Last week, I indicated in a video that because Barack Obama had not only broken his promise to oppose the FISA Amendments Act through filibuster, but had also turned his back on the Bill of Rights in general and the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in particular, Barack Obama had “lost my vote.”
I’ve been feeling that I ought to explain what that means. And I ought to explain what I mean by “means,” too. Obviously it doesn’t “mean” much of anything to Barack Obama’s chances of winning the presidency. No presidential contest in any state has hinged on one vote, so what I do nominally with my vote won’t determine whether Barack Obama is or is not the next president. I’m speaking in a much more limited sense of definition. What do I mean by Barack Obama having “lost my vote”?
I mean this: earlier this year, after Barack Obama had followed through to a considerable extent on his pledge to oppose the FISA Amendments Act, and after he had made a point of highlighting human rights and civil rights and the Constitution in a series of repeated speeches, I had not only decided to case my vote for Barack Obama in the Ohio primary but had decided to vote for him in the general election as well. My mind on these matters was made up, not only because Obama’s pledges put him in a better policy position than Hillary Clinton or John McCain, but because they put him by himself in a good policy position, period. It is about time we had a presidential nominee who makes it a priority to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic. You know, that Oath of Office thing.
It still is about time we had a presidential nominee who makes it a priority to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and with Barack Obama playing flip-flop and running to the camp of anti-constitutionalists like um, er, a really fast thing that runs, we’re going to get worse than nothing from Barack Obama. Obama is committing to help enact into law, and then exploit as president, unconstitutional violations of Americans’ civil rights. With that reversal, when I say that Barack Obama has “lost my vote,” I mean that I have lost my decisiveness in support of his candidacy. Barack Obama had my vote in the bag. Now he doesn’t.
I don’t mean that I will vote for John McCain. That would be absurd, considering that John McCain is more anti-Constitutional than Barack Obama. You can pretty much bet that unless a squirrel hits McCain on the noggin with an acorn tomorrow and somehow reactivates his conscience, triggering a wholescale reprioritization of his platform, McCain will not get my vote.
So if I’m not voting for John McCain, and Barack Obama has not won my vote, what could I do? I don’t know what I will do, but here are some possibilities:
1. Vote for Barack Obama. Obama will have to affirmatively do a number of things to win my vote back. Most centrally, he’ll have to somehow convince me that he does not consider the Constitution to be a suggestion.
2. Vote for a third party candidate. Yes, this is an option. But yes, the third party candidate will have to meet the sniff test too. Don’t hold your breath on this option — but I can tell you I’m looking around.
3. Not show up to vote. This is different than voting for John McCain, because voting for John McCain actively negates another person’s Obama vote. Not voting at all has half the effect.
And in the meantime…
4. Not contribute to Barack Obama’s campaign. In the 2004 campaign, I ended up donating more than $1200 to the John Kerry presidential campaign. I haven’t yet sent any campaign contributions to Barack Obama, and I am not inclined to do so now. That’s because:
Regardless of how I vote…
5. I will always criticize Barack Obama when he does something that merits criticism. The sheep-like mentality that we all need to just put our heads down, shut up, bury our doubts and go with the herd is something I struggle against. I am not a robot, I am not a brainless tool, and I believe with a passion that the phrase “Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism” applies to dissent directed at Democratic party figures, too.