How Will the GOP Move Forward?

With Barack Obama re-assuming his role as commander-in-chief for the next few years, the only option now is to look forward as he further cements his place in the annals of history as the most progressive leader the United States has known. We will have universal health care. Abortion will not be outlawed. To deal with our deficit, Obama will be standing firm as he pushes for a 1.6 trillion tax hike on the very wealthy– anyone making over 250,000 annually. The DREAM goes on for immigrants. More disadvantaged kids will be able to take advantage of the Pell Grant program, which Obama was able to expand during his first term by cutting out the banks. Medicare will live on. Social Security will live on. The troops are coming home from Afghanistan. The Senate is more culturally diverse than ever before. Gay marriage will become a reality. And as of December 1st, recreational marijuana use will be legal in two states.

I have been unable to properly transcribe my pride and elation over the victory achieved by the liberal base. For all the perceived confidence on the left, there were real concerns that fostered white-resentment would cause an upset at the polls. Major news outlets have mused or offered significant data as to how or why Obama won, twice, making him also the only President to be elected with an unemployment rate well over 5%. Is it a younger, more secular and tolerant following? My theory is based on just that– a growing body of educated atheists and skeptics that have easy access when it comes to acquiring information in this technological age. We’re no longer shooting blind when it comes to religious or scientific theory and faith alone doesn’t cut it anymore. Getting right down to it, we have a GOP that incorporates Christian values to defame any who oppose their policies and furthermore enforce and uphold their version or standard of living to cultivate or retain religious voters. It is no surprise to me then that religion, or Christianity in this case, is the weapon of choice as it has been used or abused to justify the mass degradation and oppression of indigenous groups or people of differing faiths and how it simply does not work in a more secular society. Christianity has murdered millions. Christianity has justified slavery, racism and a bundling of ordinances or laws that promote a ‘moral’ version of civility and order.

Here are a few religion-based quotes that helped shape or reinforce intolerant views and have endured to this day:

It is generally believed that the curse which Noah pronounced upon Canaan was the origin of the black race. Certain it is that when Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren,” he pictured the future of the Colored race. They have been and are a race of servants, but now in the dawn of the twentieth century, we are all coming to see this matter of service in its true light and to find that the only real joy in life is in serving others; not bossing them. There is no servant in the world as good as a good Colored servant, and the joy that he gets from rendering faithful service is one of the purest joys there is in the world. The Golden Age, July 24, 1929, p. 702 – From The Watchtower, a bible-based magazine published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Mormon leader Brigham Young stated: “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” From the Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110. These teachings were formally renounced in 1978.

Scriptures used to support anti-gay legislation:

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. Jude 1:7 – Old Testament

If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. Leviticus 20:13 – Old Testament

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  1st Corinthians 6:9-10 – New Testament

White-resentment describes the views of working (often religious) middle to upper class whites that have been made to feel that minorities are at the crux of our financial woes and are a drain on the system. Republicans tout the idea, especially near election time, that white families face even heavier taxes to supplement those do-nothing blacks and Latinos. The added religious spiel is nothing more than an attack on the moral values of minority groups to garner more leverage with those same misinformed, angry whites who often have very racist views.

All throughout the campaign, this was the rhetoric as told by the right. Obama wants to give minorities and women free stuff. They attacked Obama for not being American or a good Christian. They say we are a nation of takers. Mitt Romney‘s 47% are a group of whiny and godless bums who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives and feel entitled to government handouts. Recently he credited his loss to just that, refusing to take responsibility for his own party’s shortcomings.

The GOP has a problem. People are not so eager to follow and are more open-minded than ever before. Christianity no longer has the power it once did, the power to divide and conquer. Whites receive more government assistance, per capita, than blacks and data is readily available to support this. Blacks and Latinos work as hard as anyone else and to suggest otherwise is mind-boggling and racist. It’s time for the GOP to unite with the people and to stop with the mind games and race-baiting. We don’t want free stuff, we want jobs, we want opportunity. We want equality for all. When will Republican party develop a political strategy that does not involve anti-gay, anti-women, anti-minority and ultra-Christian language? The world is changing and they’d better change with it.

