L in the Southeast

L in the Southeast
Location
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Birthday
November 04
Title
Retired PR Director
Bio
I am a retired Public Relations professional who now writes purely for fun and catharsis. I covered most of my memoir-type pieces in the first three years here. Lately I have dabbled in politics, current affairs, pop culture and movie reviews. Life is my muse.

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OCTOBER 31, 2012 2:30PM

Ignore the Bigger Picture at Our Peril

Rate: 30 Flag

 As we stagger toward the final day of the quadrennial slugfest for the White House, we continue to see talking heads regaling us with stories of undecided voters.

How anyone who has a pulse and is not in a coma could have gotten to this Halloween day without knowing which of the two candidates has the best chance of delivering the leadership most likely to take the country where he or she thinks it should go is far beyond my ability to understand.  For better or worse, most of the people we encounter on these pages have had their minds made up for what seems like decades.  And therein lies the quagmire.

This election cycle is no place for one-trick ponies.  Recently on Open Salon there have been a barrage of political posts.  Many, if not most, are supportive, in varying degrees, of the re-election of President Barack Obama.  But there are also those that are passionately against the President.  Some don’t like either candidate and call for votes for third parties.  Others seem to support voting for Mitt Romney, but that support seems a bit tepid and comes across as more of a “not-Obama” stance.

It’s the economy, stupid!

This is the resurrected motto of those people who care primarily about the state of the union’s economy.  The President had four years to make it better.  He hasn’t (or so they insist.)  He has to go.  Next!

He’s a war criminal, dammit! 

This is the verbal bomb launched by those who cannot forgive the President for deciding not to prosecute Bush administration officials believed to have violated the boundaries in the treatment of foreign prisoners of war, as well as the use of drones in current engagements in the Middle East.

He’s weak in foreign policy!

This is usually when the hackneyed expression “Apology Tour” comes up. The recent handling or mishandling of the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in the deaths of four Americans, is usually thrown in to the mix for this argument.

He’s a socialist.  He’s a Wall Street puppet.  He is a Muslim.  He is cold.  He is a big spender.  He is a liar.  He is leading a government takeover of healthcare.

I am not here to defend or refute any of these familiar arguments.  They are either valid or invalid, depending on your point of view.

My point here is that there are a hell of a lot more things for American voters to be equally concerned about when choosing the man who will lead for the next four years.

I sense in America a strong tendency to let one or two special interest issues sway their votes.  There doesn’t appear to be enough thinking about the totality of issues that are affected by the election of a President. 

My friend Amy Abbott recently posted an excellent explanation of how important the single issue of abortion is in her native state of Indiana. Sure, many of the people of Indiana who are pro-life depend upon Medicare and Social Security.  Clearly there are many poor Hoosiers who at one time or another have benefited from food stamps and other forms of aid from the government.  But, without giving much consideration to the futures of those programs, Amy says, those pro-lifers in Indiana will vote for Mitt Romney.

For the far left voters who have written off President Obama as a George W. Bush clone and are supporting Dr. Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson, little has been said by them of the likely outcome of expending their votes in those directions.  Although none of those voters who support third-party candidates would be content with Mitt Romney in the White House, they have chosen to make a statement with their votes, and by doing so, will likely strengthen Romney’s chances to win.  What of the long-term effects of such a statement of principle?  What about the two Supreme Court Justices Mr. Romney will likely appoint?  They are seated for life, no matter who wins the White House in future elections.

Possibly more than ever before, a vote in this election needs to be well-thought out.  The bigger picture needs to come into focus for each of us.  What are ALL the ramifications of your vote?  How sure can you be of the performance of the challenger once in office?  If Barack Obama is a mini-Bush, what do you think a Romney Presidency will look like?  Is your political statement against the two-party system and its efficacy going to send the country in the direction you seek, or will it drive it in the opposite direction?

If you are reading this and you haven’t yet voted; if you still have not decided which candidate will get your vote; and if you really care about all the people in the country and not just a privileged few, please THINK before you cast your vote.

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I don't know who the undecided voters are. I think they're trying to figure out who will be better for the economy. I've said my piece on that; it's a variation of what I've been saying since my first post here. Some think that the fact that Romney has been in business gives him the edge, though personally I think he's been in the wrong place in the business world.

