Once More Into The Voting Booth, Dear Friends

But will voting really make a difference?

“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 5

In “The Scottish Play” as actors call it, Macbeth has just learned of the death of his wife and is surprised at his own indifference to the event. It is with similar reflection that I look ahead to the coming Presidential election.

There are real differences between the candidates. My friends tell me this and I know that it is true. President Obama, for all his faults, and they are many, will resist attempts to gut Social Security and Medicare. Romney and Ryan would dismantle as much of the tattered remnants of the social safety net as they are able to.  These are issues of serious consequence to me. I will turn sixty next month. Under Romney’s vision for America I shall have to work until I die.

That is as stark as it can get.

There is a new video going around that was made by Broadway actors who support the President:

YouTube player

Four years ago many of the same people gave us this:

YouTube player

See the difference? The joy and optimism washes out of the screen like a wave in the earlier video. It captures the feel that we had back in ’68 when it seemed that either Gene McCarthy or Bobby Kennedy would be the next president. That was how a lot of people felt about Barack Obama in 2008.Now it is 2012 and we have gone from “Storm the Barricades!” to “Man the barricades, here they come again”.

Many of the great things that we hoped for, and many of the things we were promised did not come to be. Much of it was the result of obstructionism by an opposition that seemed willing to destroy the country to regain power.

Some of it simply felt like a betrayal of our trust, the NDAA for example, or the assertion of the power to assassinate American Citizens accused of supporting terrorists without any due process.

It is simply hard to be excited. This is my eleventh Presidential election that I will have voted in and the fourteenth that I can remember. There is no talk of Hope and Change this year. This year both sides tell me “Vote for us or bad things will happen.”

Bad things have happened for twelve years.

I am very much afraid I will see more bad things in the four years to come no matter who sits in the Oval Office. I feel that much of America shares this…not even cynicism, but a sad resignation.

The death of Neil Armstrong this week brought back to me memories of what America used to aspire to be, even when we were struggling to free ourselves of the quagmire of a seemingly endless war. Even with Nixon in the White House, we still had hope…for a time.

“With the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark-the place where the wave broke, and rolled back.”

“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” Hunter S. Thompson

Be seeing you.

The Town Scryer
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