In my most political heart, I believe the presidential race should have the two best candidates for the job regardless of their chances of winning. That is the crux of a democracy — not parties but good people running for office.
But in my I-really-don’t-want-a-Republican-to-control-the-White-House heart, I don’t want the best Republican to win the nomination. (Or at this point, I don’t want Romney to win the nomination. I don’t know if Romney is the best Republican candidate for our country, but he polls the best against Obama.)
I catch myself hoping one of the more fundamentalist Republicans gets the nomination. I want the winning scenario even while putting the country at risk. I care more about a Republican not being in the White House than I care about our country.
I find myself playing political defense in part because I don’t want to campaign hard for Obama. I would like to quietly watch the race unfold, add a few jabs to the most ignorant responses, donate some money and have a Democrat in the White House.
While I am very proud of the healthcare bill, which is a good bill to anyone who actually understands it, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and many other accomplishments (seriously, click that link because he has done a lot), I am also defeated.
The paternalistic response of blocking the over-the-counter access of Plan B is appalling. I don’t need another father, I need an objective president who makes decisions based on science and supports the evidence-based medicine, knowledge of doctors and the FDA.
However, the strongest reason for my disillusionment of a man I strongly campaigned for in Virginia is the continued existence of the Guantanamo Bay detention center and the policy of indefinite incarceration kept in place through acts such as National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). These are, for me, the greatest failure of the Obama presidency, and while each time Obama states he strongly oppose the clauses that allow for indefinite detention, including U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism, he still signs the bills.
I don’t expect a president I elect to do everything I would like, but American ideals and justice die at the Guantanamo Bay gates. It is a campaign promise that I have difficulty forgiving him for not keeping. I will not withhold a vote, but will I withhold my voice?
Instead of feeling inspired, I imagine Election Day 2012 as something I watch more afraid of who could win than if President Obama loses. I hope the next few months Obama helps me win back my idealism and trust in the political process. If I can vote for President Obama and not against an unnamed Republican, it will be a win for both of us.