Sunday, October 14, 2012

I Will Not Vote For Mitt Romney

Since the age of eighteen, I have seen myself as an evangelical Christian voter. I believe in the authority of Scripture, and I consider issues like abortion, national defense, budget deficits, health care, and immigration when deciding which candidate to support in presidential elections. In the upcoming presidential election of 2012, I will not vote for Mitt Romney, and here's why.
First, on the abortion issue, beginning with Ronald Reagan, every Republican presidential nominee has campaigned as the pro-life/anti-abortion candidate. But none of those nominees who actually reached office did a single thing to effectively change the law on the topic. All they did was campaign on the issue, raise money on the issue, and use it to incite voters to vote for them. I’m tired of being manipulated. So, I’m not basing my vote on the abortion issue.
Mitt Romney, a former Wall Street fund manager, is the Corporate America candidate, backed by powerful people with lots of money. Most conservatives think his ties to the business world are a good thing and are convinced that what’s good for major corporations is somehow good for private individuals. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The people and entities bankrolling Romney’s candidacy - major multinational corporations, banking and finance companies, and super wealthy individuals - are bent on making government nothing but the lapdog of multinational business interests. They already control Congress. If Romney wins this election, they will control the White House and all but the smallest sliver of the Supreme Court. If Romney wins, profit and profit alone will rule. Privatization will be the watchword but it will be code for "looting the public property." Everything - health care, the poor, illegal immigration, funding for Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and the use of federal lands - will be analyzed on a cost-benefit ratio.
Social Security will be privatized in a plan marketed as an attempt to give individuals greater control over their financial future and the opportunity to participate in investment vehicles that offer attractive returns. In reality, it will be nothing more than a government-enforced income stream directed toward Wall Street firms operated by the same people who caused the financial meltdown of 2008 - all in the name of profit. They will squander that income stream on complex transactional schemes that have no underlying value - much like the ones that fueled the 2008 meltdown - and when the money evaporates and you’re left with nothing, the Republican-led government will say to you what they say to the poor now, “Too bad. You made wrong choices. You bear the consequences.” Even though the “wrong choices” were decisions made by money managers in New York over which you had very little control.
The prison system will be outsourced also, and turned over to for-profit corporations, many of which are already operating prisons in several states. In order to subsidize the cost and bolster profit, inmates will be charged exorbitant fees - the imposition of which will carry the force of law and which they will have no means of paying. Release, even after serving the statutory criminal sentence, will be conditioned upon payment of those fees. Being unable to pay, they will be forced to work for wages, at or below the minimum standard, and will become a source of permanent, government-enforced, slave labor.
Illegal immigrants will be rounded up in a Holocaust-style military operation, much of it outsourced to private security firms who perfected their craft in Iraq and Afghanistan and who already have a ready cadre of trained personnel willing and able to do the job. Like the outsourced inmates in prison, illegal immigrants will be charged excessive fees to cover the cost of finding and detaining them. Those who can pay will be deported or allowed to immigrate to another country. Those who can’t will be shunted into the outsourced prison system where they will become part of the slave labor pool. This is how the Nazis treated the Jews before World War II and we’re well on our way to doing the same thing.
The court system will be radically transformed in the name of “tort reform” and reduced to little more than a corporate-controlled arbitration system, ostensibly to contain the cost of litigation but the real motive will be the limitation of risk and a reprieve from accountability for business, all to maximize profits. The real loser will be the American individual, who will lose the last opportunity for individual justice.
Government programs to assist the poor will be drastically curtailed, and in most cases eliminated, in the name of budget reform. All who are physically able to work will be told to get a job or starve.
Health care rationing, which conservatives fear will be imposed by the liberal left, will actually come from the conservative right as part of the never-ending lust for lower taxes and greater profits. Already, Romney is proposing to transfer Medicaid funding to the states, a move that will lead to the elimination of the program (states have no money to fund their own programs, much less a program the size of Medicaid).
The agenda is already in place. The will to do it is creeping up on us. Conservative politicians have energized their right wing base with rhetoric vilifying the poor and illegal immigrants. Evangelical churches - churches that actually believe the Gospel and understand that Jesus really meant what He said - have bought into the conservative political viewpoint, equating conservative politics and national loyalty with the Gospel. This election is the watershed moment for our nation. If Romney wins, the American story will become one of the saddest stories in history - the greatest democracy in the history of the world deceived into voting itself out of existence, all in the name of profit.
And that’s why I will never vote for Mitt Romney, and neither should you.


Beegee said...

Ok, Joe- you make some factual points and some prophetic points. Let's say I accept your descriptions and don't refute them. Are you telling me a vote for Obama is without implications that are just as severe?

Joe said...

The short answer is, yes. A vote for Obama has less severe implications than one for Romney. The time has past on the traditional evangelical issues of abortion and gay marriage. The evangelical Church lost those fights - the marriage issue when the Church ignored what Jesus said about the sanctity of marriage and accomodated serial divorce and remarriage; and the abortion issue when we elected supposedly pro-life candidates who proved unwilling to risk their political careers on the issue. Time and the human context have moved on. The question before us now is "Will you care for the poor, treat immigrants (legal and illegal) as you treat yourself, and equitably apportion healthcare?" The future of America and the world turns on our answer.