2012-09-07 / Columnists

The Rockaway Beat

Can’t Vote For Obama, Can’t Vote For Romney: What To Do?
Commentary By Howard Schwach

I have a conundrum, and I think it is one that is common to my generation (what is left of it) and my political beliefs.

I have been a life-long Democrat, voting first in 1960 on my 21st birthday for John F. Kennedy. There have been a few occasions – few and far between when I voted for a Republican who was moderate enough to draw my interest.

Truth be told, I voted for McCain in the last election, convinced that Obama did not have either the expertise or the right stuff to be president.

Unfortunately for the nation, I was right.

McCain, on the other hand, was not the moderate Republican that I usually support, but as a Navy veteran, the story of his capture and his refusal to leave captivity early just because he was an admiral’s son rang true. At least, he was an honorable man.

He lost to the promise of an Obama that would change things and bring hope once more to America.

That hope was illusionary – smoke and mirrors.

He has been a lousy president, so how can I vote for him this year?

Because his opponent has been eaten up by the Tea Party and the right-wing loonies who want to take us back to the 1300s.

I watched the Republican Convention last week – at least I tried to – but the speeches forced me to change the channel and go back to reruns of NCIS. It was hard to tell which was fiction and which was the truth.

Now, I believe that I am sort of a average American in his or her 70’s.

My wife and I have many of the common ailments that people of a certain age get no matter what their lifestyle.

So, when Obamacare came along, I cheered because my wife and I were being drowned in Medicare’s “donut hole.”

Drugs that cost me out of pocket a total of $86 at the beginning of year, when Medicare was paying 80 percent of the freight cost me $680 in August, September, October, November and December, when we dropped into the donut hole.

Now, under Obamacare, those drugs cost me the same $86 at the beginning of the year, but only $160 the rest of the year, and in a few years, the donut hole will be gone for good – unless Romney takes over and makes good on his promise to repeal the health care reform act.

That one issue shows the philosophical difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.

The Republicans are worried about how Obamacare impacts businesses, forcing the owners to pay for insurance and upping the cost.

The Democrats are more worried about people and how they will be able to get the health care they need.

The Republicans believe that if you cut business taxes the money saved will be pushed back into the business and create jobs.

The old “Trickle-down theory.”

The Democrats believe that if you give more money to consumers, they will spend more and create jobs.

The old “Trickle-up theory.”

History has taught us that the trickle down theory does not work, and yet the Republicans continue to make it the centerpiece of their philosophy.

That, and their belief that women belong in the home and, as the southerners used to say in the Navy, “barefoot and pregnant.”

I listened to Paul Ryan, and everything he said about Obamacare was a lie.

Ryan is a dangerous man, unless you are living in 1340.

He wants to wipe out Medicare as we know it and turn the program over to the bankers and Wall Street players, the same people who gave mortgages to people who could not afford them and then made billions of dollars for their companies and themselves by betting that they would fail. Do you want them controlling your money and the level of health care that you can afford? I sure don’t.

But Ryan has also voted consistently against workplace equity for women arguing that it should not be easier for women to bring lawsuits for sexual harassment and discrimination.

He strongly opposes abortion rights, even for women who have been abused and raped. He has authored a bill that would change the federal definition of rape to delete victims of statutory rape so that he could limit the number of women who could get an abortion paid for by Medicaid. He has authored more than three dozen anti-abortion bills and wants federal money taken away from Planned Parenthood.

He has co-authored a bill that would bar forcing employers from paying for birth control insurance if it violated their religious beliefs. He supports a ban on same-sex marriage. He even tried to keep same sex couples in the District of Columbia from adopting children.

He is as right wing as it gets.

If you ask why I’m writing about Ryan rather than Romney, it’s because Ryan was chosen for VP because the right wing loonies, concerned with Romney’s creds forced him to choose Ryan and now he is moving right to get the votes of his core constituents.

How about some quotes from Romney on some of my seminal issues.

“If I were a voter {in New Hampshire] I would do whatever is necessary to make [my state] a right-to-work state, to create jobs.”

“I will either consolidate [the federal Department of Education] with another agency or perhaps make it a heck of a lot smaller. The federal teacher’s unions have too much power. In some cases, they overpower the states and the school districts. We have got to put the kids first and the teacher’s unions behind.”

Who will I vote for? Not Romney, that’s for sure. The question is, will I sit this one out or vote for a person I know is not qualified for the job.

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