Charles Blow wrote an excellent piece in the New York Times, called Focus, People! He was taking people to task about getting caught in the minutiae of campaign rhetoric – what I like to call the battle of moral outrage.
As a liberal, I am often truly shocked at the Social Darwinism proposed by Republicans – the blatant bias toward the wealthy, bigotry against all things not white, male or heterosexual, and the ruthlessness in dealing with the less-fortunate. Like a lot of my fellows, I tweet away, chronicling the latest horror story. Ted Nugent, Scott Walker, Rush Limbaugh, ALEC, Grover, Reince (who names their kid that?) or Allen West.
I doubt there are many Republicans who follow me on Twitter, so in essence, I am just preaching to the choir. The question that has been nibbling at me lately is “What am I actually doing to help the President get re-elected?”
Americans of all parties have taken to our respective corners and are more than ready to come out swinging. We have our talking points, our pointing fingers, our favorite villains and our most righteous defense. Everyone is so well rehearsed that no one needs to listen anymore.
Liberals are all about big government, entitlements – we are socialists, conducting a war on Christianity, supporters of junk science, unions, we want to destroy American family values. We support abortion, gay marriage, civil rights and a black man in the White House.
Conservatives are all about small government (except for women and LGBT’s.) They worship capitalism and free markets. They are pro-fetus. They like guns and harsh churches and the very rich. They want women in their place, gays out of the military, immigrants out of the country and that damn N-Word out of the White House.
No wonder people snickered when Rodney King said, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
LIVING IN THE SOLUTION
That being said, what can we do to support the President’s bid for re-election?
1. Register and Vote. I hear too many people talk about not voting. “Both parties are corrupt, the entire system needs to change, rage against the machine.” I’ll show them, I won’t vote. Listen up – you don’t vote, they’ll show you. You may rest assured that Anybody-But-Mitt is nowhere near as important as Anybody-But-Obama. Not only should we vote, we can help other people register and get to the polls.
2. Speak to Accomplishments. We can define our talking points by what’s right about the President – not just what’s wrong with the Republicans. Here’s a few of my favorites:
- Until Barack Obama took office, the US was the only industrialized nation in the world without universal healthcare. The Affordable Healthcare Act is an amazing piece of legislation – here’s a great list of how it benefits Americans.
- President Obama removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research and offered new grants to support research.
- He ended the previous administration’s policy of tax benefits for outsourcing American jobs and offered them for bringing jobs back
- President Obama withdrew our troops from Iraq and destroyed the leadership of Al-Quaeda.
- He funded a new Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History, opening in 2015
- President Obama doesn’t talk about family values, he lives them. (If my favorites don’t suit you, you can find a bigger list here.)
3. Stop Sulking. No, President Obama is not perfect and yes, he has sometimes used tactics or made decisions that I didn’t agree with. Boo-hoo, poor me. I have no idea what it’s like to be President – the power, the constraints, the pressure – so all I have is an opinion. Like a certain body orifice, everybody’s got one. But we can try to look at what has been done and keep working toward what needs to change. Advocacy without any celebration of success is an exhausting, demoralizing road.
4. Stand Proud. I live in a very conservative town in a conservative state. I am a little nervous about putting up an Obama sign in my yard. But it’s the least I can do. I won’t apologize for supporting President Obama. I am an American who is proud of her President.
Who knows, maybe - just maybe – it will open an actual dialogue where I can explain why.
You can follow me on twitter @mrbabypants. Take the House, Hold the Senate, Obama 2012.