Casting my vote in the 2012 American presidential election

As I’ve said before, I love voting. But that doesn’t mean I love our grater political institutions. The act of voting is separate from deciding who to vote for, and this year’s election cycle has been especially off-putting.

So, I’m planning on casting a write-in vote, probably for Hillary Rodham.

Why am I going the write-in route rather than voting for the same person I did the last go round?

Mainly because I live in a liberal town where my vote doesn’t really count, so I can play around with the ballot box like this. (Can you imagine if we told soldiers they were giving their lives so we could “play around with the ballot box” instead of telling them they were preserving the freedoms of democracy? That’s a discussion for another day…)

But there are a few things Obama has been up to which don’t make me especially happy.

1) Detaining Americans without charging them isn’t cool. Even if this law was subsequently struck down by a judge. (See this badly bootlegged Daily Show clip for information about the law. And this article about the judge’s ruling.)

2) I’m also not that pleased about the increased drone strikes under Obama. (Here’s a handy map o’death.)

3) Is it just me, or does he always seem to be caving to Republicans on tax cuts? (It’s not just me.)

That’s not to say the administration hasn’t been without high points. Good job passing healthcare reform. Not the best law ever, but a very good start at scaling back the profits and bureaucracy surrounding our basic rights. Also, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has a nice ring to it; let’s hope its aim is true.

A big part of me isn’t voting for Obama because I’m just fed up with the phoniness of the election campaign. You give me fake candidates, I’ll give you a fake vote. Maybe I’ll put London mayor Boris Johnson down as my pick. I think he handled himself pretty well when he got stuck on that zip wire this summer.

There’s too much money and spin and sound bites and flag lapel pins for me to take it seriously. Which is a problem because it is serious. One of the liars on the ballot is going to the White House. God bless the United States of America. We need it.

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