What the Ralph Nader is wrong with you?

Image: Wikimedia Commons/CCO

I loved this picture! It gave me hope that not all of the Republican Party has departed on a one way trip to Teabaggistan! It was posted on a friend’s Facebook page. (One of my real friends whom I have known for years, not the Facebook non-equivalent.) Why did I have to go and read a comment someone wrote about it? I know, I know, many of you reading this are thinking that unless you want to be pissed off, insulted, offended or just plain befuddled, you should refrain from reading comments to random pictures posted on the internet. Well, in this case, I’m glad I read it. The woman who wrote the comments said this election she would not be voting for President Obama on election day because in his first term he has proved to be to the right of former President George W. Bush. She went on to write that she will vote for either Jill Stein or Rock Anderson.

I immediately thought what the Ralph Nader is she thinking?

I had never heard of either of those candidates! Granted, there are fringe candidates in every presidential election. They usually garner a vote count so small that they don’t register a single percentage point. So why even bother to respond to someone who makes such outlandish statements, right? Her opening salvo was so absurd that I didn’t trust myself to respond to her comment then and there. I wasn’t sure I could do so without resorting to using curt, uncivil, and very colorful language. I have calmed down (some). I did some yoga, deep breathing exercises, listened to Liquid Mind, now I feel I am ready to address her comment and the sentiment behind it. I want to be sure that she and any other disillusioned Progressive voters out there are cautioned on the consequences of the very naive and unwise choice to splinter even a small fraction of votes from the Democratic presidential ticket this election year.

Dear Fellow Liberals:  While you were off in a corner licking the wounds from your bleeding heart, a rabid herd of Republicans is succeeding in efforts to restrict the voting rights of those likely to support President Obama. I know you wanted a far left, Progressive Superhero to rescue you from the GOPocalypse started by President George W. Dick Cheney. I wanted that too– but we can’t cry over the loss of that dream and go back to sleep and allow another nightmare to fall upon us. Come on — was the man we elected, albeit not a superhero, in your opinion really worse than President Bush? I have to break it to you, President Obama never presented himself as anything more than a man. One who was honest enough to admit, up front that he was bound to make some unpopular decisions and even some missteps, but that he was going to try his level best to straighten out the mess he inherited.

Has he succeeded? He has definitely made inroads. You can’t deny that unless you choose to be blind to any and all of his accomplishments because they don’t meet your preconceived notions of what his first term would/should have been like. If you want to vote your conscience, and as a matter of principle support some obscure candidate that you KNOW doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Arizona of  winning, that’s your right. Good luck with that.  Just remember this: Choices have consequences. Your lack of support for President Obama is tantamount to throwing support behind Mitt Romney. So don’t come bitching to me or any of us who had sense enough to realize that the best, most realistic option we have is STILL President Barack Obama. Not Jill Stein or Rock Anderson. President Obama.

One last thing: I have to call you out on comparing President Barack Obama to former President George W. Bush and placing the President to the right of Bush. You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. In looking for a list of his accomplishments to date, I came upon a well sourced list. It was on a blog aptly titled Please cut the crap. The post starts with “If you’re one of those who thinks President Obama is a ‘disappointment,’ my condolences for you not getting your unicorn.” I couldn’t have said or sourced it better! Here are a few from the list of 200:

He Improved the Economy, Preventing a Bush Depression

Pushed through and signed the Democratic-sponsored American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package.” The bill passed, even though only three Republicans voted for it. In a major departure from the previous administration, he launched recovery.gov, a website that allows taxpayers to track spending from the Act.   http://1.usa.gov/ibiFSs   http://1.usa.gov/e3BJMk

Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection

Ordered 65 executives who took bailout money to cut their own pay until they paid back all bailout money.  http://huff.to/eAi9Qq

Along with Congressional Democrats, pushed through and got passed Dodd-Frank, one of the largest and most comprehensive Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression.  http://bit.ly/hWCPg0   http://bit.ly/geHpcD

Through Dodd-Frank legislation, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  http://1.usa.gov/j5onG

Through Dodd-Frank, the Executive Branch fashioned rules that reduce the influence of speculators in the oil market.  http://bit.ly/MDnA1t

Fashioned rules so that banks can no longer use YOUR money to invest in high-risk financial instruments that work against their own customers’ interests.  http://bit.ly/fnTayj

It’s a long, well sourced and researched list.  If he made the effort to accomplish it,  the least you can do is take the time to read and acknowledge it.