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Invaluable guidance to read before you vote

6 November 2012

Summary: Here are three excerpts from articles that perfectly express my view about the election, doing so far better than I could. Please read them in full.  This is an important election, although in different ways than believed by partisans on both sides.

Cast your ballot!



  1. The Politics of Fear“, Mark Danner, New York Review of Books, 22 November 2012
  2. Yes, Virginia, the election is almost over …“, Stephen M. Walt (Prof of international relations, Harvard), Foreign Policy,
    5 November 2012
  3. Obama, Romney & Enthusiasm“, Mike Kimel, Angry Bear, 4 November 2012
  4. Is democracy a good system of government?
  5. For More Information about Campaign 2012


(1)  The Politics of Fear” by Mark Danner
From the New York Review of Books, 22 November 2012

It’s brilliant, but too long & complex to excerpt. Please read it in full.

Mark Danner is a Professor of English, Journalism and Politics at UC Berkeley and a Professor of Foreign Affairs, Politics & the Humanities at Bard College. He currently teaches at Al Quds University in East Jerusalem. His most recent book is Stripping Bare the Body: Politics Violence War.  His next, Torture and the Forever War, will be published in Spring 2013. See his writing and other work at his website.

(2) Yes, Virginia, the election is almost over …“, Stephen M. Walt (Prof of international relations, Harvard), Foreign Policy, 5 November 2012

What makes it easy is looking at the other side. The Romney campaign’s critique of Obama’s foreign policy is about as factually accurate as its fairy budget proposals. It’s also schizophrenic: The Romney campaign wants you to think Obama has been too hard on our allies and too easy on our foes, yet in the third debate Romney agreed with almost all of Obama’s policies. Moreover, his campaign’s reliance on a bunch of neoconservative retreads tells you he’s either craven or a bad judge of talent, and neither is an especially appealing quality for a future leader.

If you’re still undecided, all you need to do is contrast Obama’s pitch-perfect foreign tour in 2008 with the gaffe and pander-filled Romney tour last summer. On foreign policy grounds, therefore, this decision is a no-brainer.

(3) Obama, Romney & Enthusiasm“, Mike Kimel, Angry Bear, 4 November 2012 (red emphasis added):


We live in lesser times. The election is coming up, and our choices for President are pretty dismal. … An honest person must admit ample reasons to oppose everyone on the ballot.

…  Until Barack Obama came around, the only Presidents since the end of WW2 to increase the national debt as a percentage of GDP have been Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and the two Bushes. So why is it that so many people who oppose Obama, who look to Reagan as a shining light, are yelling about financial responsibility and deficits? They weren’t supporting Democrats since 1976 …

I don’t get the economic concerns that Republicans have about Obama. With the exception of Obamacare, essentially the same thing as Romneycare and very much based on a Heritage Foundation plan, Obama’s economic plan has been to continue GW’s policies. Tax rates have been kept constant, right where GW left them. The bailout was kept the same. What exactly did he change?

Which leads to the same question for Democrats too: what exactly did Obama change? … on the economic front, all I can point to is that Obama has, if anything, done less to rein in financial abuses than his predecessor did.

… The reason we live in lesser times is because, collectively, we are lesser people.

…  The stakes surrounding this election are far smaller than the stakes surrounding how we, the people, behave when it comes to politics.

Kimel has a PhD in economics at UCLA; he has built statistical software used by the military, NASA, and other government agencies; ran the internal consulting group for a Fortune 500 telecom company; and worked for a Big 4 accounting firm. He founded Analytic Economics.

(4)  Is democracy a good system of government?

“Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
— Winston Churchill, speech in the House of Commons on 11 November 1947

Joe {Professor, of an advanced alien race} knew about democracies, voting, representation, and courts of law. He could fish up examples from many planets. He said that “democracy was a very good system, for beginners.”
— From chapter 9 of Robert Heinlein’s Have Space Suit, will Travel (1958)

Think before you vote!

(5)  For More Information

Look at these FM Reference Pages:

About the 2012 Campaign:

  1. Campaign finance reform = incumbent protection, 20 December 2009
  2. Republicans have found a sure-fire path to victory in the November elections,    5 February 2010
  3. Mitt Romney and the Empire of Hubris. Setting America on a path to decline., 10 October 2011
  4. The hidden dynamics of the 2012 campaign, and what it’s doing to America, 9 March 2012
  5. President Romney will prove an effective President, reshaping America for his constituents., 17 April 2012
  6. Romney back on top. More evidence that the campaign news matters little. It’s the economy!, 19 July 2012
  7. The significance for America of Romney’s choice of Ryan as VP, 11 August 2012
  8. Our choice of a leader reflects our true self. What does 2012 tell about America?, 19 September 2012
  9. Last week’s dark prediction becomes this week’s news about the campaign, 26 October 2012


8 Comments leave one →
  1. 6 November 2012 6:22 am

    Love the use of pictures lately on this site.


    • Sera permalink
      6 November 2012 6:41 am

      Content editor has the hots for Miss Perry. And I am sure that I do not know anyone who would be persuaded (to vote differently) based on any of these articles. Just chaff for the colleagues.


    • 6 November 2012 6:45 am

      “Just chaff for the colleagues.”

      I believe this is an inevitable aspect of writing about politics. One man’s meat, another’s poison. Trash/treasure.

      People circulate what they find useful. We all do that as best we can. Then we vote. It’s democracy.


    • Sera permalink
      7 November 2012 6:52 am

      Actually, if one looks hard enough, one may find a little nugget (in these articles) worth mentioning. I read them anyway, so thanks for posting- sometimes it is good to see how others view the world.


    • 7 November 2012 6:53 am

      These things are complex. We’re like the six blind men encountering an elephant, trying to determine what it is.


  2. 6 November 2012 3:15 pm

    “The reason we live in lesser times is because, collectively, we are lesser people. … The stakes surrounding this election are far smaller than the stakes surrounding how we, the people, behave when it comes to politics.”

    Spot on and one could add “…how we behave when it comes to just about everything.”.

    This not an important election. Those happened a long time ago, most of those Citizens are dead and the rest, well those few are entering retirement. This election is a clear example of “The Same as it ever was.” in two generational harmony. For those of a patient nature, you can wait and see. And for some of us….you must be kidding me, this is an election of significance with an Electorate of maturity?

    “We all do the best we can.”???

    Such wishful hoping. In fact many do the best they can and the powerful take about all they can get their hands on until the Day they are Throttled! Good luck out there.



  3. 6 November 2012 8:12 pm

    I think this video about summarizes this election. . Done in the universal language of ‘video games.’


    • 6 November 2012 8:40 pm

      This is great; thanks for posting!

      Perhaps by 2016 or 2020 an advanced version of this will replace voting.


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