I came to Israel in 1967 following my two-year service in the American Army. I made a rule not to vote in American elections even though as a citizen with an honorable discharge I had every legal and moral right to do so. I thought it improper to vote for representatives and polices of a country I was not living in. In 2012 – after 45 years – I broke that rule. Why?
You focus on the fetid, regressive fraud that the Republicans have become, and of course this is all true. However, this is a poor reason to vote for Obama. In many ways, Obama is worse, as he supposedly knows better. He and the rest of establishment Democrats have learned to wrap themselves in the language of progressivism while pursuing nothing of the sort, just a slightly less catastrophically irresponsible form of corporatism. Both major parties are really the Money Party, and subscribing to the logic of voting for “the lesser evil” ensures imprisonment in this debilitating dynamic. Obama is a particularly infuriating case of betrayal as his campaign rhetoric in ‘08 seemed to convey an actual and honest understanding of the nature of contemporary American dysfunction, while his policies have only accelerated much of it, delivering virtually none of his campaign promises, often doing the polar opposite. I would have voted for a third party, or even the Republican Roemer, the only candidate who made any blip on the national radar who made his primary issue that of campaign finance reform, the one root reform that all other reforms depend upon.