I will say one thing concerning giving thought and the Left. At least in the circles I travel in on OS, I see a lot more people here on the Left than the Right. What I've noticed is that none of them talk about Romney in detail, as if they're afraid that Romney actually will come out to be so much worse than Obama that they'd have a problem voting for Jill Stein. Their laundry lists about Obama are huge; it's their evaluations of Romney that are nonexistent, and you can't make a choice without a clear idea of what both sides look like. Assuming that they're the same is inadequate. That consitutes a lack of thought.

I'm not, incidentally, primarily trying to drive their conclusions, though that certainly is part of what I'm doing; I'm primarily trying to drive their process. When we say "Romney would be far worse than Obama for the following reasons," they don't even evaluate that statement; they merely dismiss it. We can't afford such dismissals, no matter how eruditely presented they are.
"Slugfest." The perfect word.
Great post, Lezlie. I think you've truly covered the bases here.
Rated
Hopefully, the rate will stick this time.
:(
Although I'm not a fan of Obama's anymore for various reasons, it defies everything logical or humane that anyone could possibly vote for Romney. I had a conversation yesterday with one of those low-information voters...and that's the main thrust of the problem I think. People that essentially don't know anything...no policy, no history, no nothin'. Yet they skim over the surface and find a logic in their shallow thoughts that makes it possible for them to vote for someone so stunningly vile.
Good that you brought up the Supreme Court.

Add to that, Paul Ryan and the heartbeat away, and that should make the case plain as day.
Appreciated and rated. xo
"I sense in America a strong tendency to let one or two special interest issues sway their votes"

You are far too kind. The real issue lurks behind the tissue of lies.

Living here in the mountains of East Tennessee, I run into "single-issue" voters regularly. But for most of them, the "single-issue" is not the one they strut and fret about. When pressed, most of them will admit their real interest is not paying taxes, but even that is a smoke screen for what they're really incensed about.

What most won't admit even to themselves is that at base their objection to government is really an objection to seeing their taxes going to "them", and I think you know who them is. Thinly-disguised racism has dominated every presidential election since the Sixties, and it came out of the closet the minute a Black Man entered the White House.

As I said before, there's no use hiding in the closet if you're a racist -- your smell gives you away.
L, I totally agree with your statement that many people have "a strong tendency to let one or two special interest issues sway their votes. There doesn’t appear to be enough thinking about the totality of issues that are affected by the election of a President."

Of the people I know who say they are for Romney, it is mostly one issue that they care about. They either don't follow or don't care or don't think about the whole package deal and the long-term effects. And God forbid if something happened, and Ryan had to take over as president. People, please look at the bigger picture & vote for President Obama!
Voters who focus on single issues remind me of something Benjamin Disraeli once said "he had only one idea, and that was wrong".
R&R Congrats on the EP.
You touch on a point that I've been trying to articulate Lezlie. I assume that voting for Stein or Anderson is done in order to advance the day that a "true" progressive will win the presidency, presumably along with 250 or so like-minded congressmen. However, I've written before that the leftist 3rd partiers underestimate how much they'll dislike a Romney presidency. But it's actually more than that.

On the Supreme Court appointments alone, another republican term or two could set back progressive policies by many years or even decades. Look what the Citizens United case did. By unleashing a torrent of 1% money, that 5-4 decision alone must have set back progressive causes by many years. And should Roe versus Wade be overturned (and you know that that's what the right is aiming at), how many years does that set things back? I'm just unconvinced that the third party math works under current circumstances.
Absolutely right-

I don't want my tax money going to THEM----

"Reports indicate Solyndra's base executive pay in 2010 was $400,000 USD [source], but another report indicates that the company's CFO received $831,000 USD [source] in total compensation that year. Thus it's likely that Mr. Harrison pocketed somewhere in the range of $500k to $1M USD before the company went under. He has refused to disclose his severance package, which may have boosted that total higher.

While Mr. Harrison might have left the situation a bit fatter financially, the firms 1,100 employees were left out to dry. The firm violated federal laws, terminating them without the 60 day notice that is required for plant closures. Solyndra has refused to pay these employees severance or benefits."

dailytech.com/Solyndra+CEO+Resigns+Clip+of+Owner+Bragging+About+Govt+Handouts+Surfaces/article23011.htm

So, long term? The Milo Minderbinder's of Global Finance have decided it's time to shuffle the deck again. If Obama is re-elected, he will be impeached over Benghazigate. ( Or do you see the dems re taking the house?)

As long as power and money continue to be concentrated to be doled out by an Imperial federal government, the globalists ( I'm sorry, Multi-national corporations) will continue to wield power.
The federal government is due for a deadlock. Hopefully the federal system will prove equal to the States re asserting the will of the People.
Golly...you say Socialist as if it's a bad thing.

