in history class to realize what a train wreck he would be (article to follow). Voter suppression is the new Black Codes, with red states passing laws to limit early voting, require IDs many people likely to vote Democrat do not have (after crowing for years that a national ID card like those in Europe is just onnnnne step away from the government implanting bugs in your fillings), reject forms of ID that people do have (like veterans’ cards) and changing the rules on voter drives. That goes without mentioning the literally limitless funds political candidates can get from corporations. President Obama’s reelection campaign has gotten $1,000,000 from Bill Maher (one of the only people I’ve seen not confident that Obama will win), but that pales in comparison with what corporations and special interest groups have been dumping on Santorum and Romney. Disenchanted special interests on the left are far more likely to punish Obama by nixing his allowance than those on the right.
Many people, including my best friend, assure me that when the General Election comes (it’s November 6th this year. Make sure you have all of your registration and IDs and whatever other hoodoo you need to do researched and submitted before August if at all possible), common sense will prevail and Obama will be reelected and he’ll stop being a compromiser and toughen up and all kinds of wonderful things. While I think it’s likely that Obama would be tougher in his second term (though not by much), that is only possible IF he is reelected. Common sense would dictate that we wouldn’t think that Barack Obama is a liberal, socialist, faggot-commie, hitlernazi, terrorist, islamist, abortionist jerkwad. Common sense would dictate that no one, no matter how much they disagreed with Barack Obama’s policies, would think that he literally wants to destroy the United States. Common sense would dictate that the Tea Party never would have made it off the ground and that Ronald Reagan could never have been electable and that the notion of teaching Sunday School in Rest of the Week School would be laughed out of the capitol. But here we are.
Simply put, my dear friends and a lot of people online seem to be forgetting how many people have been waiting for three and a half years to vote for Anyone But Obama. Mr. or Ms. Anyone But Obama has been the most popular presidential contender since November 5th 2008. He or she even received a glowing endorsement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as far back as 2010. On Election Day, the swarming masses of up to 55% of the voting-capable population are going to run out and a scary number of them are going to vote for Anyone But Obama. Lately, this person has been going by the names Romney and Santorum, but lots of people have said that they would gladly write Ron Paul in and can join likeminded
jackasses otherwise non-voters on Facebook.
While I was only a grudging Obama supporter in 2008 (I wanted Edwards.) and I actively acknowledge being incredibly pissed with Obama’s boundless tolerance for compromise, I cannot and will not in good conscience vote for anyone else in 2012. I encourage you all to get out and vote for Obama when the time comes. Not voting won’t “send him a message,” as we saw in 2010 when Democrats stayed home. Voting for a third party candidate like Roseanne Barr will hurt both Obama and your street cred now and in perpetuity. Please vote. Do not skip voting because you think that it “won’t matter.” Even if your state “always goes blue,” vote anyway. It won’t go blue if no one votes. Pay attention to politics and pay attention to local officials as well. Research the names on your ballot. Encourage your friends to vote. Do not, under any circumstances, assume that we have this election in the bag.
*Also according to Gallup, the average presidential approval rating has been 54% since 1938.