Why I Won't Vote Obama 2012

Well, it's still well over a year until the next U.S. presidential election, but Republican primary candidates are already butting heads and I've already seen an "Obama 2012" bumper sticker. Unfortunately, I can't look at that sticker without feeling a great deal of disgust, and on thinking about it, I am sure I will not be voting for Barack Obama in the next election - my first official vote for president.

How can I say this? After all, I am a rather left-wing, redistributionist character, as can be seen with simple browsing through this blog. If right-wing hype was correct about Obama's extreme socialist nature, by this point I would have to be worshipping the guy. Instead, I am entirely disappointed with our president, and the one question I have to ask is this: What has Barack Obama done for our lives? As far as I can tell, it's pretty much nothing.

I've really only seen two concrete changes take place in my life because of the Obama administration. The first is the extension to age 26 of the time you can use your parents' health insurance. The second is further requirements for universities to provide textbook costs in advance for every class - even though Georgetown has been about 50% non-compliant so far. Are these things a little helpful for me? Sure. Are they a big deal? Hell no.

There are many things largely not involving the legislative branch on which Obama could have acted directly during his three years in office. The ones I am most concerned with and would have most wanted Obama to change are military in nature: close Guantanamo (failed), withdraw from Iraq (failed), withdraw from Afghanistan (quite the opposite), lessen U.S. military interference in the world (again, the opposite), and divert monies spent on weaponry and violence to ways to help all Americans, like health and education (not even attempted). Quite frightening is the idea that America's global shadow war "on terrorism" (as if such a thing could be defeated) will continue indefinitely, regardless of political change. Obama's actions seem to support the notion.

In so many ways, Americans have been let down. I don't ask for much - Palin made me happy when she was governor just by supporting a tax increase on oil companies. There are so many things Obama might have engineered - restructuring taxes, making simple and significant changes to healthcare, giving states more basic and effective educational support - but in the end, no real progress has been made. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) It may seem hackneyed or naive, but my girlfriend and I talk a lot about moving to Canada. The United States just seems to be mired in regression, seeking solutions to our myriad societal problems at an idiot's pace and with an idiot's sense. Political action needs more simplicity, more pragmatism and more benefits brought to the most basic levels of society. As far as I can tell, Obama is unable to provide any of that, not so far and not in five years more.