If I was to sit down and create a list of all the reasons I couldn’t vote for Mitt Romney, in the order of importance, his views and positions on social issues would be at the top of the list. What the religious and political right like about the Romney/Ryan ticket is just what scares me, what they would do, especially with control of the congress, to the individual freedoms and liberties of all those who walk to a different drum beat. I am a firm believer in the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause and believe the laws of the states and nation should protect the rights of everyone. I believe that it is perfectly acceptable for people to hold to their beliefs about social issues while at the same time being tolerant of those who see things differently. My mother called it playing fair.
I can look at the headline stories of the past two years and see that conservatives have doubled down in their attempts to revise and weaken the several Constitutional protections the people enjoy. Women, minorities, ethnic groups, non-traditional religions, etc. are increasingly under attack from the right and Romney/Ryan are helping to steer that train. The train hit a break in the rail with the insanity of Todd Akin and the GOP was stumbling all over itself running away from that idiot. But if one pauses for a breath and takes a look they will find that Akin and Ryan have been frequent room mates in the train’s Pullman car.
Also high up on my list of reasons to not vote for Romney is his ready willingness to go to war. The GOP has already involved us in two wars in this century. One, Afghanistan, has evolved into the longest in our history and the other, Iraq, was a “shock and awe” invasion of a sovereign nation for no provable justifications.
The headlines of this day included two statements from Romney about his willingness to get us involved in two more foreign conflicts, Syria and Iran. Romney announced he would send American troops into Syria to prevent the use of chemical and/or biological weapons and he would go to war with Iran to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons.
America hasn’t come close to recovering from the economic devastation of the Bush years. Unfunded tax cuts, an unfunded Medicare drug program, two unnecessary and unfunded military entanglements, hundreds of thousands of new veterans who will need attention and care for a generation or longer, a collapsed housing market, accelerated outsourcing of manufacturing and technical jobs, increased political polarization, and so much more. We are, by the GOP’s own admission on the brink of economic disaster and here comes Romney beating the drums of even more war that we ill afford and are ill justified to pursue.
Iran and Syria are not our problem, they are the problem of their neighboring Arab nations. The US certainly has interests in the region but those are mainly tied to oil resources. Increasingly, however, we are purchasing less and less of our needs from Middle Eastern nations. T-Bone Pickens recently reported that America pays for most of the cost of protecting Mid East oil but only consumes 15% of what comes through the Strait of Hormuz. Let the Chinese, Indians, Japanese, and other energy dependent nations worry about and pay for protecting their interest. Consider allowing the Turks, Jordanians, Iraqis, Lebanese, Egyptians, and Israelis to worry about the WMDs. After all, they are the nations most immediately threatened.
I am neither a pacifist or an isolationist but this is a time when we need to be looking inward at what is best for the immediate and long-term needs of this nation. We need to rebuild our infrastructure, our social fabric, our middle class, restore trust in our institutions, strengthen our currency, get us back to work, begin paying down the debt, and building a nest egg for the future. What we do not need is more war. Matter of fact, not only do we need to avoid more war, we need to get the hell out of the one we’ve been fighting for well over ten years.