Election Day!

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The big day is finally here. Fired up voters are out and about, filling up polling centers all across the country. It has been a very emotional year as both political candidates laid forth their arguments and spammed our TV screens with campaign ads. Now it’s over and the choice lies in our hands. With baited breath, we wait to see who will emerge victor. Of course, my bets are with the incumbent, President Barack Obama.

I am voting to see Obamacare through: to see tax hikes on the rich. I am voting to protect a woman’s right to choose when she should give birth. I am voting in support of equality and gay rights. I am voting because I do not wish to see a war in Iran or Syria and feel that all diplomatic measures should be exhausted. I am voting for education and funding for inner-city schools that are so terribly in need. There are so many minds that require cultivating– one can only imagine what we have lost by ignoring the needs and aspirations of the less fortunate. I am voting to retain a liberal and diverse Supreme Court. I am voting for a Democratic majority in the Senate. I am voting to maintain regulations designed to protect us against the predatory practices of Wall Street. I am voting because the poor to middle-class are the driving force behind our economy and mustn’t be ignored. Change is upon us and I’m not giving up.

Let us remember this day, win or lose, as a day of battle– a fight for liberty and justice. Let us send the GOP packing and let them know that enough is enough. They got us into this mess and as much as they would have you forget, we simply cannot.

Below is a snapshot of the President at his last ever campaign rally last night:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This one is worth a million.

 

Update: Barack Obama was re-elected, acquiring the 270 electoral votes required to win. The final electoral count rests at 332 for President Barack Obama, 206 for Mitt Romney. President Obama also won the popular vote with a total of 61,678,507.

Why Obama May Lose

President Obama has accomplished a great deal during his four years in office. He passed the Lily Ledbetter Act so that women can fight back against pay discrimination. He pushed for health care reform which he was able to sign into law. He called for an end to the war in Iraq and set a definitive timeline for when we can pull our troops from Afghanistan. He has pushed for the DREAM act to protect law-abiding immigrants, many who were brought here as children, from being sent away to a foreign country they do not know. He helped cut waste, culled and cut programs that were not needed. He lifted the ban on stem cell research. He pushed for investments in clean energy. His stimulus package pulled us back from the brink of some sort of hell we will now never know. I was rather curious about eco-mageddon but it was a good move. Many homeowners kept their homes and the market is improving as buyers look to make new purchases. He got Bin Laden. He has risked his political career in championing the cause of the LGBT crowd, much to the chagrin of his ultra-religious and intolerant constituents. A biracial man raised by a loving white family, he has given his all, an idealist in a grey world where change is as terrifying to some as a leap from 22 miles above ground, near space.

Things Obama has done. Click!

So why it is possible President Obama may lose his bid for re-election? It’s simple: racism. Socialist is the new ‘n’ word. Fear and disenchantment is rampant, unfounded and left unchecked as many conservatives struggle with the existence of a non-white commander-in-chief. If Obama were a white man from Montana with the winning smile, a boatload of charisma and the same record to run on, he would be dominating in the polls. He would be heralded as an American hero, fearless and stoic in the face of opposition. At the time of this writing, the President is in a virtual tie with Mitt Romney, a man whose questionable past leaves many Democrats aghast at the thought of him winning and at just how close he is to doing just that.

We have seen and heard many things these past four years. Pictures surfaced all over the internet of Michelle Obama’s features, contorted to resemble those of an orangutan. Bumper sticks that read ‘Don’t re-nig in 2012’. That’s a good one. Then there’s that pesky birther movement that has not lost its fervor even without a shred of proof disputing President Obama’s birthplace. The rise of the tea party brought forth some of the ugliest behavior many have had the displeasure of bearing witness to as they wobble forward belching demands, threatening to ‘shut America down’ if they don’t get their way. The level of vitriol and disrespect forwarded President Obama’s way is unprecedented– even Bill Clinton seemed in awe when speaking about it at this year’s DNC. Tagg Romney, exerting his executive white privilege, goes on a radio station to openly state his wish to take a swing at the president after last week’s debate. The Republican campaign trail is littered with sentences that contain keywords like ‘Kenyan’ ‘foreign’ ‘socialist’ or ‘Muslim’, by design issued to stoke unrest against a sitting President.

