By Mike Whitney
Anyone who writes about the economy or politics will tell you that the chances of getting a 100 percent “positive” reaction to an article is virtually zilch. It just never happens.
Until now. Of the 50-plus e mails I’ve gotten since yesterday when Counterpunch published “Is it Immoral to Vote for Obama?”, not one person has disputed the idea that it’s inherently wrong “to cast a ballot for a man who they know will continue to kill people… to advance US policy objectives.” Among the CounterPunch readers who wrote to me, this appears to be universally true.
What also seems to be true, is that the vast majority of readers think that “killing people” should take precedent over domestic issues (like protecting Social Security) when one is deciding how he or she should vote. This is quite impressive and speaks volumes about the kind of people who read Counterpunch regularly, all of whom put principle above their own personal interests. Bravo, CP.
As for the e mails themselves, most of them were a mix of disappointment and rage like this one from Tom (real name withheld)
“Understand that. …it had been painfully apparent from Day One that Obama was a snake-oil salesman…. An immoral people making an immoral decision will get an immoral president. A democracy does not get to blame anyone else for its own choice.”
And this more reflective e mail from Jerome (name withheld):
“…Obama is a profoundly immoral man, and I simply can’t vote for him again. Obama’s repudiation of the anti-war activism of MLK in his Nobel War Prize acceptance speech is just the tip of the ice berg for me. I voted for him, but only on the grounds that that voting the first African-American into office was in and of itself a good thing. Unfortunately, he has been as bad as I expected him to be, and, like with Clinton, it’s virtually impossible to mobilize an opposition to him from his left….. I think it is time for the left to re-visit the project of building a third party alternative to the Democrats, and the only way to do that is to stop voting for the neo-liberal Democrats and vote for a third party all the time.”
best, Jerome (Name withheld)
Or this more pessimistic note from Charlie:
“…Gobomber is just another extension of the same failed bullsh**……I am getting damn close to the point of not even bothering to vote in national elections. Why bother to vote for president when the whole thing has been decided long before election day?”
Or this from Cindy:
“I voted two times for Ralph Nader during W’s reign. I did so because all my life I had voted for the “lesser of two” candidates. For the first time I found myself voting for someone I absolutely believed in, a true friend and representative of the citizen….
I have since come to realize that the answer no longer lies with politicians. The future lies with citizen movements like Occupy Wall Street and active involvement in maintaining democracy. Politicians, with very few exceptions, are a lying breed, telling whatever you want to hear to get elected, then spending the first half of their term patronizing you … and then spending the second half of the term whoring for more money…. The system is wrong, from top down….”
Thanks again, Cindy (Name withheld)
Or, the best of all from Carole:
“…Voting for ‘the lesser of two evils’….means you’re still voting for evil.”
The reaction to Ron Paul as the only legitimate antiwar candidate was more mixed, but, surprisingly, the vast majority of people said they would vote for Paul over Obama even though they identified themselves as “leftists” and almost-invariably oppose Paul’s positions on economic and domestic issues. Here’s a typical response to the Paul presidential bid from Rhonda:
“…Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for coming forward to support Ron Paul. I come from the radical left politically speaking and this is the second time I am coming forward to support Ron Paul: for peace (and a few other things).”
Best regards, Rhonda (name withheld)
So, even though the antiwar movement is in a shambles and there’s no third party candidate to challenge Obama from the left; there’s still plenty of people who plan to vote their conscience in 2012. And that’s a good thing, too, because the dissembling senator from Chicago has been a terrible president–every bit as bad as his predecessor–and he needs to get his pink slip when his 4 years are up.
Say “Good bye, Barry!”