I swear it’s like I’m psychic this week. Even before the storm on the east coast hit–at least I’m pretty sure I put it out there in the world before it hit–I posted a question asking who would be the first to blame the gays for Hurricane Sandy. Seems a little silly, right? Sure enough, someone did! And as if that wasn’t sad enough in a preposterous way, isn’t it sad that it took a hurricane to push news stories of the election aside? Not that it stopped them for long because then it became about who was doing what to help with relief and how the two candidates differ in their approaches. Let’s face it. We’re NOT going to escape this thing until the votes are counted. But then…there are stories about those, too.
Simply put, this election is a nightmare. I think, though, that it was going to be a nightmare no matter what starting four years ago. Why? Honestly, as progressive and leading the United States has convinced itself it is and as accepting of an African American president is in a Hollywood movie, that hasn’t been the case in real life. I can’t recall a more prejudicial response to our current president in all the presidents we’ve had in my lifetime. It’s appalling. And just when two parties should be working together the most to get our country out of the recession, Republicans state that it’s their main goal to make Obama a one-term president. This is why I don’t understand politics and it’s a good thing. I prefer to be optimistically naive.
The economy still requires care and recovery. We get that. We know that. Has Obama’s plan worked? Not like we hoped it would. Will Romney’s plan work? I don’t know. We’ve only heard he has a plan, not actually heard many details about it. Is this a good thing? No. I’ll be honest here and say that if Romney had a plan that would get us back on track, had leadership qualities I could respect and wasn’t about to set the GLBT community back four years or stick its nose into women’s reproductive organs, I’d vote for him. But I can’t. I have questions he hasn’t answered. We have questions he’s evaded.
Romney and Bain. He won’t answer questions about it and what he has said hasn’t exactly been truthful. Romney and tax returns. George Romney (Mitt’s father) set the precedent for a candidate showing tax returns when he presented 12 years. His own son won’t go more than two. Why? These alone are enough to make me think the man is hiding something. Should a presidential candidate be more transparent than Romney is? Absolutely! This is someone asking us to trust him to run a country while the company he was CEO of is sending jobs over to China.
And speaking of sending jobs over to China, how is it a candidate can out and out lie about the auto industry sending Jeep production over to China when it’s blatantly not true? This is from a campaign whose manager stated it wouldn’t be run by fact checkers, leaving it all open to making lies the norm. When Mitt was asked by a reporter about any incorrect information that’s been given out, Mitt stated it was removed right away. It wasn’t and there’s been a lot of it.
But this is a bigger problem than any one candidate. Obama isn’t innocent of everything and I’m not so naive as to think he is. I want to know what is so wrong with the American public (of which I am apart of) that we are allowing this to go on? When did we get so complacent as to say “Who cares if it’s true or not? It’s what I want to hear.” Why do we not demand better of our candidates? ALL candidates. I’m not sure if anybody watched The Newsroom with Jeff Daniels, but there was an episode about a debate that particular TV station wanted to host and lost because it was too truthful, too intense. That’s the kind of debate we need to be able to sink our teeth into.
Even going to the voting booth is bound to be stressful. Why? Because of stories circulating about how Romney is somehow tied to the company that makes the voting machines. Oh, yes. We’re now being treated to theorists telling us how he’ll steal the election. Is it true? Who knows? Is it possible? I’m getting to be a firm believer that much is possible if someone wants it bad enough.
Sadly, my vote this year becomes a one-issue vote. It shouldn’t. It should never be like this, but it is. It comes down to Obama’s backing GLBT rights and Romney’s desire to make our marriages illegal. Given the opportunity, Mitt Romney will make a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage. Also, this will leave it up to states to decide whether or not I can visit my husband if he’s in the hospital. I’m not family and my marriage would most likely be nullified, so I would have no right to see my guy. Romney believes it’s a ‘privilege,’ not a right. And this is coming from a candidate who believes it’s very important to be with your family when there’s something wrong, as with his wife’s multiple sclerosis.
To my friends who are registered Republicans, I don’t care that you are. I’m being optimistic here and believing that, like me, you’ll vote for who you think the best candidate is despite which party they represent. But please, think about this when you go into a voting booth; remember that one candidate is trying to take my marriage away and make it illegal in this country for me to ever get remarried. One candidate is going to allow states to determine whether or not I have the ‘privilege’ of hospital visitation with my (now) husband. One candidate has lied repeatedly during his campaign and not cared. This is who we want running our country?
Kage Alan is the Elvira’s Haunted Hills watching, 2 Live Crew listening author of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation,” “Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins” and the first book in a separate series, “Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell.”