Finally, it's almost time. Good God, are you ready for this thing to be over?
I know I am, but it's my own fault. I mainline so much of this political stuff, I'm having trouble finding a vein these days.
Ever since Chief Justice John Roberts' stammering oath billowed wisps of partisan divisiveness into that frozen January sky, the 2012 election season has burned like a crusty coating of eyelid eczema.
And I've been out of lotion for four years.
Maybe it's because I live in a state where we cast our votes solely through the infrastructure of the United States Postal Service. Perhaps I'm concerned that the extinct ritual of closing the curtain and turning the crank in a room filled with volunteer octogenarians smelling of crock pot chili, will lead would-be voters down a trail of apathy and inaction.
What a shame it would be for those who mail it in to "mail it in," you know what I mean?
So I'm going to try to lay it out one last time, on the oft chance that you haven't yet decided. No judging.
Granted, the differences in presidential candidates are starker than they've ever been, and the only reason I can imagine that you can't make up your mind is that you've been listening to "Dave Matthews, A to Z" on the local classic rock station since March of 2010, and as soon as the extended jam version of "Stay" ends, you'll do a little research.
That's supposed to be around 2:30 on Sunday.
So yeah, let's talk about your choices. Oh, did I just use the word "choice"? Heavens to murgatroyd, what a great segue.
Mitt Romney considers personal liberty and freedom of choice as the cornerstones of his campaign. He reveres the promise of a truly free society with nearly equal vigor as the planet he will someday rule after transcending the veil of death and settling into eternity a mere seventeen light years from God's home planet of Kolob.
And you know that Ann— already taking little campaign side trips to Ikea to buy beds and rugs for when the grandkids finally die and can visit.
Anyway, Romney maintains that maximum choice leads to maximum benefit:
We should be free to choose our kids' schools, and therefore, a government voucher system should be established. Although private schools will then be subsidized, leaving precious little to a public education sector already in crisis, things will somehow work out. A massive undereducated cross section of America will then be free to utilize their talents in manufacturing cheap goods for poverty-level wages. Unemployment will drop drastically.
We should be free to choose our doctors, and by no means should insurance companies be denied the profit motive. Shareholder wealth will seep through the cracks of capitalism, benefiting both the uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions.
Like he said, it's all about choice. Stop smoking and eating fast food, fools. You're free to scarf down fourteen Reese's on Halloween night and wake up with a zit on your forehead that looks like Willy Wonka, but take care of yourselves and you won't need to wait for six hours in a cold emergency room. It's your body, after all.
Oh yeah, except when it comes to reproductive rights. Then it's not your body anymore, it's his—his and those other old, white dudes who use terms like "legitimate rape" and "the rape thing." Those are his buddies, so even though he used to be one hundred percent pro-choice, Romney has decided to weigh in somewhere around ninety-three percent in favor of that whole liberty thing.
Look, things aren't fantastic now, but they're certainly better than they were when Bush left office four years ago. Back in the forties, people branded Roosevelt a socialist when he enacted Social Security. Since then, the poverty rate for the elderly has decreased from forty-eight percent to twelve percent.
Medicare stirred up another commie-baiting shit storm during the 1960s, yet Lyndon Johnson helped reduce the senior poverty rate another seventy-five percent.
Conservative friends, I know you believe that we progressives defer to government to solve all of society's problems. We don't, but this health care thing isn't working. The United States is the only developed nation without a systematic plan to take care of its poorest and sickest citizens.
Romney claims to have a solution, but have you heard it? I haven't. Apparently, it's too long and too complicated to explain, according to Paul Ryan.
Well, here's an idea that's neither long nor complicated—Mitt Romney is the wrong guy for the job.
Let's re-elect Barack Obama.