I heard about this thing President Obama said about voting for revenge. “Don’t boo, vote,” he said to a crowd when they booed Mitt Romney’s name being said. “Vote. Voting is the best revenge,” he continued. If you turn on Fox News Channel you can’t help but hear about it. Clearly it is the right-wing talking point dujour.
I also have heard Mitt Romney responded to President Obama’s remark by saying not to vote for revenge, but instead to vote for love of country. Since then, Team Romney has made a commercial about the contrast between the two. That’s what politicians do, I guess, but I must admit it makes good sense to me. After all, my political leanings align with the idea that a vote should be for love of country, not to seek vengeance on other Americans. But that’s just me.
I certainly care who others cast their votes for, in the sense that I would like it if others saw issues the same way I see them. But when it comes down to it, I’ve come to understand that it’s not right of me to try to influence the votes of others. It is my right to speak my mind here, and it is my right to present issues here which I believe need to be discussed, but I cannot and should not expect that just because I believe it to be true, that others will feel the same. If I offer information, and because of that information I expect anyone else to think a certain way, I am fooling myself and I am insulting them. All I can do is offer my personal perspective. If people who read my words here find value in my offerings, so be it. If not, then that is that.
So here is my offering for this evening: Vote.
Vote for President Obama, or vote for Mitt Romney. You can vote for revenge, or you can vote for love of country, but ultimately I believe we should all vote.
To make myself perfectly clear, I do not believe that a vote for Barack Obama equates to a vote for revenge. Those are words he said, but that does not mean that vengeance is in the hearts of everyone who cast their vote in his favor. There are certainly people who will vote for Barack Obama with a desire for some sort of revenge, but there are definitely many who will vote for President Obama who love America and have no desire for any type of ‘revenge.’
We should vote because it is our civic duty. As Americans, our right to vote is a blessing we all should cherish. We are all blessed to live in this exceptional nation that protects our God-given right to express our choice freely and without fear of retribution. That is an amazing gift, and for that gift I believe we should be grateful.
Of course, as free people we also have the right not to vote, should we so choose. It is my opinion, however, that anyone who chooses not to vote should then not complain about the conditions of our nation. The right to complain goes out the door at the moment a person abstains from voting. Again… this is just my opinion.
I do not and will not vote for revenge, because that makes no sense to me. I do not believe Americans should be seeking revenge upon each other for anything. I believe Americans should be working together for the common good, not feeling animosity toward one another. We certainly have our differences of opinion and should always stand by our beliefs. But when all is said and done we should be working together in an effort to find solutions to our problems. Regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation or social status, the problems America faces today are problems that affect all of us.
In 2008 President Obama presented himself to America as a force for unity, not as a divider. He promised us that we would no longer be “red states and blue states,” but instead that we would be The United States. However, at the same time he presented this case for himself as a force for unity, he told his base that he was working toward the “Fundamental transformation of America.” He told some guy in Toledo, Ohio named “Joe the Plumber” that he believed it is perfectly okay to “spread the wealth around,” and by that he meant government should take wealth from those who have earned it, and give that wealth to those who government deems worthy.
Certainly within the system of American government it should always be mandated that we take care of those truly in need. We have a moral obligation to provide a dignified existence to those who truly cannot provide for themselves. But in my opinion, to “Spread the wealth around” is not the same as providing for those who are truly in need. In my opinion there comes a tipping point at which the government is capable of causing more damage to society, than any benefit found through methods of wealth redistribution. And it is my opinion that Barack Obama’s policies and the current “progressive” leadership in the Democratic Party are capable of bringing America to that tipping point. That is why I did not vote for Barack Obama in 2008, and that is why I will not vote for him in this election.
Since the day President Obama was elected this nation has become more polarized than ever in my lifetime. Of course it may not all be his fault, given that it takes two sides to create polarization, and so there certainly may be some fault to be found on the side of political opposition to President Obama and his political allies.
However, when all is said and done Barack Obama is President of The United States. It is his job as our Chief Executive to be our leader. Our leader should be the person who brings us together; he should find it within himself to rise above the rhetoric and division and work to unite us as one nation. That’s what leaders do. They find a way when it appears there is no way to be found. Leaders work with those people they have available to work with, rather than pointing the finger of blame and accusing those people of being at fault. I do not believe President Obama has brought this type of leadership quality to the table. In fact, I believe President Obama has done quite the opposite. As one example to validate my opinion I would cite his statements made about The Supreme Court during his State of The Union speech in 2010. As a second I would cite his belittling of Congressman Paul Ryan during Obama’s economic speech at George Washington University in April of 2011.
It is my opinion that when President Obama says people should vote with a purpose of vengeance, he is asking people to be divided against one another, not to unite with each other. In my opinion, suggesting people should vote with vengeance offers people the opportunity to point a finger at someone else and blame them for our problems, rather than offering people a reason to come together, accept responsibility, and resolve our problems together, for love of country.
After all, this is our country. One nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice. For all.