COLUMN: Voters made horrible mistake
More reasons to be worried
A few more nightmare policies supported by the election’s winner:
- Continued prosecution of whistleblowers like Private Manning and those involved with Wikileaks.
- The environmentally hazardous Keystone XL pipeline, which has required outright land theft through eminent domain in its construction
- Keeping the invasive Patriot Act in effect.
There’s been a lot of celebration about the results of this election from supporters who’ve had their hopes and prayers answered. Ultimately, though, I think voters made the wrong decision this time around.
Considering the most important issues, the victor has shown himself to be consistently horrifying. Take foreign policy.
His hostile rhetoric toward Iran does not spell anything good for anyone who values peace. That he is using the same, equally unfounded claims about weapons of mass destruction that got us into Iraq is ominous. That he is willing to use military force on that shaky basis and likely end up killing countless civilians in the process is unconscionable.
The Drug War also will undoubtedly escalate in these next four years.
Which means that organized crime has a pretty good reason to celebrate, but non-violent drug offenders who now account for one fourth of all prison inmates certainly don’t. Nor do those chained to addiction but afraid to seek help due to possible imprisonment.
Despite what his fine-tuned speeches will have you believe, big business and big government will grow under his administration, and they will grow together.
No matter how many appeals have been made to the middle-class, all one has to remember is his defense of the bailouts to know that corporate power will stay strong. The rest of us will all continue to be the victims of whatever legal plunder is necessary to sustain it. What else could we expect from someone who triumphed legislation that literally forced people to buy health insurance companies’ products?
Other issues don’t look any brighter, either. Immigrants will likely face record deportations. We will not be leaving Afghanistan any time soon. The fact that the president is allowed to kill anyone he wants without even a show trial — as long as he declares them a “terrorist” and puts them on a list — will not change. One might even say that we have effectively brought George W. Bush back to the oval office.
I should probably note at this point that I sent this column to my editor on Monday morning, a day before the election. I have absolutely no idea who will have won by the time you’re reading this.
I do know, though, that whether Obama or Romney won, everything I just said applies. Whatever decision the voters made, it was the wrong one. Trivialities like the crusade to save Big Bird inspired heated debates, while the issues just mentioned, and pretty much anything else that approaches being substantial, were met with total silence.
That it’s so easy to write a column like this before the election is telling. As is the fact that most of it could equally apply to our last several presidents. The unavoidable conclusion is that we are dealing with a political system that is completely resistant to reform from the inside.
Jason Byas is a philosophy senior.