There are valid critiques of the president, but what's important now is that a vote for Obama is a vote against extremism -- and for functional government.
I think the Weimar Republic collapsed ... because there were not enough citizens. That's the lesson I have learned. Citizens cannot leave politics just to politicians.
A number of writers who identify with what passes in America for a left-of-center world view say they will not vote for Barack Obama's reelection or that they would prefer that Mitt Romney become president. There seem to be three principal varieties of this attitude:
- Obama is an unprincipled center-right politician who deceived us by campaigning as a progressive. Obama has implemented policies destructive enough to be "deal breakers" for principled voters. This objection focuses mainly on Obama's drone campaign, the surge in Afghanistan, indefinite detention, and his purported willingness to cut Social Security and Medicare.
- Obama, by "normalizing" bipartisan acceptance of Republican policies, may in the long-term be worse than Romney.This argument ratchets up the indictment against Obama by asserting not that Obama is insufficiently better than Romney, as the first argument usually implies, but that he may be worse. In this argument, Democrats are the key "enablers" in the process of moving the American political spectrum inexorably rightward.
- "The worse the better." I have not yet seen this argument in print, but I have heard some persons of a progressive or leftish tendency express it. They say they would prefer a Romney victory because it would administer a horse doctor's dose of emetic to a deluded electorate. By "heightening the contradictions" inherent in the American political system, a Romney victory would accelerate a crash whose pieces a reinvigorated left-populism would pick up.
The first argument is a morally principled one, and should be treated seriously. I have also criticized Obama's national security policy, relentlessly. But there are three counterarguments that should resonate in a political environment in which Mitt Romney and the policies he espouses are the only viable alternative.