Don’t try to make sense of it all. It is, what it is. It is ugly, it is depressing but we have to face the truth. America was not ready. The fear of a black President is real– ignorance has misguided the minds and actions of the population for centuries. We fear what we do not understand and are easily duped when falsehoods are uttered as gospel while massaging inherent, bigoted viewpoints. President Obama has beaten the stereotypes that suffocate black Americans and that alone is a bitter pill to swallow for many conservatives. So they do their very absolute best to cast him in the worst possible light.

Liberals have somewhat failed to hold up our end of the bargain in this fight. We have whinged.. We have wavered at the slightest sign of trouble and allowed our frustration to take root. The obstacle course that is Congress has willfully impeded Obama along the way and our modest show of support pales next to the enthusiasm of ’08. We want the troops out of Afghanistan and peace in the middle-east. We want gay rights. Some of us don’t want gay marriage. We want mass reform. We want more regulations. We want manna from the skies. However loved he is, we simply want it all, we want it now and are unforgiving at times.

All across the globe, away from home, Obama’s approval rating soars and rightfully so. Public view of the US has risen favorably since he took the oath of office. I imagine foreigners may find his kind brown face comforting, a symbol of real change and equality in a world gripped by a white authority. Yet…he might lose. He may lose to the guy who had his databases wiped; documents shredded upon leaving Massachusetts. He may lose to the man who flip-flops like a goldfish out of water when it comes to his political ideology. He is the man that makes Rachel Maddow want to scream. He is the presidential-candidate that refuses to release more of his tax returns because as his lovely wife stated, they might be used as ammunition. And that would be unfair, correct? Why should Americans know exactly how our potential President earned his wealth and at whose expense? None of that matters for Romney’s base except for one thing: he’s not black.

Food-Stamp Companies

Newt Gingrich openly called President Obama the ‘Food-Stamp President’ earlier this year when discussing the economic crisis and middle-class crush. Throughout all the blowhard meandering, his intent was to cast the Obama base as dependent and idle, a sentiment oft-shared by many far right conservatives. The GOP often uses such (bigoted) code-language to discredit the values and wants of a vast majority of Democrats that do not wish to return to business as usual on Capitol Hill. Why, we liberals couldn’t possibly be interested in equal pay for women, gay rights, a full military withdrawal from the middle east, bank regulation and education. No, we just like Obama because he gives us free stuff. Oh and he’s just really cool.

In June, Leslie Marshall– a nationally syndicated talk-show radio host and Fox *gasp* News contributor– reported that more Americans signed up for food stamps under Bush.

I had to laugh…or perhaps I should have cried. Sure, there are lots of Americans who partake of what the government has to offer. Sure we, especially the right, can blame President Barack Obama. But there are a few realities I want to point out:

1. More people signed up for food stamps under President George W. Bush than President Obama.

via America Is Less Dependent Under Barack Obama – Leslie Marshall (usnews.com).

A touch misleading perhaps, since Bush had eight whole years to rack up the debt and help crash our economy with the war on Iraq. Personally I would be surprised if her data were entirely accurate, with the understanding that recessions tend to create desperate aggregate need. The country was hemorrhaging jobs when @BarackObama took office– people from all backgrounds applied for some assistance. Causality, my friends.

I am really not here to talk about Newts but of companies that reduce overhead costs by hiring part-time workers and contribute to the problematic surge in applied-for government assistance. Over the last decade the involuntary part-time workforce has exploded. Involuntary because these workers prefer full-time employment. So why is this, you might ask? Well its cheaper for starters. Not as cheap as sending your job overseas where CEOs can get the most bang for a buck but cheap. Part-time workers are generally paid less than their full-time counterparts and do not always receive medical, vacation or sick time packages. And they can forget about workers compensation and retirement benefits. These employees then must rely upon government programs such as SNAP (food stamps), TANF and Medicaid at the expense of John and Jane Taxpayer.

