An Election Eve Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama,
I regret to inform you that I will not be voting for you in the Nov. 6, 2012, election. You see, I’m one of the millions of middle-class Americans you lied to when you stood up in front of a group of Arizonans in February 2009 and promised government “home preservation” programs would help seven million to nine million homeowners fend off their foreclosure-frenzied mortgage servicers. Far from being a help for homeowners caught up in the economic tsunami wrought by power-hungry financial services industry executives, those programs proved to be nothing more than a delaying tactic to make banks’ foreclosure machines run more smoothy.

Your “foreclosure prevention” scams hurt decent, hard-working people. You put your stamp of approval on a program that allowed banks to play cruel games with people, telling them lies and leading them on only to steal their homes. Then you promised the American people several times there would be justice for the way the economic disaster came about and for the fraud the banks were still perpetrating. But, of course, there has been no justice.

You and you administration – along with the majority of Congress, all the so-called regulators and a surprising slice of the judiciary – seem to be wrapped around the Oligarchs’ little fingers, so busy about their selfish business that you have forgotten whom you are meant to serve and protect. Your empty promises cost me and my fellow Americans our financial security, our homes, our communities. And I haven’t heard one single word in the campaign about any plans to change any of that. So, presumably, a second term would bring us more of same.

Neither I nor our country can stand for that. So I have decided that, from now on, I will never knowingly cast a vote for any candidate who counts any sector of the financial services industry among his top campaign contributors. Of course, it’s your opponent who is the flavor of the month with the banksters this time around. But that’s just because they bought you before the last election and, of course, a soul once sold is seldom redeemed. I’ll be casting my vote in the presidential race for one of the alternative candidates. Or perhaps writing in Elizabeth Warren. (Would that I could be a Bay Stater for a day and help send her to Congress.)

I do think a country run by Mitt Romney would prove nearly as intolerable to me as the one run by George W. Bush. But even that’s not enough to cause me to vote for you again. Not after you stood aside and allowed a bank to take my house and millions more besides. Fact is, given what I have learned firsthand from being railroaded through the foreclosure process, I don’t really believe it matters anymore who becomes president. With the vast majority of Congress seemingly bent only on playing childish power games and lining their pockets, government “for the people” is nothing more than an empty phrase, rendered meaningless by the very people meant to ensure its existence.

Given that, you may think me tempted to forego the whole voting process entirely. But I happen to be one of those people who believes it’s my duty to exercise my right to vote. (I practice similar diligence in exercising my right to free speech.) I’m quite looking forward to marking my ballot to send Ron Barber back to Washington to walk in the footsteps of one of the few politicians whose ethics I can respect – our own Arizona hero, Gabby Giffords.

I’ve done my due diligence and assured myself of the bona fides of several state-level candidates, though I admit I was dismayed to see small donations to several Arizona Democrats by my nemesis Wells Fargo. But their major benefactors represented groups and causes I support, so I won’t feel compelled to leave those spaces blank. And I took particular pleasure in researching my choices for the local school board, hoping to do my part to help Tucson students fight our racist attorney general and, by association, the governor he rode in with.

I do commend you for moving this country one step closer to a sensible health-care policy. I know a lot of people who moan about “Obamacare,” but as a small-business owner who buys my own health insurance, I now have more choices and my premium recently went down. So, it’s working for me.

And, thankfully for the people whose communities were hit by the recent hurricane, you do seem to have whipped FEMA into shape. Was selling out millions of homeowners to your campaign supporters the price you had to pay to accomplish those things? That’s not democracy, you know. It’s some sort of crazy shell game and it’s destroying everything good and strong and positive in this country. On your watch.

I won’t be a party to perpetuating the destruction of the lives and livelihoods of good, hard-working people. Personally, I’d like to see Congress have a two-term limit like the presidency. I also believe campaigns should be statutorily limited in duration to rein in the obscene spending and provide incentive for candidates to tell us what they’d do to benefit the nation, to improve the quality of life and liberty for the majority instead of lining the pockets of the ruling class. If you and your fellow candidates only had a few weeks to make your case to the entire nation, there wouldn’t be time for all the pandering to special-interest groups or the awful negative ads. Oh, and all lobbyists should be rounded up and made to go get real jobs.

Like most Americans, I’ll just be glad when this expensive farce is all over. Until next time, when I sincerely hope to find a viable candidate who meets my criteria so I can once again cast a meaningful vote instead of only choosing between two people who do not have the best interest of me or my community in mind or at heart.

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Readers, find out whether you’re voting for a Congressional candidate owned by the big banks at OpenSecrets.org

And for state legislative races, go to the National Institute on Money in State Politics’ Follow the Money site.