I have been disenchanted with Barack Obama since the summer of 2008. I didn’t vote for him in 2008, because I’m a liberal, not a Democrat, and the writing was already on the wall that Barack Obama was not going to promote liberal causes. I admire the progressive presidential campaigns of Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein, and right now, my intention is to vote for one of them in November.
In that context, it’s a big deal for me to even think this, much less say it: Something happened today that, if it is followed through to completion, could convince me to vote for Barack Obama for President in 2012.
I’m talking about the statement from within the Obama Administration that President Obama is considering massive cuts to America’s arsenal of nuclear weapons – perhaps down to 300 nuclear warheads.
Right now, the cuts are just talk. They’re not even talk from Obama himself, and certainly not a promise. Besides that, Barack Obama has made plenty of promises to liberals that he has broken. My trust in Obama is not high.
However, getting rid of nuclear weapons is a big deal. When Republicans talk about spending as a big problem that we have to face down, I shake my head, because budget issues are nothing compared to the problem we have with nuclear weapons.
There’s a whole lot I don’t like about Barack Obama, on many issues that matter to me as an American liberal. However, if I see concrete action, with a commitment that’s got teeth, to get the process started of reducing our nuclear weapons down to 300, I just might give Obama my vote.
The insane headlines today from America’s right wing publications today have only confirmed for me what a serious issue this is, and how far from the responsible path the Republicans have gone.
“Obama’s Irrational Warhead Cuts: Nuclear Gun Control”, said one headline.
“Obama Nuclear Weapons Plan ‘Downright Scary’”, read another.
It’s crazy for someone to think that eliminating weapons of mass destruction is “irrational” or “scary”. Consider the purpose of a nuclear weapon: To kill millions of civilians per explosion.
It is a national disgrace that the United States continues to hold so many nuclear weapons as a threat over the rest of the world. For the sake of any public official who does serious work toward eliminating nuclear weapons, I am willing to overlook a whole lot of other policy differences.
Of course, if Barack Obama backs away from eliminating nuclear weapons, then that will just strengthen my resolve to vote for Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson for President, and encourage others to do so as well.
It’s time to put on the hope, Mr. President.