The Rant 

If my calculations are right (I'm not too good with numbers), this is the last Rant I will write before Election Day 2012 and the last Rant I'll write during President Barack Obama's first term in office (not technically, since Inauguration Day for whoever wins will be in January). I can't believe it has been four years since he became president of the United States and the country's first African-American president in its 200 plus-year history. And I really can't believe it has been eight years since he gave that phenomenal speech at the 2004 Democratic Party convention, which prompted me to immediately call my best friend and say, "Barack Obama is going to be president someday." And with Election Day looming, I have voted early for the first time in my life because this is a big one, and if I get hit by a bus I want to know in the afterlife, if there is one, that my vote counted to try to get him reelected.

I don't agree with everything the president does or says. He is not nearly liberal enough for me. But I love him, and what it all boils down to for me is this: Does he make me feel like the country is progressing to a higher level of humanity? The answer is yes.

The economy is not the number-one issue for me. The number-one issue for me is whether I am going to be embarrassed to be from the United States if it elects someone who will do whatever he can to keep this country an antiquated, white-male-dominated, power-hungry, capitalist-at-anyone's-expense nation.

Fortunately, I am a Memphian and can and will always, always be proud of that. But during those eight years of George W. Bush, I always felt like crawling under a rock when it came to being an American. I was in Peru when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, and it was really uncomfortable. The thought of the likes of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney having ever been in power still gives the political side of me chills, and I'm afraid that's what we will be in for if Romney is elected. Arizona governor Jan Brewer as secretary of state, anyone? Yikes.

I realize I am a kneejerk, blowhard liberal and proud of it, but how can anyone anywhere support a candidate for president who allows television commercials for the only senate candidate he supports to keep running in light of said candidate's remarks about pregnancy as the result of rape being a gift from God? The fact that Romney's camp says he disagrees with Richard Mourdock but Romney himself won't pull his campaign ads endorsing him is typical of his smoke-and-mirrors campaign. I think if I hear him talk one more time about how he is going to create jobs without giving anyone an inkling of how he plans to do it, I am going to commit voter fraud and vote for President Obama again. And all his B.S. about "real big change"? Yep, he'll bring about real big change when he cuts off funding for Planned Parenthood, outlaws abortion, cuts all arts education in public schools, makes sure billionaires don't pay taxes, breaks up half of the immigrant families in the country, probably starts another war, makes it legal to torture dogs, and starts a new health-care system in which insurance companies cover tanning-bed fees. I think the only real big change in which he is interested is turning the White House back over to a wealthy white man.

One of the most bizarre things about this election is the television commercial being run by Hungarian-born billionaire Thomas Peterffy, which urges Americans to vote Republican because otherwise we will become a poverty-stricken socialist society. Oh, yes. It comes complete with footage of starving people in the Eastern Bloc and people waiting in line for food and the whole ugly nine yards. He claims he did this all by himself. Ha. I'm sure noooo Republican strategists gave him any help at all. Even more bizarre than the commercial itself is that it has gone almost virtually unmentioned by the press. Every time someone in either party bites into a donut they analyze it for a week on CNN, but no one has even questioned this piece of crap.

Now that I have wrung my hands and stressed out about this election and what it means and how close it is and have watched countless hours of news about it and read so many articles and worried and fretted and banged my head against the wall and voted early, I am going to give myself a break. I just saw a teaser on one of the local television stations for a story to air later with the headline "I WANT MY MONKEY BACK" and I am going to glue myself to the tube.


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