Finally, it's here. Tomorrow is Election Day in the US. I am soooo ready for this to be over.
In case you don't already know I am a Democrat and support President Barack Obama. Sometimes it seems like I'm the only one that thinks he's done a great job. Maybe it's because I set reasonable expectations. My expectations were certainly more reasonable than some of the promises he made that he shouldn't have made.
I'm the first to admit that I don't really vote on based economic issues for several reasons: I don't know enough about economics to form a strong opinion, I don't particularly care to know more than I do, and I really believe the economy is cyclical and for the most part what's going to happen will happen regardless of who's President. That of course may very well be completely wrong - but I don't know enough to know that.
I vote primarily on social issues. This election my main concerns are health care, women's issues, and the future of the Supreme Court.
Health Care - This is a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. I've been lucky that in one form or another, I've always had health insurance. I've also been lucky that I was diagnosed with Diabetes after I was already on my company's insurance plan. If not, I'd have been in trouble because it would have been a pre-existing condition. I cannot fathom how anyone can be against universal health care. Not only do I think it's a selfish and inhuman position - it's economically stupid. We can't afford to have millions of uninsured ticking time bombs walking around waiting to be brought into emergency rooms when the it's too late for it not to be ridiculously expensive. The rest of the industrialized world can do this - come on!
Women's Issues - REALLY??? Should this stuff even have to be discussed in 2012? Should we really be fighting for equal pay for equal work, the right to control our own bodies, and to be entitled to get contraception? Seriously?
The Supreme Court - This really concerns me. Four of the Justices are over 70 years old, the phenomenal Ruth Bader Ginsberg turns 80 next year and has been treated for pancreatic cancer. According to the New York Times article Future of an Aging Court Raises Stakes of Presidential Vote: "The winner of the race for president will inherit a group of justices who frequently split 5 to 4 along ideological lines. That suggests that the next president could have a powerful impact if he gets to replace a justice of the opposing side." The likelihood that it would be Ginsbeg is high, and the possibility that she could make it through two terms (shudder) of Mitt Romney is practically impossible. This matters because if her replacement is selected by Romney not only is there a strong possibility Roe v. Wade will be overturned. But according to Caroline Fredrickson, President of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy these issues would be in play:
- A more conservative Supreme Court could be open to pre-New Deal interpretations of the Commerce Clause, which would dramatically restrict Congress’ ability to confront national problems.
- A more conservative Supreme Court might permit corporations to attempt to influence judicial decisions that could impact their bottom line.
- A more conservative Supreme Court is likely to dramatically restrict efforts by Congress to remedy past discrimination in voting and elsewhere.
- A more conservative Supreme Court would likely threaten diversity in higher education.
- A more conservative Supreme Court could not only stand in the way of full equality for the LGBT community but might also limit (or eliminate) the privacy rights of adults.
- A more conservative Supreme Court could uphold onerous restrictions on a woman’s right to choose and otherwise limit her reproductive freedom – even overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade.
- A more conservative Supreme Court could turn back the clock on protections for people in police custody, and make it easier to establish a surveillance state.
- A more conservative Supreme Court could sanction the death penalty to be used on children and for a wider array of crimes, as well as on the mentally disabled.
- A more conservative Supreme Court would likely be much more deferential to presidential action in national security matters.
- A more conservative Supreme Court could weaken the separation of church and state and entangle religion and politics.
I honestly don't believe Mitt Romney is a bad man. I don't even believe if elected he would govern adhering to the conservative principles he's campaigned on in order to garner Tea Party support. But I think he is too far removed from regular people. He's clearly oblivious to middle class realities - he's never had to worry about medical bills, student loans, defaulting mortgages, etc. I don't think he cares about women's issues at all - not because he's a mysoginist, but just because it's not on his radar.
This is the point in the election cycle where I start to panic.
Will it be the end of the world if Mitt Romney were to win? I don't think so - we've survived worse. But I do think it might very well be a more difficult world for many people.