Earlier this morning I was writing a blog post on the possibility of having a U.S. President that was "owned" by the people. I had been thinking of the huge number of people who have supported Barack Obama with small donations and how...perhaps...we could eventually have a president financed directly by the people and not by corporate special interests. Would such a president feel a sense of direct accountability to the american people?
I do not like Barack Obama. I prefer Gary Johnson. Though in the past election, I gave money to both the Obama and Johnson campaigns. My thought was better Obama than Romney and that Obama, as someone directly financed by many small donations from millions of americans could perhaps feel a sense of obligation towards those "little people" like me, who have supported him financially. But as I did a little research on Obama and his effect on the country, I got slightly sick at my stomach. I have been well aware that Obama has turned a blind eye to the growth of the military industrial complex. I knew about his acceptance of indefinite detention of American citizens and the continuation of drone strikes. Even the main stream media has occasionally covered these topics. But after reading the commentaries of people Matt Stoller in Salon (The Progressive Case Against Obama) and The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf (Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama) I was stunned. I wondered if I allowed myself to be duped by the media and the Obama campaign into not looking deeply enough into his records and actions. Can Obama claim to be a progressive in any sense, except for social issues such as a women's right to choose, gay marriage and the like? Is Obama anything more than a Republican with liberal leanings in the social matters?
And more to the point how can we change our menu of options? How can we create an election that will give us a vote on ending the perpetual war that we find ourselves in, the continued monitoring of our personal communications and emails indefinite detention of Americans, and the ending of our liberties that we are losing step by step? This a very large question, the simple answer to me is that we need a viable, citizen-funded third party candidate. A more nuanced answer from Matt Stoller is to start now to build a group of people who are willing and capable of governing from principles based on personal liberty:
"...the task starting after the election is to build this network of organized people with intellectual and political integrity into a group who understands how to move the levers of power across industry, government, media and politics. We need to put ourselves into the position to be able to run the government."
Stoller wants to infiltrate the government with patriots who believe in and will fight for civil liberty. I like the idea. Though, I believe libertarians and other like-minded people will need more and more visibility and more persuasive messages.
Here is to the change that Obama promised, but never delivered. And to an election that matters on issues that are important to our liberty and freedom and the freedom of our families and loved ones.