Let’s Get This Over With: Election 2012

by Danielle C. Belton

For the past 18 months going on FOREVER, we’ve been knee-deep in the United States of ObamaRomnica. The pointless back and forth. The jabs. The constant chatter about the presidential race as if it’s no difference from sports – particularly baseball – where “screw facts,” your gut is supposed to inform you.

You just “feel” like Babe Ruth is the home run king even though there’s two guys named Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds ahead of him. He did it without steroids! (And with racial segregation that kept him from playing against a whole bunch of athletic wild cards called the “Negro League.”)

But blah, blah, blah “HEART” something, something.

It should surprise all of but five people who’ve never read my writing before that I’m not a Mitt Romney supporter. I was Team Obama in 2008. I’m still on the team now, albeit more tired and beat up than I imagined I’d be after the “Fun Run” that was 2008.

In fact, even though I’m a supporter of President Obama come hell or zombie apocalypse, I too felt much like the little four-year-old girl YouTube who burst into tears simply upon hearing the president and Mittens hell-foresaken names for the BILLIONTH time in the last five minutes.

But, you know what? I can afford to be completely jaded and apathetic because at the end of the day – I’m voting anyway. I’m hard core. I’ve followed every election since 1984 when Jesse Jackson got pushed out of the way for a disaster date with Walter Mondale.  (Both were going to lose, but I bet Jesse could have lost in a much more memorable and epic fashion to Ronald Reagan other than just lying there and getting clobbered.) The dirty, irresponsible, cruel and compromised nature of politics can’t affect me because I’m immune. I’ve been exposed to the disease for so long.

But if I’ve caught an Apathy Cold, I worry that some of Obama’s black supporters have whatever is the Apathy-equivalent of Apathy terminal cancer.

I worry that they won’t show up and vote because the message has gotten lost in the constant stream of crap pouring from our radios and televisions and laptops. I worry that people may feel too tired, defeated or distracted to get their hearts broken all over again by the cruelty of our political process.

So, to you folks thinking, “Meh, maybe I won’t vote at all. Obama’s got this, right? NATE SILVER SAID SO!” let me paraphrase Sheriff Rick Grimes from my favorite television drama, AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

“THIS PRESIDENCY IS OURS. WE’VE SPILT BLOOD … AND BY ‘BLOOD,’ I MEAN ‘DONATED MONEY!’ WHICH IN THIS ECONOMY MIGHT AS WELL BE BLOOD, AMIRIGHT?”

I’m sorry. I totally don’t care if you’re tired. Or if you think not-voting is even more American than voting. And I’m not talking voting simply for voting’s sake because people fought and died so you can do so, although that’s not a bad sentiment. (MLK didn’t do all that walking around for his HEALTH, you know!)  No, I’m talking about taking the time to inform yourself, digest the facts, get involved and make an educated, nuanced and pragmatic decision out of taking some agency in your life. We’re only at the whim of politicians WE DON’T VOTE FOR. If you’re a voter, those same politicians are at the whim of you, because you’ve become important. They need your vote. They have to appeal to you. They have to work with you. Or at least send the First Lady and Valerie Jarrett as proxies.

It’s not that I think ol’ Mittens would be a “bad” president. Ol’ George W. Bush set that bar so low that Romney would have to break his own back while starting a nuclear war with Pakistan to limbo underneath it. It’s that I have NO IDEA of what kind of president I’d get with him. He helped create the model for so-called “Obamacare,” in Massachusetts as governor, spends most of his career crowing about it and patting himself on the back for it, but the minute health care for all becomes CONTROVERSIAL thanks to the Notorious GOP, it’s like “I’ll get rid of Obamacare on my first day … but still try to keep almost every popular provision in it.”

There’s the fact that he seems to think every woman in the United States is currently living in the 1950s-60s Mad Men-era of “Are you a Peggy, Joan, Drunk Betty or Invisible Carla?”  Birth control is controversial? Sure it was … in 1960s. Women in the workplace balancing it with their home life is at times difficult? I guess so, but we’ve known that since … the 1960s. Women sometimes get pregnant, but don’t want to be pregnant and sometimes it’s under horrible circumstances like rape or incest? They might be considering abortion or other options like adoption, but want to have the CHOICE to do so based on their individual circumstances? CRAZY TALK WE’VE ONLY BEEN TALKING ABOUT SINCE THE DAWN OF MANKIND.

