I come from a family culture where the weight of one’s vote is held in the highest regard. The words “If you don’t vote you don’t have the right to complain” rang loud and true in my ears all my life…after all every vote counts, or so we like to tell ourselves. The sense of self determination derived from the power of a vote is so strong and so innately American that it was driven into my third-generation American mind with a more accented value than religion. Additionally, I’ve found myself in recent years so personally jaded with the political process and politicians in general that I’ve subscribed to the philosophy of voting for the lesser of two evils—because the process is inherently corrupting it’s the only option that a voter has. However, following the debates in this cycle and seeing how close the candidates are in their overall vision, where the only differences between their policies lay in nebulous and/or contradictory rhetoric presented with little substantial planning or proposed details on implementation (e.g. “I can create 12 million jobs, I know how” without a single detail and the boiler plate that government “can’t” create jobs or outright claims that the economy has turned a corner while housing prices continue to drop, or two sets of tax plans that have no basis in mathematics that anyone can calculate).
In battling what I have considered the greater of two “evils” in this campaign (the distinguished Governor Romney), I have often been perceived as or have actually been supporting President Obama whether it be by ostensible credit or default. However the foreign policy debate Monday night made me seriously reevaluate the whole affair. I realized that these two men are essentially the same on every issue and attempting to find the differences is like arguing minutia. Obamacare and Romneycare are effectively the same legislation (on different scales). Both agree on the timetable in Afghanistan. Both agree on the general steps that are going to occur before we inevitably attack Iran. On paper both pledge support for Israel. It’s the reason the numbers are so damn close: there is almost no difference between the two. Even the conservative friends and family that I know who are pledging for Romney are essentially doing so under the “lesser of two evils” argument—they aren’t entirely sold on him either, but they are so displeased in the President that they figure anyone is better. But how much lesser could either of these men be if they are really proposing mostly the same vision for the country? The short answer is: they can’t be.