Saturday, November 8, 2014

Why we didn't vote for anyone

Bernie Sanders at least has a coherent philosophy. But when he claims that the voters were fooled by Republican slander, he isn't giving voters enough credit for their intelligence. Sure, the country has lost faith in its government, but if they really want health care, they know they haven't a prayer with the republicans. I think people failed to vote because they couldn't see any difference between the Democrat and the Republican in their local elections. Obama has talked a good show, but major constituencies have doubts about his sincerity.

Obama has courted the Latino vote, but he is known in the Latino community as the guy who deported more Latinos than any other president. Deportation of a friend or loved one is a personal affront and a deep injustice. So Latinos look at him as someone who failed to keep his promises.

African-Americans look at our prisons and see their young men in chains. In the streets, they see their young men shot down with impunity by violent, heavily-armed cops or any other white man with a gun. They have no great vote for Democrats while cops were still assaulting African-Americans in Ferguson.

The progressives look at Obama as the guy who gave us half a national health plan and didn't fight hard enough for a one-payer system, which is the only way the system will work. Obama also ran on an anti-war platform, but actually escalated the war in Afghanistan. He killed Osama bin Laden, but anti-war voters did not buy into the Bush doctrine that we should fight terrorism around the world. Progressives understand war itself is terrorism, and we do not like to see our president pounding the drums for war. Progressives didn't like to see tax cuts as the major stimulus program. Bush gave us that. Finally, progressives saw Wall Street and the neocons from the Bush administration walking away unpunished from the disasters they caused.

So Republicans should not take comfort that the election was a referendum against Obama. Many of the people who dislike Obama do so, not because he is too liberal, but because he is not liberal enough.

The man in the middle will take fire from both sides.

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