Guest Post: I can't take any more of this

This is a guest post by my father talking about his decision process for the upcoming presidential election.  He sent this out as an email to a group of family and friends earlier today.  It's posted here with his permission.

I can't take any more of this
by James Russell

I know that many of you think that I am a Democrat. I am not. I am nauseated by both parties.  For the past eight years I have been more nauseated by the Republican Party.  Because of that, many have concluded that, since I am very angry with what Republicans have done to my country, I must therefore be a Democrat. I find it hard to understand how anyone who has any allegiance to America can have anything but contempt for both these mobs. That being said......

I wanted two things out of the upcoming election (1) George Bush needs to go away and (2) whichever party won a majority in Congress I wanted the other party to have the presidency.  The last eight years is testimony to what happens when one single party has both the Congress and the Executive Branch and that party is owned and operated by lobbyists.  I don't think it would have mattered much whether the Democrats or the Republicans had both branches since both Republicans and Democrats are owned and operated by lobbyists. Just different lobbyists. The Supreme Court has declared lobbying "free-speech".  Lobbying can be described a lot of ways but it can’t possibly be described as “free”.

I am writing this note to tell everyone that I am abandoning item (2) above.  It is highly likely that Democrats will end up with a significant majority in both houses of Congress.  Even with that, I have come to the conclusion that electing John McCain represents a potentially greater tragedy than George Bush.  Here is my thinking.

Eight years ago I sat and watched a television interview where George Bush, candidate for President of the United States, was asked simple and primitive questions about foreign policy and relationships with leaders in well-known European and Eastern European countries.  I was flabbergasted at the depth of Bush's ignorance.  I remember thinking that surely this would be the end of George Bush's candidacy since no sane person would vote for someone who was so willfully ignorant regarding one of the key areas of the job to which he was seeking.  Certainly, no business interviewer would hire him for the job.

Unfortunately, in the US, reasoned thinking takes a second seat to guns, God, gays and taxes.  Promise to cut taxes, spew enough Christian right pablum, promise to cut taxes,  promise to give every household at least one gun, promise to cut taxes,  be sure to tell everybody how gays are bringing about the end of civilization (and how God really hates them anyway), promise to cut taxes and tell them that you are Gods candidate -- and you are in. Oh, I forgot. You must wrap yourselves in flags at every opportunity because everybody knows that if you don't wrap yourself in the flag you must hate America. One more thing…. Did I mention to promise to cut taxes?

Well the voting public got what it deserved and the last eight years speak for themselves. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain or the fact that this administration has added more debt to the US than the sum of all the previous presidents combined (pre-bailout), the dollar is worth much less, manufacturing has disappeared from the US and 600,000 jobs have been lost since the beginning of the year or that we financed two wars with money borrowed from China (every dime of it).

I was looking forward to the end of Bush’s tragic presidency.  Between the vacuous leadership of the executive branch and the stupefyingly partisan gridlock in Congress, I was concerned that even the strength of the United States could not stand up to another four years of this.  It really didn't matter whether Obama or McCain got elected as long as the current crew went away.

Well I now care greatly that John McCain NOT be elected president. John McCain, a 72-year-old three-time cancer survivor, has summoned all of his seasoned experience and judgment and selected a vice presidential candidate, Sara Palin, who ( I cannot believe I am saying this) makes George Bush look like a genius.  Think about this.  Saturday Night Live put on a skit making fun of Sara Palin and the script for the skit was an exact quotation of what Sara Palin said during an interview. The skit got a lot of laughs.  A tear came to my eye.  The next day I saw a poll that indicated that 58% of the people polled in the United States have a positive view of Sara Palin. I went and read transcripts of all of her interviews. I was totally shocked. For years the Republicans have been spewing "fear" as a political motivator. Until now, it really didn't work with me. In fact, I resented it. Well, they finally got me afraid.  

There is no bottom to this pit. Has partisanship completely trumped reason? I look at my grandchildren and think, "We can not let this happen!"