What are your thoughts on both Obama and Romney, and about the reception on Tumblr for both of them? -Anonymous

Well, I personally gave my feelings on Obama and Romney here, and Obama specifically here.  In short, my personal belief is that both are terrible people, and neither are remotely qualified to lead any country, let alone one as complex, large and divided as the United States.

Obama’s economic policy is shit.  He bailed out the auto industry, only to act surprised that it’s now failing again.  The overall stimulus package was partly Bush’s fault, but in the end Obama has mishandled the economy.  While I’m a proponent of socialized medicine, Obamacare is the worst of both worlds: it’s got all the problems of socialized medicine and all the problems of privatized medicine.  He’s broken promise after promise, and been arguably worse thanBush as far as civil liberties go.  (And let’s be honest, that’s saying something).  In a sane world, he’d be on trial for war crimes with regards to the various drone strikes he’s authorized and the extrajudicial murder of U.S. nationals, at least one of whom was underage and is not known to have ever committed or intended to commit any crime besides having an idiot for a father.

The crazy thing is that Romney is literally no better.  His social policy is shit.  He’s a religious fundamentalist.  He doesn’t understand how airplanes orfires work.  (I’m personally not buying the “it’s a joke” story).  He was stupid enough to outright alienate vast numbers of minorities in apparent ignorance of the effect it would have on his campaign.  He addressed a group of Latino/Hispanic people wearing brownface.  He doesn’t understand what the term “middle-class” means.  His tax plan failed at basic arithmetic, and he seems incapable of understanding that you cannot simultaneously vastly increase the military budget while decreasing taxes in a country which is already running one of the worst deficits in history.

On the other hand, neither of them will solve the deficit.  Neither will cut military spending.  Neither will end the current war on drugs that’s costing billions, killing civil liberties almost as badly as Iraq and not doing one bit of good.  Neither will start on anything remotely resembling responsible economic policy.  Neither of them will initiate electoral reform.  Neither of them will reform American foreign-interventionist policy.  I could go on for a week.  On virtually all the issues that I believe are of primary importance to the entirety of the U.S., their positions are not just identical, but identically bad.

The reaction to them on Tumblr says more about the demographics of Tumblr (and their general ignorance of world affairs) than either of the candidates.  I think this post says it all.  Most Tumblrites seem to be basically single-issue voters.  They don’t give two shits about the overall picture so long as their particular pet issue is catered to, and Obama is a master at catering to those exact demographics.  Additionally, most of the residents of Tumblr are young and highly liberal yet have comparatively little contact with the real world.  These are people for whom the idea of free birth control is vastly more important than people being murdered overseas, the economy, and basically everything else that genuinely matters.  I’m not saying that free birth control isn’t a good idea, but frankly these people’s priorities are fucked.

Being entirely honest, I’d say that the biggest issue overall is that democracy itself, in the U.S., has failed miserably.  People simply aren’t smart enough for democracy to function as intended, and in the end this has lead to the system converging into two parties which are functionally identical yet separated by wedge issues that give the illusion of a massive divide.

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” — Noam Chomsky

~Neko (a Canadian)

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