The Presidential Election of 2012 began the moment the majority of
American voters resoundingly chose Barack Obama to be our leader.
They chose him over a once-honorable soldier and statesman who was
willing to sacrifice his integrity to his ambition.
The Presidential Election of 2012 began when Americans chose Barack
Obama to be our leader and the Republicans made the decision that
nothing was more important than making sure President Obama did not
have a second term. They did everything in their considerable power
to obstruct legislation which could improve the lot of our nation
and its citizens. Even when obstruction meant voting against their
To me, it’s nothing short of incredible how much good our President
has accomplished in the face of such hateful opposition. I find it
nothing short of inspirational how he has performed his duties with
dignity despite the ill-concealed and racially-charged disrespect
which the right wing has shown him.
Voting to keep President Obama in the White House was the easiest
vote I have ever made in my life. Any other choice would have been
in violation of basic human decency and morality.
Two sound bites come up in every presidential election. Say them
with me, my brethren and sisteren.
Are you better off than you were four years ago?
We have to take our country back!
Whenever I heard the sound bite that’s a question, my first thought
used to be that my life wouldn’t change much no matter who won the
White House. Even when the comics industry decided that it had no
particular use for me and my talents, I managed to make a living in
other ways and, of course, my Sainted Wife Barbara was doing just
fine working for a health care organization.
I stopped thinking like that when the economy tanked while George
W. Bush was president. I had been doing various kinds of writing
for various business and organization clients. All of which dried
up during the Bush presidency as my clients went out of business or
brought the work I was doing in-house to save money. Even then, I
was okay. I wrote a successful book. I assisted newspaper strip
cartoonists. I sold comic books and original art from my legendary
Vast Accumulation of Stuff. I managed.
But, I must admit, it did bug me that the wealth that was supposed
to trickle down from the most powerful and wealthy corporations and
people never seemed to get me even the slightest bit damp. And I
doubt it was ever intended to help me or those who weren’t doing so
well in the Bush economy.
Trickle-down economics never work. I’ve seen that again and again,
but the Republicans keep chanting it as if it were some right-wing
version of the Lord’s Prayer. Much to my dismay, many of my fellow
citizens buy into this big lie and continue to vote against their
own best interests and the best interests of our nation.
Sainted Wife Barb’s job is secure for now, but she and many of her
fellow health-care professionals realize the Affordable Health Care
Act is necessary for their patients and for the future security of
their jobs. As with so many things, the largest benefits of health
care before the Affordable Health Care Act accrued mainly to large
drug companies and to the insurance industry. Too many people were
Am I better off than I was four years ago? I certainly feel better
off...and I know our nation would have been better off if the GOP
hadn’t decided that its priority was making sure President Obama was
not reelected, even if that meant failing to serve the people who
elected them to office.
I’m one of those voters who think I’m better off if those around me
are better off. So I have applauded the progress made by the LGBT
community in securing full rights for our fellow citizens who have
been denied them unfairly and for too long. I applaud efforts to
educate our students, to protect our industry, to ease the path of
our veterans when they return to civilian life, to guard the rights
of Americans to worship as they see fit as long as their beliefs do
not harm others, to lift up the weakest of us and, in doing so, to
make all of us stronger as a nation and a people.
President Obama and the Democrats have tried to do all this. They
haven’t always succeeded and they haven’t always supported things
I believe they should support. There are many things of which they
should be ashamed. That said, what they have managed to accomplish
is so much more than the Republicans have accomplished...and they
have accomplished this in spite of GOP obstruction.
Will I be better off if Obama is reelected? I believe I will...if
only because so many of those around me will be better off and the
strength of my countrymen is my strength as well.
Obama’s reelection is unlikely to change my prospects of returning
to full-time lucrative comics writing...unless maybe he quotes from
one of my Black Lightning comics in his inaugural speech. But I’m
not expecting my president to solve my personal problems. I expect
him to work to solve our problems. If he can achieve success with
that, we’ll all be better off.
Voting for Obama? It was the easy thing to do. It was the smart
thing to do. It was the morally right thing to do.
When someone tells me we must take our country back, I inevitably
wonder who has taken it from us. I suspect some of their answers
would be very different from my own.
I’d like to take my country back from the wealthy and the powerful
who use their already overwhelming wealth and power to become even
more wealthy and powerful...usually at our expense.
I’d like to take my country back from bigots who attempt to deny
equal rights to fellow Americans who are something other than what
these bigots are.
I’d like to take my country back from the so-called religious who
believe our wonderfully diverse nation can only follow the laws of
whatever ancient book they themselves believe in, whether it be the
Bible, the Torah, the Book of Mormon, the Qur'an or Atlas Shrugged.
I’d like to take my country back from the professional liars at Fox
News. They lie, their lies get exposed, they double-down on those
lies. I would recommend they be paddled for their lies, but, come
on, you know some of them would get off on that.
I’d like to take my country back from those who deny science, from
those who care only about their own well-being and from those who
watch Toddlers and Tiaras, though, in the case of the last - Damn
it! - I must defend their first amendment rights to do so.
Except...these forces of evil can only lay claim to my country, to
our country, if we allow them to.
I choose not to allow that. I choose to oppose them and to give my
support to individuals and organizations who likewise oppose them.
I choose to speak out against them here and elsewhere.
I may not succeed in beating them. But I won’t go down quietly and
I won’t be intimidated by them.
I’ll keep opposing them until someone pries my cold dead hands off
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2012 Tony Isabella