But it’s not just women-folk that are still fighting off Don Draper’s advances. Romney wants to start shit with Russia for old time’s sake even though the Cold War has been over since Republican God Ronald Reagan smote while riding a velociraptor with a wink and a manly “There you go again” back in the 1980s. Or, for you nerds, in 1991 when the USSR completely collapsed 10 months after “Competent” President Bush (Poppy version) won the Gulf War.

The only thing I know for sure is that Romney thinks if you make a quarter-million dollars a year, you’re “middle income”  and he considers hedge funds to be “small businesses.” So, I’m pretty sure if you’re Alex P. Keaton, Romney’s your guy. If you’re Gordon Gekko, vote Romney. If you “Always Be Closing,” vote Romney. Go nuts. It’s the only area where he seems to have some consistency. Money is good. Can you make money? He likes you. He’s like the world’s least dynamic rapper. I’m almost positive that if you distill Romney’s economic views down to its purest level this song starts playing.

President Obama is flawed. He’s not your personal savior or unicorn. If anything, I think he actually has a lot more in common with his more starry-eyed supporters in 2008 because he really did think he could just show up in Washington talking all measured, positive and rational and change the game. But politics is a disease that has no desired of being cured. This is why a true, feral political animal like Bill Clinton thrived so well in that putrid swamp of double-speak and lies. President Obama doesn’t really want that stink on him, but hey, buddy, are we going to do this or what? (That was honestly my response to his first debate performance, where he looked like he’d rather be anywhere than here.)

So, to the president: Stay on 10, stay focused, no matter what you do, if the GOP says the sky is blue, get a second opinion, and try not to get apathetic about your own presidency.

As for Obama’s near catatonic supporters, good lord, no matter what Nate Silver says, go vote on Tuesday. If it’s not a landslide I’m afraid it’ll they’ll call it for Mittens on some obscure technicality. So go vote. And take some other folks too lazy to take themselves to the polls to go vote too. Then spam this post on people’s Twitter feeds and Facebook pages.

Even if you’re an Apathetic Black Obama Supporter, you can never really afford to be an Apathetic Voter. You may notice that the people who have the least time for the political process are the ones often the most affected by it. Poor people don’t vote as much as middle class people, black people (at times) have not voted as vigorously as white people. Working mothers are too busy working and chasing after kids. (Although I don’t quite get how politicians treat women though since women vote more than men and are over half the voting population. Obama should be passing out free birth control while he sings “Isn’t She Lovely” to all of us.)

But it shouldn’t be shocking if you’re in the group no politician cares if they upset. They only care about that vote. And that vote is your power.

Get your leverage, vote and then hold your politicians to it.

  • Pseudonym

    OMG, yES!!!!!!

    After Tuesday, I need a BREAK from politics! I don’t want to see another campaign ad for the next 3-6 months- at least let me get through the winter holidays with my egg nog and no worries.

    …but then- no matter the outcome- we’re going to have to change over Congress during the mid-term elections. If Obama wins, that’s the only way anything progressive is going to get done. If Romney wins, that’s the only way to keep the extremist conservatives from taking over.

  • Apple

    I think if mittens won I would turn off all the lights, get under a blanket and sob uncontrollably for days

  • Dalili

    “But it shouldn’t be shocking if you’re in the group no politician cares if they upset. They only care about that vote. And that vote is your power.” Amen, you can say that again!!

    I voted early this year, I’d pretty much made up my mind when I saw the GOP candidate pool. So yes, I’ve been ready for this election to be over and done with before campaign season even began.

  • http://gravatar.com/dukefang Duke

    If you can stand in line to buy sneakers, you can do it to vote. If you can stand in line to get into a concert, you can do it to vote. If you can stand in line to get into the club, you can do it to vote. If you can get up at the butt crack of dawn to Christmas shop, you can do it to vote.

