In the past several days I've noticed a few diaries and comments that are suggesting that now that the 2012 election is drawing near it is imperative that we circle the wagons and support our guy. I've even seen it said that we should ratchet up the praise and mute criticisms of President Obama:
We must be critical (28+ / 0-)
but we should be critical quietly.
I suppose that even exhortations to stfu about criticisms of the candidate are not terribly surprising this close to an election, but I've been paying attention to the language that many folks here have been using to explain why we must prevail to be worth extending a bit of attention to.
Over a longer period of time I've seen comments and diaries that suggest that we must strongly support President Obama because the alternative is too awful to imagine.
I'll post some examples of this over the squiggle.
Please note that I'm posting these as examples, it's not intended to call anyone out.
A lot of folks seem to believe that if President Obama loses, a sort of creeping fascism will grip America, this comment is typical of the genre:
I want to talk about what a Republican victory would mean? Bush II on steroids. This bunch of crypto-fascists running the Republican primaries would impose austerity, thereby pushing us into a Depression. The NLRB would be gutted, as would EPA (Yes, I hated some of the Obama admin decisions this year, but there still is an EPA). With the supreme court, Roe v. Wade would be jeopardy.
Many people say that an Obama loss will mean a generational loss of the Supreme Court, thus endangering much of the edifice that liberals have fought for over the years:
Think of the supreme court.
Think of all of the other appointed judges.
Think of the enormous harm republicans can do.
Lots of folks consider that the Republicans are just bent on destruction because it's what they do:
Not being overly dramatic here. Republicans want to destroy this country. They don't see it that way, but they have never been known for their foresight or compassion. We are out here alone. Fortunately, most of this site understands the weight of what needs to be done.
Some folks appear to feel that the loss of the White House would commence a catastrophic period of oppression:
By not holding your nose and voting Obama (as I will), you are effectively voting FOR whatever incompetent lunatic fascist the republicans vomit up onto America's living room carpet. ...
The only goal of the republican party (and too many in the democratic party) is to see you and everyone you love dying, naked, bleeding, starving and homeless in the streets after they steal every last penny you have and kick you and everyone you love in the teeth. They have to lose if America -- and that includes YOU -- is to have even a chance of surviving.
As awful as Obama has been, he is still better than ANY republican. Not voting is a death wish.
There's a lot more of this sentiment expressed on this site to choose from, and if you want to, here are some more links to everything from dystopian visions of a Republican future to run-of-the-mill observations about the likely fate of unions, the probable demise of net neutrality and the likelihood that Obama's signal achievement, the Affordable Care Act would be scuttled should the republicans win.
I'm pretty sure from the prevalence of these statements that they're commonly held notions of political reality, that is that the election of President Obama and sufficient numbers of legislative Democrats is all that stands between the America we know and a troubling future.
If this is really what folks believe, then I would like for you to ponder the following question:
What do you call a country where the liberty and welfare of the vast majority of its citizens relies upon the whims of one ruler or a small coterie of governing elite?
Here is one rec-listed analyst's take on the precarious political state that we exist in right now:
We do not control our own lives, and people hostile to our nation's core values control all of our mass-media sources of information. Faceless corporations own our homes, own our cars, draw the zoning lines in our cities to benefit themselves, take over roads and public spaces (and police! and jails!), tells us where we can go and when, educates our children in how to be obedient workers and insatiable consumers, and "informs" us of what they want us to know while ignoring anything that does not serve their agenda. Their money now draws from a bottomless international well fed by the slave labor of billions, not mere millions.
The above quote comes from a very recent diary that made the top of the rec-list here and stayed there for a while. It got more than 300 recommends and almost 800 comments as I write this and not one of the reccers or commenters found the above statement remarkable enough to comment upon.
If you believe the statement in the above quote to be more-or-less accurate, then wouldn't that make elections at best an elaborate charade? If these "faceless corporations" really run our lives and have captured the government, will the election of the same politicians who have allowed this capture and domination and don't appear to have made a vigorous effort to use their regulatory powers or to set things right really make much difference?
I would guess though, that despite the apparent popularity (or at least uncontroversial nature) of this view, that many will find it to be a somewhat hyperbolic statement of our political reality.
After all, it's not like the man who will become the next POTUS can jail you indefinitely in military detention without process or send out drones to impose an extrajudicial death sentence on you in a foreign country.
I mean really, it's not like if you're a little too brown, the wrong religion and/or are accidentally born with the wrong name that you can be disappeared, denied any right to representation and brutally tortured for months in a gulag or something. And, geez, it's not like regular americans who seek to air their grievances, or say, a bunch of anti-war religious pacifists or members of any number of groups like Greenpeace, PETA or the Catholic Worker Movement have anything to worry about.
Seriously folks, it's not like the lesser evil that we're all supposed to vote for has been working to institutionalize policies that endanger average Americans privacy and civil liberties. And it's not like our guy has tried to weaken your rights, after all he only reluctantly signed an act which pretty much attempts to abrogate the 4th, 5th and 7th Amendments and the Posse Comitatus Act.
Seriously though, if you really believe that an electoral loss would cause the demise of your welfare or liberty, doesn't that signal that the whole system is in desperate need of replacement - a transformation that an election strategy is not likely to accomplish?
If winning an election is your best solution because it means that the demise of your welfare and/or liberty will be slower, then haven't you lost far more than an election already?