Great post. W/you 100%.

r.
yyu go girl. Make the 'Sheeple" thinks.
You go girl. Make the 'Sheeple" think.
Some of the undecided simply want to feel important; they would like to justify their miserable/non-existence. The rest of the undecided, like those who will vote for Romney, are all driven by ignorance, anti-intellectualism, religious fundamentalism, tribalism, racism and hatred. Also, remember that Americans voted for Bush a second time!!!!!!

I hear someone saying, "I know some who will vote for Romney and they are really good people." That may be the case, but they are still driven by the reasons I mentioned. It is simply a fact...it is the truth.

Excellent post, Lezlie; please, promise to teach me how do you keep your cool when talking about these people. Wise, polite and relevant. Thank you. R
In the end, you have to choose priorities. The economy, the Supreme Court, the Middle East --- they all matter.

In 2008, I figured the country was split 50-50 so the Republican stood a good chance of being elected and I would have been okay with either Hillary or Obama, so I voted in the Republican primary, with the aim of choosing the lesser of evils.

When looking at the array of ideas and policies, no one struck me as great. I realized I had to choose my highest priority. I picked putting American values back into American policy (ie torture and the constitution), which left me with McCain. (Note, I did not vote for McCain in the general election, only the primary.)

I suspect for the difference between Romney and Obama, there's a whole slew of issues where some people find Romney siding with their values. I'd say stuff like gay marriage, for many Republicans, is symbolic, rather a core issue. It's a symbol of someone who shares none of their values, rather than the issue they feel the most deeply about.
I love Jill Stein, attended one of her anti-Iraq war demonstrations on the Boston Common back in the Bush days. She will continue doing good actions and social service. Her involvement in this campaign has given her much visibility and opened doors for her to run for less crucial political opportunities and win. Her values and ideology fall completely in line with my lefty post modern hippie chick leanings, but as with Ralph Nader, she cannot have my vote.

Since my first vote for George McGovern, I’ve learned to be real. No one who believes everything that I believe will run this country. My lefty utopian vision of a warless humanistic fair society runs counter to the prevailing popular cultural vision of make money/be number one/buy crap. I have long understood that the purpose of my vote is to support the candidate who is the least harmful to things I most care about: equal rights, the environment, education, health care, women, peace and peace brokering. To cast a vote for Jill Stein is to cast a vote for Romney is to cast a vote against those things that matter to me. To think of it any other way, seems to me, utter delusion.
still undecided here(checking to see i i'm in a coma).need to hire someone for this position....only 2 applicants....neither of which has an impressive resume......or work ethic....
R
Lezlie, in a way I am not surprised by the number of undecided voters. I think there are a lot of conservatives out there who have been forced to see the forest in spite of the trees and for the first time in a long while, vote for a liberal. I truly believe that the President will win a second term and I have come to believe, after studying both men, that he MUST win for the good of the country.
You're right, Ms. Southwest. Each Presidential election determines the character of the American people. In a week we'll see what kind of thought and belief dominates this country.

Right now, I'm afraid that outright racism may be the most dominant thread. That is all the Republicans have as an essential issue, especially with such a weak, indecisive candidate.

Obama has some proven record of doing the right thing, but like all Democrats, he cowers in the face of the right wing. He's tried to reach over their heads to talk to them, but he's afraid of raising counter-arguments that aren't jokes.

And for those who don't like either one, where were you when the parties were promoting candidates? Did you take part in either party? If you wanted a more liberal candidate, why did you wait to see if the parties were willing to advocate one?
Kosh: My son is nice enough to allow me to chime in on his Facebook conversations about the election. A lot of his friends from high school and college are Republicans (because their parents were, mostly.) One in particular is constantly doing the same things we see here on OS—answering questions that weren’t asked; throwing in far-right-wing links that denigrate Obama; etc. My son has asked this man at least 10 times that I have seen “Why are you supporting Romney?” The answer is never forthcoming. Instead, more anti-Obama lies and propaganda. When really pushed, he’ll say he doesn’t like Romney either, but he wants somebody who will fix the economy because none of the social issues affect him.

PW: Thank you.

Kate: I find that they all seem to quote the talking points that Romney and Ryan push ad nauseum.

Stacey: Great point. I hate to think about that so much, I forgot to include it!

Thanks Joanie and Chicken Maaan!