  • __A

    Yes. I will be so happy when this is over, but I just can’t get with the apathetic crowd. If people are upset that Obama hasn’t delivered us from Egypt with a flick of his wand, I don’t really understand how sitting out and letting other people decide that Republicans should get back in there and do what Bush did is helpful. I mean I am not a blind supporter of Obama, and he definitely deserves to be criticized about some things, but I think black people should have done the apathy thing during an election of the past. Times are too tough right now and the Republicans are the most extreme that they’ve been in years. It’s not that I’m all hope and changey about Obama. I simply think he’s a better choice than Romney – the lesser of two evils. Even though Mitt Romney is trying to swing back towards the middle and be more moderate his party is being overtaken by extremists.

    I think apathy might sound cool. I mean Democrats do take our vote for granted, but I don’t know how anyone can consider apathy when there’s a possibility of extreme Republicans taking over the country. For me, it’s about Obama and the Democrats being better than Romney and Republicans. If Republicans were moderate, I could see trying apathy, but they are not. We’ve heard this before: tax cuts that somehow magically pay for themselves, cutting spending and spending more on the military. Yea, now is not the time for apathy.

  • http://twitter.com/gennatay Gennatay (@gennatay)

    “He’s not your personal savior or unicorn”
    ^^ This LOL

    I am tired of the ads and the emails from both political parties. They really flooded my inbox last week. I am really looking forward to the mid-term elections and helping to get the word out that those election may be more important than this one.

  • Pseudonym

    and if you didn’t want to wait in line, you had the option to early vote.

    I walked into downtown Chicago last Tuesday and there wasn’t even a five second wait.

    [*boom*]

  • Anthony

    I know I would rather stand in line four hours to vote than have four years of Romney and a lifetime of f’ed up Supreme Court appointees!

    Better yet, vote early if you can, I did!

  • Pseudonym

    “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    Yes ma’am. I was just thinking that TODAY! Imagine how the campaign staff are feeling right about now. lol :)

    I’ve made my decision #Obama but I pray that the best man for the job will win and may God be with him. He’s got a big job ahead of him for the next 4 years.

  • Rue

    Trust me, there will be no sleeping in either camp tonight!
    That being said, Obama 2012!!
    Also, if O wins,(pleasejesuspleasejesuspleasejesuspleasejesus!!!), who is ready to watch the thick necks and short skirts on fox news internally combust? Anyone?

  • Jo!!!

    Some guys just yelled “Nigger” at me out their car while i was walking home, and i’m gonna take a guess and say it has something to do with the election.

  • http://twitter.com/nikkib1920 Nikki Bee (@nikkib1920)

    I am so ready for this thing to be over. Then I saw the video for “Gotta Get Mine” and bout fell over. I will be at my polling place at 7 am, when it opens, with my coat, gloves, scarf, some coffee and my Nook. I take my vote seriously because it is MINE and it gives me a say in what government does or doesn’t do for me and my daughter. Shame on you if you don’t vote. If you don’t vote, DON’T COMPLAIN.

  • msmartin

    I cannot wait to vote, I also cannot wait to tell a whole bunch of people to immediately take and seat. I have had it and if I never hear or see Romney again, it will be premature.

  • __A

    @Jo!!! – If Romney loses, there will be a lot of that going around I think.

  • The Comment

    LMAO!!!!!! LMAO!!!!!!!!!

    Ya’ll funny AS H E L L

    Start chit w/Russia for old times sake.

    Fuck that’s funny.

    And bring out the singer Sting’s depressing ass video “I hope the Russians Love their children too…” let us all slit our wrists together now.

  • The Comment

    Ok……NOW!!!!!!!!! I want signs that read…THROW THE BUMS OUT!!!!!!!!!! DO A COMPLETE 1 MILLION 360 ON THEY BUNK AZZ!

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    @Rue … lol (pleasejesus))I know right. Oh yes .. . The fools at “Faux” news are gonna cut up for sure. It’ll be early morning before we get the news here though. No sleep either.

  • Melissa

    I am happy I voted and got it out of the way. I spoke to my mother this morning and she told me there were no voting machines in her area set up (in East New York Brooklyn). She ended up going to another school close by to vote because her first location was not set up. When she arrived to her second location, the voting machines arrived after 7 so she is waiting patiently for everything to work hopefully. It makes me sad and angry because this should have been set up so people can readily vote. I am happy she is being patient and not letting this discourage her from voting.

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