After a week of seeing Romney and his party's roll-out of the 2012 Republican campaign for president and congress, I know my preference. I want neither Romney nor a Republican Congress. Pure and simple, no way. In the past 30 years Republican presidents and congresses have given this nation more debt, more inequality and greater economic insecurity for a growing number of Americans. Oh sure, the one Democratic president and cowed Democratic congresses have been complicit but Republican orthodoxy set the agenda and circumscribed the alternatives to favor wealth over the larger community. That is why I do not want Romney or his party to succeed this year.
That said, I remain undecided. Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson speak to my heart and values. So does Barack Obama but he has not governed with those values. Still, he is the only one of the three who stand a chance (a very good one) of being elected and if I thought for a minute that Romney might carry Washington, I would vote for Obama in a heartbeat. I don't want Romney that bad.
A President Romney and Republican Congress would indeed "turn the page" as the nominee declared in his acceptance speech. But the page will not be turned on what he calls a "failed" presidency, the page will turned on the idea of a society where all prosper. Electing Romney and further empowering the radical conservatives will return America to the Gilded Age, a time of fabulous wealth and widespread misery.
Barack Obama will at least moderate the plutocratic feeding frenzy even if he cannot control it. I don't buy that he will have much more flexibility in a second term; he'll still be shackled to congressional Democrats who are always facing another immediate election. They will exist in an uneasy dance and Obama, being a good corporate Democrat will not want to tarnish the party's image by behaving too radically.
What I would very much like to see are candidates committed to creating social and economic justice, who would dismantle the National Security State, downsize the military and end the Empire of Bases. Public resources now squandered on bloated military and "homeland security" boondoggles would create real and lasting economic growth in place of the dead-end military investment that creates nothing productive. Instead of weapons, war and domestic surveillance, America could invest in essential public goods--health care, education, infrastructure.
Living in Olympia, I will have some opportunity vote for candidates whom I believe share these values. On top of that I will also vote in favor of Washington's same sex marriage law and most likely for the (kinda, sorta) legalization of marijuana under state law. And since I do not have a television or listen to commercial radio, I won't experience much of the campaign advertising blitz. Except for the outside chance that Romney could actually win the election, the remainder of may be tolerable after all.