Tom: I have found that keeping the vitriol down garners me more information from those not in the “choir.” I have already posted about the indisputable racism that is shrouding this election.

clay ball: Thanks for reading and commenting. Good point about Ryan, too.

another steve s: LOL!

Abra: I guess that’s why I think of myself as a moderate liberal. I am too practical to throw away my vote just to be obstinate. The truth is, I don’t think we are paying enough attention to the Congress and the Supremes. Checks and balances still apply and voters need to make themselves aware of that.

Herr Rude: So, am I reading you correctly? Your single issue is Solyndra?

Jon: I know, right?

Lyle: Thanks

Thoth: There is a big difference between being a good person and a smart person. And Thoth, what makes you think I keep my cool? I just write strategically. :D

Malusinka: Malusinka, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I suspect you are right about the core values angle, but in this particular case, how can anyone actually determine what Mitt Romney’s core values are? He changes them every week!

greenheron: You are among the most self-aware people I know. What the far-left liberals will not understand is what you said in the second to last sentence: To cast a vote for Jill Stein is to cast a vote for Romney is to cast a vote against those things that matter to me.

Steel Breeze: …but those are your only choices…

David: We’ll know soon enough, but I sure hope you are right.

neutron: Well said!
Kosh: My son is nice enough to allow me to chime in on his Facebook conversations about the election. A lot of his friends from high school and college are Republicans (because their parents were, mostly.) One in particular is constantly doing the same things we see here on OS—answering questions that weren’t asked; throwing in far-right-wing links that denigrate Obama; etc. My son has asked this man at least 10 times that I have seen “Why are you supporting Romney?” The answer is never forthcoming. Instead, more anti-Obama lies and propaganda. When really pushed, he’ll say he doesn’t like Romney either, but he wants somebody who will fix the economy because none of the social issues affect him.

PW: Thank you.

Kate: I find that they all seem to quote the talking points that Romney and Ryan push ad nauseum.

Stacey: Great point. I hate to think about that so much, I forgot to include it!

Thanks Joanie and Chicken Maaan!

Tom: I have found that keeping the vitriol down garners me more information from those not in the “choir.” I have already posted about the indisputable racism that is shrouding this election.

clay ball: Thanks for reading and commenting. Good point about Ryan, too.

another steve s: LOL!

Abra: I guess that’s why I think of myself as a moderate liberal. I am too practical to throw away my vote just to be obstinate. The truth is, I don’t think we are paying enough attention to the Congress and the Supremes. Checks and balances still apply and voters need to make themselves aware of that.

Herr Rude: So, am I reading you correctly? Your single issue is Solyndra?

Jon: I know, right?

Lyle: Thanks

Thoth: There is a big difference between being a good person and a smart person. And Thoth, what makes you think I keep my cool? I just write strategically. :D

Malusinka: Malusinka, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I suspect you are right about the core values angle, but in this particular case, how can anyone actually determine what Mitt Romney’s core values are? He changes them every week!

greenheron: You are among the most self-aware people I know. What the far-left liberals will not understand is what you said in the second to last sentence: To cast a vote for Jill Stein is to cast a vote for Romney is to cast a vote against those things that matter to me.

Steel Breeze: …but those are your only choices…

David: We’ll know soon enough, but I sure hope you are right.

neutron: Well said!
Some very acute observations. But if you follow out the thought, the conclusion should be that the "American People", are hopelessly divided and at odds about what is true, what is real, and what our lost american ideals ever were. No candidate can make up for that. We are no longer an "country"; the US needs an amicable Divorce, like Czechoslovakia. had.
I do not have a vote,but I have a voice and a choice,and I have decided on Barack Obama.
r
Well said. I have many things I would like to talk to Barack about but he has my vote because any other vote makes Romney stronger and it is an incredibly tight race.
Right on, Lezlie. I agree with Tom Cordle that many of these objections are smoke screens for the real issue for some voters objection to Obama, and that is their racist sentiments.
I felt relief at the outcome. Not exultation but a feeling of "we dodged a bullet." I agree that it's hard to imagine someone who has a pulse and is not in a coma who's really "undecided." The unfortunate term "low-information voter" sounds like a euhemism for "ignorant, clueless, out of it person."
I felt relief at the outcome. Not exultation but a feeling of "we dodged a bullet." I agree that it's hard to imagine someone who has a pulse and is not in a coma who's really "undecided." The unfortunate term "low-information voter" sounds like a euhemism for "ignorant, clueless, out of it person."
All we can do is hope. Obama got my vote.
All we can do is hope. Obama got my vote.
All we can do is hope. Obama got my vote.