Five Reasons to Vote for Obama

There is a pattern here that only someone in deep denial could miss: an attack on women as independent and self-governing beings and an attack on feminine values, especially spiritually. In their place they praise "manliness," which involves talking tough, failing to serve the country, and debasing the concept of being a strong man. As neoconservative Harvey Mansfield put it, "the claim to protect is the claim to rule. How can I protect you properly if I can't tell you what to do?" Michael Ledeen, another neoconservative supporter of Romney, says Americans "must not be left to our own devices. We must be forced or, under ideal circumstances, convinced or inspired to do good." On the religious right, Bruce Ware tells us, "If it's true that in the Trinity itself—in the eternal relationships of Father, Son, and Spirit, there is authority and submission, and the Son eternally submits to the will of the Father—if that's true, then this follows: It is as Godlike to submit to rightful authority with joy and gladness as it is Godlike to exert wise and beneficial rightful authority." Be they secular or religious, the Republican right uses the pecking order ethics of a baboon troop.

Only the most stupid of Pagans could believe they would leave us alone if they had the chance to do us harm. This is one of the biggest differences between even corporatist Democrats like Barack Obama and his Republican opponents, and it is great enough that I cannot imagine any decent Pagan voting for Romney and his enablers.

2) War on the Environment

The Democrats have been and continue to be a disappointment regarding how we relate to the more-than-human world. The Obama administration is no friend of the earth, none at all. But it is not a committed enemy.

Advocates for the natural world as a place of intrinsic value have a voice in the Democratic Party, and if it wins that voice will have a chance to be heard. Mitt Romney and his crowd? He has said that he "does not know the purpose" of public lands aside from drilling, mining, and logging them: that is, serving corporations and corporations alone.

Some Democrats admit global warming is a serious problem; no Republicans do.

Some Democrats defend the Endangered Species Act. To my knowledge, no Republicans do.

Right-wing Republicans have consistently opposed environmental regulations, yet when such regulations have been passed and enforced, public health improves and the economy is not hobbled. A recent study demonstrated that eliminating lead from the many sources where children absorbed it improved school performance as much as eliminating over 20 percent of the income differential between poor and better-off students. Contemporary Republicans oppose such regulations.

If Republicans dominate government, particularly the presidency, there will be no sympathetic ear anywhere for taking care of the earth. I admit there are too few sympathetic Democratic ears, but being hard of hearing is preferable to being absolutely deaf.

3) The Supreme Court

Any coherent Pagan view of ourselves and our world must, I think, grant that we live within networks of relationships that are more than purely instrumental. Yes, the world and all within it is useful and can be even more so. But in that respect, the usefulness of our world is like that of friendship. If we value someone solely because they are useful, we are not truly friends, and we will blind ourselves to the deeper values and truths that happen when utility is subordinated to care.

A part of legitimate self-governance by a community is being able to make decisions as to what kind of behavior is acceptable and what is not. People disagree, and mistakes will be made. But the hope is that in a free society over time, the better case and the better ethics will win out.

In Citizens United, the Supreme Court majority has made this basic principle difficult to actually act upon. Citizens United holds to the most vulgar and depraved concept of citizenship: that corporations are persons and money is speech. If corporations were persons, they would be regarded as dangerous psychopaths, incapable of acting ethically. The corrupt judicial minds on the Supreme Court have done all they can to ensure that these institutional psychopaths, who are never punished for crimes that would send a genuine person to jail, are free to use hundreds of millions of dollars to further corrupt our elections.

10/28/2012 4:00:00 AM