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Your Vote is a Weapon

On Thursday morning, I experienced a moment of silence on the phone–a long moment of pin-drop silence. I was talking to the Democratic National Committee.

I said, “I have voted Democratic all my life. I was a volunteer on the Clinton/Gore, Kerry/Edwards, and Obama/Biden campaigns. This past week, I followed the events about the debt ceiling closely. I am disgusted by the president’s total surrender.

“I gave a lot of hours to the Obama campaign in ’08. I put a lot of energy into it. I will not vote for Obama again. In November 2012, when I step into that voting booth, if I see the name, Obama, on the ticket, for the first time in my life, I will vote Republican. If the Republican candidate is Michele Bachmann, then I will vote for Michele Bachmann for President of the United States.”

This is when the long moment of silence occurred.

“I will pass it on,” the DNC rep said. Then we chatted cordially for a moment. I assured her that my ire was not personally directed against her, that I understand how difficult it can be to handle the phones at times like this. As soon as I wished her a good day and hung up, I called the White House switchboard.

I gave the White House volunteer my background info. And then I said, “I want Obama to resign, effective immediately.”

I think there was just a hint of a gasp on the other end of the phone. Then I continued, “I am very realistic about politics. I know he isn’t going to resign. But I will do everything I can to oppose his nomination. And if he is nominated… ” you know the rest of the sentence.

On the day before, I called the office of my congressman, John Garamendi. I told the staffer that I had met Garamendi at the Jewish Community Center in Walnut Creek, and I really liked him. We shook hands and talked about health care reform. I had followed his career several years earlier when he was insurance commissioner of California.

And then I added, “I hate to say this because I like him, but I am going to vote against him when he runs for re-election. And I will volunteer for his opponent.” After telling her how absolutely disgusted I was about the Democrats caving in on the debt ceiling, she interjected that he had to vote that way “to preserve the full faith and credit of the United States.” She sounded young and energetic, perhaps just out of college, and her voice was earnest.

“No,” I told her, “not this time. I called this office and the White House earlier this week. I was crystal clear. I will support and vote for anyone who opposes this debt ceiling deal. And I will vote against anyone who passes it.”

“But he’s doing very good things for Pell grants,” she said.

“No, he has lost my vote. I checked out his web site, and he said he would vote against it, and give the president cover for using the 14th amendment. And at the last moment, he caved in, just like Obama. I do not care what they say or how handsome they look in their photo opps or how charming they are. I wanna know how they vote. Otherwise, you get a lot of pretty speeches and then people doing the opposite, just like Obama. If they can’t handle pressure, they should not run for public office.”

Since making those phone calls, I’ve honed my voting strategy. I’ve been reading the comments on my most recent diary, This Land is Their Land. Several people have pointed out that it’s most effective to vote for whomever you truly believe in, whether it’s a third party candidate or writing someone in. No matter what I say, voting Republican would be interpreted as an endorsement of the conservatives’ agenda. It would also reinforce the assumption that there are only two legitimate political choices in this country.

My husband also weighed in, making an impassioned argument that it’s time to break the back of the two-party system. “Wouldn’t it be something if neither the Republican or Democratic presidential candidate got more than 38 percent of the vote and all the rest went to third party candidates or write-ins? If people vote Republican, because they’re mad at Obama, it will just push the country further to the right.”

This part of my plan remains unchanged; Obama has lost my vote. My number one political goal is to get Obama out of the White House before he can do any more damage to the working people of this country.

When I step into that voting booth in November 2012, I will vote for someone who is not Barack Obama. I am assuming, of course, that the Democratic party will be as spineless as they always are. A political party with any guts would send him packing to Chicago. I plan to write in Bernie Sanders or Anthony Weiner (it’s so refreshing to see a Democrat with balls).

If the race is a dead heat between the fake Republican sitting in the White House right now and a real Republican, I say let the real Republican win, even if it’s Michele Bachmann.

When I made my phone calls earlier this week, the word, disgusted, popped out of my mouth repeatedly. When a person gets disgusted, one of two things happens. The person either turns away in disgust–withdrawing and becoming apathetic. Or that person gets mad as hell. I got mad as hell. I’m still mad as hell, and I intend to stay that way until November 2012. The theme in 2008 was hope and change. My personal theme in 2012 will be payback; how dare Obama betray the people who put him into the White House and think there won’t be any consequences.

When I experienced that moment of silence on the phone with the DNC, I realized that my vote is a weapon. And I intend to use it. How about you?

Call the White House 202-456-1111.

Call the Democratic National Committee 877-336-7200.

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Janet Rhodes

Janet Rhodes