So here I am, stuck within the part-time trap. Even with my accumulated skills and experience, I was hired in May to work as a Merchandise Associate at a popular, multimillion dollar retail store for 8.60 hourly. The orientation session consisted of a few pamphlets read and videos played on a dilapidated VCR. I stifled a giggle or two when a segment began with a very stern woman launching into a passionate lecture on the evils of unions and when to alert a supervisor if contacted by their representatives. Organized labor is bad. Bad! Bored and lazily nursing a water bottle, my eyes roamed the tiny break room as I planned future lunch breaks and escapes from the sales floor. I noticed a poster on a bulletin board announcing the national 800 number for SNAP assistance. In 30 minutes I had learned all I needed to know about this company:

1. If any associate attempts to support a unionized effort within any of their stores, your ass is grass.

2. We are not going to hire you full-time so that you can actually take care of yourself and pay your bills.

3. Apply for food stamps because we ain’t feeding ya.

Sounds like Walmart.

I quit after a few short months. Not that I didn’t need the money. I didn’t need the headache. I found it more advantageous to spend the time I would have toiled within their slave-shop of a store to look for a better job, however difficult. I have been working at part-time jobs for about 5 years now and it has been the same thing time and time again. My educated guess would be that many part-time workers are ticked off, as I am. We are not sitting around waiting for a handout. We are being forced to take jobs with companies that are doing well in spite of the economy but won’t offer living wages, utilize scare tactics and encourage their employees to apply for government assistance to supplement their needs. Food-stamp companies. It is wrong and it is disgusting.

Presidential Debate 2012

Where shall I begin?

I apologize in advance for this rant but what the fuck? Mr. President? Really now? Perhaps this is a trick, designed to throw the enemy off the trail before expertly leaping from the bushes with renewed vigor. Or just wishful thinking for my part.

I am disappointed.

Mitt Romney left himself wide open for various attacks. His view on Obamacare with regards to Romneycare, comments about the 47%, women’s and LGBT rights, government level regulation, corporate ‘welfare’ (I did like that one), the 716 billion medicare LIE– that Mr. Romney has not fully disclosed his plans except but to say how he’ll simply do everything’s better– all these things were there, ready to be pounced upon with ravenous glee. Mitt Romney postures with smug certainty as if his mere whiteness will fix everything and calm the masses that fear the re-election of our black and white President. Where was the cross-examination? I expected it and yes, words cannot describe my dismay.

The President appeared calm, if not a tad bored. I detected a measure of irritation in him when Mitt mentioned small businesses and other distortions but these false claims went unanswered by Obama. And the mediator didn’t help things much with his sputtering interruptions and mismanagement of time. What I heard tonight were reiterations of policy points I have studied for the last four years. I believe in our President and he has done much for us and against great odds and opposition. Mitt attacked him shamelessly, taking zero responsibility for how our crisis began or how the Republican party has stonewalled on a number of bills and issues the last 4 years. Mitt’s plans, the little he’s shared, mimic many of George Bush Sr/Jr’s ideas. In other words…nothing new there. 12 million new jobs Mitt? Really? Do tell, because inquiring minds want to know. Why wasn’t he forced to explain himself?

What the fuck?

Mitt Romney is a bold-faced liar and has no plan to help the American people. The only thing he clearly states is how he wants to erase everything President Obama has accomplished and take us back to the Republican way of doing things which are to: erase social safety nets, kill Big Bird, send gays back into hiding, send our young to war, drill for more oil, roll back regulation, pussyfoot around environmental assurances and regulations, tell women when or how she should have sex and make babies, include banks in the student loan process and keep up current loopholes that allow rich people to exploit the very country that helped make them just that, rich. Cayman Islands, Mitt? Anyone? (crickets)

Where is the Secretary of Explainin’ Shit? I need him to make sense of all this.